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Amanda Tee - The Only Absolute

Amanda Tee | You can definitely relate to her new song about Covid-19

By | Acoustic Guitar, Music Articles | No Comments

Amanda Tee, Singapore’s folk-song enchantress wrote a tune about the Covid-19

I remember it was circa 2007 when I first saw Amanda Tee slinging the guitar the wrong way on stage, way before anyone would even entertain the idea of a Covid-19 world. We were so innocent back then and life was simpler. I initially associated her with Jimi Hendrix but quickly realized her style to be unique and entirely different from the psychedelic rock master. That young girl has since released multiple albums and singles, each better than before. In today’s post, I sat down with her to talk about her latest single, The Only Absolute.
Amanda Tee - The Only Absolute

Your new single, The Only Absolute, seems to be talking about your life experience. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this song?

Yes, you’re right! This song was written in the middle of all the uncertainty we were embroiled in last year. Not knowing what was going to happen with the pandemic getting worse and with the country in lockdown, 
 

This song really embodies the thought process of a lot of people last year, when they had the time to sit down and think. 

 
I thought about being young and hopeful, and about having grown up very lucky, with the people I love around me. About my fellow musician friends who were bummed about losing a significant part of their income without any idea when they can play again but still exploring options on how to get by in the meantime. Also, those remarks made by my comfortable middle-class friends, who felt that government assistance was too much for those who need it, “they should have been more prepared for a rainy day like this”, “we shouldn’t have to bear the tax burden for these people”. Soon I started thinking about the awfulness of the world, then when it got too deep I realized maybe I needed to get out of that black hole. I remember the people I care about and how they can be the pillars in my life to keep calm and carry on.
That’s really it. I’d thought it would be less relevant to the world by the time I released it, but I guess I thought wrong!
Amanda Tee

I know you even before you first released your music in 2014, Amnesiac. It has been 7 years since that album! What has changed?

A lot has changed since 2014. I remember I was still printing CDs when I released that album. It was just the beginning of Spotify and other music streaming platforms. Because of the increased prevalence of music streaming over the years, the emphasis is all about frequent single releases now! Rather than anticipating 2-3 years for album releases. It’s a big change. However, it’s heartwarming to see all the original artists in Singapore moving with the times and adapting to it.
Amanda Tee

Who are your songs written for?

People who enjoy folk music, old-school singer-songwriter lyrics, along with some not-so-straightforward musicality. Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Tori Amos, and a whole lot of other songwriters have been huge influences to me.
Amanda Tee

If you have to choose a song you wrote that defines you as Amanda Tee, which is it and why?

To be honest, I think my new single The Only Absolute would be it. This song has all the instrumentations that I love in folk music and melodies that I love.


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

Just do it! Don’t think too much about whether it’s the right thing to do. Don’t let anyone else do that thinking for you too. 

So what is next?

I’m planning to release a full album later in the year, so keep your ears peeled for that! Meanwhile…

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Guitarist Singapore

Shern Wong wrote a song for his late father | Musicians in Singapore

By | Electric Guitar, Music Articles | No Comments

Shern Wong, Musicians in Singapore

This is a series of blog posts where we get to speak to musicians in Singapore and today we are featuring Shern Wong. Shern is no stranger to the local music industry on this sunny island. However, most students we teach have little clue about the music scene in Singapore because it is rather inaccessible. For instance, musicians perform in a nightspot that isn’t kids friendly. Also, promotional materials typically fail to reach their audiences. Hence we are using our platform to do our tiny part in contributing to the community!

Shern Wong

Let’s begin the interview!

Thank you again for doing this interview 🙂 Let’s begin!
  1. You just released an album earlier this February and now an upcoming Single this June! Are you officially the musician in Singapore who has released the most music in 2021?
I honestly don’t know! Never thought much about it. Perhaps amongst my personal musician friends maybe I have released more music than them. Everyone’s so focused on releasing singles these days I’m the only crazy (old-fashioned) one who still believes albums are relevant. But then again we still have half a year to go for 2021 so we never know. Maybe someone will release a double album!
2.What inspired you to write your songs? Who are they written for?
My latest single “Song for Dad ” was written for my Dad who passed away in December last year. I would say I get inspired by things that happen in life: personal experiences and things that happen around the world and of course relationships. I hope that people can relate to the songs that I write no matter what the subject is.
3. I know you since your teenage years when you are in the band Defuse! How do you compare yourself from your yesteryears and now?
I used to think that good music was only songs that were technically impressive and had complex difficult to pull off guitar solos/drum parts and insane high-range vocals. I used to scorn simple songs with only three chords strummed on an acoustic guitar. Nowadays, I believe that good music is music that makes you feel something, and simple songs can be great as well. 温柔 by Mayday is a good example of a simple song that sounds great and invokes a lot of emotion. I long to write a song like that someday.
Singapore Music

Musicians in Singapore are a tough bunch!

4. If you have to choose a song you wrote that defines you, which is it and why?
 
It really is difficult to choose a song that defines me because I feel that there is a part of me in every song that I write, and everything I’ve written is a reflection of my musical taste. But if I had to pick a song that resonates the most with the type of music I enjoy (rock music with bluesy elements) it would be “Sunshine Sugar Baby”. Also, the theme of the song is about breaking away from the feeling of jadedness, which is something musicians face constantly.
5. As a musician from Singapore, what do you have to say to budding musicians who has the aspiration to be like you?
Practice hard. Be humble and open to criticism. Do your best, accept the fact that you won’t be able to please everyone all the time. There’s no shortcut to greatness, your skills improve as you do things and create music, so don’t be afraid to try, even if the task seems difficult at the moment. Stop hesitating, if you want to do something, do it: you will never be truly ready/prepared for it because there’s always one more higher level to achieve.
6. Do you have any juicy information to share?
I heard that the boys from Defuse are getting together to release some material in future. (Hopefully) Stay tuned!

Listen to Shern’s music today!

Chapel Lung

Chapel Lung | Shern Wong

Hop onto Spotify to listen to Shern’s album Chapel Lung.

Follow Shern on social media to find out how you can go the old school way and buy his CD! (If you know what that is)

Check out the teaser for Shern’s latest Single below! The actual release will be on 20 June 12pm!

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

If you wish to find out more about our guitar program, click here.