In her 20 years at Zouk, she has met celebrities such as Taiwanese singer-actor Jay Chou (above), the English football team and players from Manchester United. That is why Diana Chong, an assistant outlet manager at the celebrated club, says she is still as excited working there.
“The players of Manchester United Football Club were the first VIPs I met. This was many years ago, when they came to Singapore for a friendly match.”
“At the time, I was working as a server and was assigned to the floor in the area they were partying at,” she tells The New Paper on Sunday (TNPS). “I remember getting excited because it is not every day you get to see a celebrity or a whole group of celebrities turn up at your workplace, right?”
Zouk celebrated its 25th anniversary on May 28 with a big party at its Jiak Kim Street premises.
The Silver Jubilee – featuring shimmery decor at the club’s different dance floors in Zouk, Phuture and Velvet Underground – was the last anniversary party for the nightclub at the old warehouse venue. Zouk is moving to a new home in Clarke Quay before year end. The party featured evocative visuals and sounds by the Zouk Allstars – a line-up of favourite past and present resident DJs.
“When Man U came, I remember taking a photo with Ryan Giggs.”
“But it was only because someone was going around with a camera and asked me to get into the picture,” she adds. “I don’t usually take photos with celebrities when they come because personally, I think it’s important to remain professional.”
She has lost count of the number of celebrities she has served. “The other celebrities I’ve met include Taiwanese pop singer A-Mei and two members of South Korean boy band Big Bang,” she says.
She says work can be tougher when celebrities turn up at the club.
“When Chou was here a couple of years back, he turned up at Zouk with almost 20 people.”
“Other partygoers in the VIP area flocked to him and asked for photos to be taken with him and autographs. That’s when I have to step in to ensure that celebrities are given privacy to enjoy themselves,” she says.
Chou, Chong claims, was one of the biggest stars to turn up at the nightclub. “Security guards were needed just to make sure that he and his group of friends weren’t bothered.”
“Sometimes you feel like you want to take pictures with these celebrities, but it’s more important that we remain professional and give them their space to have fun. After all, the business we run is based on providing the service of fun.”
Zouk to go with the flow
Zouk has plans to make more waves. Owner Genting Hong Kong is taking the nightlife brand to the ocean. Zouk, the only club from the Asia Pacific region to regularly retain a top 10 spot in the prestigious DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs global poll, will take its dance music parties on board a cruise, which will arrive in Singapore on Nov 4.
It will offer a six-night cruise to Hong Kong through Vietnam, calling on Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Danang. The home-grown club will also co-host a beach party at Summer Sonic 2016 in Tokyo on Aug 20.
By: Catherine Robert, The New Paper