A PHOQ'INTERVIEW - LEVI OI [VN/GER]
Amid glittering skyscrapers and a vibrant art scene, Levi quickly realized that music and culture were Vietnamese driven. With no international headliners and a small presence of what would be considered mainstream in the West, it was the right breeding ground to put one's own ideas into practice and build a brand.
No sooner said than done, she put hers into practice. With success! After only a few months, Vietnam news named her one of the major newcomers, Ho Chi Minh City boiler room sets were played and even vice.com featured her as one of Saigon’s most influential underground personalities
Interviewed by Violette Leboucq
💐 SPEED PHOQ'ING
Meeting people, one after the other, in order to get to the heart of the matter and determine if the person can be seen again.
- What is your dream name for the interview ?
'A Unicorn on an endless Rainbow' I guess that's me, me travelling through life, a never ended journey full of unexpected things and colors. I'm not really into horses, but I like unicorns, they're harmless but crazy. I feel like them, never really on the floor, always dreaming. I think it's also fitting PHOQ MAG's madness, since this is how we guys met.
- After Banh Mi or After Currywurst ?
I would go for the Banh Mi. It's the best thing ever. I'm also down for some Phở. Concerning the food, I think I’m not german at all, it's always asian food. Of course, I like some stuff like bretzels, which looks so stupid.
- Without any transition - where are you located now, how did you ended-up there ?
I'm in Berlin right now. I moved to Germany few years ago, to study international business and worked for a couple companies. But I realized it wasn't fulfilling me that much, and I decided to change my life. I've always wanted to move to Vietnam, it was on my top priority list, because I was only going there for holidays. I quit my job, and since I didn't have plans anyways, I just moved there. I took some of my stuff, my savings and say let's go.
Back in Vietnam, it was really fast connected with a lot of people, starting doing my parties. Gather people together, meet new people, this is what I love. I feel, it's kinda my life mission. At some point, I realized that I could step up the game a bit, and find my inner soul in being an artist. Electronic music was my stuff, maybe I should just DJ. Not just to try. Partying was always my stuff. I can gain value by sharing my music and not just organizing events. I took DJ curses, and then started to play at my friends parties. In my network, it became more popular and people were just asking me to play at their events. But for me, I wasn't good enough. In Vietnam, you can DJ in fashion events, there are no big clubs where you can loose your reputation if you screw a set. This is the perfect place to start. Finally, 2 years ago, I got my first gig at Bam Bam, thanks to Goosebumps (Ben & Nouch). For the story, I booked Nouch as a DJ for one of my party, and while he went to the toilets, I plugged my USB to play few tracks. He came back and said I should keep playing. After that, he helped me to practice my DJ skills and invited me to play my first gig. I think from there, one thing led to another, Boiler Room came, Epizode came and Covid came. After a year in Germany, I came back to Vietnam but Covid struck again. I think I've started my career at the worst time ever. It takes a lot of courage to say, that I'm this person now. I want to party everywhere I go, connect to people.
- Don't you think that, COVID-19 made our dreams stronger ?
Exactly. Maybe that's why I moved back to Germany, I don't want to loose that dream. I gave a chance to Vietnam and then Covid came, but I still want to work on this dream. It's so though but if I don't try, I'll never get there. Wether it's working or not, I would still find myself in other areas. Opportunities are endless, so do are unicorns.
- How did you leave these past 2 years far from your connection ?
I've always kept in touch with my close friends, but I have to say it's very hard when you meet a lot of people. I was going crazy sometimes, but I think the people that the people that know you will understand that you can be busy. I'm trying to find the balance between professional and personal life.
- A unicorn can be everything, everywhere. Can you tell us the story behind this picture ?
AHAHAHAH.... [it was very long] OMG It's so horrible. First of all the glasses. Then, me super chubby. So funny [Still laughing] I'm fucking crying right now. You got a good one. In 2012, I was a student in England, studying in Cambridge as an exchange student for me Business School. During that time, I was a Club Promoter at NUSHA. As a student, you don't have much money and I always wanted to earn money during my studies.
Every Thursday, they had the students night - 5P a ticket, and we got 1P from each ticket. During that time, some of my friends were DJs, and one of them was bringing the CDJs. That day was Oktoberfest, we were hosting that party, in this disgusting bar. It was the worst club, but in the same time it was the best, we were always going there. Look at me I was just playing shit tracks but I was just happy. This was the students life, I'd have done everything for money! You chose the best of the bests.
🍲Music Noodle Scoop
Noodle soup is a variety of soup composed of noodles and other ingredients served in a light broth. The noodles may have been made with rice, wheat or eggs. Nothing related to a limp penis.
- A Wat de Phởq track ?
Woooooow. You mean mind blowing right ? So many track, but I would choose this one.
- A Wat de Phởq video ?
- A summer music dig you want to share with us ?
This one is perfect for a summer night.
- What would be your dream-DJ to B2B ?
It's really hard actually, I'm not as good as him but I would love to B2B with Dixon.
- The day we have enough $, we'll book this Dixon B2B A Unicorn on an ending rainbow. Except us, who is your biggest supporter ?
- What would be the unicorn dance ?
I think it dance flying around in circles. They are having colorful traits while they fly. They fart glitters on people that they can sniff and get high from it.
- Your meeting with Red Axes, how was the connection between you, them and the Vietnamese folk ?
They loved it, they loved the food, I brought them to Phở Thìn [a famous Hanoian restaurant], they admired the landscapes, the people and they also tried the Thuốc lào [traditional smoking pipe].
Since my goal has always been to bring music to Vietnam and show how beautiful is this country, it was a such a special experience. I was following RED AXES the all time and had to organize a full trip from HCMC to Hanoï, via Ha Long Bay and Phú Quốc. It was important, to connect the dots between Israel & Vietnam. Their albums reflects so well the possibility that music offers, something borderless.
- Music : before, during or after sex ?
After. Or before. I don't know. All the time.
🛏️ PILLOW PHOQ
Relaxed, intimate conversation that often occurs between two sexual partners after sexual activity, usually accompanied by hugs, caresses, kisses and other physical contact.
- A Wat De Phoq anecdote about you?
I love all kind of fruits. I’m obsessed with them, and I can eat fruits all days. One night, I had a 1H conversation with a guy in a club, about APPLES. We talked about the different kind of apples, the different colors, textures, how crunchy they are...Normal stuff!
I'm also a big fan of Pomelo fruit. No one ever told me that they don't like Pomelos - if they do I will probably un-friend them [laugh]
- Your definition of a "FRUIT" ?
Something that gives you power and energy. There's no bad things we can tell about a fruit.
- What would you tell to the unicorn you were 10 years ago ?
Be yourself and follow your dreams. I sometimes think about that when I get to see pictures or video of myself 10 years ago, I’m like go ahead girl ! At this, I was afraid to be different, scared to go out there and do it. But It was me back then, I can’t blame here. When you're having an asian background, you don’t go out of the box, you don't study to become a DJ. Luckily, now things are different.
- What would you tell to the unicorn you'll be in 10 years ?
Take a lot of risks and make mistakes. Don’t settle down, it could be over tomorrow so just go jump on the next adventure.
- The final commandment ?
Stop over thinking much, it’s not good for health. Brain is here for fun and need sometimes to be switched off.
WATCH LEVI OI'S SUGOI MIX ON PHOQ TV
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