Classic Jams: Zushan

Classic Jams: We get our own boys and our favourite DJs to share with us their favourite DJ/ scratch routines and tunes which can burn up a dancefloor and still educate the crowd. Check in on this every Thursday…

One of Singapore’s youngest and most exciting DJs, Zushan also known as Benny Teo has performed in many countries such as Vietnam, Australia and Indonesia. With a background as a Hip-Hop DJ and a turntablist, he started incorporating House, Techno, Afro Beats, Dubstep and Drum &

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Bass, keeping the bass and groove deep in his sets.

In 2012, he emerged as Singapore’s champion, going on to represent Singapore at the Pioneer DJ Asia Final in Bangkok and earning 2nd runner-up spot in Asia. Under his producer persona Wasabi Green, Zushan teamed up with VJ Master Race to begin a new project “Geylang Crunk”. The duo operates under the moniker O$P$ (Owe Money Pay Money) and is heavily influenced by Trap music, Dubstep, Drum & Bass and their love for Crunk.

You have been very busy these days, pushing your regular gigs at Butter Factory and the occasional shows with the Sideshow’s Training Shed series. How’s life?

Life is great so far. Yes, I’ve been really busy. This year I’m trying to take it a little slow and spend a bit more time away from music, and more on self-improvement and fitness! Haha.

You have a huge love for Crunk and Trap. When did that start?

Probably when I started DJing 6 years ago. To be honest, I used to despise the raps in Trap until I actually understood what this sort of music was all about. I could never get enough of the 808 beats. They always gets me bouncin’! Over the recent years, “EDM Trap” came out. Flosstradamus and Baauer championing it from the start and made the 808 beats so interesting that I fell in love with it.

You had a great partnership with Master Race under the moniker ‘O$P$’. How’s the Geylang Crunk coming along? Are you guys producing more tracks or doing more remixes?

I would say “HAVE”, not “HAD”. Haha.

The Geylang [red light district in Singapore] Crunk project is going good! Since we’ve started, we’ve made so many tunes. So right now, we’re focusing more on releasing our music. We have our first EP coming out around May. Throughout the rest of this year, we hope to put out at least 3 more EPs. Remixes will come and go. Whoever wants us to jump on a remix, we’ll gladly do it.

Master Race just got a sweet video camera, and we’ve assembled a team to start working on video production. After all, its an audio-visual experience that we’re aiming for. With a storyline, of course. The storyline is still pretty much open, but the vibe of Singapore’s future is very much in place. That guides us along the way in whatever we create.

We recently started work on our first full length album with hopes of it being completed late next year. The tunes will be more experimental and futuristic without losing the red light district vibe. Think Om Unit or Itak Tek, but Geylang!

We always asked our turntablist friends to share with us their favourite turntablists and their scratch routines.

DJ Craze will always be at the top of my list. The one turntablist who got me into this…

DJ Netik has a unique funky style that I’m into. His later stuff got really technical but there was always that funk imbedded in him.

DJ I Emerge is probably one of the most aggressive battle DJs of all time.

DJ Tigerstyle is one of my all time favourite turntablists.

We’re curious. Why Traktor over Serato?

Haha. I’ll be very honest and say I’m still using Serato a lot, mainly for convenience. Why I chose to make the switch was because I wanted to start working towards more live sets. Many people would say Serato had the bridge before but that was now slaved to Ableton Live. With Traktor’s remix decks, it ties everything up into one software.

At this point I still haven’t fully worked out a proper live set, but when I DJ with Traktor, it’s totally different from when I use Serato.

I would say Traktor is more troublesome to prepare for but you can do way more with it. Serato has been stepping up recently to match up with the qualities Traktor has. At this point I’m not ruling out a switch back but for now, I will be working on Traktor for a very long long time.

A drunk chick at the club comes over to you after your set in a club and wraps around you like a koala bear. How do you say no? Do you even say no?!

Haha, I tell you what, I’m actually very good at sneaking off after my set if I have to escape from someone.

If it happens, being polite is the way to go. Just saying something like “Sorry, I’m taken” or just be friendly.