An Interview with Kuala Lumpur based Dj JonnyVicious

An Interview with Kuala Lumpur based Dj JonnyVicious

I love this scene because it’s beautifully young and there's so much room for experimentation and ideas.

The ever popular Kuala Lumpur Dj Jonathan Charles aka JonnyVicious sits down with to discuss life being a DJ, how he got started, what frustrates him and his plans for the rest of 2018. 

What got you into Dj’ing and when

Well, I started off by hosting private after parties when I was about 18, from there I hosted a few nights and soon after became a booker for three clubs. Once I had completed university I decided that I wanted to become a professional DJ, I was 23, and the year was 2013. 

How did you learn, did you have someone who mentored you or did you work through it on your own?

I am a self taught DJ, I had a few key people around me who pointed me in the right direction, but I feel like I am still learning till today. It’s an art form and it takes a lot of time and dedication to understanding it. Patience would be the absolute key here.


What are some of your musical influences?

I have many, most of them being soul/funk and a good splash of techno. The Chemical Brothers and MAW(Masters at Work) I believe are the reason I play/love house and techno today, they were the first DJs I ever listened to as a young teen.  My later influences include the likes of The Bloody Beetroots, Daft Punk and so on, I guess that’s kinda why I chose the name JonnyVicious, partly because of my love for Sid Vicious, his mind and partly because I grew up listening to a lot of heavy guitar influenced music. 

Describe your sound?

I literally feel like a lost puppy in an hourglass with this question. My sound seems to change every day, I’m forever adding in new sounds and inspiration, my philosophy is, if it’s good, ill play it. 

What has been your most memorable moment as a DJ?

Playing an almost 11 hour set at Elysium early last year. My goal was to cover as many genres as I could whilst staying in a flow. I almost shed a tear as I put on my last tune that morning. Smiles everywhere and love beyond anything I had imagined. 

Without naming names what’s the worst experience as a Dj to date?


An Interview with Kuala Lumpur based Dj JonnyVicious

You look after the musical direction for PISCO BAR, Mr Chews Chino Latino and soon to open Barrio by Pisco, how do you approach this for both venues and what do you look for in the Ds your booking?

My main focus when booking DJs is quality and variety. I’ve always stepped away from basic music. It was the reason I began throwing parties and djing in the first place. I despise acts that play the basics in whatever genre they are playing, the world has a plethora of music and a good DJ takes a lot of time to scour the internet for stuff that blows minds. These are the acts I look for when I'm booking, whether local or international. 

Best booking so far, Local and international?

Nick Monaco & Christian Prommer. I won't speak for the locals as there are too many and I prefer to be impartial. 

Name one DJ you’d like to open for?

Honey Dijon, who I was supposed to open for yet she cancelled, so Miss Honey, if you be reading this, WE NEED YOU HERE. 



What frustrates you and what do you love about the music scene here?

I’m constantly frustrated by the fact that a lot of people here tend to only exist within their own cliques, the music scene is so small and there are a very few of us that take the time to unite the scene. I love this scene because it’s beautifully young and there's so much room for experimentation and ideas. 

What else have you got lined up for 2018?

A fair bit I would say, as for myself, I am in the midst of starting a community driven radio station with a friend and I’m hoping to unite our tastemakers in a mind blowing way. 

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