A familiar face to the music scene, AJOHN is not a stranger to Myanmar’s EDM rising. Formally known as Sai Won Nge as his birth name goes, he is making big waves at every show he performs. Building a reputation in his music career at the age of 21, with right hand filled with tattoos, his encyclopaedic knowledge of electronic music is furiously blossoming across the clubs and music festivals in Myanmar. With some upcoming collaborations arriving shortly, a new track being released and more and more appearances in Yangon clubs, Min Ye Kyaw sat down with AJOHN to talk about his current achievements and future plans.
Although he wasn’t a happy kid who comes from a happy family with a good childhood memories, he used to move a lot of places to crash in and wasn’t affordable enough to have a home. Since then, the only thing he was attached to is music – the beats.
As AJOHN grew up with his mom’s massive effort, he got educated and a chance to start playing musical instruments. Then he found out DJ BL3ND on Youtube for the first time and he was influenced by his music. At the age of 16, he started learning how to make electronic music with very well-known digital audio workstation FL Studio.
“I met a lot of great people because of this career, some became my friends and brothers who always pulled me up whenever I was drowning,” he committed. With his effort and dedication, AJOHN released a track together with ATz, a remix of international duo DVBBS.
“That track was a burning fuel and it changed my entire life.”
Many huge international artists have supported his remix at various festivals worldwide — EDC, Hard Summer, LA EXCHANGE and more. It pushed him to make more music in building his brand AJOHN. After a few months, AJOHN released a local remix called, ‘Lay Htal Ka Eain’ by Bunny Phyoe and Amera Hpone. Then he started playing out more gigs at clubs and festivals in Myanmar.
Last year, his remix of Hijueputa by GRAVEDGR and first single “I am Chinese“ with rappers BEE LATT PYAN, WÙ and SOE ZARNI TUN were released and they both gained a lot more international awareness.
As a young artist, AJOHN spends most of his time in front of his computer in the studio, trying to export his ideas into sounds.
“In the making of music, a moment that we have to work on one single idea and try to express it with the technology is such a fun and it’s my favourite thing to do. I guess that what I’ll be always doing. As a musician, you are the only way to grow your music bigger,” he quotes.
Djing is different for him. He wants to to express who he is to the crowd.
“There’s always a message, the vibe and expressing yourself with music. As a producer who performs as a DJ, you have to be unique and different. Your whole mix should be your own style. So wherever I perform, there is always my fans or people who are waiting for my set just to party with me and my songs. That’s how I keep up with my performance”.
I asked him about his dream places to perform anywhere in the world, his go-to places are Lost Lands, Coachella and EDC.
“In Myanmar, I wish I could perform at Thuwana National Football Stadium. Playing inside the Football Stadium would be so much fun,” he laughs.
His belief on Underground growing scene in Djing in Yangon, Mandalay or beyond doesn’t really add the odds. All he sees is that there are tons of music producers and DJs, struggling and making up their ways to the top.
However, he found social media very effective and convenient to promote his music and shows, yet it’s hard to reach your real target audience and also that audience have to be watching you among others. So he prefers 50/50 with social media and reality in the marketing strategies because the community is affected by the social media every day.
“Some are really talented and good. It’s simple. Most of them are being impeded at hobby stage and expecting huge results. If you want to be professional, start acting like a professional. Do it professionally and the results will be in professional,” he advocates.
Listen to his music and stay updated on his social platforms @ajohnofficial.