On The Record: Rob Chiong
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Rob Chiong is a strong believer that music should be felt and experienced equally. Nothing is more satisfying than a filthy dance track with a sick breakdown, coupled with an infectious hook.
The consummate fan and party activist, Chiong’s passion for all aspects of dance music culture can’t be tamed, nor can his ambition. He marvels at quality dance music in the same manner one would stand and admire a majestic sunset — except remaining still is never an option.
Featuring special guest DJ Miguel Migs
» Where: eleven44, 1144 Bethel St.
“I try my best to live in the moment,” he said. ”I love when a sick DJ can line up a sick beat. When they hit with that bass that just magically gets in my soul, now that’s pure fun.”
Primed, ready and elated to warm things up for deep house icon Miguel Migs during Friday’s launch of Lush, Chinatown’s newest come as you are, no frills, electronic music monthly at eleven44. He sends his deepest apologies should his set suffer even the slightest glitch. As far as he’s concerned, the beat made him do it.
“I’ll admit to making a few mistakes during a mix because of dancing too much in the booth,” he said. “I … love to dance my ass off.”
Chiong, who believes caging ones enthusiasm in the club is a no-no and connecting to the music is a must, is part of the braintrust behind the third Friday party intended to celebrate old school roots while welcoming present day nuances of electronic dance culture. He is proud to align himself with friends who are like-minded house and techno purists invested in the genre with their hearts and minds more than bank accounts.
“I’m so grateful to have an amazing group of peers,” Chiong said. “It takes a proper team to book a proper headliner.”
This weekend will mark his greatest set to date only because it will be his most recent. Every gig holds equal value, he said.
“All of them are so fun and amazing, no matter when or where. I’m grateful to occasionally be the single person who can influence a room, small or large, solely with music selection.”
Since moving to Oahu 10 years ago from South Florida, Chiong has remained because the lifestyle is a perfect medium for him. If city life becomes too superficial and mundane, the brilliance of the North Shore is a mere drive away.
“Equating speeds of life to the Hawaiian Islands, I am most comfortable at the speed of Oahu,” he said. “We balance our gigs out; daytime in the country, night time in town.
“There’s so many choices of great visiting artists, too. I am always super amped to see how many headliners are booked on a regular basis here.”
With the DJ talent pool as abundant as ever, Chiong said the scene as a whole couldn’t be in a better place.
“There are so many local, super-talented DJs,” he said. “This is really good. The local dance culture in my opinion is healthy, damn healthy. Without a thriving local DJ community, you can’t dance your ass off on a regular basis, can you?”
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.