Singapore boy goes global
Interview by Khalil Adis
“I love eating in. Nothing beats home cooked meals.”
It’s not everyday that you come across a Singaporean DJ/musician who has his tracks being played in clubs and radio stations from London to Amsterdam. It’s even more rare to have respected international acts like Danny Howells championing you on his much revered, Dig Deeper label. Enter Eddie Niguel who is one of the very few home-bred talents slowly gaining recognition in the international electronic music scene.
From getting his track played on London’s BBC1 Radio to dance clubs in Italy, Niguel’s sound has proven to have an international appeal cutting across geographical boundaries and with the unique ability to connect with dance music lovers worldwide. Reviews for his releases with the ‘Sequential EP’ on Howell’s Dig Deeper label as well as ‘The First Shift EP’ with Basic Soul Unit for the Midnight Shift label have been generally positive with respected US-based magazine, DJ Times championing his track as ‘Favorite Track of The Month’. In addition, his track is being played and supported by heavyweights ranging from Laurent Garnier to Sasha.
While all this may sound like an overnight success story, Niguel has been at it for almost 15 years. In fact, for those who have been following his career since the 1990s, he has been cutting his teeth DJing at the various local clubs.
I recall bumping into Niguel back in 2000 when I was covering the nightlife scene as a journalist. Since then, he has grown from strength to strength playing alongside the likes of Steve Lawler, KiNK and Adam Beyer while continuing to hone his music production skills.
In 2009, Niguel rose to international recognition after he won a remix competition hosted by Get Physical Music in Berlin. The track, where he gave his Midas touch, is Roar by Patrice Baumel under the Get Physical Music label (Sasha opened his remix live set in Budapest with Niguel’s remix). Since then, Niguel has had more than a dozen releases on international labels worldwide including a remix for the Wildflowers.
It has been a good 2012 for Niguel with glowing press reviews for his Sequential EP and his tracks charting on various dance music portals. To close the year on a high note, Niguel made his huge debut at ZoukOut 2012.
“I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received on my music.”
I caught up recently with Niguel for this second installation of ‘At home with’ where he shows no sign of slowing down with new releases already scheduled for 2013, including one for Andreas Saag. Music aside, I dug a little bit deeper on what he does at home after the (nightclub) lights go out.
2012 has been a great year for you with Danny Howells giving you a big support with the release of your Sequential EP, your tracks charting and your recent outing at ZoukOut. How do you feel about all this, having been a DJ for more than a decade?
I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received in my music. I feel, as much as I wished I should have started producing early on in my career, so as to have made the most out of a period where I was extremely active in the scene. However, now is still a good time as ever.
Where is home?
I live in the Eastern part of Singapore.
Where would your preferred neighbourhood be? Why?
I’d say Tiong Bahru. I hang out there a bit as a friend used to run a recording studio out there. I love that it’s really laidback, great access to fantastic local delights, close enough to the city but yet away from all the noise and rush of city life. It’s like Holland Village but without all the fuss.
What’s your favourite spot in your current home? Why?
The couch. Ha ha ha. I’m actually a rather homely guy, so when I’m not at work or hanging out with mates, the couch is my best friend.
What are some of the factors that make a great neighbourhood?
Easy access to great food, transportation, medical and finance facilities and also provisional stores are essential. Everything else is a bonus.
And the not so great?
The lack of the above.
What do you look forward to do at home after DJing in the club?
Winding down and getting to bed as quick as possibly so that I can get up in the late morning and not miss half the day next.
Describe your typical day.
Late breakfast, catch-up on the latest news, emails, Facebook then studio work and music for the rest of the day. Lastly, dinner with the family if I’m not DJing. I love eating in. Nothing beats home cooked meals 🙂
What’s your most treasured possession you can’t live without??
My iPhone 😀
What can we look forward from you in 2013?
More exciting music…
Buy Eddie Niguel’s EP here: