Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With DJ Stonedog
Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…
Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?
Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.
Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.
TGG: I’m so pleased I get to introduce another one of Hong Kong’s community leaders today. This is someone I’ve been following on twitter for a long time. So, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
DJS: Hi, I’m Evan, aka DJ Stonedog. I’m a DJ/Producer originally from Sydney, Australia and now based in Hong Kong. I’m the resident DJ of the gay club I co-own and run here called FLM (Originally it was called Volume, and later Volume BEAT).
TGG: What brought you to Hong Kong from Australia?
DJS: I came to Hong Kong in November of 2000, so this month actually marks my 20th anniversary of living in “Asia’s World City”. In a former career, I used to work in the TV biz as a producer, so came to HK one year on holiday to visit some friends here. Some of them worked in the industry and invited me to come see their studios. I met a few execs, got invited out for beers later that night then got hired whilst on the dance floor! I guess a lot of my fate has spun off from being under a mirrorball. I’ve been blessed by many party Gods!
TGG: You’ve achieved many things as both a resident DJ and Radio Host in HK. What have been some of the highlights over the years?
DJS: I guess my career opus would have had to have been the Various artists album we made for my Club (back then called Volume), It’s called “Volume Presents Club Anthems Asia” and coincidentally, it turns 10 at the end of this month! You can find it on Spotify or any of your fave digital stores. I wrote and co-produced 19 out of the 21 tracks on it and it makes me immensely proud. We wanted to use LGBTIQ+ artists on it because many LGBT singers don’t get as many opportunities to be heard so making this album was a passion of ours to let their voices and stories be heard. The album has a lot of songs on there written about the LGBT experience. For example, the song remixed by Stock/Aitken/Waterman stablemate Pete Hammond “Change Your Life” by Hong Kong girlband Hollywood Road is about coming out. “Love Wide Open’ by David Bosely is about fighting for gay marriage rights and David was the perfedct ambassador for this song since he won a Mr Gay Philippines title not long prior to recording this song.
Then, there’s also Singapore Idol’s Andy Josh Lim who has a song called “Perfecto Mondo” which is about making, um, “friends” down at the local sauna lol. Songs our community surely relate to and topics we don’t get to hear in the mainstream music industry. And of course, my debut single “Rainbows” about our Pride flag is on there too.
But original music aside, I’ve performed live all over Asia, DJ’ing at some of the best and biggest gay parties around the region. A highlight was performing live with my singer friend Thara Banda, our single “Big Gay Anthem” at megaclub Avalon in SIngapore. You can find a few videos of that show on Youtube.
As for my radio show “The Gaybourhodd” I think our greatest achievement with that was outrating the Hong Kong Rugby 7’s…who would have thought our little gay music magazine lifestyle show would outperform the footy! Maybe having shirtless pics promoting Shane Ward as a special guest on that episode probably helped haha.
TGG: One of the best songs on Club Anthems Asia was “Falling on the Dancefloor” which featured Melanie Alexander (lead vocalist for Aussie girl group “Girlfriend”). What was it like to create a song with your friend?
DJS: Melanie and I have known each other for many, many years. Originally I was just your average Girlfriend fan, following the girls to all their shows and appearances whilst I was in Uni. It wasn’t until after I graduated and ended up in the TV biz that we properly met and became fast friends. Around that time, I had a group of dancer and drag queen friends and we would do drag shows at all the gay clubs in Sydney, then on occasion, Melanie would make a suprise appaerance in the show and do a number or two- the crowd would go wild when she stepped out from nowhere as Girlfriend, whilst dufunct by then, was still ingrained in the lublic consciousness…at least with the gays! It wasn’t until I moved to Hong Kong and started putting the Volume album together that I called her to tell her I’d written a song especially for her called “Falling For The Dance Floor”. She loved it as soon as she heard it because it was her life, at that point, all wrapped up in a song. So she went to a studio in Sydney owned by our mutual friend, recorded the vocals there with me patched in from Hong Kongvia phone. The wonders of technology means we no longer all have to be in the same room to make music together. Coronavirus has just amplified this cos now even Kylie Minogue has figured out how to do this at home!
TGG: Melanie isn’t the only famous person you’ve worked with… What was it like when you found out that your song was to be featured on “AJ & The Queen” (RuPaul’s Netflix drama series)?
DJS: I couldn’t believe it. When I heard the news I was actually in the middle of a live DJ set playing to a crowd full of dancing gays when my phone suddenly rang and it was my agent in Los Angeles telling me RuPaul has just called him asking for my song. Of course I said yes right away as I had already seen some news stories in the media about the show so I was familiar with what “AJ and The Queen” was. You can hear my song “Big Gay Anthem” in the final episode in the scene where Tia Carre’s character steals Trinity The Tuck’s crown!
TGG: How can we best support you? (Buy your music, come to your club, listen to your radio show)
DJS: Yep, just download the Volume album or anything with my name on it from your fave digital stores or stream on Spotify, Youtube etc. But most of all, when travel returns, come and visit me for a drink at my club FLM in the Sheung Wan neighbourhood in Hong Kong. I love meeting everyone! You can learn more about the venue here: www.flmhk.net
TGG: Thank you so much DJ Stonedog!
DJS: Thanks for all the support and this has been a real pleasure!