In Tune with DJ Minou, Mastermind Behind Afro-Caribbean Music in Hong Kong
July 20, 2023
In the daytime, Asia embraces a true hustle culture; by night, we let our hair down and erupt in a magnificent energy to good crowds and good music. In Tune With meets the electric DJs and music makers of Hong Kong and Asia to feel their pulse and uncover why they entered the frenetic nightlife industry.
DJ Minou may work at a bank for his day job during the week, but by weekends, he's manning the decks at your local club, spinning outrageous mixes that are forcing hands to go up, twerking to commence, and gyrating all around.
The Congolose-Parisian hails from the French capital, holding a passion for music within the multiple genres of Afro-Caribbean music. Composed of dancehall, afrobeats, soca, afro-house, reggae, and beyond, the music of the warmer African and island nations is becoming mainstream in all corners of the world.
Championing Hong Kong’s growing appreciation for afro-centric music, Minou runs BLCKOUT PARTY, a recurring event series exposing our city to the tunes hailing from warmer nations and hosting Hong Kong’s top DJs working in African genres. We spoke with Minou about his movement to make African music known in the city and Asia.
How did your passion with music, more specifically Afro-centric music, and attraction to DJing begin?
I started when I was 17 years old in Paris, making beats for my cousins and local rappers in my community, from 2006 to 2010. I used Fruit Loops (beat editing software) for 16 hours a day for four years, creating beats and experimenting. I took studying more seriously after that, when music got in the way too much.
When I arrived in Hong Kong in 2015, I started going to a bar in SoHo called Rummin’Tings. I met the regular mixer, DJ Noel, my blueprint as a DJ now. I liked him because he switched up styles easily and can play anything.
One night in 2017, after regularly going there to party, DJ Noel gave me a chance to DJ for 20 minutes. I got hooked. Two years later, I began DJing more, bringing more Afro-Caribbean tracks to the city. I am from the Congo, it’s in my heritage this music!
What is the environment like in Hong Kong and Asia for African and Caribbean music?
The scene is small, but not that small. In Hong Kong, there’s a growing scene for reggae in New Territories and Kowloon-side. It’s easy to listen, appreciate, and dance to Afro-music when it’s offered, but it’s a massively growing genre worldwide. Afrobeats is huge now.
With my mentor, Obeahmix, and friend DJ Richie, I began to find opportunities to introduce Soca music, dance hall, Afrobeats, and Caribbean music to DJ for crowds in 2019.
An American DJ, DJ King, launched an afro-centric music event called Afro Vibe that brought me as a mainstay to show Hong Kong a different vibe and genre.
Do you think it's accessible for people in Hong Kong to attend these parties with African and African-style music?
My goal with my events is to prove to myself and others that you can come to my party, and even if you don’t like the music, you will still have fun, dance, and meet people. I want to make sure everybody understands the history of the music and how it came up.
You just passed the first anniversary of your signature club event, BLCKOUT PARTY, celebrating all genres of Afro-Caribbean music. What is your inspiration for hosting this event in Hong Kong?
Every time I DJ at BLCKOUT or host an event in Hong Kong, I make sure that every time I do something to make it as open as possible, music for everybody.
We have hosted many parties in the past few years, exposing more people outside the [Black] community to this music. When I go to an EDM rave, I don’t know what to do with my hands [laughs]! When someone new comes to an afro-music party, they might not know what to do with their hands, but they'll love the music.
What is the dream for afro-music's growth in Hong Kong?
Serve the city with the great tunes of African music and get more clubs to play our music.
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