Australian-Chinese Malaysian DJ living in the UK & General Manager of Record Label Soundway

Social media afforded me this opportunity to connect with other people without feeling judged…I’m grateful for the solidarity and communities that I’ve now connected with.


I’m half Chinese Malaysian and half white Australian, though I moved to the UK 14 years ago, so London is kind of my home now. I’m currently the general manager of a record label called Soundway (@SoundwayRecords) which mostly explores non-Western music, including music from the African continent, Latin America and Asia. Having worked with such diverse artists for 4 years now has definitely given me a better understanding of music, culture and race. It’s really broadened my horizons, which is precisely the reason why I came to London in the first place. I also love to DJ but haven’t had much of an opportunity to do so with a live audience since the pandemic and lockdown.

I grew up in Australia before social media was the norm, so we were pretty much cut off from the rest of the world, especially since I’m from a relatively small city called Adelaide. I was the only East and South-East Asian person in my school year until I was around 12 years old and was usually relegated as an ‘outsider’. That’s when I met one of my best friends who is mixed Chinese-Vietnamese. When she arrived at my school I was really excited because I finally found someone who looked similar to me. After high school I went on an exchange year in Switzerland, and my eyes were opened up to how different the world could be. After returning to Australia to complete university I yearned to become part of a global community and to not feel like an unwanted outsider. That’s why London has been such an amazing and eye-opening experience for me because I feel like generally I can blend in much more. That’s not to say I’m a wallflower! But I was sick of standing out in a way that made me a target for abuse or discrimination.

Growing up, even though I was half white, my Malaysian mother’s influence was so strong that I was still your “standard Asian kid”. I aimed for perfect grades, loved video games and Sanrio, and I learnt the violin, piano, guitar and the recorder. My dad, from whom I inherited the white Australian part, is a composer and professional pianist. My mum worked for the state art gallery until her recent retirement. So I very much had an arts and culture background. Despite that, there was a lot of pressure from my large extended Asian family to go into business or the kind of career that is more desirable in that culture. Thus, I ended up studying business at university, but I also studied foreign languages as well, including Chinese, Japanese, German and French, because that was my avenue to global connection.

Photo by Vanessa Ng

After about 7 years of working in the corporate world, I came back to music. At first, it was mostly just soundtracking at my friends’ parties, but after a while, I quit my job and became a full-time DJ, obviously, to my mum’s horror. After 3 or 4 years she was still asking when I was going to get a real job. But by then, I’d already built a reputation and client base, and learnt to hustle for work. I then got involved in record label management through different contacts in the industry. It was a full circle since I learnt how to manage businesses and then I went into music. Now, I’ve married the two of them.

As I said, I grew up in a non social media generation. Because of that, it was really difficult to be able to explore my identity in a western country as an Asian person, unless I met another Asian person. I never had the chance to really explore it and never really came to terms with it. I think I had internalised racism for quite a long time and it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I really wanted to know about my heritage and learn where my family came from. I did study Mandarin for 10-12 years but my family mostly speaks Cantonese and Malay. They were happy that I’d learnt Mandarin but I would still be excluded to some degree in certain conversations with them because of the language barrier.

I’m also an early member of ESEA Sisters (@esea.sisters) which is a group created for women, trans and non-binary, originally for those within the creative industries but now spanning all careers. We came together because we had been experiencing even more racism during lockdown. Asian women experience a very specific type of racism, i.e. sexualisation and fetishisation, so it was created as a safe space for women and femmes to talk about sensitive topics. We want to protect people’s trauma and privacy around that trauma as well.

I regret not connecting with my Asian side more as a younger person but my internalised racism stopped me as a way of survival, and western society had denied me the opportunity for so long. When the photoshoot came up, I realised I had never been in a photoshoot with other Asians before. I know it sounds weird, but social media afforded me this opportunity to connect with other people without feeling judged, and to be in a place where I feel accepted. I’m grateful for the solidarity and communities that I’ve now connected with.


Instagram: @norsicaa @alice_mcwhitt


Producers: @chrispoonmd & @stephfungal
Photographer: @vng2_
Assistant photographer: @jordancoxtv
Makeup artists: @nanayumua & @lecreaturedibeatrice
Stylist: @asaleem92
Videographer: @rayroberts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *