The first and only Taiwanese DJ to have won gigs in both San Francisco and Miami (Space), David S. is shooting to stardom.
"I was … concerned that the music I played might sound a bit too different to what they [clubbers] were used to," David said about his US debut in San Francisco last September, which included sets at Dragon, Mezzanine and End-Up. "But everything worked out just fine. The crowds were really into the music. It seems like they are ready to dance as soon as they enter the clubs."
David credits his agent, Patrick Sun, for helping launch his DJ career, which began with the monthly Decadence Night in Hong Kong, where Sun is based. The two began their partnership in 2002, "and then one thing led to another. Overseas bookings just started coming in," David said.
After breaking into the cliquish DJ scene, David built up a busy schedule with gigs in Singapore, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Manila, Seoul and Shanghai, in addition to Hong Kong, Taiwan and the US. In 2004, he released his first (house) mix-CD with EMI, which debuted at number three on HMV's soul/dance chart.
Away from the glamour and groupies, David's other career is computer engineering. He worked full-time from 1997 at the Insular Science Park, Hsinchu, with a "secret superstar-DJ identity," until his relocation to Taipei last year. Though the job carried kudos from the younger generation, before Taiwan's nascent dance-music scene blossomed, negative media coverage ensured that deejaying remained off the list of respectable careers.
"Most of my co-workers know that I'm a DJ now … . My boss is actually quite proud of it and he even came to see me spin twice," David said.
Aside from regular slots at InHouse and 18 Lover, David has also starred in TV commercials and has made it onto the pages of GQ as a "man of passion," Elle and Men's Uno.
"As competitive as the job market for [electronic-dance music[ DJs is in Taiwan … , I think being able to secure a decent residency and deejay on a regular basis is as good as it gets. I'm happy with what I have achieved so far," he said.
■ On his Web site (djdavids.myweb.hinet.net), David posts a monthly top 10 chart with links to MP3 files. Here are his picks for last month:
1. Federico Franchi, Cream (Robbie Rivera Juicy Ibiza Mix)
2. Roger Sanchez, Again, (DJ Antoine vs. Mad Mark Acid Mix)
3. Marc Romboy & Stephan Bodzin, Callisto, (Original Mix)
4. Nick & Danny Chatelain, For All Underground DJs (Original Mix)
5. Seb Fontaine & Jay P, Do The Do 2007, (Mickey Slim Remix)
6. Rene Amesz, Plop, (Original Mix)
7. Andrea Doria, Bucci Bag, (Original 07 Edit)
8. Pitch & Hold, Pluto
9. Jesse Rose, Itchy Dog
10. M&S, Let The Music Spill (Soul Avengerz Remix)
As for albums, the local boy turned good picks out the following as his favorites:
■ Michael Jackson, Thriller: "The best pop/soul album in history. No one can 'beat it,' ever. It's so full of fresh elements that you never get tired of it."
■ Radiohead, OK Computer: "When you were still feeling drowned by the sad vocals of Creep … , Radiohead told you they were quite "ok" with "computer" then. The milestone was 1997. While other alternative bands were dying out, Radiohead was reborn with a new downtempo sound."
■ Moby, Play: "The techno weirdo opened his arms to the world in 1999 with Play, the most groundbreaking electronic album before the millennium. You can hear rock/soul/gospel/orchestra on top of the down-beat techno structure. But did the album make Moby a one-hit wonder? Ask Eminem."