Erica Ng, better known as DJ Kaylova, was the first and only female DJ from Singapore to be signed for DJ residency at Fashion TV Shanghai, the biggest luxury club in Shanghai.
Erica is an avid world traveller. She is confident, playful, and fearless. These traits can be seen both in her character and music.
She had an insatiable hunger to learn from the best, which led her to Amsterdam in 2014, where she honed her skills at the Official Pioneer DJ School.
Today, she is a successful DJ in her own right who has shared the stage with many top global DJs.
Erica believes that a true DJ is someone who can establish a genuine connection with her crowd, keeping them happy and making them remember the night for a lifetime!
The New Savvy: Tell us your story/background. How has your past shaped you to be who you are now?
Erica: I grew up independently and never had my parents interfering with my choices in life. I was usually left alone to figure things out by myself. I think that developed my critical thinking skills quite remarkably, and it’s something that I appreciate a lot about myself.
The New Savvy: Tell us more about being a DJ. What are some of your experiences? Why be a DJ?
Erica: DJing is definitely an extremely fun but tough job at the same time. Some people think is just about being cool on stage. There are actually a lot of things you have to deal with. Marketing work, dealing with people, planning your schedules, and extensive hours working on music.
Sometimes it can really be overwhelming. Well, just like any other job.
Why be a DJ? It is the love for music, the energy, and adrenaline you get on stage. Imagine having thousands of people right in front of you and getting them in high spirits through your performance; that is one intense connection, and I love that feeling.
The New Savvy: What are your Unique Selling Points as a DJ? How do you differentiate yourself?
Erica: I honestly think it is about being genuine, sincere, and staying true to your artwork. I am very respectful towards the people I work with, be it colleagues or clients, and I remain focused on delivering an excellent set. When people like your work, they will keep coming back for you. It has worked for me.
The New Savvy: Tell us about becoming a female DJ – what are the challenges, bias or if you receive different treatments?
Erica: I think people tend to be more sceptical about a female DJ’s skills and talent (the usual stuff if you know what I am talking about), but fortunately, I have met a lot of wonderful people who believe in my work. My audience, my own friends, my bosses, and clients. As for challenges, the initial stage was pretty tough. It took me A LOT of effort to reach where I am today. Challenges are good, though; it gets me out of the comfort zone.
The New Savvy: What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
Erica: The talent and creativity when performing, marketing knowledge, strong interpersonal skills, and a lot of self-discipline to get work done.
The New Savvy: Are there any negatives to your job?
Erica: There is a lot of instability in being a DJ, but they are worth it. Oh, and the crazy sleeping hours.
The New Savvy: What is your ambition?
Erica: That is a secret for now!
The New Savvy: Obviously, you are a very beautiful woman. Do you get any unsavoury attention? How do you deal with them?
Erica: I do, very often. Actually, I am really busy most of the time, and I don’t pay attention to insignificant matters. I am also pretty tough by nature. From the look of my face, I don’t think men would want to mess with someone like me. 😛
The New Savvy: I’ve read/seen many of your interviews. Most of them are for publications targeted at males. Give us your thoughts on these interviews.
Erica: My last interview was with Men’s Health and we spoke about what it takes to date me. I think the interview was excellent. Men complain about how women are difficult to read, so there I am really straight forward and honest.
However, even when I tell some men about the things I dislike, they still do it anyway. I don’t get it.
The New Savvy: Are there any questions you wish people would stop asking you?
Erica: Not really!
The New Savvy: What do you think makes you successful in being a DJ?
Erica: It is similar to USP right? I believe it is my dedication, sincerity, and devotion to work on my skills and talent.
The New Savvy: As a DJ, share with us (or aspiring DJs) more on finances – how you are compensated and your financial habits.
Erica: As a DJ you often need to negotiate your fees, and market rates are merely guidelines. Most importantly, DJs need to know their worth, so they don’t get exploited. At the same time don’t exploit others too!
As for financial habits, women are often tempted to splurge on bags and other products. In my case, the temptation is to splurge on work-related stuff – my equipment and probably books and stuff that are practical and useful in the long term. I do enjoy shopping, but I don’t buy products on impulse. Never!
And I don’t really draw a fine line between personal and work spending, though. Sometimes I sacrifice one to feed the other, and I am fine with it. The rest goes to savings.
The New Savvy: When did you start planning your finances and how?
Erica: I think I started around age 15. I didn’t get much allowance from my parents, so I had to earn my bucks and watch my spendings! At times, my finances can be quite a mess because my income and spending vary but I have been trying to keep things in order. I do keep a logbook to monitor my finances.
The New Savvy: Do you feel the pressure to look good and glamorous all the time?
Erica: Yea, I do, but I know how to strike a balance not to feel overwhelmed. Times when I can be alone and be myself, I take it easy and enjoy the day with my bare face, plain clothes, and is all natural.
The New Savvy: Do you feel that women in public get more criticisms than men?
Erica: We do, we definitely do. The way we speak, laugh, and dress – everything is under scrutiny. Women are always expected to behave in a certain way. Though having that said, I am a pretty feminine person, so it isn’t much of a problem for me.
The New Savvy: What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? How do you deal with detractors?
Erica: Many people say I am lying when I tell them I dislike cigarettes. I am still trying to figure out why.
By now you can probably tell that I am quick to avoid being caught up in situations. How do I deal with it? Ignorance is bliss! I don’t see a point to react. If it hurts my name, I might say a word or two, but I won’t justify.
People are entitled to their opinions. Can’t shut them up, can we?
The New Savvy: What’s the side of you the public never sees?
Erica: My long hours of hard work! Just kidding. I guess when I am vulnerable or when I get really mad about something. I try to keep these to myself.
The New Savvy: Since you are at parties or most of the time, the life of the party, where do you go on your nights off? What do you do on those free nights?
Erica: I get this a lot! I go to the gym, the parks, library, and supermarket. These are my quiet time alone. And perhaps, watch some good Tarantino movies in my bedroom.
The New Savvy: Give us a parting quote!
Erica: Never waste your time being insecure, minding what people think about you, or what they want out of you. Else you will run out of time. Just do your own thing. All you need is some self-love and trust to get your life kicking! I swear!
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