Monday, December 17, 2012


I remember walking past the stage in Publika a few months ago thinking "wouldn't it be the coolest thing if I'd someday get to perform here?" Yesterday, I got to sing there. It was for the FEYST Festival Finale, and I was lucky enough to perform for the opening and the closing. It was SO cool. The weather was great, it wasn't too hot and it didn't rain. I met many familiar faces from the previous few events and a couple of very nice people I haven't met before. Jasmine also introduced me to Liyana Fizi, a really awesome singer/songwriter. I was a little starstruck.
For this performance, I decided to sing a new song. So new in fact, that I had only wrote it a day before the event. It's called 'Clues' and its about finding the positivity in things, or something along those lines. The response from the audience was pretty good and I was surprised, and really grateful they listened. I have yet to record it for you guys to hear, but I promise I'll get to that tomorrow. Right now I'm dozing off as I'm typing and pressing the equals button instead of delete.
Goodnight! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

point out my flaws I already know.


I've discovered the magical land of youtube. I'm sure of it. Where the music is heavenly and every suggested video is surreal. I'm now listening to amazing music by Lucy Rose.
It's a beautiful day so far and I want to thank you for everything you've done for me whether its reading my blog or listening to my songs. I've gotten a couple of really nice comments lately and its been wonderful. Thank you! I've also been writing quite a lot and my head's filled with all these words and lyrics that I need to process and write down, but I'm sitting at my little white desk and there are wires sprawled all over the table. Messy, tangled wires. I resisted the urge to pick them up (but failed miserably) and organize them all but here I am... rolling them into neat coils and stacking them up.
I'll write more soon.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tomorrow is today.

We spend a long time preparing for what we think will be the future. Planning every aspect of tomorrow hoping it goes accordingly. They tell us to do the right thing because it would affect our future. Who's to know if what they think is right is the same as what you think is right? But we've got loads of time. After all, the future is a long way from now. We'll never get to tomorrow because once we get there it would've been today. So the question is, why are you waiting for tomorrow when tomorrow is today?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

When all that you've tried leaves nothing but holes inside.

I will start this post like how I always do; by apologizing for not blogging more often. I've got no excuses. I'm sorry I forgot. I've realized that is is more fun to name my blogs literally based on the song lyrics that I'm hearing right now, and now it is Joe Brooks' 'Holes Inside'.
October was dream-come-true month, completely amazing. I got to perform at so many places I never thought I would. Places like Laundry, RedFM, TV 2. It was surreal and I'm thankful that I got the chance to do it. We also got a water heater installed in the bathroom and it felt like heaven.
November was sickness/exam/child-advocacy month. I've had this cold for nearly a month now that it feels weird that I've recovered (almost). Good weird tough. This month was a pretty busy month. It went by so fast I didn't realize we were already nearly at the end of it. I try not to look too far ahead nowadays because there is so much to do now. 
The first test/exam of the month was Physics. Terrible, terrible physics. I don't normally feel pressured during exams but my whole class seemed to be taking it very seriously and I think that rubbed off on me. I remember feeling like I was half asleep during my English test. My essay was completely made-up as I went. I felt as if I was doomed.
This was it. Our one chance to be outdoors instead of that freezing cold refrigerator we call our classroom. I thought we were going to a climb hill and there would be insects and plants in the way and slopes. That's Broga, not outback Broga. Outback Broga was clean and bug-free and the ground was flat. There weren't even any mosquitoes. Either way, it was nice to be outside for a change. Ahh, the muddy lake, obstacle courses and the smell of nature.
Oh wait, that was the toilet.
The jump down the flying fox at the beginning was the scariest of the entire course. I looked down and all I could see was the lake and nothing else. It felt like jumping while knowingly knowing and completely aware that no one's going to catch you. We also climbed rocks and kayaked. The obstacle course was like Wipeout but with dirtier water and less polished equipment. It was so cool! We had to get to the middle through one of five paths: A ladder made of ropes, a tire bridge, a log, a tightrope or a barrel boat and get back through another. If you fell, you had to start again. I tried to hide my excitement. I along with everyone else were dreading getting wet in the muddy water so I tried my best not to fall. Thank goodness it was easier than it seemed, so I didn't fall or get wet. I don't think our class had ever interacted with each other this much before. That must've been the whole point of it, getting us to talk to each other. Then halfway through our games it started to rain. And then it started to pour. I wasn't dry anymore, I was soaked. It was so much fun!
The next day, Jet and I went to help Childline out at TV2's carnival at Menara KL. Childline is a 24/7 hotline (15999) where children can call and just talk to someone or ask for advice. We helped distribute badges and cards and were supposed to help facilitate a short session with the children that were attending but it got postponed and I ended up not doing very much. I got to hang out with Nabilah, Jet, Shanka, Alex and all the other child advocates for a few hours. There was an animal display next to our booth showing exotic animals like snakes, spiders, scorpions, raccoons and sugar-gliders. We talk about the rights of a child, but these animals have rights too.
The day after that, Sunday was great. I got to perform at No Black Tie. 
NO BLACK TIE. 
Jasmine organized it as part of FYEST and I would be part of the live recording that would eventually become a compilation CD. I remember last year when I was recording at the studio, we were talking to the sound engineer and he said that it is a big deal if you get to play at No Black Tie. It sure felt like a huge deal. It didn't feel real. 
I wished I had practiced more, but it was hard to do so being sick. Mom insisted on taking me to the doctor and I had no excuses left because I wasn't getting any better even though I kept saying I was. I hate going to the doctor because even if you don't feel quite sick, going there will make you feel sicker than you really are. After being reluctantly dragged there, the doctor told me that I had a fever that I didn't know (or didn't want to know) I had and gave me so many kinds of medicine. One word: YUCK.
Came back, got dressed and made our way to No Black Tie. It was this little shop in KL, very cozy and warm. I was standing at the entrance not knowing which was the door and which was the wall. Turns out what I thought was the wall was actually a giant door. We walked into the room and it was draped with black cloth and little round tables had candles in the centre. The walls were filled with pictures of artist that have performed here before. I went upstairs and there was a little secluded balcony area where you could see the stage and everything. 
Did a quick sound-check, and then a moment of omg-I'm-really-here-in-this-amazing-place excitement. I was up first. I was pretty nervous not so much because I was here but mainly because I didn't want to mess this up. I think I did mess it up a little though, it definitely wasn't my best performance but I had a great time. (First and second photos by Mark Walker, third photo by Prakash Daniel Photography)
I'm not very good at talking to people, so I told the audience that and I think they thought that was a funny thing to say. I sang three songs; Paper Planes, Thought You Were Different and Red.
So many other great artist performed after me like Bizhu, Clinton Liew Band, Ryota Katamaya and Narmi. I was just sitting there in awe watching them all perform. They're all so good, one day I hope to be that good too. I did notice one thing though, that we all sing pretty sad songs. Occasionally, the happy tune but mainly sad ones. I find sadness and frustration are the emotions that are easier to write about because they're complicated and are hard to wrap your head around. They're more intriguing. 
This is Bihzu. She is AMAZING! It was just her and a cellist for her set. And the cellist used a loop machine! It was SO cool. She's so supportive too. We were the only two female acts that night. I especially loved the line in one of her songs "bloodless wounds need time too heal" As she sang it I thought to myself "What does that mean, what does it really mean?" And there I go thinking too mcuh again. 
By the time I got to the car at the end of the show, the side-effects of the medicine was kicking in and I was so dizzy and sleeeeppyyyyy. Then... it went downhill becoming one of the worst nights ever. I had never felt this sick. Like all of a sudden the world was spinning and it was freezing cold. The next morning I felt a little better but not very much. I was supposed to sound check at KL Convention Centre today but we canceled. I was right, I was now sicker than I was before I went to the doctor. Oh well at least my cough was gone. 
Then it came back again because I was too afraid to eat my medicine.

The next weekend was the Children For Child Protection forum at KL Convention Centre. I have been attending workshops since September gearing up for this day. It would be run by children, for children and at the end of the day, we would make recommendations to the government on how we want to make our home a better place. About 500 children had been signed up and nearly 50 of us would be speaking, writing, tweeting, taking videos and facilitating. We spent the entire Saturday running through what we would be doing, where we had to go and at what time. At lunch, they gave us a lot of food but most importantly a chocolate fountain. How cool was that? It was the most popular dish for sure. 
It was a very big event. The entire 3rd and 4th floor were invaded by children on Sunday. This was our chance to say what we wanted to say and stand up for what we believed in. My mum and dad were also facilitators. 
I, with four others were in charge of tweeting. We were part of the nationwide Tweet Chat organized by Unicef and The Star's Rage. We tweeted about the event and what was going on and also on the topic of teen relationships #MyTeenLove. I have got a lot, A LOT to say and tell you about the forum in another post so I'll tell you just a little over here. 
All the children were split into 5 groups for discussion; home safety, bullying, emotional abuse, internet safety, and safe relationships. From there we got into smaller groups and discussed what we understood from the topic, the problems faced and how to solve those problems.
During lunch time, I got to perform a quick couple of songs and then rushed to the Tweet Chat talk. It was a pretty big deal and we sat there like a bunch of teenagers tweeting. The only difference was that they were all tweeting too. Adibah Noor was there too and she re-tweeted each of us which was like the highlight of our session.
At the end of all the discussing, all of the child advocates and the people who made us child advocates sat down in a room and wrote down those recommendations from the different workshops we attended.  The ministers and important people who would be taking out recommendations into consideration had arrived and we were all seated in the main hall to witness it. 
It was a proud moment, and a moment of achievement for us. We have become close friends through this process and it was bittersweet to see it end. We pulled it off, we actually made it until the end. 
But this is not the end of our child advocacy journey. I've got two years left to being a kid.
I came home exhausted after another tiring weekend and went to bed early. I got up in the middle of the night shivering so I got my ipod and my hoodie and went back to sleep and prayed I was not getting sick again. But I did. 
I had one of those vivid dreams-within-a-dream where I was sleeping and I woke up, but I woke up in the dream not in real life and then I'd wake up to real life. I've been getting that pretty often lately. 
I took panadol and now I'm finally better. 

Oh, and I didn't fail math OR physics! English marks were pretty good too, what a relief!

Wednesday was my Dad's birthday and this is what he wished for: http://passion-for-change.tumblr.com/post/36198380518/friendshipfund. Check it out and maybe you can help too! We had a little 'not-a-party' party with chocolate cake and home-cooked Indian food. Yummm

Also,
Two of my videos have reached 2,000 views on youtube! People have been very supportive lately leaving nice comments and subscribing. I've gotten 100 more subscribers than I had the year before. I want to thank you for all that you've done. I have just signed up for StageIt, an online concert venue and hope to do one online sometime soon. I'm a little afraid no one would turn up. I've been writing quite a lot of unfinished songs lately, but here's on that is finished:
You can download this song for free too!
I mean, if you want to.

To end this blog post here's a really random poem I wrote yesterday for a facebook contest:

For 25 years, 
the cat lived here.
For 25 years, 
it lived here in this slipper.


One cold afternoon, 
the cat found a hammer.
He stood there for a while,
and looked at it with wonder.
"What an interesting thing!
A rod of power!
Like a pencil, only much, much bigger!
How curious! How lovely!
How peculiar!"
He picked it up with his tiny front paws.
But it was too heavy,
and he fell to all fours.
The hammer flew into the air
and started falling back down, 
faster and faster.
It hit the ground with an awful sound
and smashed, and crushed, and killed a flower. 
That once beautiful flower belonged to his master.
He was caught red-pawed, on camera.
And that,
is how he ended up living in this slipper.

Thanks for reading this!!
-Amrita

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This is the start of something new

Can I just say how much I adore Ed Sheeran?


Monday.
I heard an office phone ringing in my sleep while I was drifting back and fourth from consciousness. And then I wondered, why would there be an office phone ringing? So I got up sleepily and realized it was the alarm of my phone. Made a note to myself to change the ringing tone because this one plays like a lullaby. I looked at the time and it was 5:30 in the morning. There's usually no reason whatsoever for me to get up this early in the morning but today, I was going to be on live TV for the first time on my own!!!!!! (A huge thanks to Jasmine for helping me get this!) I was going to be on Hello On Two that showed on RTM 2 at 7. Jasmine would talk about the youth festival and I would sing. We drove a long way to the RTM studios and found our way to the studio. It was big. Big as in massively huge with different blocks and many levels and entrances. We walked up to the reception area and someone found us. Thank goodness, because we would've been lost and wandering aimlessly around this gigantic place. I walked into a dressing room and a lady put make-up on me with all sorts of brushes I thought would be better for painting. I was getting really nervous. Also it was really freezing cold in there and when we rushed out of the house, I forgot my hoodie. Man, did I wish I had it with me then. The two hosts were reading the headlines of several papers and I was led to a stool in the corner where I set up. There isn't much to set up since its just me and my guitar, so I just sat there. Then it came my turn to sing. There were three cameras pointing at me and I was so confused which one to look at. I told myself to smile, but I wasn't sure if it could hide my nervousness. It felt like it flew by so fast and before I knew it, I was done singing. It was a blast. Just that few minutes, it was so worth it. Like after so many times having things not work out, I felt like they were falling apart, and this week, all the shattered pieces are slowly, very slowly falling into place.


Friday.
Monday was a rush. Literally and figuratively. An emotional roller coster and also a mad rush to school. The train got delayed, as usual but I made it to school in time.
The past few days were filled with mad, crazy studying, because there was a biology test coming up and the passing mark is 65 percent. I read the chapters from 1-5 and took notes, loads of notes and tried to remember the different classifications of animals like mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, arthropods, arachnids, nematodes and soooo soo, so on. I studied about batch culture and mycoproteins, benedict tests, emulsion tests, dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants.
I have never, ever studied this hard for a test. Ever. Then the papers were placed on our desks. All of the above I studied for did not end up in the test. So the two hours was spent with me basically digging every corner of my brain trying to see how much I retained during the lessons in my sub consciousness. Turns out, not much. Detailed images of the cells I drew in my notebook but no labels to tell be which is what. I've never felt so tired after school. I fell asleep in the car on the way to KL. I was going to perform at the opening of FEYST. An indie youth festival filled with music, arts, video games and loads more. What was even better was that there were actually people watching. Actual strangers, not the people my mom brought plus member of the media. I sang a malay song without even knowing what I was singing about. From what I understood, it is about facebook love. I think.


I hope someday when the time comes and when I inevitably reach a crossroad between music full time and a sustainable full time job, I hope I'd get to do music. I can't imagine wanting to do anything else with my life. But at the same time, I can't help but wonder what if it doesn't work? Then again, if I stop myself at 'what if' I would never know.
hmmm....

Anyway,

Next week (Wednesday) I will be on air on RED FM (!!!!) around 8pm. I still can't bring myself to believe that this is actually real.
Tune in maybe?
104.9 fm.




Thursday, September 13, 2012

The rat that died today.

Its a big world, 
but yet its very small. 
We say nothing, 
but sometimes we want to say it all. 
Everything changes,
 but we want them to stay the same. 
Time flies, 
but we want it to stand still. 
Life is short, 
but we don't make the best of it. 
Actions seem so sane, 
but really,

we're all crazy.

I wonder why we are so into helping others. 
We raise money for the poor. 
We pray for the safety and happiness of the ones we love. 
We pray for good weather. 
We pray for good grades. 
We pray for harmony. 
We talk about compassion like its something we know. 
We do what we know is right, 
but what do we really know? 
We are all helpful. 
We are all kind. 
We are all compassionate. 
We are all fine. 
We all have big hearts,
Are they caring and compassionate,
like we hope for them to be? 
Or are they just pumping blood,
keeping us alive?

Maybe we're being over-rated. 
Maybe our conscience can't be heard. 
Maybe someone made us like this. 
Maybe we made us like this.
Maybe we evolved. 
Maybe we aren't as kind as we seem. 
Maybe we're all heartless. 
Maybe we're not. 
Maybe I'm crazy. 
Maybe I'm not.  
Maybe we're all different.
Maybe we're all the same.
Maybe we don't deserve to take the blame.
Maybe it was you. 
Maybe it was me.
Maybe it was fate.
Maybe it was hate.
Maybe it was nothing.
Maybe it was boredom.
Maybe it was anger.
Maybe it was fear. 
Maybe it was exciting.
Maybe it was thrilling.
I could go on, but there's nothing cool about killing.
Maybe we just didn't want it living here. 
Maybe you just didn't want it living here.

Maybe I wanted it to live here.

Am I out of my mind, completely insane?
Do I look like I'm joking, do I seem like I'm lying?
Am I thinking clearly, am I just in shock?
Am I the only one? are we the only two?
Is that really necessary?
Is there another way? 
Was there another way?
Am I freaking out? 
Maybe I'm just about to.
Am I just worried?
Do I really care?
Am I too late?

I am too late.

I was too late.

I could've changed something.
I would've changed something.
I could've done something.
I would've done something.


What if you'd laugh at me?
What if you'd agree?
What if this would change the way you see?
What if I came earlier?
What if I skipped breakfast?
What if we drove faster?
What if the water was just water?
What if there was no power?
What if there wasn't a stick?
What if there wasn't school that day?
What if no one saw it?
What if no one heard it?
Then no one could've killed it.
What if there was another?
Would we do the same?
What if I'm not asking?
What if I am just thinking?
What if.

But the water was not just water. 
It was hot.
The past could not tell the future.
It was just a thought.
The end cannot be the beginning.
But it could be for the thing.
But its not a thing.
Its not an 'it'.
It could be a she.
It could be a he.
It could be a friend.
It could be an enemy.
There could be a reason.
There could be none.
I felt like I was about to cry.
But why didn't I?
I felt numb and cold.
I felt sad and scared.
Maybe it was the class.
Maybe I just didn't understand.
Malay sounds like gibberish sometimes.
Maybe it was the air-condition blowing on my hands. 
Either way,
Its not a nice feeling.

It was described like an experiment or a game.
If it stayed here, we would've given it a name.
It didn't die the first time. 
Did you wonder why?
It didn't die the second time.
Did you wonder why?
It didn't die the third time, when you tried to drown it.
Did you wonder why?
Why didn't we just let it go?
So it could be free to find a new home?
Hopefully it can find one now in heaven.
If there's a heaven for animals like mice.
Maybe we share the same heaven.
Maybe its nice.
Then again, what do I know?

'Rest in peace' sounds absurd at this time,
after all that has happened.
But I hope the mouse is happy wherever the afterlife takes it.
If they don't say 'I'm sorry' 
I will for them.
I'm sorry we made you suffer.
I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. 

I hope you don't think I'm crazy. 
You're probably thinking I am already. 
I hope you don't stop talking to me.
Or see me in any way differently.
Its very hard to say how I feel,
without worrying about what others would think.
But if we keep everything to ourselves because of something we're afraid will happen,
how will we ever know?
So
I'm closing my eyes,
and just pushing 'publish'.
You're free to think whatever you wish. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Red.

I've always had a liking for the color red.
When I was 11, my English teacher in school asked us to write a poem about a color. I picked red, but I wasn't happy with what I wrote. So I put a little mental note at the back of my head to write a better poem of the color red someday.
So I one day, almost a year ago, I decided to write about red. Except I write more songs instead of poems now. I had also become madly in love, and obsessed with sunsets. Red always fascinated me. How could it stand out and be bold, but also be subtle and soft? It could represent happiness and it could also represent sadness, and anger. It could be pain, it could be fear, but it could also be brave. It fascinates me how the sky is red, just before it gets completely dark.
So I wrote the song Red about the sunset and that feeling when you had such a wonderful dream that you didn't want to wake up to reality. Only it is reality, and the truth is a lie but you want to keep living in the lie because the truth hurts so much more. Have you ever felt that way?
Also, I was too into the story written in Vouge.
Oh, and you can download this song for free here.


Taylor Swift also revealed that her next album is going to be called Red. Cool!


Is it more than a coincidence? My mom seems to think it's more than that. I think maybe its more than that, maybe its not. So I don't know what I think of it.
Also, since we're on the topic of Red, I just got the email form REDFM telling me I can join the program! That means: yessssss!!!
and also my parents have to write a letter of consent.
:)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I whisper goodbye, swear its not for the last time.

Hi :)
It's been a while, hasn't it? I have quite a lot to tell you but I don't quite know where to start, as usual. I've been happy busying myself with school, music and art and it's been a lot of fun. There have been some ups and downs but I've been generally very happy. A lot of things seem to be happening and un-happening at the same time. I've been writing a few songs here and there, leaving them halfway and starting another.. Its been exactly a month since I started school, and it's been good. Math is definitely not my forte, and neither is talking to people, but I'm trying my best to keep up, talk, and figure out how to use my calculator. But it has way too many buttons. My English teacher taught us about nouns, verbs, adjectives and so on but they never stick in my head, no matter how much I write. I'm getting used to the 'no pencils when writing and essay' rolling correction tape all over my notebook. I can't help but wonder if my blog post is grammatically correct now. Anyway, here's what I did this month:


We celebrated my grandfather's birthday with a surprise party. We had a movie night/party/reunion. I think we managed to make him believe we genuinely forgot his birthday until that night. I tried to bake a cake, but I realized we were out of baking powder. I baked the cake anyway, thinking it's only one teaspoon. I could do without it. But it turned into a gigantic cookie. A big, bubbling, flat, slightly burnt cookie. The power of just one teaspoon of baking powder is remarkable and important and should not be overlooked. Again. We bought a cake from the bakery instead. 


The surprise party was also movie night at CLIC. I got to meet up with my friends I did not meet for ages. We rode on scooters and sat on the road, ate popcorn and caught up with what was going on in our lives. It's interesting how close we all live but still seem so far away sometimes. 


We visited a mall called Publika one Sunday for a design exhibition. It was such a fancy place. Fancy. They sold soap shaped like cupcakes and had photo shoots at the corridors, ancient antique typewriters that click loudly with every touch of an alphabet, bicycles that could've to have came out of an old movie, the coolest boxes that looked like treasure chests, drawings of elephants that are beyond cute and wind-up robots that look like the ones in Hugo... My sister and I found the coolest jukebox machine at the back of a store and the best thing: it actually works! We were both beyond excited walking around the art market. 


I also got to perform at Doppel Kafe's buka puasa event. I asked Jasmine, (whom helped me book the place for my Ticket To Nashville recital) if I could perform there, and she gave me a slot! There were a bunch of other acts too like Windy Days (whom I met at the 10th anniversary event) and Astrawnomi. This time, I didn't just get two songs, I got 5! I was excited and happy, but no one came. It has happened many times when I perform. Somehow I end up at the wrong place at the wring time quite often like once I went for a busking event and was supposed to be on stage but plans changed and I ended up standing by the speaker that was blasting so loud I couldn't hear myself think. I sort of hope for the best now but expect things like that to happen at any time. We hung around outside and sang songs until people started to come. I sang some songs with my sister and we just goofed around while waiting. 


There were more people than I thought, and more performers started to come too. I was the first performer and I had a lot of fun. I'm also very glad that people enjoyed my set or at least I think they did. I got so used to playing to the wall in my room, the web cam on my laptop and events I've organized where barely anyone turns up. I love the atmosphere at Doppel Kafe. The people are very nice and supportive, feels like the open mics in Nashville. Thank you so much for having me Jasmine!


On Thursday, we celebrated my brother Arian's birthday. He was so excited to turn 8, so I baked him a cake topped with jellybeans. He had been counting down to his birthday for months now. It funny how we look forward so much to turning a year older when we are little but dreading it as we grow up. If you look closely at the cake, you should be able to see Spider-Man. Or at least his face. I put frosting all over the top of the cake which acted like glue for the jellybeans and swirled the batter with purple colours. I've learnt never to put magic candles on a child's birthday cake because when one child can't blow of the candle, another will help. Then another, and another and before you know it, the cake is completely contaminated by their saliva. So we just had normal, cheep candles that didn't even need to be blown. The wick was so short that after we sand the song, the candles were almost burnt out completely. 
Yesterday, I auditioned to sing at Starbucks. The audition was at Taylor's Lakeside. That place is huge! My sister and I walked around feeling completely out of place. And lost. The audition was scary because the judges were about 10 inches and all four of them were staring at me. I don't know if I made it to sing at Starbucks yet, but in a few days I should know. 
My facebook page has reached 370 likes and not one, but TWO of my youtube videos have reached 2,000 views!! They're just numbers but I can't help but to feel like finally all the hours of playing the guitar until my fingers were numb, all the tears, practicing and hard work is finally starting to pay off. I don't know how this happened. Looking back, it seemed to have happened really quickly but it actually took years. I received an email the other day telling me I was selected to be interviewed by RedFM and perform at a showcase! I had to read that email about five times before it sank in that it was real. And with all good news, there are always bad ones. They confirmed with me the dates and then... realized I am 16. So they told me I couldn't take part in this program and that they hope I'd understand. I felt like it hit me like a rock falling from a a high place. I sat there wondering what I could possibly say to something like that. So I told the person who emailed me that I didn't understand, maybe I didn't want to and asked her if I had to wait until I turn 18 to get anywhere with my career. Or something along those lines. I also asked her if we could work around the rules. She said that they would try, but couldn't promise anything. 
I'm still waiting.


Friday, July 6, 2012

I started my first week of school on Monday.
It's more like a centre, actually. You must think I have absolutely lost my mind. I hope I haven't.
Since then (which was only a few days ago), I went into the wrong malay class, re-wrote an essay because I used a pencil instead of a pen and wrote it in a book instead of a sheet of paper, nearly made that same mistake again the next day because I took out my pen and started to write then the teacher said "use ONLY pencil!". I sat at the back of the class and didn't have a single book because I didn't order any yet because I was too busy lost in music that I forgot how to count. I made new friends, gave people guitar pics and jelly beans that tasted like dirt and vomit.
This afternoon, we did a bunch of really challenging logic quizzes. I had a lot of fun with it and managed to finnish the entire set! I think I was the only one having so much fun with it. I hope we'd get to do it more actually but teacher katherine said that it's not relevant for our exams. WHATTT?? Not everything is about the exam, but most of them are gearing up for the o-levels so I guess that might make some tiny sense.
Then, our whole family went to watch the amazing spider man. We ate popcorn and snuck chatime into the freezing cold cinema.
My sister got featured in News Straits Times today too!



So yeah, today was great!

Monday, June 18, 2012

bye Nashville, hello California

Goodbye Nashville, I hope to see you again.
I had a great time there and can't wait to come back again in the near future. Yesterday, no wait, the day before we left Nashville for Las Vegas and then to Burbank, California. The past 10 days in Nashville, I was looking for a place that sold stationary stuff because I wanted to draw. We walked past two bookshops and to our surprise, they only sold books. In Malaysia, when the sign says 'bookshop' it sells  maybe 80 percent stationary and 20 percent books. Sometimes I see them sell chocolates, toys and all sorts of other stuff before I find the books. Over here, a bookshop only sold books. I couldn't find any sketchbook at all. On the last day at the airport, we finally found something remotely close to a sketchbook: notebook with yellow pages and blue lines. Good enough, it was better than nothing. I started drawing right away.
During the CMA Fest, I was looking for a place that sold sharpie markers because I wanted to ask some of the country artist to sign my guitar. Couldn't find any. Then, out of the blue someone ran across the sidewalk and dropped her sharpie marker. She was one of the volunteers probably rushing somewhere. I picked it up wanting to give it back to her but couldn't find her anywhere. So I got a pen! I was right at the end of the Hunter Hayes meet and greet line and he didn't have enough time to sign for us at the back. Another thing that is really different is that here, when the sign says 'meet and greet' they also actually mean 'meet and greet'.
I've been to many in Malaysia. Marié Digby, Lee Dewyze, Yuna, Greyson Chance and Joe Brooks and not once did I see the artist and people managing the crowd so nice. Hunter Hayes took pictures, got to talk to each person and sign a stuff for every single person he had time for. I noticed all of them do that and I guess thats where the name meet and greet came from. The people managing the queue ask politely for you to move and let us know that there would be a slim chance for the people at the back to actually meet him. I got so used to those people shoving us into lines and pushing, and then we only get a few seconds with the artist. They should call it 'sign and go'. Yuna was the only exception in Malaysia I think. That was actually very pleasant.
From Nashville, we went on a plane to Las Vegas. Looking out the window I saw a lot of desert and hills it was really beautiful. There was a giant lake or river and all the buildings. We too lots of pictures but I can't upload them now because we're in another airport (8th airport this trip) and my camera cable had been checked in. When we got to the vegas airport, there were slot machines everywhere. Literally everywhere, even in front of the toilets. They also sold iPods and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones from a vending machine. There were people everywhere that there were no seats left so most of the passengers sat on the floor. We found a place to eat after walking around. I had a pretzel and papa had a giant slice of pizza. Huge could be an understatement. Then we went to the platform (is that what its called?) to queue for out flight to Burbank. Only it was the wrong platform. So we walked to the other end where they changed the boarding place to and made it just in time. It was an incredibly short flight. Someone came to pick us up and brought us to the university of the west, where we were going to stay. It was a nice place and we got a room each. I decided to stay on the couch with my dad. The trees I learnt were called Cypress grew really tall and the view was amazing. The internet was not accessible so we had a break from facebook, blogger, tumblr and whatever else for a day but I didn't really miss it much. yet. The next day, (um I can't remember his name) brought us for breakfast at the restaurant nearby and they had awesome food. I ordered waffles and hot chocolate. One tip, if you were to come to america is don't ever order hot chocolate. When I ordered it, I imagined it like Milo. But it is really creamy and filled to the top with whipped cream. It was also very, very sweet. I can't be ordering milo kosong here. The other day, the same thing happened to me when I ordered frozen hot chocolate in Nashville. The cup was more like a bowl. A little bigger and it could qualify as a pot. Like the hot chocolate here, it was sweet, creamy and filled with whipped cream. They gave me so much I couldn't finnish half of it with the help of my dad even after I poured it into a cup and sipped it along the way.
The waffles thank goodness were the same size as the ones in Malaysia. Maybe they use the same machine... It was sooo good. It came with a scoop of what I thought was ice-cream. But it was a scoop of butter. It tasted so nice but I couldn't finnish it either. Am I talking too much about food? After that we went to a temple. A chinese temple where my dad had meetings to attend. We took the car, just like how we took a car to the breakfast place. We walked so little here compared to Nashville. We met a few nuns and they talked with my dad for a long time. More people came in and joined the meeting and then we went for lunch with more people joining us. We had chinese food. Papa must've been so happy. It was really good too. Then a nun showed us around the temple. It was huge and I felt like I was in Taiwan instead of California. Almost everyone spoke chinese or are chinese. The shops around were either korean or chinese.
In the afternoon proffessor lancaster, my dad's friend picked us up to go see Hollywood. There actually wasn't much to see. A lot of the studio's have moved out and other than that, we drove past the Hollywood sign, the stars on the sidewalk, and the houses at Bell Air and Beverly Hills. The houses weren't exceptionally huge because we didn't drive all the way in, but they looked beautiful. magical even. The trees were tall and shady, some houses had giant walls built so high you can't even see the house itself. And that was the end of the Hollywood tour. Pictures later! After that, we jammed our way back to Rosemead where we were staying for dinner. Back to the dry, brown grass and dusty roads. We ate at a chinese vegetarian restaurant. Like I said, a little confusing. It was a little like Taiwan and also like home. I got to eat my favorite sweet and sour pork (which is actually tofu). We came back to the university, and found the resident assistant and he helped us get online! Yay, internet! Went on there for a short while on the public computers and logged off after chatting with my mom. I am not a PC user at all. It took a while to figure out how to shut down. lol. Then went to bed. Or couch.
Just now proffessor lancaster took us for breakfast at the same place we ate at yesterday. I didn't order hot chocolate. I had a nice cup of sugar-less coffee and Strawberry Rhubard. Strawberries are huge and it was yummy. Couldn't finnish it, so now it's in a container next to me. Saving it for lunch :)
We're going to board in about half an hour. I think I wrote too much nonsense and didn't bother proof-reading, so thanks for reading it until the end and bearing with me! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nashville.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a moment. I could've pinched myself, anything to remind me this is real life. I packed my bag and felt like I was forgetting something. We're really going, and I was beyond excited.


A year ago, I decided I wanted to go to Nashville. I've been watching the CMA fest online for a few years. Living vicariously through the pictures just wishing one day I could be there. I told my parents about it and the were like "go for it!!!" I love their extremely high optimism and support. I recorded 5 of my original songs at a studio as part of my fundraising to get to Nashville. It was simple, acoustic. Looking back I felt I could've done a whole lot better, but that was the past and I'm learning from that. I did a total of three shows at café's and a few open mics and within a year, managed to get just enough money for the air plane ticket. I have everyone who supported me to thank.

On Monday, my dad and I went to the airport with my grandparents, sister, brother and mom. We said goodbye and walked towards the terminal and our adventures to come.
Our flight to Hong Kong was delayed by an hour so when we got there, we rushed to catch the next flight to New York and made it just in time. It was a fancy plane. With individual TV's and remotes. They served food that was hot, and drinks that were cold. I looked out the window as we flew through night, day and night again, just utterly mesmerized by the clouds and need I mention?
Sunsets.


16 hours- one movie and the entire season 3 of Modern Family later, we finally arrived in New York. It was late and cold. We took a taxi to Newark where my dad found a really cheap inn to stay the night before our flight to Nashville the next day. As we were in the car, we got to look at the city and all the lights from a distance and it was beautiful. Maybe all cities at night are like that.. 
We arrived at the inn at about 1 am. It was nice. There was a TV and two beds and internet which was a lot more than we could ask for. 
We got up early the next morning, and went downstairs for breakfast. There was a waffle machine and you could make your own waffles. Put the cup at a machine that looked like a coffee machine but it dispensed batter instead. Cool! They also had cereal. "Awesome!" was my first thought. We took the shuttle to the airport to check in and then took a train to New York city. It was cold. And they call this summer? 
We arrived right at Madison Square Garden. Wow. So cool. We went full-on tourist taking pictures of EVERYTHING. At least we weren't the only one. It was just amazing. Loads of advertisements, buildings, people. 


We walked around just taking it all in. Then, we took the train back to the airport. Nashville was just four hours away. The flight from Newark to Chicago was short and I fell asleep in the plane. Jet lag hadn't hit me yet. I've never experienced jet lag before so I wouldn't know if I'd gotten it or not. I did not. Dad did though. We arrived at Chicago not long after and had really hot tea at a café. So hot that I didn't drink it. I brought it into the plane to drink after cooling it down for half the trip. I'm contradicting that way. I don't like the cold but when it's hot I'd rather be cold, and when it's cold, I'd wish it was warmer. 
This plane didn't fly that high so I looked out the window the whole time watching the buildings and cars get smaller and smaller until they looked like ants were living in them. 



We landed in Nashville safe and really, really excited. There were guitars in the airport and music playing. We took another taxi to the hostel we were going to be staying at for the next ten days. It's called Music City Hostel. It was still under construction but it was awesome nevertheless. Looking out the window you could see the LP field and Riverfront, literally in the CMA fest itself. I was so excited! That night, a girl named Kelsey was performing at Hotel Indigo nearby. I've been a fan of hers through the internet for quite a while now.
Anyway, I read about it on Facebook and we decided to go watch her perform live. She is really good, even better live than I've heard her on youtube and her songs are really good. My dad told me to go say hi. He had to give me a little push because I was too much of a coward. I said hi and told her I loved her music and we talked a very little bit (I'm not good at talking. she was excellent at it though) Can't believe she's only 13. Then her mom introduced me to Jack Scott, the person who runs the writer's night at Hotel Indigo and told me about a bunch of other places I could sing at. 


The Next four days were incredibly busy at the CMA Fest. It was hot, but not as hot as Malaysia though. It was amazing. Every corner you turned was filled with people. Every bit of silence filled with music.


At night, when the festival stalls take a break, everyone heads to the LP field to... listen to MORE music. All the established singers perform there. Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill to name a few. My seat was really high up and on the first day, I walked all the way up there. Then on the second day, I met some really nice people at the fan photo line and they got seat way up there too. People call them the nose-bleed seats. We talked a bit and enjoyed the concert.


People here are really nice and its not that hard to talk to them either. We all share the same love for country music. The whole festival, although it was filled with people was really relaxed. I was wandering around and found a booth where you could sign up to sing and also stand a chance to win a guitar. I signed up and sang. Singing in the CMA Fest, it was really fun. I ended up singing there three times in that four days.


Kelsey introduced me to Jack Scott and he introduced me to Nolan Neal who asked me to sing at Hotel Indigo on the second day of the festival. I couldn't possibly say no. There was a band there from LA called the Voodoo Fix and I played their in-between set with Nolan. We took turns to play a song each. He is so good! 


After singing at Hotel Indigo, we rushed to the LP field because Faith Hill was performing that night. Made it in time and it was just amazing! 
I also got interviewed by GAC and Briana Barner, (a student journalist I think.) writing for a college project. It was an exciting experience. 



The festival ended and music was still around but not as much. I met so many awesome people including Kenny Chesney and many upcoming artist. It was a truly inspiring week for me and I think all the fans. We'd queue up in the hot sun to meet them. We bought their CD's, and it's nice to see that they are all so humble and nice, and that they appreciate it too. I got to watch the performances from far away online and now stand so close that when they poured water at the crowd, I actually got wet. So close that the sound from speakers felt like wind blowing through an electric fan. It was so exciting and amazing. It was surreal.

On Monday, I went to get my guitar fixed nearby because the neck was bent and we walked around Music Row a bit before going to the Bluebird Café. We went to try our luck there. Legendary, that place. Actually, it's just an ordinary café but the people, music and energy makes it so much better. It has a very nice feel to it. That day it was really crowded because it so happened to be the Bluebird's 30th anniversary. We got there one and a half hours early and the queue was already two shop lots long and it kept getting longer. I didn't get to sing there, but we did get to enjoy the show and watch all those talented writers sing. At least I got a ticket for next time!


I didn't get to sing at the Bluebird Café, I can't say I'm not disappointed at all, but I know the chances were against me. Now I'm kind of glad I didn't sing there. Everyone was so good, I think I'm not good enough yet. Just watching and learning as much as I can is good enough. For now. 

I got to sing at Hotel Indigo again yesterday evening and I was put together with two really talented teenagers around my age. We sang three songs, each taking turns to sing our own. I sang Tonight, that didn't go too bad. Then when it was my turn again, I sang Running Away. I completely messed up the strumming and my first thought was that I ruined it, everyone's going to hate my music now. Hopefully my last song would make it better. I sang Red, people actually liked it. Someone said it was the best song of the set! That caught me completely off guard. The girl who was in the middle, Haley Georgia liked my song so much she thought of recording it?!? She's really serious into this. Not like me, just playing for fun. She's actually here to make a record. She asked me if I could give her my song, but we'll see how it goes. I told her we could write together if I don't give her Red. She seemed to like the idea of that. I told my mom about it and she was like "So how?, you're leaving on Friday." and I'm like "It's not the end of the world, we have the internet." Maybe I could write for her, but chances are slim. We'll just go with the flow. It's definitely a learning experience. 

Nashville is so beautiful. I can understand how people write songs everyday in this place. I could've swore I just stepped into a painting. 


Thank you to everyone who supported me and helped get me here. Thank you for getting my little CD or coming to my performances, and even for your kind words of encouragement. I really appreciate it! 


-Amrita








Sunday, May 20, 2012

8TV Quickie and David Choi.

I joined this contest about a month ago organized by 8TV Quickie. Just sing any David Choi song and share it with them on Facebook. Sounded do-able. I recorded the song Let Go in my room and shared it on Facebook. At that time, I hadn't the slightest inclination of me being shortlisted at all, so I put my own spin on it and made his song my own. 
Then, the craziest thing happened. I got shortlisted in the top 3! I was at Pusat Science Negara looking at Dinosaurs with the Clic kids when they called me up and asked me to come see the show live. They asked me to bring my guitar just in case. My mom got all excited and told everyone that I was going to be on TV. Then I told her, I'm going to watch not actually be on the show. But oh well. Disappointed they were when they waited up till 12 to see me and I wasn't there. 
Back to the story...


My dad took my sister, brother and I to the TV station. It was pretty late already, about 10:30, nearly 11 when we got there and we were early!
We waited a while and met the other two winners, I'm not good with names but I was the only girl. We were then brought to the studio itself. It looks a lot smaller than it is on TV. David Choi was already there so we all shook his hand and took pictures of the set. I felt like a tourist! haha. There were so many people in that tiny room including Jin, Ruben, Joseph Germani, Guan, and I think the everyone from the My Generasi video.


We got to watch David sound check and get ready. Then the producer counted down to the start of the show. It was really hard on all of us to not make any sound. I'm already pretty quiet by nature but when you emphasize that you have to be extremely quiet, I tend to be really aware of the fact I have to be quiet. I would make some kind of sound like accidentally kicking a wall lightly. It felt as loud as fireworks. The hosts Naqib and Adam introduced the guest and the director would yell through the monitors "clap clap clap!" and we all clapped. 
I found that funny. 

The show ended and people came in to take the table away. I thought, oh well. I guess we won't be recording after all since they were not sure about it when they called me. The three of us stood awkwardly at the corner wondering what was going to happen next. Then David announced the winner and it was... me. 
Everyone clapped and I was freaking out inside. I didn't think I would win. Here's what went through my mind as it all happened: "I sang a different version. I should've sang it the same way he did in the video. Oh no, now I forgot the words!"Luckily, he forgot the words too. 
But thanks to the internet and iPads, we managed to google it. 


In the picture below, you can see someone holding up an iPad with lyrics on it. There were two cameras on us. It all happened so fast, I think I probably played terribly. 
I had a lot of fun and it was an awesome experience!

Thank you so much for the opportunity 8TV!