Behind the Scene: Linh Hong Phan from Everyone’s a DJ

Linh Phan is the face behind Saigon’s most established indie-electro nights, Everyone’s a DJ (EADJ), one of the city’s best known party purveyors since 2009. Now listed as one of the city’s “hippest club nights” in the Lonely Planet, EADJ’s Electric Kicks party was born of a conversation between Linh and Tom Maresca, her initial party throwing partner in crime. The idea for the nights was pretty simple: “We just wanted to play music really loudly in a dark room and dance with our friends,” she says. Beginning with that simple, DIY ethic, Linh embarked on a five-year journey in the Saigon music scene. Before EADJ kicked off, she struggled to get her indie/electro fix in the city. Having grown up listening to 80s synth pop and going to “dirty basement parties” in Toronto, Canada, she set out to create a similar party vibe in Saigon’s bars and clubs. The first Everyone’s a DJ party had everything that Linh thought the scene was lacking —a dirty basement bar with sticky floors, a dance floor full of people, and throw-back electro sounds that got them moving.

Starting off in the dingy upstairs room of what she describes as an “old man bar”, Cyclo, EADJ eventually moved to venues like the now defunct Cage, The Factory, Vasco’s and La Fenetre de Soleil. Soon after, Linh launched a collection of new parties under the EADJ umbrella, including the original Electric Kicks, Electric Kicks Live, Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop, Mixed Tape and also Sound Adventures with fellow promoter and DJ Dan Bi Mong. Linh continues to host her regular music nights, while also bringing in international acts, including major recent coup, DJ Bottin, who played EADJ’s three-venue fourth anniversary celebration. What’s next for EADJ? The same as always: good music, good people, and plenty of room to dance.