Friday night, what’s good? What are you up to? Who are you with? More importantly, why are you not tuned (read: completely wired) in to Fly FM Five-O?
Their mixes have been the source of partygoers’ “drive time juice”, amping them up before hitting the clubs. Their show has eased many mainstream radio listeners into the world of electronic dance music. Their gigs include uplifting, high energy big tunes from the many dance music subgenres i.e. trance, electro house, progressive house, etc. And their podcast, Radio KUL, is available to dance music fans (like themselves!) all over the world.
While they’re constantly moving dance floors and, uh, moving people in the cars (read: car rave), we dig just a little bit deeper to find out what truly moves DJ duo Simon Lee and Alvin. And bagging winning awards must feel like. And the tunes they (not so) secretly love. And what they plan on doing to “save” the world of dance music.
(One of them firmly believes that he’s Batman, after all) Ready, set, go!
Hello both! Indulge us a little bit on what you both do as a duo as well as individually. Night job, day job, the works.
Alvin: “We’re both tech specialists by day, which actually have very little to do with music. As Simon Lee & Alvin, we DJ and we collaborate on music. We also develop RadioKUL.com and we have a weekly radio mixshow on Fly FM.”
Simon Lee: “Like many musicians, we’re average guys who just happen to be involved with dance music.”
Congratulations on bagging “Best Radio Show” at the Choons Awards for the second time in a row. How are you boys feeling about that?
Simon Lee: “Thanks! We’ve been mixing the show since 2008 so we’re really happy that EDM is picking up on local FM radio. We’re always trying to evolve the show and keep it sounding fresh, so we work with record labels and artistes to put on new music each week, and sometimes we re-edit these tracks ourselves to give it a little more edge. I hope it inspires people to look up more dance music or understand the culture. We get tweets about people driving the long way home or having listening parties on Friday nights for the show…so that’s kinda cool!”
Alvin: “We need to thank everyone at Fly FM and to the listeners for believing in the show. At the same time we’re trying to create a platform for the best local DJs to air their mixtapes on radio as special guests. Again we can’t stress enough how appreciative we are of our fans. The responses we get from them are elating and to me, that itself is an accomplishment.”
Awards’ milestones aside, what were the most memorable moments in your careers as “Simon Lee & Alvin”?
Simon Lee: “For me it’d be all the new friends we’ve made along the way. Music, particularly EDM, is such a great way to connect passionate people together. Also all the artistes we’ve been able to interview and feature. We’re fans too so everything we do is very much ‘made by fans for fans’. I remember we did this one gig and this guy danced his heart out from the beginning to the end of our set, he never left the front of the dancefloor. At the end of it, he came up to us and asked us what kind of music we just played, because he had never heard it before…that night, he fell in love with EDM.”
Alvin: “Many might not know we started off with an online radio show and that garnered us a wider audience from fans abroad. They pushed us to mould the show the way you hear them today. To be recognized and given the opportunity to entertain Malaysians on a local terrestrial radio station makes it even sweeter. Good music deserves to be enjoyed by everyone and we strive in making that possible.”
Name 5 big tunes that (if permitted) you would play over and over, and over again live or on Fly Five-O.
Simon Lee: “OH MAN! Haha! We ask people these type of questions all the time and now it’s not funny to have to answer this back. OK..just off the top of my head, these 5 records never go out of style, they make you turn up the volume:
– Zombie Nation “Kernkraft 400”
– Delerium Feat Sarah McLachlan “Silence”
– Ferry Corsten “Punk”
– Nadia Ali, Alex Kenji & Starkillers “Pressure” (Alesso Remix)
– Swedish House Mafia “Greyhound”
Alvin: “Haha, since Simon is really humble with his selection, I’ll be a little bit biased and insert a couple of our mashups as well; which IMHO deserve mentions! I’ll start off with the longest track title we have:
– Dash Berlin feat Cerf, Mistika and Jaren vs Shogun feat Emma Lock “Man On The Run vs Save Me” (Simon Lee & Alvin Mashup)
– Avicii vs David Guetta “Sunshine Levels” (Simon Lee & Alvin Mashup)
– Florence + The Machine – “Shake It Out” (Benny Benassi Extended Mix)
– Tiesto “Maximal Crazy” (R3hab & Swanky Tunes Remix)
– Richard Durand Feat Hadley “Run To You” (Orjan Nilsen Trance Mix)”
Simon Lee: “Yeah you’re right. That track title became so long. I think somebody told us it should’ve been called “Save Me From The Man On The Run” haha!”
So, the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs 2012 poll has officially kicked off. Which DJs or producers will you vote for and why?
Alvin: “I am just going to name my top selection here and it’s got to be Russian DJ, Arty. He has produced impressive tracks and guess what, he performs equally as well too. You know he is great when not only fans go crazy over his sets but top notch DJ/producers seek out his productions to be featured in their sets. His prominence is here to stay and I foresee only greater things from him in the years to come.”
Simon Lee: “It changes every year but I’m rooting for the ones who have left an impression on me this year, production wise. I’d definitely be voting for Arty, and maybe Maison & Dragen, Norin & Rad, Alesso, and Sultan & Ned Sheperd. I know most people would probably vote for the usual suspects but these guys put out quality records that put them in a class above many, and I’ve been listening to a lot of their music.”
If you could campaign for the Top 100 DJs 2012 poll, what would it look/sound like?
Simon Lee: “Mum! If you’re reading this e-mail click VOTE now!”
Alvin: “VOTE for us lah!”
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Final question (yay we’re setting you 2 free)! If you were given the power to change the one thing you could change about EDM today, what would it be?
Simon Lee: “I’d ask for promoters and sponsors to be a bit more creative with their festival and event line ups. They have a huge role to play in exposing new DJs/producers to the crowd, so compliment the big names with some fresh talent to keep things interesting.”
Alvin: “I can’t agree more with what Simon has said. We might just discover the next big DJ/producer whose influences span way beyond our shores. Apart from that there’s nothing much to change as EDM itself is forever self evolving and we are in for one helluva ride!”
Simon Lee & Alvin: “Thanks for having us HYPE!”
No, thank you both! Tune in to Simon Lee and Alvin’s Fly Five-O (Fly FM) every Friday from 11pm to 12am – oh wait, that’s tonight! You know what to do.