Boy, oh BOY
Everything about Boy George screams unconventional - and he makes no apologies for it.
In town last Friday night to spin at IndoChine's The Forbidden City, the British singer-DJ gave it straight no matter what question was thrown at him.
The flamboyant and controversial 52-year-old DJ, best known for being in British pop band Culture Club in the 80s and for hits such as Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and The Crying Game, tells M why he loves being, well, just himself.
So don't ever compare him to the likes of US socialite-DJ Paris Hilton.
When Culture Club disbanded in the 80s, George admitted that he felt like he had no place in the pop music scene.
So after he fell in love with dance music, which he first got a taste of at club Music Paradise Garage in New York in 1985, he began to explore his career as a DJ.
He told The New Paper from his hotel room at The Fullerton Hotel: "I was like **** pop music, bye! I got involved in dance music.
"It was so different from the stuff that was being produced in the studio then, which was too slick and overproduced.
"It's been 30 years and I still don't play popular dance music. I have to seduce the crowd and it's a challenge.
"What I play is great, so I don't care if other people don't like it - that's their problem."
When asked if he had heard Hilton's work (she was in town a few months ago to spin), George laughed and said that they are both as different as they come.
"What she plays and what I play are from a different planets," he said.
"That's a different type of DJ-ing and totally not connected to what I do.
"Good for her that she can get away with it, it's incredible."
Having been here 12 times, George, whose real name is George Alan O'Dowd, feels that our city reminds him of a "more friendly Dubai and a little like New York sometimes".
He can walk about Chinatown and Little India freely without being recognised.
He said: "I don't get recognised because I don't walk around with make-up. My civilian look is deliberate, or else I can't have any fun.
"I've enough of years of being hassled everywhere I went."
CRUISING FOR A BRUISING
At the recent Brit Awards, George received flak when he turned up with "bruise make-up".
The fashion chameleon had decided to shake things up by sporting a huge bruise on top of his eye and was immensely tickled when everyone started asking him if he got hit.
Said George: "I was wearing full makeup so if I had a bruise, you won't be able to see the bruise.
"So I was like, use your imagination, people! Come on, it was obviously humorous and quite sexy as well.
"The best thing I replied with was that I'm a fashion victim."
He revealed that he had worn make-up since he was 13 to embrace his own unique style.
He added: "I don't like to explain how I look, I am how I look.
"When you've worn as much make-up as I have for the past 30 years, you're always looking for new things to do with your look.
"When you think of Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson, you always know how they look and that identifiable image was what I was going for."
George turns to Buddhism when he's feeling down.
He started learning about it in the 80s and was comforted by the difference that it made to his life.
He said: "Now that I'm calmer, older and more focused, I can go back to it and practise it properly.
"Whenever I'm struggling with something and feel negative, I practise it and I feel better. It's about feeling happy now and not only next week."
OUT AND PROUD
Coming out to his parents in the 70s when he was 15 took a lot of guts, but he's glad that he did it.
As the middle child of six kids, he said that if given a chance, parents could very well surprise you by being supportive when you least expect it.
George recalled: "I was very confident when I was a kid.
"I used to hear other kids saying horrible things about gay people, so I knew it wasn't going to make me popular with everybody.
"I don't think being gay makes me better or worse, it's just a thing like the colour of your hair."
Set It Off Strafe Drongoism Doorly Meet Me In The Basement Retrophobia Come With Me Nora En Pure What she plays and what I play are from a different planets. That's a different type of DJ-ing and totally not connected to what I do. Good for her that she can get away with it, it's incredible.
- Boy George on fellow DJ Paris Hilton
The best thing I replied with was that I'm a fashion victim... I don't like to explain how I look, I am how I look. When you've worn as much make-up as I have for the past 30 years, you're always looking for new things to do with your look.
- Boy George on his recent 'bruise make-up'