Meet the pioneer of the Singapore hip-hop scene who is also the new leader (of) Honcho
Liu may not have commercial experience in the conventional sense, but building his artistic identity as a KoFlow DJ has been instrumental in his introduction to the business world. “I learned a lot about branding and marketing from that. My partner at Honcho, Amos (Poh) comes from a fintech background…so we complement each other that way.
Liu’s artistic bent informs the way he directs Honcho, particularly emphasizing the need for his chefs and mixologists to try new things. “I understand passion and I want a place driven by passion. Of course, experimentation comes with failure, but we want to encourage the other side.
Honcho is as much a process of experimentation for him as he finds himself learning new skills, such as managing a team and negotiating deals for space. “I knew I could do it, but I never had to deal with it, and now I do,” he said evenly.
On the contrary, Honcho awakened Liu’s inner entrepreneur. “I would like to expand to a few other companies. I’m looking at a small club that pushes the boundaries more where we’ll be hosting more leftist and independent music, as opposed to clubbing music. Eventually, there are a lot of small businesses that I want to get into as well, like maybe a food court, because Honcho has given me a lot of inspiration to do things that I think will work.
In the meantime, he’s in full rehearsal for his appearance on Northern Lights, a live experience set to take place in April as part of Seasons In Session, a music series presented by 24OWLS. He will perform alongside violinist David Loke, creating a mix of electronic beats and classic sounds in a synchronized ensemble.
And with the 10:30 p.m. drinking ban finally lifted at dining establishments, Honcho and his chef, DJ KoFlow, look set for a busy year.