In Tune with SESCO, Leading Macau DJ and Para Club Entertainment Manager
August 16, 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.
Steven Caller is the music figure behind SESCO, a leading DJ and producer, firing tunes from his residency at Para Club, where the Brit leads music output at the mega dance space as entertainment manager.
SESCO’s music journey began in the humbling London public housing holes, hosting illegal pirate radio stations and playing old school U.K. garage and drum and bass.
The energy of Asia beckoned Steve to Malaysia for residencies at mega clubs, Shanghai to introduce underground music to the Chinese scene, and later Macau to mastermind parties at the former Club Cubic. He speaks with The Beat Asia about his 10-year tenure DJing in the 853.
Where did you first find the love for DJing and dance music?
I was 14 years old in London looking for a hobby to occupy my time. My brother got me hooked up to some vinyls and DJ decks, just playing with friends to experiment. With no YouTube to teach me, I practised every day after school.
At the time, my friends hosted a lot of warehouse parties and raves. They got me a show on a Saturday night. I was not ready, and it went bad after two songs, but this opportunity inspired me to DJ more. Clubs were a letdown for me to play at when you’re DJing at crazy warehouse parties with four or five sound systems.
At 16, I joined London’s pirate radio stations to experiment with reggae drum and bass on Ruud Awakening station. At my first show, my hands were shaking so much, I couldn’t pick up the vinyl.
From London DJing at raves, how did you begin your time playing music in Asia?
I wanted to take a year off and a break from music when I lived in the U.K. at 27. I ventured off to Asia, rock climbing in India, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.
I was DJing under the alias Deadlock, and I began to get shows in Asia, a residency in Malaysia, and a festival in Australia, later staying there for two years. Shanghai came next in 2011 and I joined a club called Zeal and re-branded myself under my new name SESCO.
After blowing up my name in China, I joined DJ Andrew Bull touring around China for a country-wide Chivas Regal tour, with dancers, mixologists, and DJs. We did a show at Club Cubic in Macau, and I had the opportunity to stay in the city for three months, so I took it.
What was your experience DJing at Club Cubic in its heyday before it shut?
The main reason why I wanted to move to Macau was because of what Club Cubic were doing at the time. They booked international DJs, acts and artists weekly. The calibre of acts they were bringing was next level.
At Club Cubic, I had a massive opportunity to develop my music knowledge and skills, learning from the weekly DJs coming in.
What is the music and DJing scene like in Macau?
The clubbing scene at its height had three clubs. Saturday nights were big, with overseas DJs booked, but Fridays were quieter. I began my first night ‘Step into the Future' to focus on experiential clubbing with lighting, dancing, and crazy decorations.
You have to play a lot of commercial music, but it’s not just one genre you’ll find here. EDM is popular, hip hop too, tech-house, dance, and house. You have to read the crowd.
The cool thing about Macau is that it's such a small place. Everyone looks after everyone here. It has a nice family-like kind of community.
When Club Cubic closed in 2021, Para took its place. What is your role as entertainment manager at the club, and how are you inventing the space?
This year, we want to make the club more successful and focus on bringing more regional talent, rather than big international names. Macau is getting busy again. Hotels are packed, gaming is on the up, there’s promise.
I want to launch a new Friday night concept with more performances, something we’ve never done before. Next year is the year for us to take it up a level and create unforgettable party experiences.
What is it like to return to the regional DJ circuit after three years?
It’s incredible. I played my first show out of Macau at Space Plus Bangkok on a Thursday night in July, and had 2000 people in the club. I have done a few more shows in Thailand, the Philippines, and it’s been great. I will also be at EDC China in October too!
Touring again has inspired me to produce more music. I have two new tracks along the way, one being a collaboration with Mike Bond and Richie Loop. It’s been inspiring to reconnect with everyone again.
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