Confessions of a house deejay, Latest Music News - The New Paper

Confessions of a house deejay

You will never hear the songs Titanium by David Guetta or Rhythm Of the Night by Corona played in clubs here.

At least, not by DJ Jade Rasif.

That is because of a little-known fact: These two songs tend to cause fights.

"At some point in the songs, there is a drop in the beat. Then, you may hear the crowd belt out gang chants," Rasif tells The New Paper on Sunday.

"I found out when a club manager ran up to me shouting, 'What are you doing?', as I played one of the songs."

The runner-up at the TNP New Face 2013 pageant has been a full-fledged DJ since the start of the year.

Rasif, 21, judges deejay competitions, opens for several big concerts and performs overseas.

Her biggest event so far was in front a crowd of 5,000 at a beach party.

Rasif, who performs at The Exchange for Elite Fridays, says: "The New Face propelled me into the limelight and helped me get my name out there."

But the former model and blogger says her love for spinning records and hyping up the crowd started way before the competition, when her interest in it was sparked by an ex-boyfriend who was a deejay.

"It started off as a hobby that just got more and more addictive. Then, I signed with an agency and my career simply took off," says Rasif.

Just like that, life became a lot more hectic for the third-year undergraduate at the National University of Singapore.


The double-major student in psychology and mass communications says: "The hours are insane. Some weeks, I perform weekdays from evening until 6am the next day, and then it's back to school.

"But I'm never tired. I get pumped up over good music and I want to make sure everything is perfect. I'm neurotic like that."

That means constant preparation and research are needed to fine-tune what the crowd might like to hear that night, with the help of the event organiser or her client, she adds.

But the unexpected can still happen, especially when the client makes the wrong call.

At a wedding dinner in Phuket, Thailand, she sensed the mood of the middle-aged crowd turn sour as she dished out heavy techno music at the request of the groom.

"It's the kind of music you play at 4am in a rowdy club, not at a wedding reception," she recalls.

Thankfully, Rasif was prepared and switched to classic rock tunes, winning back the crowd whatever her client may think.

She says: "One thing I've learnt is that if the client is drunk, he will be happy when the crowd is happy."

She has encountered her share of undesirable people while spinning at alcohol-fuelled raves, including gropers, stalkers and violent drunkards.

"If anything goes wrong, I have security (personnel) to protect me. Otherwise, I just run," she says.


1. Hire a good agent to manage gigs and an image consultant to help create a unique brand.

2. Always come prepared with extra music in case the planned selection fails to pump up the crowd.

3. Calm your nerves by concentrating on belting out good music. Have a drink if necessary.