The fourth annual Fall Kickoff event was more than just an opportunity for students to let loose on campus. It was also a chance for an SFU student or recent graduate to perform in front of thousands and make their name.
Mike and Steven Hoang, known as HOANG, were the winners of the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS)’s DJ search. Mike, a BCIT student, and Steven, a recent graduate of SFU’s biomedical engineering program, entered the contest unsure of what to expect.
The Peak caught up with Mike before he took the stage at the Kickoff event on September 23.
Hoang, who has always had an interest in music, was ecstatic to learn that he and Steven would be performing at the Fall Kickoff.
Both began playing piano at an early age, and dabbled with guitar, but he has found nothing to be more thrilling than electronic music.
“I found a passion for [electronic dance music] when I was 11,” Hoang said.
The two have produced music together before, and relish the opportunity to get to perform at such a large show together.
The contest asked all hopefuls to create a mixed track that was 20–30 minutes long, displaying their abilities and showcasing their style. “We found out two nights before the deadline [. . . and] submitted [our track] three hours before the deadline,” Hoang said.
When asked what made their mixed track stand apart from other submissions, Hoang noted that they included original tracks. “It gave us an edge,” he said.
Hoang mentioned that both Hardwell and 3LAU have been inspirations for his music. He was looking forward to seeing 3LAU, who was headlining at the Fall Kickoff.
Being a part-time student with a job, it can be tough to make room for artistic endeavours, but Hoang isn’t willing to forgo any opportunity to share his music with the world.
“If you love something you’ll find time. You have to go out there and get it,” he said.
For Hoang, the best part of performing live is getting to see the crowd’s reaction, and getting to share in the experience with everyone. “It’s all for the music.”
“This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” Hoang said, adding that he’s thankful for the amount of support he gets from friends and family. For him, having those support networks is a must.
Hoang finished by noting that he and Steven “are grateful for the opportunity,” thanking the SFSS for letting both of them take the stage with such well-established names like 3LAU, Ekali, and Pierce Fulton. “To play alongside [the other performers] is insane.”