Dewan Priya is a traveller at heart and a true entrepreneur. With more than a decade of experience in the music industry, she had not only accumulated important travelling information to festivals but created a route not many had taken. Born in the Philippines, raised in Singapore and subsequently educated in the U.S., she returned […]
July 6, 2015
By Monica Tong
Dewan Priya is a traveller at heart and a true entrepreneur. With more than a decade of experience in the music industry, she had not only accumulated important travelling information to festivals but created a route not many had taken. Born in the Philippines, raised in Singapore and subsequently educated in the U.S., she returned to Singapore three years ago and started Gig Life Asia. Her many contributions to the industry include invitations as a panelist to the 2009/2011 SXSW Music Conference & Festival, as well as moderator at the 2013/2014 Electronic Music Conference in Sydney. Dewan shares with Music Asia, how it all started, her inspirations and challenges running one of the first gig finders in Asia.
How did the idea of a lifestyle guide like Gig Life Asia come into being?
I had the privilege attending events and festivals around the region whilst working on Feedback Asia, an Asian-based booking agency. When I was coordinating my travels, there were moments when I wished that there was a site that could provide travel information. Most of the logistics and travel information were provided to me by the local promoters, however, it has proven a task in itself when friends wanted to join. It was hard to explain how and where tickets were acquired and where to find accommodation when a festival takes place in another country. This is especially difficult when websites do not provide information in English. That’s how it occurred to me that I could set something up myself.
Who inspired you to start Gig Life Asia?
It was not a particular person that inspired me to set up Gig Life, but my friends from Singapore and from the region as a whole.
As one of the pioneers in providing such a service in Asia, what are the challenges you face starting GLA?
The major challenge to being the first to provide such a service is the amount of time needed to organise the information from scratch. Also, there is no marker to set up against; that whatever you are doing is actually useful to people.
What are your hopes and dreams for Gig Life Asia?
I hope that Gig Life Asia will become the portal through which people in Asia and beyond discover their favorite cities, festivals and artists. I want it to be the base of a community of people who share a love for travel and entertainment.
Who are in your Gig Life Asia team?
My Gig Life Asia team consists of myself, the designers, the developers and Nicolette Yim who has been working in my office since Feedback Asia. She is the content manager of Gig Life who keeps our social media pages updated with the latest factual and experiential information, as well as curating playlists.
Do you think that by providing these information would promote the local talents and musicians, as well as the economics of festivals in the region?
Part of why I created Gig Life Asia was to make sure that the people, who are interested in these events, are able to attend them conveniently. This means that the events themselves are better attended and profitable so they can continue to exist and book incredible artists. I also definitely see this as an opportunity for people to discover local musicians.