September 19, 2023
Since its opening in 1991, Zouk (now in the heart of Singaporean nightlife and entertainment district, Clarke Quay) has been at the forefront of international nightclub destinations. On top of its world-renowned resident DJs roster, the club is frequented by some of the most acclaimed international names in electronic dance music from Diplo to deadmau5, Skrillex and tons more. With popular locations outside of Singapore, including Genting, Malaysia and Las Vegas, USA, a fifth location is set to launch its grand opening in Ginza on October 6 and it is already grabbing the attention of local club-goers. To find out more about the new venture, we spoke to the man behind it all, Zouk Group CEO, Andrew Li.
Metropolis: How do you think Zouk Tokyo relates to other clubs in the Tokyo nightclub scene?
Andrew Li: I’ve checked out most of the venues here in Tokyo and I think spaces can sometimes be constrained. It’s very hard to attain a nightclub license here so a lot of places will operate for four, five years and then a new operator will come in or they will have to rejuvenate the space. I think what’s special about our space is it’s a new build. We’ve taken the space below GINZA HOTEL by GRANBELL and, by having that two-level space similar to what we have in Vegas and also in Singapore, we’re able to utilize that space with our Mothership lighting feature and really focus on the audio and visual components and create an experience.
M: Is the audiovisual equipment used in the new venue the same as what you use overseas?
AL: Interestingly enough, Miguel, who’s the owner of Superlative, has designed all of our Motherships. So we have one in Singapore, that was the first one, then we moved to Malaysia, that was the second iteration. Vegas, of course, is a much bigger budget market so that one has movement and goes from left to right, and Japan is actually our fourth one. So we wanted to continue to elevate the development of the Mothership. The Void System too, Void is an audio company that we’ve worked with in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s a beautiful sound system and it works in the design and it’s a very, very good sound quality.
M: What are your plans for the music programming at the new venue?
AL: I would say it’s similar to the Singapore model where we have strong resident DJs that have a big pull but every month we bring in international DJs to pull in a bit more of a crowd. The music programming team we have here have worked with some of the best nightclubs in Tokyo.
M: What do you think Zouk brings to the Tokyo nightlife scene?
AL: One thing that we want as a differentiating factor is that we brought some of our Las Vegas team down to Japan and we really want them to elevate the service level. We want to match the hardware with the software. Another thing is, our owners are really passionate about art. So we are working with a lot of local Japanese artists to make sure that there is artwork all around the club, which I think is going to be another differentiating factor. In itself, the design of the club is quite luxurious and when you couple that with The Mothership lighting feature, the elevator service and the art and a great team, we have a strong venture to captivate a large portion of the market.
M: What attracted you to Ginza as a location?
AL: I think it’s always been Roppongi and Shinjuku which have been the main nightlife hot spots. We’ve actually found that Ginza is kind of redeveloping to more of a lifestyle hub as well. There’s a club called Raise which is in Tokyo Plaza, there’s a nice high-end bar street near us as well. So I think that the government itself looks like they’re trying to push more of a high-end clientele in this area and as more new places open up, I think it will become more of a lifestyle hub.
Zouk Tokyo’s grand opening party is on October 6, for more details, head to their official website.