Launching in Singapore this September, the internationally recognized W Hotel will bring its distinctive New York-centric energy to Sentosa Cove. Zul Andra had a chat with the brand’s Global Music Director and explored how W’s three passion points—fashion, music and design—will blend with in the Asian scene.
You’ve been W Hotels’ Global Music Director for four years. What’s it been like?
I am happy that W Hotels has kept me in a position where I can constantly evolve with them and put my heart and soul behind their identity. I think I have contributed to the best of my ability. And I believe there’s always room for excellence in anything that I do.
In your time at W Hotels, you curated the Symmetry “Live” concert series that was held at different hotels and even released W music albums. How much success do you think you have created for the W brand?
We have scaled in size and we can do things that no other hotel brand can. I look at other hotels in the industry right now and they are following what we’ve done in the last four years. It’s flattering.
Much of New York has inspired the music you put together for W Hotels.
Absolutely. The brand started in New York in 1998; so the vibrancy, the cutting-edge expression of what W is all about is drawn from the passion of New York City.
We take that formula and expand it throughout the world. Each hotel has a different feel and vibe but at the core of it is the New York excitement.
How do you feel about W Hotels moving into Asia?
The brand is expanding exponentially in Asia. We have two hotels opening this year and about four opening in the next three years.
I think it’s very important that we focus on what Asia is to the brand, and how are we going to incorporate our New York-centric ideology into this region—that’s what I find most exciting.
Blending New York’s vibrancy with Asian culture; what does that look like for you?
In Asia in particular there’s a magnificent collection of culture. It is important for us to discover what W brand is here. There are a lot of unsung heroes in Asia that have original voices and I would like to find these people and align them to the brand. I believe that our music platform offers that. I am interested to find out what electronica, rock and roll or acoustic crossovers are in Asia. Who’s the Adele of Asia that hasn’t been discovered yet? These are the people that I am very interested in. W is an aspirational brand and we want to be the one to discover this music.
Tell us about DJ Lab Asia.
We will be hosting our second DJ Lab mentorship programme in W Hotel Bali this year in association with Burn Studios and Coca Cola.
Six DJs across the globe have already been selected, and we are currently looking for the seventh DJ to represent Asia in the competition. This year’s mentors are Rob Garza from Thievery Corporation, Paul Nolan from SAE, and KCRW Music Director, Jason Bentley.
Exciting times are ahead! What else is in the pipeline?
I am very curious about the evolution of our mentorship programme. I am also curious to see how the original content is going to play into W.
But you know, one of the best things about the brand is that it’s always a surprise. We have many things in the pipeline but if I were to tell you what they are then they wouldn’t be a surprise.
Download the free W Hotel iPhone application with 180 hours of music curated by Michaelangelo L’Acqua. From Cassius to Diplo and Them Jeans, with mixes from DJ Lab’s chosen artists.
W Hotel Singapore, Sentosa Cove, will open its doors on September 16.