Lili Chan is behind the decks for this month’s instalment of For The Love Of It, created in association with Pioneer DJ.
An artist of British and Japanese descent, Lili Chan imbues her experiments with the best of both worlds. Chan traces a line through her heritage growing up in Japan surrounded by cultural markers like Kabuki (theatre), Enka (folk music) and its use of instruments like Koto, Taiko, and the Shamisen. Wanting to retain a link to her roots, Chan employs these elements in her composite electronic work.
Moving to London, Lili Chan relied on her DJ friends to show her the basics of the art-form until she could afford her own equipment and strike out on her own. “The light bulb moment for me was melody,” she says of her creative epiphany. “At the beginning I was without limitations but I’ve learned to refine my sound. I’ve learned to build tracks based on energy and mood.”
In her decade-long career as a DJ, Lili Chan has graced the decks at Akasha, Woomoon at Cova Santa, and shows in London supporting Meduza at Outernet and Studio 338, Fabric and Egg. As an artist, 2023 was a turning point. Making her debut on inclusive talent incubator and imprint, HE.SHE.THEY, Chan released 4-track EP ‘Wabi Sabi’, named after the traditional Japanese principle that there is beauty to be found imperfection. A classically-trained pianist, Chan offsets an affinity for structure and rules with a freewheeling love of rave – both the sun-kissed and the after-hours kind, no more evident than on EP highlights, ‘Furasato’ and ‘Day & Night’.
Lili Chan joined us at CLASH Studios to play an exclusive mix on our Pioneer DJ CDJ3000’s and new DJM–A9 Mixer.
Tune in now.
For The Love Of It, a joint venture between CLASH and Pioneer DJ, expands its reach by probing deeper into international club culture and cross-cultural connections, honing in on the ways these external influences impact personal development and production style.
For The Love Of It: Series 2 captures in-demand electronic acts crafting and performing sets in self-styled dominions. We document how their creativity has been informed by their foundations in different cultural settings, and how these artists reconcile and blend local sounds with around-the-globe influences. Ultimately, Series 2 is about the hybridity of music today, and the communal ties that tether artists to diverse subcultures. This fluidity in expression comes through in an exclusive mix created by each artist for the series. Revisit previous episodes in our sophomore run of ‘For The Love Of It’, with Birmingham-bred DJ Jossy Mitsu, South East London “singing selector” Ell Murphy, and British-Pakistani artist Nabihah Iqbal.
Words: Shahzaib Hussain
Production: Garry Jones