DJ who was allegedly told to let M'sian PM's son perform: 'They've insulted me'
Clubbers upset when DJ storms off stage after allegedly being told to let M'sian PM's son perform
They were looking forward to seeing one of their favourite trance DJs playing his set until closing time at about 4.30am, as he usually does when he appears at Zouk.
But at about 3.45am, two hours into DJ Fila's set, the thumping bass that filled the famous nightclub faded out prematurely, leaving the crowd dismayed.
DJ Fila, who is one half of popular Egyptian trance duo Aly & Fila, was spinning at Zouk last Sunday morning when his set was allegedly interrupted to make way for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's youngest son, Mr Norashman, to play instead.
One of the clubbers who was there, an avid trance music fan who wanted to be known only as Mr Ray, 27, saw a group of people gathering behind the DJ booth at about 3.30am.
"One of them spoke to Fila. After about 10 minutes, he was spoken to again and he didn't look pleased at all. He then grabbed the microphone and told the crowd that this was his last track," the financial analyst told The New Paper.
"Initially, we didn't know what was going on, but halfway through, we realised that he was being told to end his set and it was followed by lots of jeering."
In a 42-second video posted by Facebook user Derrick Low, Fila, whose real name is Fadi Wassef Naguib, is heard telling the crowd before dropping the microphone: "It seems that Zouk here wants someone else to play. Not only because of that! Because apparently he's the son of a prime minister."
FURORE: Club-goers were left dismayed after DJ Fila’s (left, in black) set was allegedly interrupted to make way for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s son, Norashman Najib (far right, in purple), to play. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ ERNIE ÇÄVÑ LUANLAI
The DJ, who was No. 42 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list last year, added: "I'll see you somewhere in the future. Not in Zouk any more! Because I won't play in Zouk any-f***ing-more. They've insulted me, but I love you guys."
The video has had more than 167,000 views online.
Mr Ray said that this is the first such incident since 2013, when Aly & Fila started playing in Zouk annually.
"Almost everyone in the club was there just to hear Fila play his set, but we were so shocked that he was chucked to the side just because some 'VIP guest' wanted to play," he said.
Zouk regular Henry Soh, 45, who was on the dance floor when Fila's set ended abruptly, saw the DJ storming out of the club immediately after.
"I wasn't happy with the way Fila's set ended. What was Zouk's management thinking when they disrupted a guest DJ's set just for a VIP?" he said.
Mr Soh left right after Mr Norashman took over at the DJ booth.
PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ZOUK SINGAPORE
Another trance music fan, who wanted to be known only as Mr Nuwan, 27, said the dance floor cleared in less than five minutes.
The freelance DJ said: "The 'VIP guest' started his set with a classic trance song. After that, it sounded like radio hits and all of Fila's fans pretty much left the club.
"It was a privilege to have Fila play his set here, but instead, he was asked to share the stage with an amateur. This is truly a disgrace to the music community in Singapore."
One of them spoke to Fila. After about 10 minutes, he was spoken to again and didn't look pleased at all. He then grabbed the microphone and told the crowd that this was his last track.
- A club-goer who wanted to be known only as Mr Ray
DJ FILA: 'I was insulted and I reacted'
In a post on his Facebook page, DJ Fila said that while his contracted set time was 1.30am to 3.30am on Sunday, Zouk's DJ booking manager Byden Lian had told him he could play his set until 4.30am.
At 3.30am, Mr Lian asked him if he was willing to play back to back with a "VIP" guest, namely Mr Norashman Najib, and he refused.
Back to back DJing refers to DJs sharing the stage. When one DJ is spinning a record, the other picks a new track.
At 3.45am, he was asked to stop as the new owner wanted Mr Norashman to play, wrote DJ Fila.
Zouk was acquired for an undisclosed amount last year by Genting Hong Kong, an affiliate of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Group, which Genting Singapore is a part of.
Refuting Zouk's first statement on Facebook that the incident was "all over a misunderstanding", DJ Fila wrote: "There was no misunderstanding!!! And instead of apologising, Zouk keeps posting those lame statements and articles (and is) trying to get away with it.
"I did what I did to defend my right as a human being (and) not as a famous DJ or whatever. I was insulted and I reacted.
"I didn't expect that it would go viral like that, but this is what I call karma."
He added that he just wanted to let his fans who had paid to see him know the reason he did not play the three hours as he has every time he played at Zouk.
Frequent club-goers The New Paper spoke to said that guest DJs at Zouk, such as Danny Tenagalia and Sven Vath, have been known to play past their scheduled set times.
M’SIAN PM’S WIFE’S AIDE: Ashman did not ask to perform
In a Facebook statement on Monday, Zouk said that DJ Fila "was not at any point of time asked to end his set prematurely before the contracted set end time of 3.30am".
It added: "Zouk has constantly held our invited artists in esteem and respect their works.
"We understand that this incident has resulted in some discontent and disappointment but would like to give the assurance that Zouk will continue to value the importance and presence of all artists and our customers, and their interests."
Zouk did not respond to queries by The New Paper yesterday.
Mr Rizal Mansor, aide to Mr Najib Razak's wife, Mrs Rosmah Mansor, said her youngest son, Mr Norashman Najib, had gone to Zouk on an invitation but had not asked to perform there, reported Malaysian news website Malaysiakini.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Rizal wrote: "So how could Norashman force anyone (so that he could perform)?"
He added that Mr Norashman was invited by the club's management to perform as the finishing act due to his DJing skills.
Referring to Mr Norashman by his nickname, he added: "Taking into account that it was an acknowledgment of his talent and hobby, Ashman agreed to do the performance."
Mr Rizal said Mr Norashman started performing only after the contracted set end time of DJ Fila and there was a misunderstanding between DJ Fila and the club's management on the timing of the performance.
"The misunderstanding was between the two parties, it had nothing to do with Ashman. Reports that claim Ashman had forced the club management or the deejays to stop the performance are simply not true," he wrote