Every week we ask a creative, artisan, or musician to share what music gets them going from dawn to dusk. This week, Music Director of Telok Ayer Arts Club and DJ Hasnor Sidik (aka Mr Has) cued the tunes that energize his day.
Being a DJ is more than serving crowd-pleasing tunes to revellers. Besides getting bodies dancing, the DJ's song selections and execution order are also vital in creating a mood. However, Hasnor Sidik veers away from such familiarity. Known otherwise as Mr Has (his DJ moniker), the ever-dapper Sidik is one of the key figures that injected a cool factor to Singapore’s electronic music and nightlife scene. This lies with his ability to discern infectious underrated beats.
Having a resume that includes being the music director of various lifestyle hospitality brands such as The Lo & Behold Group and W Hotels (specifically Asia-Pacific) allowed Sidik to showcase his genre-bending sets to a wide audience. This isn't restricted on our shores though. He has also played at some of the most reputable dance floors around the world, from Bali to Puerto Rico and New York to Berlin, thus gaining attention on international stages too.
Now, Sidik helms the music programming as Music Director at Telok Ayer Arts Club, modular art and music-focused space bounded by communal spirit. Think of it as a modern community centre. He co-founded this creative CBD venue with SPRMRKT's Sue-Shan Quek and continued to introduce new sounds that deserve widespread recognition.
Keep your schedules free for Office Hours and Kelab Malam. Overturning the notions of work and play with tongue-in-cheek concepts, the former is a weekly Friday evening DJ set helmed by Has himself while the latter is an intimate club night focusing on debut international guest DJs interjected between artist residencies.
We had a brief chat with the music tastemaker to find out what made him spin the decks and how he curate tracks for a specific DJ set.
ESQ: What made you pursue a DJ career?
Hasnor Sidik (HS): I was inspired by all the DJs—both local and international, that I met at Zouk when I began clubbing there.
ESQ: Tell us some memorable or unique experiences while spinning the decks.
HS: Reminiscing my time sharing the decks with world-renowned DJs including Derrick May, Dixon, Ame, Osunlade, among others, still gives me goosebumps now, and reminds me how special it is, to be doing what I am doing till this day.
ESQ: What makes you stand out from other peers in the industry? Do you experiment with genres or stick with personal favourites?
HS: It's all about discovering new music for me. I get plenty of music from labels and producers so my sets are always very eclectic and full of surprises.
ESQ: How do you decide the tracks for a particular themed event, like say for artist-tie-ins or occasion-led gigs?
HS: It lies with the groove and flow of the tracks and gelling them together.
ESQ: What's next for Mr Has?
HS: Continuing to support Singapore’s nightlife and making a difference in our music scene.
“I take a while to get up every morning, probably because of these songs. Soothing jazz numbers slowly freshen up my mind; starting with a minimal piano classic piece from Mr Richard James aka Aphex Twin, next is 'Belle', a new track by Joram Feitsma under the Bigamo label. Lastly, 'For You', from the one and only Prince. Ok, shower time….”
1. ‘Avril 14th'—Aphex Twin
2. ‘Belle’—Joram Feitsma
3. 'For you'—Prince
“Rare grooves & forgotten classics are the best companions for a creative day ahead. One of my favourite funk gems is by Leprechaun, a really hard to find record. Also, Darondo will always make you feel sexy and a great afternoon tea track by Dorothy Ashby.”
1. 'Reach Out and Touch Someone '—Leprechaun
2. 'Luscious lady'—Darondo
3. 'Nabu Corfa'—Dorothy Ashby
“The beats come alive at night! These are the songs that I am currently listening to when putting on the nightcap. That dark bassline from 'Fresco' by Eric Copeland will keep your head bopping away and 'I Love Acid' by Luke Vibert; it's a sound you can’t ignore! Finally, I'll end the night with some soulful house music by Phil Weeks.”
1. 'Fresco'—Eric Copeland
2. 'I Love Acid'—Luke Vibert
3. 'You Know How We Love'—Phil Weeks
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.