QA: Sui Zhen / DJ Susan



1)Who are you?

Becky Sui Zhen / DJ Susan.

2)What do you do?

I’m a Musician/DJ, Multimedia Producer at a Melbourne Museum and Freelance Designer/Art Director.

3)Where do you often create/produce?

I have a shared studio with my partner, Andras Fox in Melbourne, Australia.

Currently, that is the base for my musical activity.We take turns to make music in there and sometimes make music together.

I also edit video, design and write from this space. It worked really well when Andy was mixing his new age record “Overworld” and I was designing a book layout, as the two projects were complimentary. We’d like to set one up somewhere quiet and somewhat isolated in the country at some point, so we can really focus. Somewhere in the bush and near to the ocean would be nice.

Otherwise I’ve been rehearsing with some other local bands NoZu and Hot Palms for some gigs coming up. It’s all in the neighborhood.There’s a strong music community here. I like to get involved in other musical projects because it keeps sane.


With music making, I feel most focused from the late afternoon into the evening.

If I have mixing to do, or more technical music related tasks, then I prefer to start early in the morning and finish at a respectable 6pm. Just like a regular job.

When I rehearse with other bands, it’s usually later in the evenings after everyone has finished their day jobs. It’s a strong way to end a long day. I recommend it. Generally, I work seven days a week across my different jobs and projects. I take breaks when I need to. I enjoy work more than I do feeling aimless.

5)Why do you play music?

It’s more of a need than a choice. It’s an activity that I crave every other day and if I don’t work hard at or lose myself in music a few times a week, then I feel quite detached from myself.

I feel quite unhappy. I play for the euphoria, for myself, for the social outlet and for the endless possibilities of the musical language.

1)Which track defines you the most?

Last year I might have said Shinza No Tobira by Mariah from the album Utakata No Hibi (1983, Japan).

But now I am thinking more in this vein:

Everyday is just another dream by Naffi.

2)Any track of the moment?

The Body by K2. The rest of the album is not to my taste but this track is so moody.

3)What influences your work?

Musically, I am influenced by Japanese, Eastern-European and French music from the 80s and early 90s in the neo-folk, electronic, new-wave, post-punk and proto-disco genres. Antena, Saada Bonaire, Naffi, Dip in the Pool, Can and associated artists.

I’d like to listen to more house and make a more club focused EP soon.

Lately, I have been studying Japanese design and the language. That is having a big impact into my graphics and art direction for videos I’ll be making for Sui Zhen singles. I always watch a lot of film, most recently I’ve been watching Eric Rohmer films, and following Charlotte Gainsbourg’s early acting career from the mid 80s. It’s quite strange but definitely relatable and endearing cinema.

4)Do you consider yourself as an Artist? If so, why?

Yes. Because I know how to avoid paying my taxes.

5)What’s your academic background? Are you an autodidact?

I have a BA in Communications (Writing and Media Production) and am midway through a Masters in Graphic Design. But musically, I am mostly self-taught

6)Favorite designer?

Kazunari Hattori.

7)Favorite Classic movie?

“Tokyo Story” by Yasujiro Ozu, “Pierrot Le Fou” by Godard.

8)Favorite book?

“How to take a Japanese Bath”  by Leonard Koren.

9)Favorite word ( that you most overuse)?


10) Favorite music label?

Growing Bin Records.

11) Your dream collaboration?

Maybe Damo Suzuki, Ryuichi Sakamoto or Dam Funk.

And on the local front, Nic Oogjes from NoZu.

12) What’s your life motto (quote)?

I think mottos are kind of cheesy, but I’m a big fan of to do lists.

13) Any “mot de la fin”?

I’ll have more music out later this year. For now, I hope you enjoy Female Basic EP.

–> Becky’s Tumblr


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