Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Friday, June 9, 2017
Its been over a month since I stopped working at one of my jobs. I'm missing it already, and a part of me can't wait to come back. Since then, I've spent a lot more time at home and with my family and doing the things I love. Its the little things I've missed about being home; like hearing my brother laugh and having dinner with my mom. I've been so focused on just getting through the days before that I hadn't realised the things I was missing. Its been a while since I had written songs and there were times I thought I'd never be able to write another song again. The songs come in fragments of choruses and verses these days, and I'm trying to piece the puzzles together. Its different, but maybe its not a bad thing.
I've received an overwhelming response of positive messages from my previous posts, and I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support, encouragement and kindness. Sorry if I haven't replied you yet. There's some light coming through what happened, and I'm a mess of both excitement and nerves thinking about whats going to happen next at the same time not wanting to jinx the possibility of a good thing before it has happened. Will write more soon!
Thursday, April 6, 2017
|Before I start, I’ve got to thank the people who came forward to help me with their professional advice and everyone who sent me such kind words of encouragement. Without you guys I don’t know where I’ll be <3|
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Penang and Northern Music Festival was a wonderful experience, and it taught me a lot. I went with friends and made many new friends there too, and also many fond memories. We were in the car for hours with the music playing loud, I could actually feel it going through my skin. At night we stayed up playing card games and singing songs. In the day we sang some more.
It was such an exciting feeling, being in the lineup for a music festival. And it was the first music festival I was scheduled to perform at. Not everything went the way it was supposed to, and I was a little disappointed at first, but the support from everyone who came to the festival and all the shows I played at made it magical, and I won't forget it.
Thank you so much for 2,000 'likes' on my facebook page, and for all your continuous support. To the people came the shows, and those who came to more than one show this month even though you've heard my entire set already,
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
@ W_Are_House USJ 19, 6:30pm onwards
(Tickets at the door)
10th: Thursday Night Live: Amrita Soon
@ Merdekarya PJ, 9pm
12th: Northern Music Festival
@ Botanical Gardens, Penang.
12th: Kim Haus
13th: Canteen at Chinahouse, Penang
15th: Shopee Spree Carnival Edition
17th: The Barlai Indie Galore (BIG)
@ Barlai KL, 9:30pm
19th: 24 Hour Race Kuala Lumpur Music Festival
26th: Treehouse Open Mic
**More details to be announced
I'll be selling physical copies of my EP at the shows, as well as giving out some hand-drawn stickers (eep!). Andddd I'm very excited to see you guys too!
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Monday, August 3, 2015
"Happiness is not a priority. You have to spend years and years of your life studying and then get a job you don't want to have. To make money the way you don't want to make it, and go through life wondering "what if I hadn't done this?" or "what if i took a chance?"
You have to be practical. Get a job that enables you to support a family as well as be there for them. It cannot be too time-consuming or your family will never see you. A doctor is a good choice. But if you can't do that, be a teacher. God forbid you actually follow your dreams! There's no way you'd be someone, there's no way you's be somebody somewhere if you do that. You're turning 18, you're no longer a child! This is the real world. This is real life!
You cannot do what you loved doing as a kid for a living. Have you decided what you want to study? You are going to college, right? I mean, you have to go. Otherwise, what are you going to do? You've got good results, do something that utilises your intelligence, not something you enjoy. Hobbies are hobbies for a reason. It is something you do when you're not busy with your real job. It seems you're not mature enough to decide your future. You've got to take responsibility for your own actions, make sure you make the right decisions.
Sit there in silence as my words enter one ear and leave the other. If you don't hear me out then neither will I.
But know that I only want whats best for you."
I'm currently sitting in my room, staring at the mess I've made; books everywhere, pens and pencils, guitar picks, eraser dust. I'm listening to Christian Palencia's EP (I swear, his music is going to be big someday.) and reading past journal entries before I put my past in a box and leave it to disintegrate in time, and have my memory distort the truth.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Learning how to blog from my phone. I've been neglecting this page for quite a while... Today was one of the rare days where I had nothing planned. It doesn't happen a lot, and I have no complaints about being busy because I love it. I've recently started working two part-time jobs, and I'm enjoying it so far. Most of the days it's only one to two hours each day so it doesn't feel like a lot. I'm enjoying it so far and learning a lot. The only day I don't work at all, which is Saturday, is reserved for performances and stuff. Since the show scheduled for today had been postponed, I slept in and didn't do much. It felt weird not doing anything, so I proceeded to clean my room (which I should've done long ago) and tried to write a happy song. I find happy songs are the hardest to write simply because it's simple, and I tend to complicate things. I gave up on that and wrote a sad song instead, which made me happy because I hadn't written much in a while.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I set very high, unattainable goals for myself. The 'impossible' kind of goals because I wanted to look back and know that I tried. "Shoot for the moon and land in the clouds" is what my dad always says. He claims he came up with it, but according to Goodreads, Norman Vincent Peale said it.
I also made a list of more 'realistic' goals (I think too much about things and make lists). Some of the things I wanted to do were: 1) release an album 2) play two shows in one day 3) perform at a festival
And I can't believe I got to do all of the above this month. Today I'm not really doing anything, so I decided to write all about it because I don't want to forget it. Also because I haven't updated this blog since it officially became my 'website'.
I've been rehearsing for a christmas show on ice, so on saturday I was out of the house before 8am. aI think the only thing that kept me awake was the coffee I had in the afternoon. Uh oh. After rehearsals, I went to Jaya One for Popmarket #2 at Jaya One. It was so much fun I performed twice. They set up the stage in the middle of a bazaar and put bean bags all round the stage for people to sit on. I played to grown ups as well as little children who weren't afraid to sit right in front of me and dance. Came home, changed, and then went out again to perform at a school prom. I was really nervous for that because I don't really get to play to a group of people my age (Last time I did that, I was 10 and it was for my school talent show which I messed up so bad). But they were really nice and it was the nicest prom I've been to. (I've actually only been to two proms including this one)
The next weekend consisted of more skating, rehearsals, a radio interview, soundcheck and then Ohhsome Fest!! After skating class, I went to Hitz Fm's studio to do a short interview with them about the festival. I was so nervous and so excited. Nervous and excited basically sums up the week. They asked me about my songwriting (which I have never been asked about before) and boys (also hadn't been asked before) and of course how I felt about the event. It was so cool. I only regret not speaking loud enough. I'm not very loud in general so I have to work on that. After the interview I rushed back to the rink for rehearsals. The interview aired while I was on the ice, so it was like I was in two different places at once.
It all went pretty well the next morning during rehearsals at the rink (yup back there again). I was supposed to leave early so that I could make it for soundcheck in time. I left my guitar at home and told my dad to take it for me because I was going to rehearsals with a friend and didn't want to leave my guitar in the car for so long. Then, my dad was late and I took a cab all by myself to the venue. I jokingly asked if the guitar was with him when he called. It wasn't. So I was late for soundcheck (I hate being late) and with a pair of ice skates but without a guitar. *PANIC* At least I could still check my vocals..
When I got there, I saw the stage and it was huge! There was an actual backstage and barricades and artificial grass and everything. You could see the twin towers from the stage. Wow. David Choi, WongFu Productions, Elizabeth Tan, Narmi, Dash and so, SO many more in the lineup. And then there's me. Standing there a little lost, a little scared, not knowing how in the world I was lucky enough to get to do this.
They handed me a set of rules and the schedule to read through and tags to get me backstage. There were two security guards to open the door for you to enter the backstage tents and two more on the inside. They were a little scary to be honest. I said hi to the people I know and to the people I didn't know and then met up with my dad. We went to the quiet corner of a cafe until it was time for me to report backstage. The rest of the family and my friend, Xin Hui came later with my guitar and we went up to the rooftop of Avenue K.
I saw some of the announcers from hitz fm and some of the other acts backstage. It was almost my turn to perform. Then, it started to rain. People were rushing into the shelter, some came back with ponchos. There were cameramen and gigantic speakers hanging from the stage. Someone carried an umbrella for me and another person plugged my guitar in for me. It was all very, very strange.
When I went up to the stage and saw people in ponchos, still standing out in the rain. I couldn't believe they stayed! Maybe they were reserving a good spot for later, maybe they actually wanted to listen. I don't know. But they were there and I'm happy that they were. They cheered and clapped after each song and I could see my grandfather taking pictures with his phone. It was such a cool experience. I came down and enjoyed the rest of the concert with my friends. I even took some pictures with people (how surreal and strange).
"You're working both right and left sides of your brain at different times and you have to know which time to turn one side off and the other side on. It's actually really, really fun. Um, and sometimes you're not in the mood to have a conference call. And you're sitting there going "why can't I just make everyone else do this, and I just write the songs?" and then you realise I have to make to make these decisions and take ownership of everything that happens in my career, or else I will get bitter. And I will be like "why did you make me do this?" and it's like "well, you weren't in the conference call, so you couldn't say that that was against your vision for this album." So you've got to show up I guess. " -- Taylor Swift
So yeah. This pretty much sums December so far. Only 4 skating shows and one or two more performances for the year. After all this excitement, I'm going to be getting back to my normal life again. I'm going to miss being this busy... Maybe I'll finally learn how to drive. Or maybe, I'd get to be this busy next year too. I sure hope so. I took a little break from writing songs just to let this all sink in. I've been trying to stop and focus on 'Clues' and promoting it, but I also have been writing a lot hopefully for the next album and at this point, I'm happy with how it's going.
This year has been amazing. I've learnt so much, seen so many places and met so many wonderful people. I can't believe I'm chasing my dreams. And I can't believe people have been so supportive. I can't believe you have been so supportive. I'm so, so grateful.
Monday, November 10, 2014
Sunday, September 7, 2014
While in Nashville, my mom and I volunteered at a hostel. I walked from midtown (where we were staying, and where my mom volunteered) to downtown (where I did most of my volunteering) everyday. It took me 30 minutes to walk there, and 30 back. I walked until there were holes in my shoes and tan lines where I wore my watch but the time I spent walking gave me a lot of time to think and write songs, which I did. I must've looked like a crazy person, singing into my phone and all, but I must say; I have come up with songs while walking back and cleaning rooms that I'm very proud of.
I performed at Jack Scott's Writer's Night at Renaissance Hotel. Two years ago, I played there for the first time when it used to be held at Hotel Indigo. It's funny how so much has changed, yet so much is still the same. I met the most amazing people there that night, and had so much fun performing.
I also attended NSAI's Song Camp. There were so many people of all ages and all genres attending. I met someone writing songs for Broadway, and someone who writes the most amazing dance music. The first day of the workshop felt like the first day of school; there were mums reluctantly saying goodbye to their kids (my mom was one of them) and people getting to know each other. I sat way at the back of the conference room (of course) and talked to people. Okay, okay I tried to talk to people. I didn't feel as awkward there somehow. Maybe its because we were all crazy about songwriting and so we have so much to talk about, I don't know. The workshop was 3 full days of insanely awesome lectures, song sharing sessions, song critiques, and networking. We explored deeper into lyrics, melodies, songwriting methods, hooks and co-writing. We each got a song critique and got to listen to hit songwriters tell their stories behind their songs each day.
I loved hearing about how the songwriters wrote their songs. Anything could be an inspiration; it could be a colour, or a word, or a movie. Sometimes it started off with a guitar, sometimes a piano, and sometimes they'd write to programable tracks. During one of the sessions, we got to hear the entire process because they recorded it all. It started from beats, then moved on to a couple of words and a lot of mumbling, then the demo and finally the radio version. It was so fascinating! Hearing them share their experiences was both inspiring and reassuring.
I was especially nervous about my song critiques. Each time I passed my lyric sheets around, I could hear my heart pounding, and I hoped no one else could hear it. During the breakout sessions there weren't many people because we were broken into smaller groups. I never had my songs critiqued before, and after attending the workshops, I realised my songs weren't exactly following that "rules". I don't always follow the general song structure or write to radio-friendly song lengths. One of my songs; 'Dreaming' didn't even rhyme. I was SO surprised that for all the 3 song critiques, I got very good feedback for my songs. It's not that I doubt myself that much (I do, a little. But only a little. Okay, maybe a little more than a little.) but these were professional songwriters. Some of them had won or had been nominated for many awards including Grammys. I couldn't comprehend it. I still can't.
It was too soon to be packing my bags all over again. We had a lovely southern breakfast with our friends at the hostel and went to the airport. The journey home felt so much longer than the journey there. The constant change in timezones resulted in me giving my family the wrong arrival date, but by the time I realised my mistake, we were thousands of feet in the air above Chicago and there was no way to let them know.
I had learnt so much and I feel like I've grown more in my songwriting. I read an article recently about why people like to travel. It's not just the being-in-a-new-place kind of rush, but it is the energies you get from being in a place where everyone is excited to be there. How everyone travelled to the same place you're travelling to for almost the same reason. It also talked about how after you've come home, you'll always get the urge to travel again. The buzz will disappear, and it said that no matter how much you think had changed, it will all be the same again as you go back to your ordinary life. I don't want to go back to who I was before all this adventuring. I don't want to stay completely unchanged. After many, many flights and long naps on the plane, Nashville didn't feel real. But there were photos, and souvenirs. I even packed dandelions in my suitcase. Not the small ones like we have in Malaysia, but the big ones the size of your fist. So it had to be real.
I don't know how to express how thankful I am to have been able to experience all of this. And to have experienced it with my mom. I thought I could do it on my own, but I don't think I could. She likes to rub it in my face all the time- the fact that I did actually need her there, and really enjoyed her company.
I'm so grateful to everyone who had supported me. Thank you so, so much for believing in me. I can't wait to share some exciting news with you!
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The weather here has been hot and cold like the Katy Perry song. It's been freezing in the morning and scorching hot in the afternoon. It's confusing. I heard the weather back in Malaysia has been pretty bad, so I hope you've all got your masks and are staying hydrated.
I feel like I'm in a dream, and going to sleep is actually waking up.
I got scheduled to play in the round at Debi Champion's Songwriter's Night. The way it works here is that you have to sign up and be an open mic-er a few times before you can get scheduled, and I'm so happy that it was on a day like this. It was so much fun, I think I'll play there again.
We went to Cafe Coco again for the open mic but we were late and sign ups were full. They only allow 12 people each time and we were late because I was baking cupcakes with Amanda, one of the guests at the hostel. Since we were already there, we decided to stay for the show anyway. It's always fun at Cafe Coco, because you'll never know what to expect. I love the flute/beat-boxing act. Towards the end of the open mic, Cody who runs the open mic here asked if I wanted to play. Of course I said yes. And I ended up being the 13th performer that night.
Then on Thursday, I played at Ella Mae Bowen's 'Unplugged at Atmalogy'. That was the highlight of my
We did some touristy things like visiting the mall, walking around downtown, eating gigantic pizza and taking lots of photos so this week, we decided to stay in more. We've been going out a lot and I hardly had anytime to write, so that's what I did. There's a little space in the garden of the hostel where people can hang out and mainly smoke, but when no one is there, that's where I'll be. I'm that girl walking around humming to herself, thoughts filled with words, scrambling for a piece of paper. I realised that most of my ideas come when I am busy. There's also a piano at the hostel downtown and I'd play a little there too whenever I can. Or when there aren't too many people around.
I've been dreaming about home a lot lately, which is weird. I had not anticipated this strange mix of happiness and sadness to hit me os hard. Sometimes I don't know if it's my gut feeling I'm going with, or if it's the fear of things not working out that is clouding my judgement. Following your heart is good advice; but sometimes it's hard to tell if you're following your heart, or conveniently running from your fears. I guess what spewed all this was when I got asked if I wanted to stay here longer than I had initially planned to. I spent a long time contemplating it, but eventually I decided not to stay on. I love this place and someday I'd like to live here but being so far away from family is hard. It's even harder if something happens and you can't just be there in the next few hours.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
I've been spending very little time on the internet since I got here. There seems to be a lot of things going on outside of this computer screen and by the time I get back, I'm either too tired or too hungry. Or both.
I've been pretty busy these few weeks. I haven't been writing much and I'm feeling like I'm going crazy. I can only go so many days without writing anything down. It has been about a week and my mind is racing with words, lines, lyrics, rhymes... So I'm just here trying to pick up little fragments of songs here and there.
The public transportation is not exactly the most reliable here so my mom and I have been walking a lot. 10,000 steps a day is a lot further than I thought it would be. Most people here drive and don't take the bus, and there isn't a train here. That makes me appreciate the LRT more I guess. It's also been really hot. Probably not as hot as it is in Malaysia, but the weather makes it feel like we're not too far away when actually we are.
I attended a Pitch To Publisher's workshop at the Bluebird Cafe last week. It was the most amazing experience I've had being in a room full of songwriters around my age. I did not get selected to pitch my songs to the publishers, but I was allowed to audit the workshop and learn the process of pitching songs and what it takes to be a commercial country songwriter. We are constantly reminded of how difficult it is to succeed in this industry, and I think that probably brings me back to reality a little more. It's a good thing though. It makes me want to work a lot harder.
I don't quite think I have what it takes to be a "commercial country songwriter" although I do love country music. Waylon Jennings did say: "country music isn't a guitar, it isn't a banjo, it isn't a melody, it isn't a lyric. It is a feeling." so I'll just write about my thoughts and feelings and try not to think to much about the genre.
During the workshop, I met so many wonderful people whom I have so much in common with. And the fact that we all scribble lyrics on everything and can use "we should write a song about that" in a regular sentence is so cool. I love how in Nashville people want to hear original music and they really pay attention to the lyrics. We also love pizza and salad, but who doesn't?
On the last day of the workshop, the auditors of the workshop got to play their songs for the participants to critique and comment. We had to prepare 35 lyric sheets, but I didn't want to pay 25 cents per sheet because that is a lot of money to spend so I wrote them out. Mum helped me of course. I played them my song 'Here'. I got comments on it being a little too vague for country music and it also had too many rhetorical questions. But overall everyone enjoyed it and suggested I try to get it to TV placements. The most memorable comment I got was when someone said they could imagine it played in the background of Finding Nemo.
There was also a little party at the end of the workshop. We talked about boys and music and food. Well, I mainly listened but I was not as quiet as usual. We also sat in a circle and passed a guitar around, each taking turns to play our songs. It was like a giant songwriter's round. It was so inspiring, and amazing. I got to play my song 'Dandelion Days' and have everyone sing along at the chorus. I have never felt like I really belonged anywhere until that night.
It was back to reality after that weekend. We were free on Monday, so we went to The Bluebird cafe again to try to play at the open mic. The line was so long by the time we got there, we were in the third line. I saw some friends I met at the workshop and made some new friends while we were in line. I thought I wouldn't get a chance to play because we were so far behind, but I got to play! We didn't get to go in, but I got to play. I wasn't as nervous as I was the last time, but I was still nervous. It was so much fun. Because we didn't get a seat in the cafe, after my performance we had to leave. I took mum to Whole Foods, my new favourite place to eat. It's not easy to find vegetables and fruit, but in this area there were plenty. And one of the best parts about eating at Whole Foods is that we could take the amount we wanted to eat and not worry about bringing a box so we could pack the leftovers.
We ate in quite often but we did eat out too. When we ate in, mom would try to re-create chinese dishes with american ingredients. She managed to make herbal eggs, which tasted awesome. When we eat out, we normally order for one person and share. Food is usually served in such huge portions here. I had pancakes the other day at the Pancake Pantry (where Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift and many other celebrities go to eat) and that one plate of pancakes I ordered was enough for about 2 meals for me. Nashville has quite a lot of barbecue places to eat, but I don't eat barbecue. I don't even know how to spell barbecue, but autocorrect helped me out with that.
We were quite free the other day and decided to bake something with the ingredients we found at the hostel. We made a vegan chocolate cake to share with everyone.
We haven't done much touristy things, so the other day we explored downtown a little. We went full on tourist mode taking pictures of everything. Most of these pictures were taken by my mom.
As I'm writing this I'm Skyping with Sam and Arian. We've been chatting for about 3 hours about almost nothing significant. So yeah, that's how/what I've been doing lately. Time seems to be moving so fast, yet so slow at the same time. I want to go home, yet this feels like home at the same time. I'm going to need more time to process everything.
Thanks for reading until the end of my current ramblings by the way.