13 May 2021
by michelle.ng | News, Interview, ES RADIO
This week we hear from one of Hanoi’s freshest faces on the scene, young local artist TaoFu. All about pushing the boundaries of genres, the Vietnamese DJ effortlessly blends breakbeats, dubstep, jungle, soul and anything that piques her interest.
Sometimes she goes emotionally deep and dark, but also takes you on uplifting journeys with brooding melodies and immersive, atmospheric synths.
Hooked onto the underground scene ever since her first Boiler Room experience at Savage back in 2017, TaoFu got her hands on a controller and started experimenting with music herself. The bedroom DJ started posting her mixes online, which were eventually discovered by Teodora Van Context. The rest was history, with TaoFu joining the ATIPIK gang and booking her first gig. Today, TaoFu holds residency at underground haven The Observatory as she develops her quirky sound.
We exchanged a couple of words with Fuong Nguyen to get to know more about her as TaoFu.
Electric Soul: Hi TaoFu, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Tell us a bit more about yourself. How did you start out in electronic music?
TaoFu: I remembered when I was a lil’ kid my parents always played disco at home. At that time I didn’t have a clue what they were singing but I could feel the melodies and the grooves. Growing up I found myself listening to music most of the time, and that was when I knew I had to do something about it. I started going out more and joined some random “underground” parties where they played weird music but it caught my ears so much that I deeply fell in. When Savage opened in Hanoi, my first time went there was their 1st Boiler Room back in 2017 and it was a whole new world to me. I would go there every weekend and listened to other DJs based in Vietnam or International Guest DJs and started digging music, got a controller at home and played around with it. When the right time had come, I posted my first mix-set ever for Phởq TV and soon got booked by ATIPIK.
ES: Your bio says that you’re Inspired by 80s to 2000s’ groove - a mixture of sensual tunes from house, electro, disco as well as dark and minimal. Why do you select such a diverse style instead of gravitating towards a genre?
TaoFu: Hmm, I like many different genres and styles so I think it would be nice if the DJ can be versatile while still keeping the vibe. In my opinion, listening/playing a single style could be very boring.
ES: As one of the freshest faces on the scene, how has the underground music scene in Hanoi evolved the past few years?
TaoFu: Interesting question! I mean, Hanoi has always had a scene, but it only started growing a few years ago. More Hanoians started to go out to these places, create a community and so on. Also, I’ve seen many locals became DJs with their big passions in music which is super nice.
ES: Congrats on your newest residency at The Observatory! What can we look forward to?
TaoFu: Thank you! I’ll be in Saigon monthly and really excited about it. And I hope to bring good music, vibes, energy to the scene!
ES: You’re also part of Atipik together with Teodora Van Context. How important is the Atipik crew to you?
TaoFu: My first outdoor gig ever was booked by Teodora for ATIPIK’s event with an amazing line-up. I think me and the crew had found things in common and soon I became one of the members. 4 of us have been playing together at places and would do more community things (not only party) where people can hang out and talk, listen to good music while admiring arts at the same time. They’re also very creative so I enjoyed working with them a lot.
ES: Vietnam is one of the few countries that has reopened clubs and festivals. How does it feel to be back behind the decks when many other countries are still under lockdown?
(This question was made before the latest shut down in Vietnam)
TaoFu: I feel so lucky to be able to play music again and see all those familiar happy faces. And of course dance the night away with all my friends is such a good feeling.
ES: And we want to know, where’s the best place for coffee in Hanoi?
TaoFu: Well, our original coffee is really strong haha. “If one day you ever felt like a broken hearted, try Vietnamese coffee, you’d feel anxious instead” lol. And there’re so many good places for coffee but some of my fav are Tranquil; Là Việt and Thái Coffee for a proper cà phê sữa đá.
ES: Finally, what are your upcoming plans for 2021?
TaoFu: Ahhhmm, still many interesting things to learn and I hope to manage my time well in order to focus on music more and maybe learning vinyl.
Listen to TaoFu’s exclusive guest mix for Electric Soul below.