FIVE years on, and now on the brink of a new cycle of clubbing, has Zouk Club Kuala Lumpur got what it takes to last in an unpredictable economic and clubbing climate?
The club’s recent fifth anniversary celebrations coincided with sister superclub Zouk Singapore’s staggering 18th anniversary, but the international achievements of Zouk Singapore notwithstanding (for example, a long standing mention in iconic British club magazine DJMag’s Top 10 and Top 20 clubs worldwide), what are the future hopes and dreams of Zouk Club KL and its founders?
Co-founder and executive director Cher Ng, a former DJ and event promoter from Singapore who has long based himself in Malaysia, believes that in entering its fifth year, the recent complete revamp of the whole club was timely and essential.
“We’ve kind of set a benchmark in Malaysia in general. It was forward thinking in so many different aspects, in terms of design, service, and the entertainment aspects, not to forget the number of international DJs we have focused on since we opened,” Ng said in an interview before the anniversary celebrations.
“As with anything that has been around for five years, we always need to rethink, relook, and re-evaluate the market, mainly by looking at the competition and studying the trends of what’s happening around the world.
“More importantly, we had to pay attention to the feedback that we gathered from our customers, especially our regulars, as to what they want and what constitutes a good night out,” he said.
Ng added that modify, multiply and amplify would be an appropriate new motto for the club.
“Modified meaning that the structure and the interior have been completely changed, with a completely new space and dimensions for a completely fresh look. We’ve reformated the rooms to suit different clubbing conditions and, more importantly, to incorporate different music styles to suit more discerning customers.
“The overall refurbishment is aimed at the more sophisticated clubber with stylish and plush surroundings moving away from the concrete and minimalistic stylings we had been known for all these years,” Ng said. As for multiplying, the club has expanded to six rooms. Aristo replaces Loft, Phuture and Barsonic are completely new, while Velvet Underground, the Zouk Mainroom and the Terrace Bar have been revamped in various ways. “It’s not just about size, but also with the LED technology. We’ve employed a French lighting specialist as well. And there’s more seats for comfort. “We’ve also focused on providing more service-oriented elements, such as free membership campaigns, a dedicated ATM machine, and a membership counter to serve our members,” Ng said. However, it still boils down to the main reason for Zouk’s presence – the music, or more specifically, dance music. The club now has six rooms to cater to the growing demands of clubbers from all over.
Velvet Underground (Retro, Mambo Jambo, live cabaret) houses most of Zouk’s signature retro nights – helmed by Mambo Jambo legend Leonard T as well as Alex.
Phuture (R&B and hip hop) caters for the vast R&B/hip hop crowd and is helmed by DJs Luqe, Ray Rox, and features MC Point Blanc of legendary Poetic Ammo fame.
The increasingly dynamic indie, alternative, nu rave, electro and mash up scene will find a home at Barsonic with the now seminal Twilight Actiongirl crew of Ribut 10:49, Bunga, Chaseylain and Xu, the Lapsap duo of DJs Blink and Xu, and Didjital all set to appear reagularly.
Aristo (funk, old, house) is for the more discerning customer, for the crème of society, for those who want the plushest (and champagne lovers) with DJ Shazz, DeRajj and recurring guest celebrity DJs.
The Terrace Bar (Jazzy, Latin and funky world music), meanwhile, is a haven for those who wish for a bite of fresh and healthy food provided by the team from Relish.
And to top it all off, the Zouk (Mainroom) (electronic and commercial dance music) is the backbone of the club. Long-standing Zouk KL stalwarts Terence C, Shazz and Fono are on deck duties here.
Indeed, the music on offer may seem extremely diverse but it’s a gamble Ng feels the club is able to take in the belief the clubbers need more choice. “This is a service industry after all, and customers need to be serviced the best they can be. The gamble is paying off and we have been getting record attendances over the weekends,” Ng said. This despite having to face increased competition from the rest of the Klang Valley clubbing scene. “The competition is a good thing. It sorts out the men from the boys and keeps the market leaders on their toes. “To stand out, we strongly believe that in order to be the best you have to offer something unique and you have to know your target audience,” he added.
“Zouk strives to remain unique by putting up the best entertainment, bringing in the best DJs, offering the best value for entertainment, concept, and constantly upgrading and keeping things fresh. “However, the backbone is still and always will be dance music, we are not straying from that,” Ng said.
Zouk is located in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Tel: 03-2171 1997 Fax: 03-2171 1998. Ng is executive director and the acting managing director is Anthony Wong. Head to www.zoukclub.com.my for more information.