Redefining The Club Scene


One of Asia's pioneer superclubs, Zouk will see more all-encompassing lifestyle offerings with its third outlet in Genting, says its Project Director and General Manager Joseph Ryan

Interview Eris Choo | Photography courtesy of Resorts World Genting

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Tell us more about yourself and how you came to be with Zouk.
I have worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years, running high-end nightclubs in London welcoming celebrities like Drake, Rihanna and Usher. I have also arranged large-scale events globally within Formula One and for famous faces lite Madonna. When the opportunity arose to work for Zouk, one of the world's best known superclubs, it was a fantastic chance for me to grow the brand into new fields. Over the last two years, I have project-managed the curation, design, build and roll-out of five outlets for the brand, spread over 40,000 square feet (3,716 square metres), allowing us to welcome up to 20,000 visitors a month to the Zouk Atrium in Resorts World Genting (RWG). 

Why did you choose to open in RWG?
RWG is by far the most exciting location in Malaysia. Aside from being home to some of the world's most famous brands, the resort has repeatedly proven itself to be a hive of non-stop activity, with some of the most interactive and exciting activation in Southeast Asia, in addition to showcasing world-class acts such as John Legend and R3hab. There is literally so much to do at the resort, from experiencing hyper-reality at The Void, to indulging at internationally recognized food-and-beverage outlets such as Harry Ramsden and Burger & Lobster. 

What can visitors expect at Zouk Genting? 
 A sensory overload of excitement! Expect a marvel for your eyes, ears and senses as the night unfolds with a non-stop display of creativity. I have partied professionally for 15 years, yet I have never felt goose bumps as I do in Zouk Genting.  

What are some of the similarities and differences between the three Zouks in terms of design and the facilities on offer? 
Each Zouk has its own characteristics that allow them to stand out, but one thing they all share in common is their status of being cutting-edge in regards to both audio and visual capabilities. Zouk Genting has one of the most impressive lighting features in world clubbing, and the Void speakers are state-of-the-art. The LED screen is one of the biggest I have ever seen in my career and the overall clubbing experience is more reminiscent of a festival than a club room.

Tell us more about the exciting concepts at Zouk Genting.
RedTail by Zouk is Malaysia's best social gaming lounge, offering the very first giant games in the country. The giant beer pong sees 1,000 games a month and the outlet welcomed 10,000 visitors to enjoy a whole host of unique experiences. RedTail karaoke offers a fun twist to Asia's favourite pastime, with six uniquely designed rooms for groups of all sizes to sing the night away. There is also Empire, a New York hip-hop inspired club lounge that offers hip-hop culture and music. We are looking forward to welcoming some of the genre's biggest acts to perform within its four walls. Last but not least is FuHu, Malaysia's first vibe dining restaurant, which offers an exciting twist to classical Chinese cuisine in an ambiance where you can enjoy a few flair cocktails or a lively dinner with your friends pre-Zouk. 

Are these a part of Zouk's plans to move away from clubbing and into more lifestyle offerings? 
The brand is making moves to expand across lifestyle into a variety of outlets that allow any Zouk guest or member to enjoy a blend of activities and experiences depending on their preference - whether it's casual drinks, lively social gaming, vibe dining or indeed hardcore clubbing. Bearing in mind, there are now three internationally recognised and award-winning nightclubs in the group.  

How would you say the brand has evolved over the years? 
The brand has grown from one standalone club in Singapore to a lifestyle brand, with bars,  restaurants and festivals added to the clubbing foundation. Zouk now has multiple club rooms with their own identity and style, while RedTail games bar has opened in two countries and is set for the cruise ships. FuHu is the very first vibe dining restaurant in the portfolio, and of course, ZoukOut has been Asia's leading music festival for nearly two decades.  

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What would you say has contributed to Zouk's success? 
Zouk has always been more than just a club. It is an institution where memories are created, bonds are formed, music legends are danced to and friendships are toasted. Twenty-eight years of experience has built a team with quite possibly the very best hospitality understanding in the world. People come to see people, and Zouk regulars, as well as the international DJs, have been sharing their lives with the management and team at Zouk for three decades. You cannot replicate this kind of dynamic. 

What are some of the unique challenges for Zouk in the Malaysian market? 
 The immediate question that has been repeatedly asked of me is whether it is a hindrance to be based in RWG, 45 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur. The answer is a prophetic no! We have seen a huge demand, and inherent satisfaction, from visitors who have made an entire weekend out of visiting the resort, as they enjoy an action-packed weekend of cutting-edge activities. Guests don't just come up for Zouk, they arrive and enjoy lunch at Malaysian Food Street, battle Darth Vader in the hyper-reality experience The Void, play Giant Pong in RedTail, dance to the world's best DJs in Zouk, then walk back to their hotel before enjoying a casual day's shopping in Genting Highlands Premium Outlet the next day. Don't look at Zouk as a Saturday night experience. Look at it as part of a whole weekend of fun! 

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What can we expect from Zouk Genting in terms of international acts or events in the coming months? 
Zouk has already played host and has plans to welcome a squad of industry legends and household names, including Ferry Corsten, Markus Schulz, Sander Van Doom, R3hab and Paul Van Dyk to name but a few. The line-up for the future will not just focus on electronic dance music acts, but will also include hip-hop, R&B as well as other live performers over the coming months. There are definite plans for a fully interactive music event in Genting under the Zouk Live banner, and this will showcase a variety of lifestyle activities all rolled into one. 

What about plans in the pipeline for Zouk itself?
Following a decade of being voted as the best nightclub in Asia by industry bible DJ Mag and due to popular demand, Zouk as a brand is expanding internationally, both within Asia and further afield. Zouk will have a presence on the Genting cruise ships, and we will play a major role in terms of entertainment in Resorts World Las Vegas when it launches in the near future. Very few club brands can match the innovation, progression and expansion of Zouk, and it all means that there are very exciting times ahead. •  

Source:  Eris Choo, Going Places Magazine

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