Nicole Choo

As Singapore gets ready for Hypeworld’s inaugural music festival this weekend, we sat down with some local talents who will hit the stage to get to know them better and find out what they’re all about.

Local DJ and content creator Nicole Choo tells Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore what she’s most excited about experiencing at the festival, how she got her start in music, and how to become a TikTok star.

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Could you introduce yourself to readers going to the festival who haven’t heard your music before?
I go by DJ Nicole Alexa. Usually I play more hardstyle [music], but for this festival I’m trying something new, so I’m gonna be playing more like minimal techno and bounce. At the start of the whole night, I don’t wanna go so hard, I guess. Like this is the rule, you know? When it comes to festivals, you don’t wanna go so hard to start.

After over two years of missing out on live performances, what hypes you up most for playing big festivals again?
Actually, this is my first festival. Super special to me. And I’m actually super scared, I was super nervous. Before Covid, I wasn’t really spinning yet. It was during Covid when I started practicing DJing and only when the restrictions eased. Then I started playing for nightclubs and stuff. This is really new to me.

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Tell me more about how you got started DJing.
I went to stay in Melbourne collectively for a year. And you know, they’re really big with hardstyle. They’re very big with minimal techno and stuff. So I guess staying there kind of influenced me, like a new genre. Because before I went to Melbourne, I didn’t know hardstyle existed. And I guess I got inspired. So when I came back I had a friend who actually runs a DJ studio. I’m like, okay, maybe this is something I wanna dive into. So that’s how it started.

You also have a huge social media following on Instagram and TikTok, so tell us more about how you grew your profile on both platforms.
I actually started posting YouTube videos when I was 10. I was singing covers, I deleted the whole channel. I knew I shouldn’t have deleted it cause I would wanna look back at it. So I posted covers when I was 10 and then Instagram came up when I was around 12. I created Instagram just to post whatever that I wanted to post. It was just very casual. I didn’t even know that social media could be monetised cause I was 12, I didn’t think this could be a career. I was just very inspired by Tumblr. I really liked those pictures and I did my own. TikTok is pretty new compared to Instagram. I would say I had a TikTok account, but TikTok wasn’t as big and suddenly just took off after. I think maybe after Vine, I guess Vine and TikTok are pretty similar, just that Vine is shorter, but the humour is there. So I think TikTok is the new Vine.

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Give your fans some advice if they want to grow their following.
I guess you just need to know what the trending sounds are and put your own twist to it. But if you wanna make social media a job, I would say for any job, you can’t go in for the wrong reasons. You have to really be passionate and really like what you’re doing. If not, you’re not gonna continue. You’ve got to have the drive for a long time.

What are your favorite nightlife spots in Singapore?
Honestly, I just go anywhere that has hard style. There’s this place called Maverick, they’re pretty new. Not because I played there before, that’s why I’m promoting it, but they actually play a lot of hardstyle.

What about your favorite music festivals or nightlife spots around the world?
I just recently went to Defqon in Amsterdam. So it’s one of the biggest hardstyle festivals. And I just came back from Sydney for Knockout, another hardstyle festival. But I would wanna go to Qlimax, also somewhere around the Netherlands.

Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans?
Whoever that comes to watch me, just know I really, really appreciate it cause obviously I’m so nervous for this event. Every day I’m at the studio, just grinding. Just hopefully appreciate my music. Just have a good time.

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.