In this article, we speak to DJ Spectrum originally from England about his life in Hanoi, Vietnam. He gives his view on living there through his own experiences and offers valuable advice to people thinking about making a move out east.
“There are opportunities here to create something new if you’re ambitious and driven”
At the moment, I have a residency at a roof top bar in Hanoi and I’m booked to play gigs in and out of the city in the suburbs. Also, I’m juggling some English teaching on the side as well as event marketing and producing my own material.
I got a bit of a culture shock as I was exposed to extreme ends of the spectrum. Hanoi was a definite twist on what I was used to living in London. At times it was quite hectic and crazy but beautiful at the same time.
“Build a network & more doors open for you”
Adapting to the way people lived in the ‘alleyway culture’ took time especially buying food. Also, I found it frustrating how the older generation sometimes choose not to listen to you even though you attempt to speak Vietnamese. I overcame these challenges by getting good at miming as well as finding my own community. Making friends allowed me to share my experiences and gain advice from them on how to deal with challenges.
Likes & Dislikes
I like how the country is progressive and it’s an inclusive society for both men and women. There’s freedom to go to places easily on a motorbike as it’s cheap to live here. There are opportunities here to create something new if you’re ambitious and driven. What I don’t like is the urge to be ahead here and people seeing life as a race. Queuing is non existent and people don’t look out for you the same way as in the west.
Being given 5 star treatment when I was flown out to South Korea to play a gig with the world famous Martin Garrixs. That was all down to the network I had made. I was happy and glad it happened as people believed in me and more doors opened as result. Playing a beach gig in Da Nang in front of 7,000 people stands out as another. Organising the operations for another world famous DJ Armin Van Buuren and getting to play at that gig stands out too. Experiencing the Vietnamese countryside is another highlight for me because it’s so unique and different compared to what I am used to back home.
“I overcame these challenges by getting good at miming as well as finding my own community”
I am planning to do it alone and work on myself as well as my set. This year I’ll really prove myself as a music producer.
Don’t lose yourself as a DJ or narrow yourself.
Understand you have to adapt your DJ style to what’s trending
Give it a chance & stick it out for at least 6 months
Build a network & more doors open for you
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