THE last year has been a difficult period for almost everyone. It has been a struggle to remain motivated, let alone thrive under the current circumstances, especially for people in the creative industry.
DJ duo Bass Agents – Chia Khoo Hoong and Nick Chia – speak for many, talking about their downturn in luck during this time.
“We had to cancel multiple shows and tours around the region. Thus, we lost a huge part of our income. It was tough mentally, as there were no outlets for us to express ourselves. It was hard to stay inspired.”
However, this electronic duo managed to turn it around by channelling all their frustrations into their art.
First formed in Melbourne, Australia back in 2003, Khoo Hoong (who goes by Mr Nasty) and Nick (Ganjaguru) founded the group out of their love for electronic music.
Since then, they have frequently headlined festivals across the country and won numerous awards such as EDMdroid com#1 Coolest DJ and their latest #6 ranking in the Asia EDM Top 10 DJs Awards in 2017.
How did you guys get into becoming DJs?
We share a passion for electronic music since it took off in Malaysia back in 1999. Even then, we knew it was going to be the sound of the future. However, we only found our core when we discovered Hard Dance while we were studying in Melbourne. We loved it so much and there was no turning back ever since.
What are among the most memorable moments in your career?
The first one was how our track Black Winter went viral among the shuffle community without us realising it. This was before Facebook existed. We did not know it got that huge until we played it at our gig overseas and everyone knew the melody and requested for it.
The second would be our recent track, COVID-19, that was released during the pandemic. It went viral with Malaysians and was known as “Kesana Kesini”.
Is there a story behind COVID-19?
COVID-19 was an impulsive thing. We were all stuck at home waiting for the PM’s speech every day and when we heard that phrase, it caught our attention instantly. We figured that it would be fun to do a Hardstyle edit just for kicks.
However, we must admit, we were afraid that we might get in trouble for it. But we went ahead anyway. Before we knew it, it became the hit that it is today!
How do you balance between giving the crowd what they want and presenting something new?
We always try to find the balance between the two. We love to play all the new stuff, so what we would do is mash up the fan favourite tracks with the new ones. So, there is always a surprise element in our set.
How do you stay up to date with the latest music trends?
Music is always evolving, even in Hardstyle. We reckon as long as we stick to our signature style while mixing it up with the new sounds, it can create something interesting. Trends come and go, keeping it real will be the best way forward.
What advice do you have for new DJs?
Everyone can DJ nowadays. However, one common mistake among amateurs is their attitude towards the craft. Without the right attitude, one would not go far. Stay humble and respect each other as we are in this together.