Behind that edgy exterior lies the heart of a true DJ – Miss Yellow has the chops to take it all the way to the top.
Style comes easily to Miss Yellow. Whether it’s in her clothes or in her hair, she always makes an impression. But underneath lies the heart of a bona fide music-lover, even though the path she took to becoming one of Hong Kong’s most sought-after DJs wasn’t the most obvious. “When I was young, I always wanted to do something with music. But I wasn’t sure what. Then a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to enter Miss Hong Kong, and I was young and thought well why not. Anyway, on the back of that, I ended up a professional actress on TV and on film for 10 years!”
She came back to her first love, music, eight years ago. “You know, when I was an actress, I always played these really elegant girls with long, flowing hair. It really wasn’t me. And for a long time, I was just so disappointed and bored. I wasn’t getting the roles that I wanted, and I guess at the time I was just a little upset with the direction my life had taken. Acting was so far removed from music – I wanted to be a singer, but that opportunity didn’t arise – and by that stage, I decided to try to get back into music. Funnily enough, just as I was thinking about music, a friend of mine told me he’d just started DJing lessons.” As part of the film and TV industry, Miss Yellow was no stranger to clubbing, and the thought of learning to DJ intrigued her. “So I went along with him to our teacher DJ Ryan. I discovered I had a massive passion for it. I even went and bought a mixer and CDJ and started practising at home. After about a year of studying, he took us out to play at clubs. Well they weren’t really clubs, more like bars, but it was fun suddenly being in control of the music I was playing. You know, as an actress I had so little control over the roles I got, and when I was DJing I felt I was finding the balance I needed. I had control over the music and I had control over the atmosphere and energy I was creating.”
After her apprenticeship, she met Kid Fresh and started playing with him at his Hype Nasty nights. “It was through him and his crew that I really learned so much about overseas music and DJing skills. Then I went over to London and Berlin to learn even more.”
Being one of Hong Kong’s few (extremely talented) female DJs has its advantages and disadvantages. “The good thing is, if you want some help, your friends are really willing to teach you. They’ll even carry your bags for you! And it’s easier to stand out as a female DJ – even now, people seem impressed that a girl can do this whole DJing thing,” she laughs. “But the flip side is that, some people might mistake you for just another pretty face and not rate your skills.”
Her bass-heavy electronic nights are a far cry from her early days playing commercial r’n’b in seedy bars in Kowloon, and her tastes have since ranged far and wide. “Right now, I love Bok Bok’s sound. He’s a producer and DJ from London and just like how everyone is copying James Blake right now, I have a feeling mainstream artists will be copying Bok Bok in the future.” But for Miss Yellow, the learning never stops. “Since I started DJing, I’ve just kept on listening to more and more music, finding out as much as I can about everything. You know, it’s a never-ending process of learning, but it’s my passion.”