ADE-playlist-interview-Celeste Siam

[Playlist + Interview] Celeste Siam: Bringing A Taste Of Bangkok To ADE

Published On 14/10/2016 | ADE, Interviews, Playlists

Celeste Siam is one of Asia’s hottest musical exports and a name synonymous with the continents clubbing infrastructure.

Having made an impact on her own region early in her career, she made the move Ibiza in 2007 where she played alongside Carl Cox, secured a Pukka Up residency, and made appearances at both Pacha and Amnesia. Not to be outdone, in Celeste’s spare time, she promotes her own “The Ibiza Reunion” events around Asia, while also being a tireless crusader against animal cruelty and represents the “International Human Rights Commission” as their Ambassador for Peace and Humanity.

With all this, Asia’s Favorite Female DJ comes to Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) 2016 where she will be making the rounds and representing her native Thailand on the panel ‘What Do Artist Do All Day,” alongside Dave Clarke, Eats Everything, Nitin, Benny Rodrigues, and Cevin Fisher. Anticipating this event, we thought to give you an introduction of sorts to Celeste Siam. Here you will see an in depth glimpse into the state of Asia’s electronic music scene, the 5 tracks that most inspired Celeste, and way, way more.

“I want to make anyone dance from anywhere, and with any religion or belief, or political vision…we are all HUMANS AND MUSIC UNITE US ALL”

Explain a bit how you were first introduced to electronic music in Thailand. Who were some of the first names that drew you in? What was the best way to acquire music?
I was always listening to many music genres since I was little and loved to dance to whatever had rhythm. The first electronic music show I experienced in Thailand was Fatboy Slim live in Bangkok in 2001.

Back in the day in my city, I was lucky I didn’t had strict law to check our ID’s, so I could go out and sneak into parties at the clubs, and listen to DJs, that was the best way for my generation, as we didn’t have any electronic music media, neither good internet at home to surf for any related info.

How has the scene in Thailand evolved from when you first started to now? Do you see any area where that scene still needs to improve?
The Thai scene has grown so much, not as fast if as I wish if I compared it with other Asian country’s like Japan or Korea, but it’s in good shape.

To be a DJ in my early time, the public perception was just seeing someone who plays music from the dark corner of the club, and we have no dance floor, all was full of tables, people come to drink and talk to each other, never look at the DJ booth.

Nowadays, DJs are like super-stars who get lot of attention, doesn’t matter whatever he/she does, as far it looks cool, it’s great.

The evolution of parties and music genres has also been great, we now have more options in order to attend cool parties with different music styles.

What I’m thinking to improve is the whole scene is:
– DJs: Now we have too many DJs who wanna be a DJ just for the sake of fame and money, they are the ones who don’t care or don’t know about music. This type of mercenary DJ is saturating the whole scene specially the badly named “female/model DJ”

– Club owners: Not many club owners want to take a risk or let resident DJs play something different or book new acts in order to educate clubbers at their venue, because if the club is always full with same formula, they don’t see what is the reason or benefit to do something different. I respect that, which is good for the money in the short run, but isn’t good for the point of shaping industry in the long term.

-Promoter: We can’t deny that connections are the best way to build our industry, but many places keep booking the same DJs from the same crew, for years, and years, and they kept playing same music…I would like to see new DJs have a chance to shine even if they don’t know them or have been a friend of the promoter, so they can experiment with new sounds, taking risk every time they play.

– Clubbers: In Thailand still they do not get use to pay the entrance fee, so whenever they want to go to see the act so bad and they just feel don’t want to pay entry fee even its not much, they don’t understand why they have to spend more money. If they can go to spend more money with drinks inside the club, why pay entry/ or festival fee? They wait for a free pass which many promoters give loads of free ticket as they get used to it. In the end, if no people support ticket sales, festival /promoter can’t bring good act come for show cause they all loose money.

– Media: We need more electronic music media and independent music platforms in Thailand and Asia. Here is hard to make anyone to understand what is cool, is just about what is guarantee it that sales, no more risk taken when new different acts. Anyone can make it around, but its hard for them to understand.

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About The Author

Steve comes to Amsterdam by way of Brooklyn, Connecticut, Mumbai, and Tokyo. He researches media culture at UvA, while already holding degrees from UCONN (CT) and The New School (NYC). Aside from DHA, Steve is the Senior Editor for cinema platform IndieNYC.com, and writes on issues relating to film, culture, politics & electronic music. Every so often he also dabbles in photography and filmmaking.