EP Recording


Had a blast recording my EP with some very talented dudes, who also happen to be my best friends in Ireland. But I did know for sure that before I left Ireland, I wanted a piece of work that I’m proud of, one that reflects me and the things I want to do with music, my new-found sound, my best work to date. And, if possible, to produce that piece of work with the guys who helped me bring it to life. My parents were coming to visit at the end of March. I proposed a crazy idea to my Dad, who has been producing my music for years, to help record the three song EP while here, then bring the music back to Singapore for post-production. To my delight, he was all on board. It was one of my favourite life experiences, 3 full days in the studio, plenty of laughs. To me, music is about the people you’re making it with. That’s why I decided to give credit to the Kicks, the people who made this project possible, and more importantly, fun.

525,600 Minutes

It’s hard to believe it has been one full year since I graduated University! So much has happened in that time. Many amazing things, some hard things. Leaving Canada, travelling, exploring Europe, falling in love with Dublin. So much musical creation, digging in to the music scene here. Seeing with my own eyes what the musical life entails. A Diploma in Songwriting from BIMM Dublin. An EP on the way. Gaining respect for those who spend their lives in the service industry. Leaving that industry to focus on myself and my art, and gaining even more respect for self-employed entrepreneurs, especially artist. Manifesting a wild summer ahead. A Charity Gig & Single. Lots of Guinness. And finally, Its been full of making new connections, as well as nurturing old ones.
It was my first year really being on my own in The Real World, without answering to an institution, without family around. There have, of course, been challenges along the way. All I had was myself, and I really had to trust myself. I learned a lot about what I might want from this crazy, wonderful life. Truth be told, I still really have no idea but I can’t say I’m in a rush to figure it out.
I think it important to look back on the road behind. After all, its the only road we know. The path ahead tends to be much less clear, and much harder to trust. But we can trust the one behind, the moments of joy we experienced, and this can fill us with hope that the one ahead will be just as beautiful, the sunsets even brighter.
Those who know me know that I live on an undying quest for freedom. But freedom can be found in every moment. Freedom can especially be found in gratitude. I think I’m too quick to get down on myself. I need to take pride in the things I’ve accomplished in a year, of the risks I’ve taken, and for doing it all on my own.
I could be absolutely anywhere one year from now, and that fills me with excitement. Looking forward to the summer ahead!

Friends from afar

I have had some lovely visitors this year. Some of my oldest and most loyal friends have found themselves on my floor. From Syd and Julia, whom I shared a home, and innumerable laughs with, for 4 years. To Marina who I instantly bonded with in Welcome Week of first year, and haven’t stopped bonding with since. To my cousin Rachael who’s really should write a book on How to Do All of Ireland in 10 days or less. I am incredibly grateful to be able to have shared a guiness (or 4) with these amazing people.

Visit from Singapore!

My lovely parents came to visit the emerald isle! We explored Dublin and did all of the museums that I couldn’t afford otherwise, after which we took off to the countryside for a few days. We stayed in the beautiful and scenic Dunmore East, before heading back to the bustling Dublin city. My Dad and I then spent the next three days recording my EP. What a champ my mom was to explore the city on her own while we were in the studio! I absolutely loved having my OG travel buddies around.

Im Back!

As if the fact that it has been nearly four months since my last blog post isn’t evidence enough that I did the right thing, I finally sent in my notice for work! This week will be my last at the restaurant. It took me a hella long time to come to this decision, even though I thought I had made up my mind when I was road tripping with my parents (everything is better on the road). I realized why the decision was so hard when I realized that it was about more than money. It was about the stability of work. It was about my anxious brain benefiting from purpose, from someone telling me what to do. It was about feeling productive after a 12 hour shift (and then promptly erasing it from my mind). It was about what its always been about, using constant excuses and distractions to keep me from chasing my potential. Last year it was school and friends. Now it was work. I found myself stuck in exactly the handcuffs I came here to free myself of. I remember craving freedom, for once in my life not having to answer to an institution, a school, a job, a boss, a girlfriend. Despite this, the capitalist subject trades in one pair of handcuffs for another. And most of the time she does so willingly, because the handcuffs can be cozy. They give you a sense of purpose and security. Because really being free is scary. When your hands are chained they can’t do too much. But when they’re free there’s no excuse for what they aren’t doing, no excuse for not building a masterpiece, theres no hiding behind chains.
Having the freedom, the time, no excuses present, to chase your dreams and manifest your goals is scary. Theres so much pressure to succeed. Mostly from yourself, but also from those around you. When you choose to commit to something, fully, you’re taking a huge risk. What it comes down to is fear. Its not about money, its about fear. Of the unknown, of that leap, of failure, of feeling unmotivated and not achieving your goals and dreams. When you’re an entrepreneur, an artist, you make your own purpose. When you work for The Man, you show up, are given tasks, complete them, and go home. When you work for yourself, you make your own tasks, your own schedules. You decide your own hours and goals. You define your own success. You watch the hours drip by, constantly tormented by not having enough time.
I’ve been hiding behind work, school, and other defences; using them as wind blockers. Im proud of myself, albeit a little scared, for having the courage to step out from behind them, and face the wind without excuses, without major distractions, without the fear of being blown away.
I got kinda sad for a minute because I felt like maybe I’m not cut out for the kind of life I thought I wanted, for whatever it is I came here to do. Maybe I’m meant to be boring, maybe I’d be happier that way. But then I was like, nah fuck that. Because I believe in doing things that scare you. If it makes you feel something, its probably a good idea. And I believe in being as risk-oriented as possible. If not now, when?

Not to say I haven’t done anything else since I’ve started working. Look out for some post-dated blog posts about what the last few months of my life have entailed!

Spain & Portugal

Had a whirlwind road trip with my brother through Spain and Portugal. We started in Lisbon, drove across the boarder to Seville, then down to the southernmost point of the Iberian peninsula, Gibraltar. We then spent the next three days making our way back up the coast of Portugal. We spent my birthday in Albufera, and a beach day in Portimao. After sleeping in our camper van for two nights, we spent a day in Lisbon before flying back to Dublin.
Check out the rest of the photos from our adventure on flickr

New Music!

Two new songs I’m really proud of! The idea for “Funny Feeling” came into my head within my first few hours of walking around Dublin. I remember leaving the hostel after dropping off my stuff, stepping out onto D’Olier street and just standing there looking out at this busy street, sun peeking through the clouds, bikes and busses and horses going by and just thinking oh god, what did I just do! Brand new city, all on my own, didn’t know a soul, left everything I knew behind and literally hopped on a plane with my guitar and adventure in my soul and landed here. A funny feeling indeed! I preformed “Funny Feeling” at BIMM Live & Lyrical auditions, an was assessed for my performance and song.

Check out “Funny Feeling” on Youtube and Soundcloud

“Stone Fortress” has been kicking around my head for a couple years, but I couldn’t quite figure out how I wanted it to sound, what kind of groove I wanted to go with. After a last minute change of plans in what song I was going to audition with for the End of Term Gig, (a non-assessed performance, but those successful play at one of the biggest BIMM gigs of the year), I needed a groovy song fast!

Check out “Stone Fortress on Soundcloud

Lastly, here is me and the boys playing a song by Cian McDaid, “Knots.” Cain’s song was chosen for the Live and Lyrical gig! Check it out on Youtube

Amsterdam

A good friend from high school who also recently moved to Europe called me up and said “lets go to Amsterdam next weekend.” I thought that was one of the best things anyone’s ever said to me. I deliberated for half a second before agreeing. The next weekend there we were, hugging in Amsterdam’s beautiful Centraal station. We spent the next four days wandering canals and alleyways, chatting for hours in coffeeshops, taking in beautiful museums and endless architecture, and of course, following a strict Dutch diet of cheese and waffles. Though we’ve been friends since grade 9, we’ve only lived in the same country for the first year of a friendship that is now almost a decade old.
Thankful for new adventures with old friends.
Check out more photos on my flickr

London

Hurricane Ophelia struck the Emerald Isle the day I was trying to fly back to Dublin from Germany. Then ensued the craziest flying adventure I’ve yet to experience, featuring delays, miscommunications, missed connections, you name it! I finally made it home to Dublin 2 days later, but not without being stranded for a day… in one of the greatest cities on earth. Check out my wanderings in London on flickr

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