When you ask a DJ who they were influenced by, odds are you’re going to get a number of answers that could include names like Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Daft Punk and Paul Oakenfold. Rarely do you hear names like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, but that’s exactly what prompted Chew Fu to dive into the music scene.
Fu, who will be making his second appearance in Vegas on Friday at Rain Nightclub inside the Palms, isn’t your regular DJ, though. Fu grew up in Amsterdam where he attended a music conservatory studying jazz and playing the alto saxophone.
It was the sax, surprisingly enough, that brought Fu to the New York City nightlife scene where he would play along with DJ-spun music.
“It really inspired me to be like, ‘Wow I really want to make records,’” said Fu, who has been busy working on his first album. “So, I think I was in the third year of conservatory when I really decided I wanted to make like house music with saxophone. That was my dream back then, just because I liked the clubs so much and you’re getting a whole different vibe there when you see 1,000 people go nuts, you know what I mean?”
Fu brought his own style to Vegas for the first time in November where he had the chance to watch club-goers go nuts for his music at ghostbar.
“Many people had to get used to it a little bit, but they knew most of the mixes or they knew the original or whatever,” Fu said.
What differentiates Fu is a term he calls “refixes.” He combines the strong lyrics of Hip-Hop music with the electro-house beats that keep parties jumping on the dance floor. He uses about 80 percent of the original lyrics, makes all new hooks and some minor editing.
“I just really like lyrics and whenever I went out in New York that’s when I noticed that there’s a big difference,” Fu said. “For me, when I went out clubbing in Amsterdam and a Hip-Hop track would come on, people wouldn’t sing all the lyrics. But when I went to New York, people knew like every lyric and I was really inspired by that because it’s a whole different scene. They want to dance and mimic the artists. And I also love it because it gives more story and power to your track instead of just instrumental.”
Fu was refixing on his own after he says labels and club owners didn’t think the style would work. After giving the music away for free, he was approached by a representative for Lady Gaga, who wanted to record Marilyn Manson over his refix of Lady Gaga’s “Love Game.” Since then, Fu put together the remix album for Rihanna’s “Rated R,” and is working with artists like Willow Smith (rapper/actor Will Smith’s daughter) and Far East Movement.
Aside from spinning in Vegas and working on his first album, Fu has begun work on his next album, which will feature old-school artists like Sugar Hill Gang and Doug E. Fresh.
“I’m basically just doing stuff that I like, that makes my music honest,” Fu said. “I don’t like to do stuff that it’s like, ‘You have to do this because it’s a smart move to do.’ I always do what I like.”