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keytar singapore

Joanna Lim wrote the toughest song ever | Parallel Vortex

By | Music Articles, Piano | No Comments

Joanna Lim wrote the toughest song, the Parallel Vortex

Joanna Lim is no stranger to composing tough songs like Parallel Vortex! In fact, there is a reason why this amazing keyboardist is a friend to the god of keyboard Jordan Rudess. However, there are more than meets the eye. We are lucky enough to sit and chat with Singapore’s goddess of the keyboard.

Joanna Lim

Firstly congratulations again on your 2 babies! Firstly your very adorable son Denver and secondly your album Parallel Vortex! Can we confirm that you are the most hardworking Mother/Musician in Singapore?

Thank you for having me, Vinnie! I guess being a mom really unlocked strengths and abilities that I never knew I had. Haha 

Being a mother is serious work! What is the driving force behind writing your album while raising a baby?

I think being a mom is really the toughest job in the world (kudos to all moms out there!). Parallel Vortex was actually written before having a kid. I told a Chinese newspaper reporter that I wanted to write something for my late dad who passed on in 2008 due to cancer.  After much procrastination and agonizing years of writing and recording, I finally got it out of the system in 2020. I was recording till my third trimester because I knew I would not have time to do so with a kid around.

keytar singapore

I know you from your Zero Sequence days! Totally impressed by those forward-tilted keyboards with fast running note actions. That was a long time ago, what has changed for you?

Age. Haha. Playing with a keyboard tilted is not good for your wrists. As time goes by, my setup for gigs becomes smaller (lazier to carry more things!) and more efficient (thanks to technology!)
I do miss those days with the adrenaline rush from all those fast notes. Nowadays, I get my adrenaline from open jams with improvisations. I love those spontaneous moments and the chance to play with many different musicians.

You play the piano, keyboard, and saxophone in your songs. If you want to introduce yourself with one of your songs, which will it be and why?

This is a tough one because every track represents different stages of my life. If I were to pick one, perhaps the first track – Parallel Vortex? The song has a mix of everything. From heavy guitar riffs, double pedals, and synth to mid-tempo fusion solos and it has a symphonic ending.  Pretty much gives you the summary of the entire album.

saxophone singapore

As a musician from Singapore, what do you have to say to budding musicians who have the aspiration to be like you?

Friendship and family first. Never sacrifice the above just to pursue your music career. Love people and the musicians, jobs, and inspiration will come to you. Be yourself. 

Do you have any juicy stories to share?

I don’t really have any juicy story to share. haha
However, do check out my husband’s albums too! Simon Yong’s second guitar instrumental album – The Nasty Catawumpus was also released in 2020. We wanted to release our albums at the same time. I guess the “healthy competition” between us pushes each other to write and record. Now we have each started writing for our next album (cannot lose out. haha)

Click here to find out how you can sign up for a Free Trial Lesson to be an awesome musician like Joanna Lim.

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Crazy Elephant Singapore

Crazy Elephant’s 25th Anniversary Celebrations!

By | Celebration Time!, Music Articles, News | No Comments

Crazy Elephant Celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

Crazy Elephant Singapore

Img credit : Crazy Elephant Singapore

25 years of Crazy Elephant!

In the early 1990s, Clarke Quay shed its past as a shipping port and was redeveloped into a commercial and entertainment district. It was then, in 1994, that a bar called Crazy Elephant had its humble beginnings. It therefore quickly established itself as ‘the’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues live music venue as we know it today! Woohoo!

On 20 October 2019, Crazy Elephant celebrated its Silver Jubilee! The place was overflowing with patrons, some decked out in the craziest suits ever, and a gigantic elephant mask. To mark this major milestone, 7 bands – Dubious People, Crozzroads, Randolf Arriola, The No Daddies, Dirty Dealers, Heritage, Bob Sauler & The Blues Rock Renegade – performed the greatest hits from 1969 to 1994. Finally, to close the night, musicians from all over the world brought the house down at Singapore’s longest running jam session.

 

Fun Fact 1: Do you know Clark Quay used to be a family oriented entertainment ground? There was even an indoor water adverture ride “Pirates of the Carribean” that features the history of Singapore’s Maritime and Port. That was 1993 and before the new redevelopment plans to convert the identity of Clark Quay, allowing the very existence of Crazy Elephant. 

Let’s hear it from the person who knows it best – Anita!

We are so honored to have been part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, but as ignorant juniors of the local music scene, we have some burning questions about Crazy Elephant! Who can be a better person to ask than Anita, who has had front row seats to the Big Bang at CE?! She has been the Business Development Manager for the last 20 years, she sure knows every little thing about this crazy party house!

When did you join Crazy Elephant? How was it like back then?

1999!!! It was crazy back then as well! The venue was much smaller but we still had many amazing musicians both local and from all over the world come through our doors. Back then and for many years after, there weren’t many places that had live music and doing what we did and continue to do quality Blues and Rock music. It was a full house every weekend and you could hardly move. It was a very different Clarke Quay back then.

When did the famous weekly Jam Session begin? How has it grown?

Since forever! It has definitely grown over the years, kudos to the support of the amazing musicians and music lovers who come through, helping us spread the word as well as our very own jam master Kelly Olafson who does an amazing job of running the jam every Sunday. This year saw the birth of Common Ground, an event that happens every third Sunday of the month that starts a couple of hours before our jam session. The idea behind it is to get musicians and music lovers converging together to swap, showcase music gear, share stories and meet like-minded people. The response has been good and most of the time they stay on to jam as well.

Have you witnessed any musicians taking on bigger stages after gaining experience from performing in Crazy Elephant?

I think it’s almost like a rite of passage to many, be it those who go on to pursue a professional career or those who have just picked up the guitar. The idea of sharing the love of Blues and Rock music, performing live, has always been part of CE culture. Our musicians are always very welcoming, encouraging and generous to share their experiences and give tips, be it which gear might be the best or how to overcome stage fright.

Can you list some countries of your patrons?

Australia. Belgium. Brazil. Cambodia. Canada. China. Cuba. Denmark. Egypt. Fiji. Finland. France. Germany. Greece. Honduras. Hungry. Iceland. India. Indonesia. Iran. Ireland. Italy. Japan. Lebanon. Malaysia. Mauritius. Mexico. Montenegro. Myanmar. Netherlands. Nepal. New Zealand. Norway. Pakistan. Peru. Philippines. Portugal. Russia. Spain. Singapore. Sweden. Suriname. Switzerland. Thailand. Turkey. Ukraine. UAE. USA. Vietnam. Zimbabwe…..just to name a few!!!!

What’s the best part of Crazy Elephant today?

We have and will continue to cultivate the music community and play a big part in the live music scene as one of the longest-running establishments here in Clarke Quay and in Singapore.

Heart and Soul of Blues Rock Singapore

In conclusion, Anita definitely made it clear that Crazy Elephant has been and will always a platform for creative interactions among musicians. The glowing legacy of Crazy Elephant is evident in the crowds it continues to draw relentlessly, night after night for a quarter of a century. Let us leave you with some photos our beloved Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues bar, past and present, from Facebook! See you at Crazy Elephant!

Vinnie

 

Fun Fact 2: Crazy Elephant is founded by Mr John Chee, Mr Samuel Seong Koon and Mr Keef Ong. Mr Chee used to play 5 days a week with the house band Blues Machine. These days, the house is taken over by Bob Sauler and The Blues Rock Renegades! Bob Sauler on Vocals and Guitar, David Ng on Bass, Tan Boon Gee on Drums and Alex Kalino Hooi on Guitar. 

Kelly Olafson, the unsung hero of the Open Mic Jam!

Kelly Olafson

Possibly the first Crazy Elephant Jam Session!

Crazy Elephant Open Mic Jam

From the team at Crazy Elephant!