Having been DJ-ing for close to a decade now, Hwang So-hee or more popularly known as DJ Soda has come a long way since she started her career. The South Korean performer who has 4.8 million followers on Instagram isn’t just known for her outstanding live performances at music festivals around the world, but also for her singles that have become hits over the years. Among the music festivals that DJ Soda has performed at are the S20 Songkran Musical Festival in 2016, Ultra Music Festival Korea and Typhoon 8 in Singapore, while Coachella is one of the biggest festivals that she hopes to be a part of in the future. Prior to DJ Soda’s performances in Malaysia, we got a chance to catch up with the soft-spoken lady and dig a little deeper on some of her interests and real personality off-stage. Read on for everything that you need to know.
How did you find your passion to become a DJ at the start?
DJ Soda: “I grew up in a very strict family and used to hide in my room to make my parents believe that I was studying through my Korean online classes, but what I really did was surf the web. It wasn’t long until I found this hip-hop blog which played good music and eventually fell in love with it. The songs made me feel relieved every time I hid in my room and I wanted to give the same kind of joy and relief to others out there. That was when I made up my mind that I wanted to become a DJ.”
So how did you break the news to your parents and how old were you when all of this transpired?
DJ Soda: “They weren’t aware of my passion and wanted me to become an air crew member instead. To fulfil their wishes, I had to attend English sessions at a Korean university where I used to skip classes. This happened when I was 23 years old. It wasn’t until the university called my parents to tell them that I wasn’t attending the classes that I had to own up to them. They eventually accepted my decision and allowed me to pursue my passion in becoming a DJ.”
We’re curious about what’s it really like to be a DJ, so tell us more.
DJ Soda: “People usually assume that DJs are always happy, energetic and love to party, but guess what? Deep down I’m actually an introvert! No doubt, I party when I have a show, but once that’s done, I enjoy going back to the hotel, relaxing and being in my own company. I don’t drink nor smoke and am quiet by nature. It is only during my shows that you see me as an energetic person and I get the energy mainly from the people who attend my shows. Being a DJ isn’t just about having fun. It can become quite stressful when you’re on stage and need to maintain a certain kind of hype so that the party will go on. On the other hand, one of the perks about being a DJ is that I get to go on tours and visit other countries. I get to learn about other places and meet many people from across the globe. People in general give me energy and that’s what I love most about my job!”
Do you have a favourite genre to spin?
DJ Soda: “I used to love playing future bass, but it has since gone out of trend so I’m forced to adapt to other trends. However, as a DJ, I can mix anything.”
Career wise, who do you look up to the most?
DJ Soda: “I don’t have a person who I look up to, but to get inspiration and motivation, I love to read quotes from famous people, such as those ancient historians who’ve left behind a lot of good advice for us.”
When you’re not working, what’s your go-to style like?
DJ Soda: “Would you be surprised if I told you that I’m a very casual person who loves to live in my oversized graphic tees? It’s very street style, laid-back and comfortable. But having said that, I have an obsession towards sneakers. While many women love to collect bags, I love collecting shoes instead and have SO many pairs! I’ve never worn Adidas or Vans and can’t imagine wearing them too cos I’ll feel awkward. But I have many pairs of Jordan and Nike shoes. I don’t only go for limited-edition pairs and I generally feel comfortable wearing them. Even when spinning, I’m in a pair of Jordans. I don’t wear heels, so don’t be surprised if you see me in a party dress but with sneakers instead!”
Give us an insight into your beauty routine. Do you follow the seven-step K-beauty routine diligently?
DJ Soda: “Surprise, surprise – many South Koreans don’t practise this seven-step beauty routine and I only knew about it from the magazines! I’m a minimalist, so the must-have in my beauty routine is my Mediheal Black Golden Chip X-Fit Mask Air that helps to regulate blood circulation. It’s designed with mineralised stones that you need to press when you apply the sheet mask on your face, which circulates blood flow. Besides that, I can’t live without my sunblock and moisturiser. Another mask that I use often is the I’m The Real Shrek Pack clay mask which helps to detox and soothe my skin. While most people use it only on their face, I use it for my entire body! I’d like to think that I have a pretty practical routine.”
Personally, what does beauty mean to you?
DJ Soda: “Beauty is life, if you get what I mean. Inner beauty is important and personally, I feel like it affects our outer persona. How we dress and carry ourselves reflects who we are on the inside, and that’s the reason why we see some people present themselves very well. It takes a long time to achieve this, but in a nutshell, it’s the combination of who we are on the inside and outside.”
How do you think music has brought people from different cultures together?
DJ Soda: “As you know, different countries have different languages. While language might seem to be barrier for people to communicate at times, it’s the opposite when it comes to music. Everyone is united through melodies and beats, and that’s precisely why it becomes a united activity when people come together in the name of music.”
DJ Soda will be performing live at Park-In, Johor Bahru on 21st October, Arena, Melaka on 22October and Park-In, Subang on 23October. For more information, click here.
Featured image: @deejaysoda