GBA Lifestyle News
By Andrea Lo | January 1st, 2017

Hong Kong 30 Under 30 2016

Founder, Fresh Off the Boat

Zaran Vachha helms Fresh Off the Boat Asia, one of the biggest and baddest event organizers in town. From old-school DJs to up-and-coming hip-hop artists, the events guarantee eclectic sounds and draw in a trendy, party-loving crowd.

Vachha got into events at university in England — but these weren’t just your average open mic nights at the student union. He put together gigs featuring French EDM duo Justice and UK DJ James Lavelle.

Fresh Off the Boat was born after Vachha came to Hong Kong on an extended holiday. At the time, a concert he worked on in London featured UK rapper MF Doom — who didn’t show up. “There was mass hysteria, and some people turned their backs on me.” Vachha had already booked his trip and ended up moving in with his uncle here.

The parties were an instant success. “Fresh off the Boat’s events are very different: We don’t have a defined sound,” he said. “Some appeal to local kids who are up to date with who the latest beatmaker in LA is, while others appeal to older expats trying to relive their youth.”

His most memorable moments are pretty wild: “Delivering [US rapper] Pusha T 100 chicken wings and rum and whisky; convincing [UK rapper] Ms Dynamite to come out and do a tour at Fly on her birthday weekend, where the whole crowd sang happy birthday to her which made her cry; [jazz legend] Roy Ayers giving me a massive hug after his show, saying, ‘You did good, son.’”

His very first job? He worked at a second-hand vinyl shop in a warehouse stacked with 30,000 records.