Non La, is named for the traditional Vietnamese hat style, began in 2016 as a solo project for On to explore his feelings of isolation and longing. Though it started out casual, the project intensified after he moved to Taiwan in 2017 and had the time, distance, and loneliness to begin seriously writing an album. Although On is a member of many other Vancouver-based projects (Maneater, Thee Ahs, TV Ugly, Megamall), Non La is a chance for him to fully express personal feelings with a combination of hooky filled sounds.
DJ On, AKA: Non La. Not in Love, Non La’s debut full length album, may appear to be a study in unrequited love, but it is really a crash course in queer scene politics and navigating the world as a queer Chinese-Vietnamese Canadian in a mostly white, straight industry. With his playful melodies, candid lyrics, and goofy humour, On will quickly become your favourite professor.
The album was written over the course of 3 years, half in Taiwan and half in Vancouver. Upon On’s return to Vancouver in 2019, he enlisted Sal Duncan (Woolworm) to engineer and mix it. Duncan’s pedigree is largely in noisier, punkier bands, which was exactly what Non La was looking for. “It was important to me that this album sounded big and heavy” says On, “I wanted to shred on this album.” The result is a lurid sugar rush that Non La hopes will rot your teeth out.
Not in Love will be released on vinyl by Vancouver’s Kingfisher Bluez (Peach Pit, Xiu Xiu, Alison Crutchfield, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard) and tape by Seattle’s Lost Sound Tapes (Lisa Prank, Rose Melberg)