Growing up in a musical family in the heart of Switzerland surrounded by lakes and mountains, it’s no wonder that organic, natural sounds take centre stage in the music of MYLE. The Bangkok-based Vietnamese DJ – who founded the new underground collective Die Empathie, a movement focuses on sensual downtempo beats – has spent the last years travelling and performing around the globe, sharing her story and experiences with a mix of deep, melodic, emotional, and tribal sonic qualities.
In anticipation of her set with The Council in Singapore on 30 March, we chat with MYLE about her journey into electronic music, her most memorable set, and her dream gig.
Hi Phuong! What’s the name “MYLE” about?
It’s actually a part of my name, as my full name is My Phuong Le. I wanted a name which reflects my identity and personality, so MYLE is 100% me.
Where’d your earliest music influences stem from?
My musical journey started very early. I started to play the piano by the age of six, mostly classical pieces.
How’d you get into electronic music and DJ-ing then?
To be honest, I got into electronic music quite late. I grew up with more classical, soul, funk, and rock music, and before electronic music I was totally into hip-hop, soul, and R&B. It only started when some of my friends forced me to go to one of the infamous ‘Private Fiction’ parties in Switzerland back in 2006. I’ve never experienced something like that before – the music, the visuals, the decoration, the people, a total escalation!
But I got into DJ-ing much later. It was never my plan to become a DJ. It was more like a fun project as I needed something else besides my work. I would never have imagined that one day, I would give up my job to do music full-time, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made and here I am, still doing what I love most.
What’s your music inspired by?
I would say I am the source of my own musical inspiration, because it all comes from my travels, the people I meet, my life experiences, my observations, my hopes and dreams. So I get inspiration from everywhere, and all this made me who I am now.
You used to be part of the duo ME & her. What made you two part ways, and how has your music evolved since then?
We were always very different – our character, and also our musical taste. But it was exactly this mix that actually made us so special. Being in a duo, there are always advantages and disadvantages, and during these years I’ve grown and learned a lot, especially about myself while travelling alone. I had the urge to develop freely as an artist, and in order to do this, I couldn’t make any compromises anymore, so we decided to move on…alone. Musically wise, my sound has changed a lot, from banging techno in a dark club to more organic, tribal, and ethnic sounds.
What’s special about your sets?
Ask the crowd! But yes – what makes it so special, I don’t know. But what I do know is that I always go into a venue without knowing where my musical direction will end up. I never stick to one direction I love to play and experiment around, but I always try to tell a story, to communicate a deeper level of understanding and take the people on a beautiful journey with me. I always say, music is not about what you see but what you feel.
Your most memorable gig?
Playing in Faraya up in the mountains of Lebanon last summer. We were literally playing over the clouds in an intimate outdoor venue with great people. I spent four days up there without phone signal. I don’t know remember the last time I felt so free – disconnected, but yet so connected with everyone and everything. And the cherry on top was the meteor shower on the night of the gig.
Pick one, Asia or Europe?
If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?
There are way too many places that I wanna play in. But South America is definitely in the top three and in Asia, I would say Japan as I love Japanese food so much.
Can you describe your mix for us?
100% MYLE! Dreamy, groovy, happy, deep, and emotional. Hope you enjoy it!