Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Treehouse Open Mic #2


26th May, 4 pm

I started Treehouse Open Mic because I felt that there was a need for a platform to encourage teenagers to perform and express themselves. The Malaysian music scene is growing bigger and there are open mics almost every weekday now, but they cater more to adults and aren't at the most family-friendly places. So this one is quite simple: no late nights, no alcohol and no smoking. 
The first open mic was quite a success, and I am so thankful for everyone and their parents who came. Paradox Cafe was so kind to let us use their place and it was a really pleasant surprise to see the room full of people! 

For this open mic, I will be featuring a young and very talented singer: Bay Doucet. She even write's her own songs! I found one of her videos on YouTube quite a while ago and was immediately a fan. Check out one of her videos below: 



And if you want to perform too, it's really simple. All you have to do is:

1. Sign-up at 4 pm, the show starts at 5.
2. Prepare a maximum of 2 songs.
3. Confirm you are coming on the facebook event page if you can: https://www.facebook.com/events/158509694310455/

for more information on what an open mic is, I wrote a blog post about it: Open Mic 101

Please share and tell your friends and family about it! And I hope to see you there!
Thank you!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Seven: Music Love Workshop with Yuna and The Palauans.

I walked into the waiting room and greeted warmly by a group of teenagers. We were all here for a music workshop organised by Yuna and her band, The Palauans. It was between Joe Brook's concert or this, and I decided to sign up for this with the money from the singing gig I did last week. And I don't regret it one bit.


The workshop was held in a studio in PJ. It was not a very big place, so the session was very intimate and interactive. It wasn't so hard to talk to the others because we all have the same interests. We ended up having a little jam session while waiting, singing songs before the workshop actually started. It was a lot of fun. 
Then we all went into the room. Normally, I'd sit at the back but because I was with the other girls who asked me to to sit in front with them, I did. That was a first for me. 
The band started playing and Yuna walked in and sang for us. Her voice was so flawless and it seemed almost effortless. 
The workshop covered various topics about music and the industry. They talked about learning an instrument, covering songs and then progressing to writing your own songs. Yuna shared a little about how she started songwriting. She told us about how she started writing poetry at first, and then learning the guitar and having it all fall into place. 
After briefly introducing songwriting, they shared about different levels of recording which is the demo, single, EP, album and how to record them ranging from different audio interfaces and microphones. Then, marketing and performing. Social media sites and where to share your music, copyrights and performing tricks for overcoming nerves. 
They emphasised on one thing in particular though: which is to be yourself and not let people who try to bring you down affect you. And not in like an arrogant way, because there's a difference between being confident and proud.


Yuna and The Palauans closed the session with their new single 'I wanna go' and a meet and greet. My mom and I met her and her mom and they were such down to earth people. To me she is on like a pedestal, with artists like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. And at this point, it all still feels very surreal. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Six: Our minds are troubled by the emptiness.

Gone will be of my memories.
          Gone will be of all the melodies.
Gone will be of all the adventures to foreign lands,
          Gone will be of everything close to me,

                    Gone,

                              Gone,
 

                                          Gone.



I wanted to start making video blogs again after I got a new computer. All my adventures in Taiwan, India and Nashville stored in that little hard disk waiting to be put to good use. Thousands of photographs and videos and unfinished songs, gone. I've come to realise that you should never put that much faith and trust into a small device to remember everything for you, because things can happen and hard disks can spoil. I've got to start over and maybe have more than one backup now.
I feel like a part of my life has been erased,
empty.

See how I linked that with the title, which is also a line in the song?

Anyway...




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Open Mic 101

1. What is an open mic? 
An open mic, is open. Anyone can come, and anyone can perform. Amateur or not :)

2. How does it work?
Usually, it's sign up on the spot. So once everyone has signed up, the show starts! I have been to some though, that required signing up before hand or like at the Bluebird Cafe, it's almost like a lucky draw.
This open mic is sign up on the spot, 4pm.

3. When is my slot?
It depends when you come. If you're last to sign up, you're most probably going to be last. If you're first to sign up, then you're first to perform. There are also no sound checks (usually). Sorry about that...

4. Only 10 minutes?
Unfortunately, or fortunately... Yes.
2 songs equivalent so everyone gets a chance to perform.

I hope this gives you a clearer idea of what an open mic is and a little of what to expect.
If it doesn't, well there's always google ;)


Want to go for an open mic?
I'm organising my 2nd Treehouse Open Mic


26th May, 2013
4pm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/158509694310455/

Hope to see you there!

-Amrita


Friday, April 5, 2013

Five: Highway Don't Care

Hi!
It's been a pretty busy couple of days and I'm enjoying every moment of it, taking it all in. It feels as if I've gotten a chance to live my dreams for a little while. It has been great. 
I organised my first open mic at Paradox Art Cafe. It scared me terribly as I recalled organising gigs that nobody came for. I thought maybe this time it would be different, but then again maybe it wouldn't. I wanted Treehouse Open Mic to be a platform that teenagers could benefit from without it being on a school day or too late at night. I'm very grateful that the owner was patient and allowed me, a 17 year-old kid to be in charge. I planned everything as detailed as I could, factoring in people on facebook who said they would come but most probably wouldn't and extra cables and all that stuff. I prepared myself for the speaking and socialising to come because I am really not good at those kind of things. Not like I was talking to myself at home as practice or anything... 


Much to my surprise, people came and brought their friends. There were so many people! Some of them I know and have met, and others complete strangers. Which was awesome. I didn't take these pictures, my mom did because I was way too excited and nervous to go around taking pictures. I had a total of 6 performers which was just nice to fit everything into slightly over a hour. 


As the acts took the stage, I sat at the side listening, taking pictures and adjusting the sound. Everyone was so amazing, and it was great to have everyone make new friends and network. It was a great learning experience and for me organising this event, inviting people. I loved the fact that everyone was just as crazy about music as I am. It was so much fun, I can't wait to organise another! 

On Wednesday (27th March) I was interviewed on NTV7's The Breakfast Show. I've never been interviewed on live television before so it was a really nerve-wrecking experience for me. At the same time, it was so exciting! They contacted me after my performance at a press event a couple of months ago and I obviously agreed to do be on the show. I was going to perform and be interviewed and it was a huge opportunity, even if the show aired at 8 in the morning on a school holiday and my friends will still be asleep then.
I couldn't wait. 


I got up at 6 and was too nervous to eat breakfast. I guess at this point you would have realised (due to my constant bringing up of the topic) that I am not a good public speaker. My parents quizzed me on the way to the studio and I began to freak out. The words were all in my head and I just felt tongue-tied because I never said it the way I wanted to. It was definitely more pressuring than taking the school's final exam. Despite my nervousness, I felt that I have learnt so much and I was a lot more ready this time than on RTM2.
They did my hair and make-up (thank goodness too because I don't know anything about that..) and here's how I looked:

The interview went well and they even made a montage of my performance photographs and youtube videos. They also played my song 'Clues' during the show. I was freaking out with excitement and happiness. I'm so grateful to have gotten an opportunity like this. 
This blog pretty much sums up March in a nutshell. There's more actually, but I think I'll write more later. 

Thank you so much for supporting my music. I cannot wait to share more music with you. 
And if you're in the area: 

I'll be performing at Project Myanmar Sunday (7th March 2013)
in Bangsar Village as part of a fundraising event to raise funds for the children in Myanmar. 

I'll also be at Rockin' 4 The Reefs the next Sunday (21st March 2013)
In Publika at 3:00pm. 

Hope to see you there!

-Amrita

My latest song obsession...
Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw in one song? Awesome.