DJ Junior, the Electronic Dance Music ambassador of Taiwan, talks us through his journey from fan to international artist, shining a light on his hometown’s own dance music revolution.
If you’re an electronic dance music (EDM) lover and partygoer in Taiwan, DJ Junior is a name that needs little introduction. A key member of the country’s music scene, the DJ and producer was the first Taiwanese DJ to perform at Tomorrowland, the world’s leading EDM festival in Belgium. Alongside touring the globe and sharing a stage with a list of big names including Jay-Z and Avicii, he has also built impressive streaming numbers with his own hits. He sat down to talk us about how Taiwan’s music talents are ready to take on the world.
He may be known as DJ Junior, but his musicianship and experience have far outstripped anything the name may suggest. The Taiwan native’s passion for EDM sparked at 16. “Back in those days, Taiwan’s disco invited Hong Kong DJs to perform their mixes, and I happened to be in one of their gigs. They were all mixing their own music by spinning phonograph records,” he recalls. “I was mind-blown by their ability to craft and customise live music for the audience, and since then dreamt of joining the league.”
Fast forward a good few years and many hours spent teaching himself the ropes, and DJ Junior has amassed an impassioned fan base of over 200k social media followers and thousands of party animals. It hasn’t gone without notice. The go-to DJ influencer has been invited to collaborate with a number of brands such as Fendi, Maserati, Ferrari, Piaget, and Gucci. Still, he’s keen to keep moving forward, “The more you practice, the better you understand your crowd. A real DJ should be able to create an atmosphere that draws people in through music. Because after all, deejaying is not just about the DJ, it’s about everyone.” And, to this end, he turned his hand to producing. “You can’t create your own path if you don’t have your own production,” he explains. “Being able to perform your originals on stage and see for yourself how the audience reacts to it – that moment, for me, is most authentic.”
With his career in the industry spanning over three decades now, DJ Junior has witnessed the ebb and flow of his genre as well as its development across Asia. “EDM was once an underground nightclub music genre, but thanks to the mainstream adoption by pop idols such as Lady Gaga and EDM giant David Guetta, it has found its way into arenas, festivals and even the Grammys,” he observes. “The EDM market in Asia, especially in Taiwan, is expanding at an incredibly rapid rate. Last year, the Road to Ultra festival in Taiwan saw a record-breaking number of attendees, with 25k EDM lovers filling up the venue. And, as more international music festivals such as Creamfields and EDC descend upon Asia, it will be the next big destination for electronic music.”
Recently returned from Belgium where he performed at Tomorrowland 2018, DJ Junior is more inspired than ever. “This is a milestone,” he declares, “not just for me, but also for Taiwanese music. With each step I take towards the global stage, I hope my performances will allow more of Taiwan’s hidden talents to break into the international scene. One day, people will dance to our music and know it’s produced on a small island called Taiwan.” Thanks to him, that moment is well on its way.