Ipoh lass makes good on the runway and behind the decks


Spinning it up: DJ Sweeshe, who is from Ipoh, has been making waves in Australia and the US as a deejay and model.

AS A small town girl from Ipoh moving to Los Angeles by way of Australia, DJ Sweeshe wears many hats these days, having started her career behind the scenes in TV production before moving to DJ-ing and modelling. She is now based in Los Angeles, where she’s pursuing a double passion in fashion and entertainment, modelling and DJ-ing.

Khor Swee Ling is in town for a short trip and it will be as DJ that she will be appearing next week on Thursday in Elixir, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

“When I first started DJ-ing, I treated it as a hobby and just wanted to do this because of a love for house/electro and progressive when I lived in Sydney, Australia,” she said of her club beginnings.

“But the more I played, the more I felt this was something I would love to turn from passion into career.”

Making the decision to move into DJ-ing came when she was living in Australia.

“While I was working in Astro in Malaysia, I took a short course in DJ-ing at Bionic DJ Academy. But as soon as my Australian PR was approved, I had to move so I didn’t get to finish the course. However, being in that school gave me a good foundation and I started renting and learning at a DJ space almost every night while studying and working part time.

“Through word of mouth and referrals, I was offered more and more gigs until it felt like a full-time job which I was very grateful for. I was juggling a lot but somehow I didn’t feel any stress. I just kept going and wanting to do more and improve. That’s when I realised this is what I really want to do,” she said.

Khor started DJ-ing as Miss Tokio in Australia — and she has made a few appearances in recent years in Kuala Lumpur under that name.

“I was given that nickname while I was working in Perth at a club there. Every bartender was given a nickname and somehow they thought Tokyo was a great name for me. So that’s how it started. I changed it to Tokio just to spice it up.

“As I began to DJ more, I realised I wanted a name that is connected to me and made sense. As most people normally call me Swee, I was going to use that name until I realised I couldn’t register an online site for it. So, Sweeshe (pronounced Swish) just came to me. I thought it looked pretty good and I like how it sounded with that spelling, but a different pronunciation.”

A background in music certainly helped, having learned the piano all through high school.

“That really helped me to understand and pick up DJ skills quicker and better. As I DJ more, I really want to be able to express myself more than just playing a track from great producers. That’s when I decided to pursue music Electronic Music Production and took a short course in SAE while I was in Sydney, Australia.”

Then there’s the other hat she’s wearing. Being tall, she was constantly being asked to model.

“Coming from Ipoh, and being a 5’ 10”, I was considered out of the ordinary in my town. I also have a sister, Oi Ling, who’s six feet tall, also a model and currently based in Kuala Lumpur. We were both used to being the twin towers in school and always turned heads wherever we went.

“I started modelling when I relocated to Perth where I was signed to Scene Model Management. Through them, I was walking for Australia Fashion Week and begin my side career as a model.”

However, it wasn’t until she moved to Los Angeles, US, in order to pursue an acting course, that her modelling career really began to take off.

“I guess hailing from an exotic country gave me a little advantage as most industry people I met there had never really met a model born in Malaysia.

“I was first spotted by a talent manager at that time in a mall and he referred me to a casting agent who later referred me to a model agency.”

Since then, she’s been walking for LA Fashion Week, had a spread in Tinsel Tokyo magazine and Kue magazine and recently made an appearance as the featured talent as a DJ in Diplo’s latest music video which she reveals is still kept private at the moment until ready for a worldwide release.

Off stage, DJ Sweeshe considers herself a very down-to-earth and friendly person.

“But as soon as I get on that stage, most of my friends would tell me I just transform into this different persona. That’s really funny. But I guess that’s when I realised that performing is something I really want to do and pursue as a passion.

“I love the stage and just love the feeling of being able to express myself in various forms whether it’s modelling, DJ-ing or acting.”

You can find more about Sweeshe at www.sweeshe.com, on Instagram (sweeshe), Twitter @sweesheblog or on facebook.com/sweeshe

DJ Sweeshe will be playing at ELIXIR on Changkat Bukit Bintang this Thursday for their Ladies Night.

ELIXIR

37-41, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL

Admission - Free Entry for Ladies all night / RM50 for men inclusive of one drink.

Call 03-2145 8111 for information and reservations.

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