Caden Neo

Singapore’s biggest dance party, ZoukOut, came back to life at Sentosa’s Siloso Beach this month, bringing in tens of thousands of electronic music fans from across the region. World-renowned artists Tiesto and Zedd kept the party going into the wee hours of the early morning alongside local DJs like Rattle and Caden Neo, who both spin regularly at Zouk, one of Singapore’s most popular clubs. Below, Caden tells BAZAAR all about what it’s like to climb to the top of the DJ ranks in Singapore, what makes electronic dance music (EDM) just so popular here, and what EDM fans can look forward to while they wait for next year’s ZoukOut lineup to be announced.

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What’s your favourite thing about being a resident DJ at Zouk?

I recently joined Zouk as a resident DJ in November 2022. It’s always been a dream of mine to DJ for one of the country’s most prominent nightclubs. My favourite thing is definitely being able to perform in 3 different rooms in Zouk – we can switch up the genre according to the theme night!

Zouk has been and still is one of Singapore’s main nightclub attractions. Why do you think that’s the case and how do you guys help keep that top spot?

There are many factors, but one of them is definitely the curated music theme nights by the resident DJs to bring the partygoers back for more. In the Zouk Main Room we have ONE DANCE, MAMBO JAMBO, BULLETPROOF, TGIW and SIN CITY (focused on hip-hop). Phuture hosts Phuture Underground and Slime (also focused on hip-hop). Capital hosts Total Recall, Reload, Transfix and Thursday Night Hustle.

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What are your favourite crowd-pleaser songs to drop in a set?

Still Into You (the restricted edit).

There’s a big appetite for EDM music here in Singapore, as evidenced by huge crowds at ZoukOut and a plethora of newer festivals like GLOWHARD and Hypeworld. Why do you think that’s the case?

Electronic dance music allows you to be creative and explore different remixes from different genres. This gives the element of surprise, which we can use to rock the crowd. It’s more up-tempo compared to other genres. I think a majority of the Singapore crowd prefers an up-tempo beat nowadays, as it’s catchier and more euphoric.

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Thoughts on the future of the EDM scene here?

The future is definitely bright! There are more festivals appearing in Singapore and many international DJs are invited over to perform. I definitely would like to see more local acts in the festival as more talents are emerging locally. I can also see there’s a shift in music trends towards Tech House, Big Room Techno and Hard Dance here in Singapore.