The Glamour Vintage Songbird Diaries

Urban Ventures X House of Noise at Keong Saik Road - 18 Feb 2017 

I had such a blast performing my songs for the crowd at the Urban Ventures X House of Noise street party at Keong Siak Rd last Saturday! My heart is so full! This was my FIRST-EVER all-originals show, but there's only going to be more to come! (':

What I wore

I knew it was going to be warm and humid since it was an outdoor/open air stage, so I put my hair up into a victory roll in the front and curled the rest of my hair, threw on a wire headband that matched my true vintage 1950's powder blue gingham dress. I paired my outfit with an ultra-comfortable pair of vintage-inspired leather Marisa sandals from Charlie Stone

This has been my favourite way to wear my hair for performances lately, because it keeps all the hair out of my face. A scarf or headband also keeps things cute haha. I need to get my hands on more vintage nylon scarves that are of the right dimensions for vintage hairstyles! 

Pre-show issues

Chilling around with two-thirds of the band while waiting for soundcheck 


We ran into technical difficulties at the beginning that delayed the start of my set, and with the looming dark clouds overhead, I was secretly worried that it'd start pouring. I might look calm in the photo above but knowing my luck, I was definitely worried haha. Thankfully, the sound crew managed to resolve the technical issues and we finally took the stage at 4.30pm at the Keong Saik stage (we were supposed to go on at 3.50pm)! Phew.

The band, from L-R: Yap Ting Wei (drums), Brandon Wong (bass), me, Daniel Chia (keys)
Photo taken from the Thunder Rock School Facebook page

 
These wonderful musicians have been so kind to support me - my songs wouldn't be complete without them. They make me sound good!

Photo by Raphael Ong (http://rphl.me/)

Photo by Raphael Ong (http://rphl.me/)​

Here's Brandon, who has been so supportive since I first knew him from being a stagehand at Another Crazy Christmas in 2008! 
Photo by Raphael Ong (http://rphl.me/)

I was really surprised to see people in the crowd starting to mouth the words to my songs (the choruses)! There were people moving to and clapping along with the music, which always puts a smile on my face (':

If you're looking for the set list, here it is:

1. Right Next to You 
2. Better Off Without You 
3. Timeline 
4. Spot of Sunshine 
5. Sophia  

I got to play two new songs, Right Next to You and Timeline, for the first time, which makes it a world premiere, right? If you were there, you got to hear it first! YAY.

Here's a crowd-sourced snippet of Sophia, taken by Calvin (instagram.com/tangyoucalvin):
 


Post-show photos
 
With my girls Sophie and Salima (aka Sasha M!) after my set
Photo credit: Sasha M - read more about her experience at the show on her blog here

 
All of Sara Wee's mentees, past and present, from the Noise Music Mentorship programme! Pictured: HubbaBubbas, The Great White Lark, Sally Suitcase, Sam Driscoll, JAWN, Jean Goh Seizure, and of course Sara herself right in the middle

 
Sara (from Singaporean band 53A) has been a great mentor to me. Like I mentioned in my Lush995 interview, I couldn't think of anyone more appropriate to mentor me on this Noise journey! So thankful for the opportunities and good things that came with being part of the programme: workshops, the House of Noise shows, video and audio recording of our originals at Snakeweed Studios, my first radio interview, interaction with the mentors, and friendships with my fellow mentees. I highly recommend all budding musicians to apply for the Noise Music Mentorship 2017 and beyond! 

This concludes my journey in the Noise Music Mentorship 2016 by the National Arts Council (NAC)! If you have any questions about it, don't hesitate to contact me either by leaving a comment below or sending me a message via my contact page. I'd be happy to answer your burning questions (:

If you were there, a huge thank you for coming down and catching my set! Let me know what your favourite song was!

With love,

4 REAL Valentine's Day Gifts To Improve Your Relationship  


Forget the flowers, fancy cards, and chocolates this Valentine's Day - not only are they going to be more expensive than usual, they're also not the best use of your hard-earned money. If you haven't gotten a gift or planned anything by now, I'VE GOT YOUR BACK! 

I'm not big on flowers or gifts that, like my dad likes to say, exist only to 'collect dust' (no prizes for guessing if my mum has ever received flowers from my dad). Maybe it's a take-away from my parents' actions-speak-louder-than-words-or-gifts kinda relationship growing up, but being romantic has never equated to spending money on inconsequential/unnecessary items. 

If you're single (and don't let society make you feel bad about being single on Valentine's Day), these gifts ideas can be enjoyed solo as well!

This post will tell you how to make conscious choices with your hard-earned money, to get gifts that your partner (or yourself) will truly appreciate.

 

I chose two criteria that these options needed to fulfil:

  1. It creates future and/or recurring experiences/benefits for gift recipient - this means no one-off perishables.
  2. It creates quality time between giver and recipient
As long as the gift fulfils both of these criteria, it is a Good Gift. 
 
Here are 4 Valentine's Day gifts to improve your relationship:


1. Music 

Buy them music 

What better way to let someone know you are attentive to their preferences than buying them music they'd like? Way to score brownie points. Tip: Stalk Check their Spotify activity or the artists whose pages they've liked on Facebook to get an idea of what kind of music they'd appreciate. 

It's also a gift that doesn't expire - you can listen to it anytime you want even after Valentine's Day. 

Get 'In The Moment' here

Suggestion: You could get Daniel Chia's debut album, 'In The Moment'. (Full disclosure: I might be biased because he's my significant other, but it's honestly good music). 

Price: US$9.99 (S$14.20) for digital download only, and US$14.99 (S$21.31) for physical CD + digital download. Available for pre-order here.


Create a mixtape

Not good with words? Let music do the talking for you. Try making a mixtape. Create a Spotify or SoundCloud playlist for a virtual surprise, or burn it into a CD or thumb drive for a tangible gift!

Price: (Close to) nothing.


2. Experiences

This is a great way to create a shared experience and memory.

Many people like to wear their 'I'm so busy' badge around like a medal. If you don't block time out for people and relationships that matter to you, expect to reap what you (don't) sow! Here are a few ideas on the kinds of experiences you can get (adapted from TIME.com's 21 Experiences That Make Great Gifts)

Concert Tickets

Here's a pricier alternative to buying music that your partner will enjoyable. Buy them tickets to catch a music act and create a moment that you'll both remember.

Price: Depends on which category you want to be in and which act you're catching!
 

Emergency Getaway


Daniel and I have a Getaway for 2 Travel Experience Voucher that we bought from LUXLY that we're saving for an 'emergency' getaway in case we get too stressed or foresee ourselves not being able to spend a lot of time with each other (he's going on tour and I might be flying off to record my EP). 

Taken from LUXLY.sg (emphasis mine):

Choose the theme of your travel gift voucher from romantic escapes and weekend gateways, and let the recipient choose his or her own gift from a wide range of unique experiences in some of Asia's most popular destinations, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. Vouchers are valid for 12 months and experiences can be booked any time on our website or by contacting us at reservation@luxly.sg or +65 6385 2636 

Which is great for us. However, if you want to book in advance, do so early on in the year, i.e. now, before all your projects start filling up your calendar. Taking the advice of Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and whose podcast I listen to semi-religiously, the anticipation of a an upcoming trip also makes up a big part of the enjoyment of the gift! That's something to consider. 

Price: We got ourselves a package at a significant discount at a fair last year, but you can still choose from 4 different packages ranging from S$198 - S$588. I'm certain that the cheapest option works, so there. 


Dance Lessons

My new friend Thanapong and I at SEA JAM 2017, which I was singing at but ended up being asked to a dance, reigniting my interest in Lindy Hop

Specifically, Lindy Hop. Beginners are welcome! One of our friends joked that Daniel has two left feet and I have two right feet, so we're perfect partners in dancing HAHA.

Taken from their website:

Swing out to the big band music of the 1930s and 40s Big Bands! Lindy Hop is the happy dance that gets you grooving and moving to the swing rhythm. Taught by our experienced teaching team, headed by Sing Lim and Brian Ang, you don’t need experience or even a partner to join in the fun. Classes are run in 4 week courses and there is a Swing Fling Social every Thursday from 9pm to 11pm where you can enjoy dancing with different partners each week! The dancers also enjoy dancing to the great live bands at Barber Shop every Wednesday where music and dance come together to create a unique and vibrant atmosphere.​

Price: $35 per lesson, $300 for 10 lessons (recommended!) - check out their website for more details here.


3. Day Out In?

The best gift you can give anyone is your undivided attention and uninterrupted quality time. Many things can be bought with money, but not time. Tip for making the most out of this experience: stick to a no-phone/airplane mode rule. 

The top love language for Daniel and I is quality time. If that's the same for you, this would be a good and cheap alternative to a fancy day/night out! Here are a couple of suggestions on what you can do together:

Prepare a meal together 
He loves preparing steak (for him) and chicken chop (for me) and I'm not so good at the food preparation so I do the dishes after. 

Netflix and chill
Yup. Or just vegetate. 

Price: Just... cheaper than a day out.


4. An OMGYes subscription (if a woman is involved, haha)

If this is the first time you're hearing about OMGYes, you may thank me later. It's 2017, i.e. high time we removed the taboo from talking about women's sexual pleasure and sex in general (this warrants a more in-depth post in future)! 

A bit about OMGYes, taken from their website (emphases mine):

On OMGYes, you’ll explore techniques from the first-ever large scale research about the specifics of women’s pleasure. Combining the wisdom of over 2,000 women, ages 18-95. You'll have new tools in your toolbox for women, men, and couples

Grounded in research, this will undoubtedly improve your sexual experiences together! Sexual intimacy is very much a partner activity, so please don't rely on one party to do all the giving and the other to do all the taking. Learning how to pleasure each other should be a shared responsibility, if you will, to maximise overall happiness. At the very least, this will ignite open communication about your preferences in the bedroom (if there isn't already)! 

Or if you're spending Valentine's Day alone, this doesn't sound like too bad of an idea as well. 

You can either go green and send the lucky girl the gift over email, or if you prefer a physical representation, choose the printable version! 

This would be my personal choice for gift card design, the cutest clit. Taken from OMGYes.com
This would be my personal choice for gift card design, the cutest clit. Taken from OMGYes.com

Price: US$40, which is around S$57, but if you're in an equal partnership, the gift recipient can always opt to split the cost. Why not, right? I would. 
 

Parting Thoughts

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be something to get over and done with. If you feel pressurised to deliver something spectacular for your partner on Valentine's Day (or any other special occasion), maybe you should have a talk with them! 

On the other hand, who says you have to celebrate Valentine's Day anyway? Not only does it have strangely dark origins, prices for special Valentine's Day meals and gifts are usually more expensive than usual. 

You don't have to do what society (or actually maybe just big corporations and the big marketing machine) tells you to do! A true and secure relationship doesn't need external validation. So don't buy into the crap that advertisers try to feed you. 

Also, if your relationship is made of real stuff, every day can be Valentine's Day. What you and your partner do on all the other days is probably more indicative of whether there is true romance in your relationship. Otherwise, feel free to take the above suggestions beyond Valentine's Day and do more things that allow you and your partner to build a stronger relationship together!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day (or plain ol' Tuesday), and I wish you the best of luck. 

Lots of love, 

 

Noise Music Mentorship final concert and 2017 updates 

Hi there!

I have officially started a blog! The Glamour Vintage Songbird Diaries are meant for you to know more about me beyond my music. It will chronicle highlights in my music career, business, and daily life, covering topics ranging from songwriting to vintage beauty and style, and even some nuggets of wisdom I pick up along the way! Enjoy your time here. 
 

UPCOMING SHOW ALERT

As you might know, I've been under the mentorship of Sara Wee (of Singaporean band 53A) for the past few months as mentee in the National Arts Council's Noise Music Mentorship Programme. A little bit of background information: 

About Noise Singapore

An initiative of the National Arts Council, Noise Singapore is dedicated to making noise about the creative talent of young people aged 35 and below. Through numerous platforms to express, develop and showcase their creativity, Noise Singapore hopes to encourage young people in Singapore to actively participate in and nurture their relationship with the arts.

The Noise Music Mentorship is programmed by Thunder Rock School from May 2016 to January 2017, comprising of mentoring sessions with industry experts, workshops, masterclasses and feedback sessions leading to this final showcase. For more information on Noise Singapore, visit www.noisesingapore.com.
 
To end the programme with a bang, we are putting up a concluding show in the form of a block party on Keong Saik Rd!

Presenting... House of Noise x Urban Ventures block party at Keong Saik Road!

I'm kicking things off at the Keong Saik Stage at 3.50pm, so come early!
Lineup for the Keong Saik stage, one of the two stages on that day

Check out the newly-released live video of Better Off Without You below, recorded at Snakeweed Studios by brasscollective, thanks to Noise Singapore. I will be playing this song, amongst others, with this amazing band on Saturday the 18th of February!
 

 
 
2017 Updates​ 

1. First originals show 
 
Photo credit: DW WORKSHOP

The House of Noise unplugged concert went down on Saturday, 4 February, at DW WORKSHOP. Heartened by the great response from the audience to my set! 

2. First EVER live radio interview and performance

Rozz and I right after the interview in the new MediaCorp studio

I got the chance to be do my very first live radio interview and performance on Lush 99.5FM's Lush Bites with Rozz on Friday, 10 February! Thankful for the opportunity to showcase my music and chat about my background. 

If you missed it or want to recap part of the interview and performance, click here to watch a behind-the-scenes live video on Facebook. 
 

Trust me when I say that 2017 is going to be exciting. There's more in the pipeline so keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for the next update. Till next time!

Lots of love, 

Join my mailing list for the latest news!