Zouk in Jiak Kim Street

More than just a club, it was part of growing up

Perhaps it is fitting that Zouk left Jiak Kim Street at 25 years old, an age when most of its patrons are starting the next stage of their lives.
Perhaps it is fitting that Zouk left Jiak Kim Street at 25 years old, an age when most of its patrons are starting the next stage of their lives.ST FILE PHOTO

To some, it may have been just a club, but in Zouk's quarter-century in Jiak Kim Street, many came of age within its walls.

The electronic music that tore through its speakers and shook its interior created a wild, passionate oasis amid daily life's drudgery.

Zouk built up a global name for itself through its quality club nights and events such as the annual ZoukOut. But why would this local brand draw so many? The answer, it seems, lies in the relationships and the emotions it both fostered and bore witness to.

Ms Claire Jedrek can testify to that. The presenter and motorsports athlete has been with Zouk since she was 18 years old.

Sixteen years later, the 34-year-old has built up "so many unbelievable memories", and readily admits that the club has played a central role in her formative years.

"It was a social connection for old friends, new friends and the growing pains of my late teenage years, including ex-boyfriends and family. We all grew and shared the same memories."

But why would this local brand draw so many? The answer, it seems, lies in the relationships and the emotions it both fostered and bore witness to.

She attended the new Zouk's soft launch in Clarke Quay on Dec 17, and thoroughly enjoyed herself. "It was brilliant to reconnect with so many from my past and present... from the ages of 20 to 50-plus."

It is clear that Zouk partygoers are fierce in their loyalty, and hold deep connections to the place.

Perhaps it is fitting that Zouk left Jiak Kim Street when it did, after seeing so many grow up to its music. At 25 years old, it reached the age when most patrons are starting the next stage of their own lives. To the next 25 years, let's raise a glass.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2016, with the headline 'More than just a club, it was part of growing up'. Print Edition | Subscribe