One of the up and comers of an increasingly interesting and healthy scene in Hong Kong, is Brazilian Gaby Endo. She is co-founder of the monthly Love & Beats held at famous Volar in the cities' Lang Kwai Fong district, and also one of the people behind Rewind, a Sunday daytime party series. More than this, she represents a growing movement of individuals in Hong Kong and even throughout the region, who are increasingly dedicating themselves fully to their passion for electronic music, helping to grow and solidify movements in their various homes. A recent attendee of Burning Man, she takes a holistic approach to her music, occasionally delving into the tribal and mystical, however keeping that drive which always makes the dancefloor move.
Have a listen to her mix for the 18th episode of Asia In Focus, and her story which she briefly shared with us.
Hey Gaby! Happy to have you on Pulse Radio. How are you? You just spoke at IMS China, how was that?
Hey guys, I'm well thank you, and thanks for having me here. I just got back from IMS China, and it was great to have some of leaders of the electronic music industry getting together and sharing insights on how to improve and develop the market in China, which is very challenging and interesting at the same time. Lots of work to be done and a lot of potential too. I was able to share a bit about my view on the Hong Kong scene comparing it to China. I'm working in the “underground” side of the industry and in this case the difference is that Hong Kong’s crowd seems more aware about whats going on around the world so its more receptive. China has a lot of restrictions on social media, that do not allow important information to be shared which doesn’t help the development of it. And Hong Kong has aways been super international in terms of population, but lately its has become even more, and that creates a very diverse kind of crowd, that brings together a different background of music knowledge and information with them. And when you have a crowd that gets what you are trying to do, thats an amazing and inspiring start.
Tell us a bit about your story - how did you end up in Hong Kong and what is your story with electronic music?
I was born and raised in Brazil. When I was 16 years old, 12 years ago, I moved to Asia (mainly Hong Kong) to work as a model. And have been around here ever since. I have always been naturally interested in electronic music. In the beginning, when I was still modeling, I was always traveling around when I had time to check out parties and festivals that I found interesting. In Hong Kong I was a regular clubber even at such a young age, and I remember I used to love standing next to the DJ booth, and observe how it works and how everything happens from the other side. Sometimes I used to go and just pay attention at the music, how elements would come and go, count measures in my head to try to understand the structure of it and how it is done, listen to different styles and eventually find my own. I never thought I would work with it, although I used to frequently hear from my friends that I should become a DJ, as I aways ended up being the after-parties “iPod DJ “ with my iPod full of sets and ready to go. I have always done my researches on my favorite DJs and labels, downloading music and following it. I absorbed a lot of information from those times and travels. Time passed and and everything started to become more clear. Music is the biggest passion I have, so I decided to follow my heart and shift my career to work in this industry. So it started in Hong Kong 2 years ago, when I co-founded Love&Beats, an underground party label, holding monthly events with international guest DJs at VOLAR. Then a few months later came REWIND, a series of Sunday rooftop parties. I'm still co-running both and also DJing at local clubs, events and at my own parties.
Rewind Sunday rooftop party.
We are recently noticing a lot of things happening in Hong Kong, which you are contributing to as well. How is it putting on parties in HK at the moment? How are the crowds developing, and would you say the scene is healthy?
It's quite exciting to be working with HK at this very moment. I have been here for many years and this is time that I see the biggest potential of growth. We are doing some great outdoor parties with REWIND, the feedback is very good. We focus on rooftops, but have also done beach parties. Its a combination of music, visuals, stunning views of the city’s sky line or nature and a beautiful crowd as well. That all together creates a very unique atmosphere, the concept was rapidly embraced and it's the perfect choice for someone who is looking for something fresh after spending most of their weekends inside the clubs. Besides the work that I'm doing with LOVE&BEATS and REWIND, there are many great PR’s contributing to the scene, bringing a lot of quality stuff to the city and helping to develop it. Like I said above, the crowd now comparing to a few years back is more informed and more receptive. Good timing to work, put great parties together and help shape the scene. In general it is a healthy scene.
We noticed you are an attendee of Burning Man, and we’re sure it gives you lots of inspiration. How do you bring this back with you, and channel this into growing the scene in HK?
Ah Burning Man… hard to put in words how wonderful this experience was for me. Inspiring in every way. Since I first discovered the existence of Burning Man a few years ago, it has always been a source of inspiration in many things that I do. But living the reality of it was magic. Burning Man shows very well that art, music, freedom for self expression, caring for one another and caring for our planet, are fundamental elements and values that work together to create the perfect experience. To create something meaningful where people can take something positive from it and leave something positive behind. That is the direction that always moved me, and being able to experience it, is very inspiring and has a big impact in what i do here, and I hope to be able to provide some of this this values and awareness in what I do in Hong Kong. I will definitely work on how to channel this in what I do.
Finally, we would like to know about the mix you did for us. What was the idea behind it, where was it recorded?
The idea and inspiration behind this set is nature & energy. I used the energy of tech-house , and played around with some tribal elements, percussion and vocals to give an organic feel to it. It's also a bit melodic, for the journey deep into a rain forest or wherever the listener’s minds take them. I recorded in my room.