I think the intensity of the Singapore lifestyle can create this numbing effect, but it builds up a sort of tension in all of us that makes us look for art in our own way.
The best thing is that it’s safe and convenient, the worst thing is that it’s safe and convenient. (in a different way that creates a lot of comfort and complacency because we’re so pulled into this structure of financial and social security; most of us live out our lives just doing what’s convenient to feel safe.
I remember taking a shower when I was five and telling my mom that I wanted to be a singer. When I was 16 I started writing songs and opening up to opportunities like Noise Singapore (2014) and Baybeats (2015). I met a lot of really key people who invested in me and believed in me. That made the release of my first single, Lines, possible when I was 18 years old; if not for that release nothing would have tied me to the industry and brought me back in 2017 when I, at the time, had already accepted a full-time job at a Public Relations agency. Lines was so significant because the story it told continued to follow me and I continued to get personal messages about the song for years after its release. That kept music in my heart and mind as something I would want to return to. In 2017 I decided I had written another song I really wanted to share with other people. I began working on bringing it to the finish line on top of working my full-time job. It became such a good outlet that the passion it started to generate far exceeded what I was feeling at my full-time job. Over the course of the next year, I met my manager and producer Flightsch and that brought me into momentum and under a label that gave me the confidence to take my music further. By February of 2018, I had tendered my resignation letter and decided to move into music full-time as a career. It was and is the scariest decision I have ever made because most days I feel like I’m driving blind and some days I feel like I’m not even driving/moving at all. But I think the feeling of “this is where I should be” far outweighs the fear of not knowing exactly where this “where” is.
I think the feeling of “this is where I should be” far outweighs the fear of not knowing exactly where this “where” is.
I want to create music freely and honestly. I’ve always hated pandering to anyone or anything; quitting my job was a step closer to that artistic freedom so now I’m really searching for it and digging deep to find what I truly, deeply want to build and figure out how to fortify that in my craft. Through creating honestly and freely, I’ve also always hoped to show people from Singapore that there is no one best route for success and that there is no one mold that we should have to be accountable to. Growing up I absolutely hated being told by the education system, teachers, or seniors that I had no choice or say in which road I took if I wanted to succeed. Call me stubborn but the most important thing to me was to give my life to something I wanted on my terms. It obviously isn’t a utopia in this world, but fighting for freedoms — whether artistically, academically, or in whatever area — is something I truly believe is needed to empower people to dream (and therefore live) larger. I’ve never believed in telling people to do things one type of way just because it’s prevailing. The ceiling of our generation should be the floor for the next. This can only be done when we allow them to venture where we haven’t.
Growing up I absolutely hated being told by the education system, teachers, or seniors that I had no choice or say in which road I took if I wanted to succeed. Call me stubborn but the most important thing to me was to give my life to something I wanted on my terms.
The greatest measure of a woman to me is my mother. She is relentless love, unwavering grace, selflessness, and quiet strength. I struggle to be half the woman she is, but she inspires all the good in me. In this industry, the women around me are so diverse, but I think a common quality I see is this determination and drive that cannot be put out. At the end of the day, I believe the hierarchy of competence has a place to prevail in any industry and women who persist have and will move and shake history to rewrite the next chapters. We must insist.
Always let your work speak for itself so give everything you have to that.
Photos courtesy of Theodora.
June 10, 2019