Jake Camacho, aka Toppings, might hail from Manila, but he’s since established himself as a known figure in the Singapore dance music scene. As co-founder and resident selector of Singapore-based party collective Ice Cream Sundays, he has honed his skills at many a pop-up event aroud town, as well as played to sweaty crowds at local hotspots Kilo Lounge, CE LA VI, Tanjong Beach Club, and TUFF CLUB with playful experimentation and unbriddled optimism. His genre of choice? Good old deep house.
Hi Jake! Tell us more about your introduction to music.
I was introduced to music at a young age by my parents, who are fans of classical music and arranged for me to take several years of piano and violin lessons. I can’t say I particularly enjoyed classical music at the time so the tuition felt like a bit of a chore, but fortunately in middle school I convinced them to let me start playing the drums, and that’s when things really started to click.
I played in a few different bands with my friends all throughout high school (including my fellow Ice Cream Sundays co-founder Daniel, who played the trumpet in our band ‘7, 8, Swine’) and got involved with music in as many ways as I could, playing the drums at school and charity events, singing in our senior a capella group, and even signing up to be an assistant conductor for the junior orchestra. I was never particularly great at any of these instruments, but during this time I realized music would be a lifelong passion.
How about your early days in music? Still remember your first gig?
There were plenty of school shows and whatnot, but I think my first paid gig as a high school drummer was at a reunion event at the Singapore Cricket Club. If we’re talking about DJing, my first real gig was not too long ago in my hometown of Manila, at a bar called Reserve in the BGC area. This was during the summer of 2015.
You’re the co-founder of Ice Cream Sundays. What can a newcomer expect from one of your parties?
You can expect a well-curated lineup of DJs playing fun, eclectic dance music, an accepting and friendly crowd, cool art installations, reasonably priced food and drinks, and an environment where you can feel equally comfortable chilling and catching up with friends or getting weird on the dance floor. We do our best to ensure our events appeal to all types of people.
Which one was the most memorable for you?
Tough question! If I had to pick just one, I would say our National Day party at the National Gallery Singapore in 2018. At the time it was the biggest crowd we had ever drawn, the fireworks were going off, and it was just a really special night. It was also the first time we booked Muto Masashi (one of our current resident DJs) and at the peak of the night, after crushing his entire set, he played a remix of ‘Born Slippy’ that sent everyone on the dance floor to a different planet. It was truly special – I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment.
What’s the name, Ice Cream Sundays, about anyway?
When we first conceptualized Ice Cream Sundays, we knew we wanted to throw fun, funky day parties and we decided that Sundays would be ‘our day’. Nothing says ‘cheerful afternoon vibes’ better than ice cream. We even gave out free ice cream at our first party! The concept has expanded a lot over the years and we no longer limit ourselves to Sundays, and we’ve even thrown the occasional night party. We also charge for ice cream now, but to be fair, the quality of the ice cream has gone up dramatically.
If you could only play one sub-genre for the rest of your life, which would it be?
You can’t go wrong with deep house.
What’s one mistake you find young DJs making all the time?
This is a bit awkward to answer because as far as I’m concerned, I am a young DJ and I definitely still make mistakes. One thing that comes over time is the ability to match the energy of your music to the energy of the room – when your music collection is still relatively shallow, it’s easy to panic and play tracks that are too aggressive for that part of the night.
Your most played tracked last year?
It’s gotta be ‘Hini Mi’ by Kojo Antwi. I heard Kikiorix drop this at Wonderfruit the year prior and I’ve been totally hooked on this track ever since.
Describe your mix for us!
Jazzy, soulful, deep, and organic with plenty of live instrumentation throughout and enough funk to keep things fun.