Tuesday, December 19, 2017

24 Years

It’s a song about love. The kind of love that lasts forever and still feels like you’re falling in love for the first time. Its about finding someone who knows you better than you do, and who can finish your sentences and someone you know you’re going to grow old with. I wrote this inspired by my grandparents, at a time when I thought love like that was only real in fairytales and movies. It was in the little things, like holding hands when they thought we weren’t looking or grandma making grandpa’s favourite meal that made me realise that sometimes the little things mean more than just saying those three words. 



Lyrics & Composed by Amrita Soon
Arranged by Bernice Tay & Ian Tee Guitar by Alex Koh Alex The Lion KohDrums by iANTBackup Vocal by Elaine YL
Mixing Engineer: Lee Haw Hua @ Jumuro Music Vocal Director:  Daniel Lee 李吉汉
Producer: iAN TeeMastering: Abraham Tee @ Jumuro Music Recording Studio: 巨木音乐 Jumuro MusicOP: pH Music 指数音乐

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

September


Sometimes you wake up early in the morning to finish writing an email that you couldn’t seem to finish writing, and then you leave the house two hours earlier than you’re supposed to only to find out that plans have been cancelled. Sometimes that happens to you few days in a row and you wonder what you’re even doing. So you draw flowers on the bus ride to work and let the bumps on the road add extra texture to the already jagged lines. 
A Spotify playlist of indie music that you’ve never heard of plays in the background. Weird sounds blaring from your headphones sound like sirens in the distance. You tell yourself you need to stop hiding at your workplace and spend more time working on things that mean a lot to you. To finally face the things that scare you. Like the cloud of unwritten lyrics hanging over your head, getting heavier and heavier as if it’s going to explode and flood your brain with scattered emotions and halfway melodies. It lingers like a shadow and you’re haunted by it everywhere you go. 

You fear you feel too much to write something good enough for someone else’s ears. That fear cripples your creativity and leaves you with even more fragments of songs that may never see the light of day. 
Keep yourself busy you won’t have time to worry a mountain out of a molehill. These conflicting feelings are rare, and only visit every once it a while but they always seem as if they can consume me whole. Lately I haven’t been so afraid of falling. I became used to it, and comfortable with it. It was the flying, and actually being heard and seen that terrified me more. 
Now it’s the end of a long day, and the stagnant fog of melancholy has lifted. It’s as if the sun is shining but it’s midnight. My heart’s pounding with excitement because the pieces are fitting together in imperfect harmony. 

Because nothing is perfect. 
But this is as close as it gets, and it is the best feeling. 



September was a whirlwind of excitement. It's been an insane past few weeks. It’s the 23rd of October and started writing this on the 1st. Every other day was filled with music and my heart could barely contain the happiness. I went from work to the studio or to a performance, and from performance, to work then rehearsals performance and repeat. I had played 11 shows by the end of last month and its a lot more than I usually do. And it was so much fun. Everything went by so quickly that there wasn’t much time to feel tired. There was no slowing down to feel nervous or to doubt myself either. I guess now that I’ve got a bit of free time, all the feelings are rushing in at once. 
One of the highlights was getting to perform at No Black Tie again. The first time I played there I was seventeen and really new to all this. I was also really sick then, so this felt like a really nice do-over. It was an amazing feeling being a part of something, and playing with a band (who are insanely wonderful and talented, by the way) to a room full of people listening to every word. It was night I wouldn’t forget. 
I also got to write two songs for a short film, and recorded instrumentals at the studio for someone to sing over. Writing for other people is different. In a way it seems easier because the idea and direction has already been given to you. In another sense its more difficult because you've got to make the song live up to that expectation. I learnt a lot about writing from a different perspective and writing with a dateline. I've got to admit I drank a few cups of coffee to stay up all night a couple of times to finish those songs. I had a lot of fun with it, and I hope I get the chance to write for someone again. 




We went to Penang over the weekend for a quick getaway and also to play at Kim Haus, Chinahouse and to busk at Hin Pop-Up Market. The crowd was really lovely there, and so were my friends who had to endure about 4 hours of my singing over the weekend. With everything that was going on, I thought it would be fun to vlog this whole adventure. My friends and family helped me film a lot of this too, so watching it back and going through the footage was quite funny. 



I guess I'll end this here before this turns into an october blog as well. (Hopefully the next post won't be a month late.) Thank you so much for reading, and listening, and believing in me when I didn't. Hope you have a great week ahead! 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

An ode to my notebooks

Paper is fragile. It blows away in the wind. 
Crumples, tears and rips at the edges. 
Ink washes away. 
As mighty as the pen might be, water is its kryptonite. 
Yet, is is in these pages that I choose to pour my heart into. 
Paper is fragile, 
but so am I. 


I have been writing songs for nine years. 
It feels strange to say that because nine years is a long time and sometimes I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing. 
It changes with every song. There's always a new way to say something, and always a different way to write a song. When I first started writing, I did it for myself. No one else heard the songs I wrote. It was my little secret. 
Now things are pretty different. And I'm grateful that I get to play them to people. Sometimes they listen and it's the best feeling in the world. I don't know, I guess we all just want to be understood, and you listening to my songs makes me feel like I'm not alone. 
Since I was little, everything I thought about, everything I was feeling, and everything that happened to me, I've written down. Thank you for being a friend, a therapist, a shoulder to cry on. 
And thank you for listening to my music, and for reading my silly little posts like these. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

May


Hi.
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

Starting Over.

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

When people ask me what I've been up to lately, I tell them that I'm working on recording my next single. I say that its almost done, and that I'm really excited about it. 

The only problem is, I've been saying that for the past year. 

So what's really been going on? I'm not sure where to start, because it all became quite a mess quite quickly. I don't normally write things like these but I feel I needed to tell you what I went through, so you won't make the same mistakes I did. 

I wrote a song just before I launched my first EP. It was a song I was proud of, and that I was sure would be on my next album. When it came to recording it, I was told it wouldn't take more that a few months. I met with a producer to see if we could work together. He was nice and had the same goals and ideas I had. He was very excited to record my song, and maybe even an album. I was excited too, because it had been two years since 'Clues'. I was eighteen then, and I felt that my music had grown since. There was so much that I had lived, seen and felt put to music and I couldn't wait to share it with you.


The demo track was done pretty quickly. There was hope and excitement because this song was finally coming to life. There were a few things still that I wanted to change, but we were in the early stages of production and we could fix things along the way. We recorded many takes of vocals but I didn't get to hear what we had recorded, even after a couple of months. The whole song was recorded over a demo instrumental and it took a while to get the instruments to replace the programmed tracks. 

We moved studios a couple of times, each time a different reason to why we left was given. As a few more months went by, things started to slow down. I didn't go back to the studio, and I hadn't heard much from my producer. Then he'd call me and we'd go back to work as if all the time that went by was just a blink of an eye. He didn't tell me why, and I was afraid to ask. I don't know why, but in those months going to the studio, I felt so alone. I held back my tears as I stood in front of the mic, my producer on the other side of the glass. There was an ache in my chest I couldn't describe. I felt as if it was all a mistake and I wanted so badly to give up. 

We eventually finished what we had set out to do after 11 months. But this was not how I had envisioned this whole process to be like. I thought that because he was more experienced and had achieved more success, he knew better. It was my fault too for letting it drag on so long without my voice being heard. By the time I realised it, it was too late. If your'e a singer/songwriter too, or just put in a situation like this, I hope your experience wouldn't be like this. You don't have to go through with something you're not comfortable with. If the terms are against you, don't just accept it. Ask questions. Don't put yourself down because of what someone else says. They may know better, but then again they might not. What you want, and what you believe in is worth something too. I thought I knew all that, and that I'd be able to stand up for myself if the situation arises but I didn't. 

I believe everything happens for a reason. Although I want so badly to drown in an ocean of my regret right now, this had taught me a very valuable lesson.  As much as it hurt, it is forcing me to fight. If this didn't happen, I wouldn't have learnt to stand up for myself and my music. And I wouldn't have learnt to ask for help. I realised I don't have to do this alone, and neither do you. 

Thank you for supporting me all this years, and through this music silence. And thank you for reading what I wanted to say. I am looking forward to start working on my music again! I'm not quite sure how, or where yet but I have a clearer picture of who I am and who I want to be now. 

I'm starting over, and its exciting. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Its 2017.

 

I'm writing this at 2:19 in the morning. I had wanted to write something at the beginning of this new year, but I didn't end up having much to say. I think it could have been the opposite too- I had a lot of things I wanted to say, I just didn't know where to start.

The fact that its 2017 and a new year seems like a good place to start. Optimism levels are reset, changes to this blog have been made, and I've got a plan to upload videos more regularly and learn new chords;
I'm looking up.

I found a second family in the people I spent my time with the most. We are so different but we support one another and they really have been such an amazing group of people to be around with. These pictures were taken after they surprised me at a show I was performing at. I didn't think many people were going to come because I invited people to come but no one really said they would be coming. It ended up being a room full of many familiar faces that I really didn't expect to see. It was a lovely night. 

Last year I performed at places where I could hear the conversations around me, and at places where I could feel the audience taking in every word I had to say. I finally learned how to drive. I gave a talk. I also am finally proud of the music I made, two years after I made it. I cut my hair. I flew to another continent by myself. My brother and sister grew up even more than I thought they would've in a year, and did some really amazing things.

Even though age is just a number, 20 taught me a lot. When it comes to these 'reflection' posts where I think about what I learned the past year and things I've experienced, I always say that "I'm happier now. I'm learning to be myself." But I think this year I really did. 
When I was little my teachers and parents often commented on my maturity. I grew up before I had a chance to be a kid, I took pride in pretending to be grown up. I thought being mature meant acting like a grown up, not showing my emotions, not needing anyone's help. Music and time taught me to be more childlike in the way I saw the world. I learned to listen to my heart more- something I had always struggled with.

But in the recent months or so I had fallen in line with the quiet rules of society. Slowly, but persistently the words and judgement of others began breaking into my world. Because it all happened so gradually, I didn't realise it until recently. I stopped writing on my blog, I stopped writing songs. Even casual posts on social media had to be thought about thoroughly. When I've been let down, I stopped trusting people. When I made a mistake, I stopped trying. I stopped trusting myself. I kept myself busy with three part-time jobs (including music, which I hope to make full time) so that I didn't have to feel anything. It felt as if the time raced by me while I just stood still, let everyone and everything around me pass through and move on, and I didn't say a word. 

But allowing yourself to feel is crucial. It gives you more words to express yourself. You'll understand yourself better and learn to get through the difficult things. You have to allow yourself to feel happy without worrying about the happiness slipping away, because its bound to slip away. Sadness is there so that you can feel happy again. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Twenty.



Can't believe I'm almost 21 and I've just found this post I didn't upload from a year ago.
Things are different now. I've started living a lot more in reality and I suppose that's not all a bad thing. My inspiration is drawn from a new perspective now too; and as much as I am frustrated that I don't write the way I used to, I know it will be okay and that I just have to get used to it. A few years ago I would write 100% for myself- I had all the time and freedom to do so too. And I could only dream of putting out my music for people to listen to and take home. Flash forward three years and I have done what I had set out to do when I was seventeen. It has been quite a rush of emotions and excitement. With more people (not a lot, but more than my family and four walls of my room) listening to my music, I became more aware of what they liked and what they didn't, and I tried to please them. Slowly, I've become afraid to write what I want to write because I was thinking too much about how others might think. I know that it's out of my control, and I'll try let to go a little.

I guess it't time to turn over a new leaf...

Make new plans, 

and dream new dreams.