For our April cover story, we speak to the DJ-cum-entrepreneur to glean an inside look into the art of entertainment, the importance of adaptability and his secret to success.
Jacket: Moschino; Jewellery: Blink's own
DJ Blink is an absolute powerhouse. You may recognise him from his sold-out shows at Spark, his Boiler Room set at Good Vibes Festival 2019, or his appearance as the closer at 2023's first-ever Peakstorm Festival. Alternatively, you may have been to his spin classes at Pwrhouse Fitness Studio, or sipped on some matcha at Hejau, the cafe he co-founded with It-girl Jane Chuck.
Becoming Blink
Born Lau Hoe Yin, the 'Blink' alias came about as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Lau's habit of blinking too much—and ended up being so catchy that it stuck. However, the DJ has since come to adopt his alias fully. "I think I've already gotten to a point where Blink started off as my stage name, but it has become me," he explains. "It's not because I'm always on stage but, through the years, I've been on a path where people know me as Blink through everything I've done. It has extended from whatever I've done with music."

So, with Blink taking centre stage, who is Hoe Yin? "Hoe Yin was me when I was in school," Blink clarifies. "Hoe Yin had completely different goals. He wanted to be a professional basketball player. As Hoe Yin, I was still searching for myself, 'cause that's what happens when you're in secondary school and in college."
Jacket and trousers: Moschino; Jewellery and shoes: Blink's own
But, who is the man behind the persona? Blink is best known for his energetic shows—sets that are full of infectious beats, creative mixes and, of course, the occasional fireworks display. Off-stage, however, he's not quite the crowd-stirring entertainer—in his words, once the curtains close, he's a completely different person. "I'm way calmer," he laughs. In fact, the difference is so stark that his on-stage identity is completely unrecognisable to some. "My family had never seen me perform before last year, and when they did, they were quite shocked," he chuckles.

He wasn't always the confident mic man like he is now, though. "The confidence on stage took time to build," Blink explains, going on to assert that learning how to perform takes practice. In his case, it came in the form of teaching. When the MCO put a full stop to nightlife in KL, Blink pushed himself to explore new ventures, namely in spin classes. Instead of championing the stages of Zouk, he began leading spin sessions at Pwrhouse Fitness Studio. "The spinning that I teach there has given me the confidence to speak at the right time on stage," he reveals. "Everything crosses over and everything happens for a reason. If MCO hadn't happened, I wouldn't be an instructor. If I wasn't an instructor, I wouldn't be as confident talking into the mic on stage."
The business of DJ-ing
Being confident in wielding a mic is one thing—commanding a room is another. What makes a great DJ? Being able to read the room is definitely a must-have skill. "Learning how to read the crowd just comes from experience," Blink states matter-of-factly. "You can mix clean or great mash-ups, but without time, there's no way you can read the crowd. Firstly, you need to build confidence on stage to even DJ well because you don't want to just be focusing on yourself or your mix. Secondly, you have to rock the crowd and make them jump—but there are so many things that go behind that."

"A lot of people don't know this, but when you're DJ-ing, there are times you play the 'filler' songs to release the dance floor a little so they can preserve their energy throughout the whole set," he elaborates, before going on to drop the next must-have trait: Business know-how. "Filler tracks also give [the crowd] a chance to go to the bar and get more drinks so that the club sales go up too. A lot of DJs think you're only controlling the dance floor but there's way more to that. As a club DJ, you're actually controlling people's spending power. The more VIPs come and open bottles through the energy of the dance floor, the higher the club's revenue becomes. Then, you've not only done a great job for the audience and yourself but also the club that's booking and paying you."
Shirt and trousers: Moschino; Jewellery and shoes: Blink's own.
Watch: DJ Blink takes us
on a tour of his tattoos
Of course, in the community, there's always the lingering debate of whether original music is a necessity for truly 'great' DJs. It's a polarising topic, but Blink has a refreshing take on the discourse: "DJs have become entertainers in general. While we used to focus on mixing alone, nowadays we're using the mic and entertaining too—it's more than just playing music," he explains. "If you've got the skills to take the mic and DJ, and you have stage presence, you're already a very good entertainer. So, it doesn't matter if you're playing your own music or other people's, as long as the crowd in front of you is having a good time. That's what being a DJ is. If you're an artist, fine, you can perform your own tunes and stick with that. But for me, I'm very open."

"Besides, many people love Justin Bieber, but he doesn't write a lot of his songs; Rihanna doesn't make her own beats either. But she's there to sing and dance, and suddenly you're a fan of hers. Granted, she has a lot of style but maybe that's been developed. So many things go behind that and people don't think much about it. With DJ-ing, if you're already good at entertaining, why does it matter if you make your own songs or not? That's my opinion."
Top: MSGM; Trousers: Moschino; Jewellery: Blink's own.
His biggest career milestones
So far, Blink's career as a DJ has been a colourful one. In the years he has been performing, he has amassed quite the impressive resume. He was the first Malaysian (alongside Goldfish) to perform at the Tomorrowland Festival in 2017—one of the greatest stages for any DJ. More recently, he represented Malaysia at Ultra Bali, another top EDM festival. He's also continuing on with club gigs, with which he has garnered a significant cult following, having recently played Zoukout at Zouk Singapore and sold out two days at Spark—a feat that is unheard of. "Maybe it's because it was right after lockdown, so people were hungry for a big night out," says Blink on the draw of his shows.

That's not even where the trailblazing ends—Blink is set to return to Good Vibes Festival yet again this July with his upcoming Decadence show. We predict that it is going to be huge, purely going off the fact that 2019 saw him headlining the Boiler Room stage as part of the DJ duo Lapsap. "Xu and I were the only Malaysians to headline the Boiler Room stage," Blink recalls. "Boiler Room is the holy grail for underground dance music, so when we got to do it, it was mad. With Boiler Room stages, people get to go behind the DJ booth, so there were about 5,000 people on stage with us!"
"A lot of people know me as the Blink who makes music you hear on Instagram, but Lapsap is still ongoing, and that's where I play the house and techno stuff that's more boutique," he continues.

He doesn't just spin records, either. Aside from regularly teaching spin classes, as mentioned earlier, Blink is also the co-founder of Hejau, a matcha cafe which has quickly become a crowd favourite since opening its doors in 2021. Needless to say, he's kept himself busy.
Jacket: Moschino; Jewellery: Blink's own.
the secret to his success
With so many impressive achievements and ventures under his belt, it was only a matter of time before we pried into his journey to success. "I always talk about this but it's just about how you evolve—especially in entertainment, but with businesses as well—you have to adapt with time," he responds. "Don't just jump on whatever is on-trend. Adapt to the industry or market instead. It's always about evolving and adapting."
We go on to ask for his best advice for other aspiring multi-hyphenates, to which he replies: "If you can't handle more than one thing, maybe focus on a particular area first until you're very comfortable at it and ready to take on the second or third challenge."

"The one question I get asked the most amongst my close friends is how I balance my work," he continues. "There is no balance. This is where the sacrifice comes in. I tell my crew at Hejau that if you want to do so many things, you've got to put all your time into it. I don't hang out; I've not gone into a cinema in forever; I don't sit down at mamaks anymore; I don't walk around malls; I'm pretty much single (laughs). That's the type of sacrifice one has to give."
Blazer and trousers: Moschino; Jewellery and shoes: Blink's own
what's next for DJ Blink
While he's on a roll professionally, Blink is looking to expand his demographic. His current focus? Taking up a new language. "Learning Mandarin is a big focus of mine this year. My last single with Daphne Charice last year was mixed English and Mandarin. There's also going to be a fully Mandarin song coming out. It won't be me singing, but yes, it's coming out so stay tuned!"

From there, he's only looking forward to bigger and better things. "I've been manifesting for people like 3P because I support people who support me. Of course, I want to manifest stuff for myself, too, like a tour in China next year or that my Chinese mash-ups reach there. Perhaps even playing Tomorrowland again next year!"
Editor-in-chief / Sarah Hani Jamil
Text & styling / Redzhanna Jazmin
CREATIVE DIRECTION & layout design / Sarah Tai
Videography / Dennis Kho
Makeup / YONG SI HUI