This Malaysian DJ Found His Stage Name Because People Couldn't Say His Name Right
He's an interior designer by day, and a DJ by night
Kok Jee Hoe, known as Jhin on stage, has been a DJ since 2006. He also runs his own creative studio while being the right hand man of both Raising The Bar (RTB), a local music festival, and This Way Up Records, the record label behind Malaysia's rapper and producer Airliftz as well as songstress Lunadira.
We met up with Jhin, where he talked about juggling his day job and passion, his views on Malaysian DJs, and his dream stage to spin on:
SAYS: Hey Jhin! You've been a DJ for over a decade now. How did you first get into it?
Jhin: I was probably 21 or 22 back then. I had a bunch of friends who were all DJs, and they were each playing one track after another at a house party. They were all jamming with each other. That's when I realised that this is actually quite fun, they sparked my interest of being a DJ back then. After that, I asked them to teach me how to DJ.
By the way, fun fact, DJ-ing is actually not my full-time job. I'm an interior designer by the books, and DJ-ing is my passion. I do make a little bit of living with it (DJ-ing), so that's kind of a bonus for me, to be able to pursue my passion and make some money. So, that's actually quite cool for me.
SAYS: We found out that your actual name is Jee Hoe. How did Jhin come along?
Jhin: That's a funny story! Back then, I didn't really have a stage name, but every DJ had that "nama (name) glamour" thing going on. I couldn't figure one out, so I used my actual name back then. It came to a point where when I was hired for gigs and stuff, emcees would introduce me to the crowd as "Jin Hoe" instead of "Jee Hoe".
I don't know why they can't pronounce "Jee Hoe". How hard can it be to pronounce "J-e-e"? It kind of bothered me like, you know what, screw this. I started going with "Jhin" instead, and it's quite straightforward and easy to remember. To make it my own, I slided a "H" into "Jhin". It's just a wordplay thing to make it my identity.
SAYS: How would you describe Jhin's sound to people who don't know you?
Jhin: I don't know, it's just all over the place I guess. So, what I currently do is, I play a lot of trap music, future bass, and hip-hop. But what I like to do is I mix it up, I wouldn't bound myself to a certain genre. What I do is, I actually mess up a lot of songs while I play on my set. So it could be like, hip-hop, to trap, and even pop, or even any classical music!
I like to juggle around and see how people react to it, and that gives them the surprise element. At the end of the day as a DJ, you have to capture what people want to hear.
SAYS: What's your dream stage to perform on?
SAYS: You've been spinning at Good Vibes Festival every year. What should we expect from you this time around?
Jhin: This year, RTB has been given the opportunity to take over the Electric Fields tent at Good Vibes Festival! We'll be curating the whole day (22 July) so artists will be performing, and I will be DJ-ing there as (an instalment of) Late To The Party (LTTP), a monthly RTB event that happens in various Klang Valley hot spots.
There will be surprises on the day itself, so turn up at Electric Fields on Sunday (22 July)!
SAYS: As a veteran DJ, what would you tell Malaysians who are considering to become one?
Jhin: Everyone knows how to DJ these days. I guess it's a good thing that everyone is starting to learn how to DJ but I would hope that they take it up seriously, not just for the sake of doing it to make quick money. At the very least, know your music, know your craft, and be in it 100%. Don't do it just for the sake of being cool.
Here's a taste of Jhin's set at Good Vibes Festival this year:
Jhin will be spinning on the second day of Good Vibes Festival 2018, happening on 21 and 22 July
He will be performing alongside SZA, The Neighbourhood, Majid Jordan and more at The Ranch @ Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands.
This feature is part of the #saysplaylist series, providing your playlist with a breath of fresh Malaysian air.
If you have any Malaysian bands, singers or songs that you think we should feature, let us know in the comments below!