Culture, Hip Hop, Interviews — April 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm

The Man behind Big Wig Festival 2013


Big and colourful wigs, anyone?! That was exactly what the crowd were asked to wear when they attended Big Wig Festival 2013. After the debut of the festival in April this year, some music fans may be curious to know who are the organizers responsible for putting together this rather unique, hip and niche event.

©Big Wig Festival

©Big Wig Festival

The festival at Fort Canning Park featured over ten acts ranging from hip hop and disco to reggae, soul and funk, including hip hop all-stars such as Pharoahe Monch and alternative hip hop collective The Pharcyde, known for their jazzy and humourous tracks as showcased on their classic 1992 debut album Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde.
Hosted by Singapore’s very own Masia One, along with UK MC Lady Leshurr, the festival also saw local break dancing crew Radikal Forze in action and featured live graffiti by local and international artists. The organiser is events company Propaganda which prides itself on their diverse talents and expertise, giving them an uncharacteristic edge forming a strong company with a unique perspective. The man behind who made sure the event played smoothly to the beat, is director Andre Chalson.


Music Weekly: Congratulations on staging Big Wig Festival two weekends ago. Your company Propaganda organized the event, and we’re wondering: how did things start with the company, and how did it come about?

Andre Chalson: 

Propaganda is a creative events agency focused on branded events, experiential marketing, and creating unique experiences. The company was incorporated last year in Singapore.
The hardest part of any business is getting started. I think it is important to have a clear idea of the direction you are headed, and so I spent two to three months working on our business model prior to setting up the company. I have been involved in organising events since 2005. I started off doing events on a freelance basis and eventually, as more events came through the door, it made more sense to have a company represent what I was doing.


Personally, did you have any musical endeavours like playing and/or performing your own music, or were you always a behind-the-scenes kind of guy?

I have always been a behind-the-scenes kind of guy, despite the impression I give to people. Even with my involvement in bars and nightclubs over the years, I was always the guy in the back office or behind the counter, trying to make sure that everything was going according to plan.


‘Big Wig’ is quite an interesting name for a festival! What’s the idea behind it?

The idea initially came about five years ago when I wanted to do something different from everything that was going on then. Something that not only represented “big names”, but also “big fun”. However, in hindsight, I don’t think Singapore was not ready for what I had in mind then.
When we embarked on putting together the Big Wig Festival four to five months ago, the only name that actually stood out and made sense was the name “Big Wig” despite all of our brainstorming efforts.

Ko Flow and Kevin Lester ©Big Wig Festival

Ko Flow and Kevin Lester ©Big Wig Festival

What would you say is the difference of Big Wig Festival to the other festivals coming to Singapore?

The difference would mainly be the music and acts, that we are focused on bringing to Singapore’s shores. We are also trying to bring the fun festival atmosphere to the local concert and festival scene, which I feel there is a lack of. Hence the colourful wigs.


How has the feedback been after your event? Are we expecting something new from you guys soon?

We have received extremely good feedback after the event. Despite the bad weather at the start of the event, we managed to get a good turnout and everyone had a good time.
Even with successful events, I think that there is always room for improvement. For example, we could have put more time into the planning process, and as a result, we have already started planning next year’s Big Wig Festival. We have already shortlisted some pretty big headliners for 2014.

Until then, we have projects that we are already working on, besides our branded events. Some of the projects include, a youth arts festival, an album launch, parties featuring some international acts, and quite possibly, a short film festival.

©Big Wig Festival

©Big Wig Festival