There’s something liberating about following your dreams, no matter where they take you. For Joey Ghazlan, (more popularly known in our neck of the woods as Joey G) this meant leaving everything he was familiar with it in his hometown of London, and settling down in Kuala Lumpur, a city he had fallen in love with.
Which is exactly what he did way back in 1997. Since then the intrepid entertainment figure has left no stone unturned in his multi-pronged climb to the top. Having learnt to deejay as a precocious teenager in London, Joey wasted no time in making his mark in KL. Playing at a string of ‘it’ city clubs, including residency stints at The Clubhouse and Twelve SI, Joey’s console skills, rugged good looks and intuitive ability to tap into the pulse of club-goers’ musical predilections certainly did not go unnoticed.
At the time, club deejays were well known within limited circles, but virtually unrecognizable everywhere else. That is until Joey G went and turned things on its head. Paving the way for others after him, Joey became the most recognizable working deejay in KL when he landed a role as a TV Presenter with Channel V International, a gig that seemed destined to catapult him into the big leagues. Combining his vast repository of musical knowledge with an impish charm that simply could not be contained, Joey had all the accoutrements to become a hit – and a hit he became! He soon found an adoring audience in the 100 million-or-so viewers across Asia who tuned in to watch him on screen. To add to his apogee of triumphs, he even landed interviews with Hollywood luminaries in the ilk of Rene Zellwegger, Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet! The Joey G brand had well and truly arrived.
After the shiny memories and glory days of Channel V, it would have been easy for anyone to have slowed down a little, maybe even faded into the background.
But Joey G is not anyone, and with typical verve, he charged ahead full steam with his next endeavor. Joining forces with the quirky Bo Amir Iqram, the two formed CosmicSpaceMunkys, a merger so successful that they were crowned champions of the 2006 Heineken Thirst Studio, which in turn led to a golden opportunity to work with renowned producer Paul Epworth.
The following year, the dyamic duo traveled to the city of sin – Las Vegas, where they performed at Tao with no less than Kanye West and Gym Class Heroes (seriously). Soon after, CosmicSpaceMunkys went on hiatus and Joey G dipped his toes into yet another new adventure.
After having attended so many events in one capacity or another, Joey decided to set up an entertainment/event marketing company with a friend. The birth of Soundbox Sdn Bhd in late 2007, marked the sangfroid entertainer’s entry into the choppy waters of events organization, a task he took to with pride and gusto as he made it his mission to promote and maneuver the Malaysian event and entertainment scene to epochal heights. But even having a company to call his own wasn’t enough to persuade Joey to sit still. A man as energetic as him has to keep moving, after all!
So when the newly minted radio station Capital FM came along in 2008, it wasn’t entirely a huge surprise that Joey G was one of its leading stars. His unflinching, 100% all-dance show Turn It Up, co-hosted with DJ Gabriel tore the airwaves and blazed its way into audiences’ consciousness. The show appealed to dance music devotees, those with esoteric tastes as well as neophytes to that genre of music. Much of the success of the show had to do with the able piloting of Joey G and Gabriel (who also acted as the show’s producers). Needless to say, Turn It Up went on to become the most popular dance show in Malaysia!
Since the word ‘ephemeral’ does not exist in Joey G’s vocabulary, this means that the hard-working guy, much like the Energizer bunny, simply never stops working. Although deejaying is his numero uno interest, he’s also anaccomplished emcee and host and has successfully hosted nearly 100 events!
The big-hearted guy is also a Malaysian AIDS Council Urban Youth Ambassador, a cause that he wholeheartedly supports, having also recently participated in the AIDSAware programme with a multitude of other celebrities.
In recognition of his singular qualities – both of the professional and personal variety, Joey G has been featured in a number of Malaysian publications, namely The Sun, The New Straits Times, JUICE, The Star and Men’s Health.
Even though he’s only 30, it feels like Joey has achieved everything he could possibly have set out to do when he set foot in Malaysia. But remarkable, he’s not done yet. In fact, 2011 looks set to be a year of renewed promise for the unstoppable juggernaut. Reuniting with old pal Bo Amir – the duo are once again reviving CosmicSpaceMunkys, this time performing with AIM winner Reshmonu and even producing Resh’s new album Reshmonu Goes CosmicSpaceMunkys.
The multi-talented entertainer continues to look to the future as a thing of promise. And why shouldn’t he? While there are those for whom ‘passion’ is merely a pause in the middle of a long sentence, Joey’s enduring love affair with music and entertainment have proven that he has the mettle to go the distance.