Thursday, 27 June 2013

Behind The Scenes part 2: Colours, Needles & Stories

I hope everyone here is looking forward to the weekend. Me, I've been busy rehearsing for my virgin gig at AQUANOVA Clarke Quay, working on my new website, making the final edits to the music video and checking on the final mix for my upcoming song, "Colours, Needles and Stories." Last week, I posted a little preview to this music video that I shot and cut.  Here's more!

The music video and the song will be out 1st July 2013! I'll be giving out the song free via if you sign up for the mailling list, don't worry, no spam!

My buddy Ernesto who helped me shoot the moving vehicle secnes.
This was shot before I quit smoking, Smoke breaks were precious!

Toshi checking up on our GOPRO cam
Ernesto checking up on our other GOPRO cam
The lovely Louise from Galaxy Tattoo 2
Boss man Niccku of Galaxy Tattoo 2 sketching while we set up the shot
Augustine, head honcho of GimmeloveTattoo. Sick Japanese style artist.
June from Gimmelove sketching. Check out her candy sleeve, it's awesome.
A funny little sign from one of the shops, LOL.
Jaws, boss man of Johnny Two Thumb Tattoo hard at work.
Elson, Think Tattoo checking on his tattoo machine
Lionel of Black Temple Tattoo tattooing fellow artist and buddy, Elvin from Elvin Tattoo.
Elvin of Elvin Tattoo was in a good mood when we shot that day.
Lionel of Black Temple making a kissy face while he inks

I really hope you enjoy the song and the video when you hear it. :)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Sneak Peek #1: Rehearsal Video

I will be performing a stint with the superb band A-LIST at AQUANOVA, Clarke Quay every fri and sat for a couple of months. This here is a sneak peek at our first round of rehearsals.

I am very much looking forward to this gig. The sound is awesome, the band is great and I get to sing my own, and my favourite songs. See you there, everybody!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Funny stuff

These 3 videos about men and women made me laugh non stop. Awesome.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Behind The Scenes part 1- "Colours Needles & Stories"

In exactly 2 weeks, I will be putting out my brand new song, "Colours, Needles and Stories".

The song's about my memories living life in Singapore and about why I get tattoos.

Here are the lyrics: 

Colours Needles and Stories

"Colours Needles and stories
Memories I’d like to keep
Forever close to my heart now
Always following me

Pictures people and troubles I meet
Fables I’d like to believe
Inking reminders I keep on my journey

Whatever the shade of our skin
No matter the tools in our hands
However big our burdens be
Everyone needs to be free

Pictures people and troubles I meet
Fables I’d like to believe
Inking reminders I keep on my journey
There’s some things in this life I try to forget
These markings on me keep me going
Every man dies but not all men live
The road’s been long in the lion city
But they’re all the pieces of me

Oh I want to remember
Oh I I need them close
Oh life I know is for the living
But there’s some things on my road I’ll want the same

Pictures people and troubles I meet
Fables I’d like to believe
Inking reminders I keep on my journey
There’s some things in this life I try to forget
These markings on me keep me going
Every man dies but not all men live
The road’s been long in the lion city
But they’re all the pieces of me"

I've also made a music video to accompany the song with the help of two of my buddies, Toshi & Ernesto who also know their way around the camera, actually, they know plenty more than me. So with 3 guys cameras, a van, my motorcycle and a lot of time and love... I've now got this video shot, edited and ready to go.

The music always gets done first, here are some photos of the sound recording process.
This here is a Neumann U87 microphone. I used this classic recording mic to record the vocals on "Colours, Needles & Stories." It's got a beautiful warm sound and for this laid back, pensive, nostalgic song... I think it works with my voice.

The Classic Neumann U87 Condenser mic.
I am not a very technical musician, I leave most of this stuff to the pros but I learned a fair bit about mixing, compression and all that boring stuff that's so essential to an audio recording.

Solid State SSL console.

it really is as confusing as it looks.

 After the music was recorded... the filming began. I decided to make the video that had a feeling of traveling, nostalgia, and tattoos, so I called a couple of friends from the tattoo scene here if they wanted to be part of this project. Thank goodness they did!

I borrowed a car & 2 gopros to try out a gopro setup
Toshi & Ernesto getting their cameras all prepped  & ready to go.

First stop, Visual Orgasm Tattoo studio on Arab Street.
very cool Visual Orgasm Tattoo signage.

Visual Orgsam's main man, Joseph.
Tattoo shops always has cool shit lying around. Check out this ram skull!

joseph was working on this owl.. it's off the self titled album from Norweigian metal band, Kvelertak.
I saw this skeleton in LASALLE & really wanted to use it some how but I couldn't find any where  to film it.

a nice sunny day for an outdoor scene shoot. Here's Toshi with my bike.

I'll put out the second part to this behind the scenes next week! :) Have a good week ahead, all.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

I believe in Lifelong Learning

As I write this, I am eagerly awaiting my results... I've spent the last year reading and working my butt off pursuing a music degree at LASALLE College of the arts and I think the results are due any day now. Honestly, I don't think I've ever worked as hard on anything academically before. I do hope that my efforts translate into good has to make the most out of the school fees, no? Especially when I had to pay for it out of my savings (El Cheapo strikes again). I have a phobia of looking at how low my funds are in the bank account now. (I tell myself it doesn't matter, money can always be earned lah, no problem.)

I remember telling myself after I had graduated from NUS that I would never voluntarily go back to school again... but 5 years later, I find myself pursuing another undergraduate course. LOL. the irony.

This time, I must say, it was different, maybe it's because I've actually found what I am passionate about. An all consuming interest. I kind of wish I could spend more time learning and you know, forget about earning money and paying mortgages.  I'd love to just keep learning, improving myself and creating.

My time in LASALLE really made me realize that education is the best investment you can give yourself, if you put in the effort. It's really about what you put in. You get what you put in.

The pursuit of creating music, making videos, singing, writing lyrics, recording, performing, is a never ending pursuit. There will never come a day where you would know everything about it... I think that's what makes it so fun for me. You will never be able to master any of it. 

This was my last gig performed in LASALLE a couple of weeks back for the LASALLE graduation show. I will miss my time there. Who knows? I might return there in a couple of years...

Rehearsing for the COLAB: the LASALLE grad show 2013.

In the mean time, I've got a whole bunch of new songs that I've written, I'm motivated and I'm excited to take them in the studio and put them out for all of you to enjoy... on my soon to be spanking new awesome website! Also... I might be starting a sort of regular gig where I might get to sing all my favourite songs from the 80s and 90s! more updates soon!

Also, I just had yet another birthday. I'm another year wiser, but another year of metabolic slowdown...  I've got a nice workout regime that I absolutely have to adhere to. The flipside about putting all my energy into my coursework... I get out of shape. :(
Happy birthday to me! I'm not a big fan of cupcakes but these were custom made for me, so I really appreciate it.

Digital and Music Matters + Music Matters Academy 2013

It's been a long while since I've blogged regularly, but have no fear! If you enjoy reading my blog, I have made it a matter of priority (now that I'm done with the lessons and assessments for my music degree at LASALLE) to blog regularly once again!

Let's see, what have I done over the last couple of weeks... I performed all my new songs to a wonderful audience of friends, family and music lovers together with PennyLane at a special showcase (BIG THANKS TO THOSE OF YOU WHO CAME DOWN & BIG THANKS TO THOSE OF YOU WHO SIGNED UP FOR THE MAILING LIST! I HAVE A LITTLE PRESENT FOR YOU COMING SOON!)... I attended Music Matters 2013, I performed one of my new songs, "Maybe Tonight" acoustic for COLAB: the LASALLE graduation show, I had a birthday and I have had a couple of production meetings which will translate into me recording and releasing some of my songs, so... they are very important, and some meetings that will give me the ability to pay my bills, also very important.

Music Matters Sponsor wall.

Music Matters was a week long of music, conferences, discussions, mentor sessions and hanging out, It was great fun. I really enjoy meeting all the other SGMUSOs and creatives.. it's really nice to talk to people who have the same passion that I do. I made new friends and I got to hang out with old friends... it was a blast. I even found some talented folks who wanted to collaborate with me and play on my new recordings! YAY!!

Music Matters Academy Mentor sessions... so many talents!

I sincerely hope I will be able to attend Music Matters again next year (especially Music Matters Academy, that was really useful... picked up plenty of good ideas and tips about managing myself as an independent). I was multi-tasking like a mad man as I was covering the conferences for Straits Times Communities, so I was reporting "LIVE" via twitter (@jonleongtweets, if you're interested). I must have looked rude to have been constantly typing on my phone while people were talking.

more talented people!

even more talented (and good looking enough to be part time strippers) people

Music Industry legend Seymour Stein shares his experiences and answers questions.

Had some nice catch up time with the queen of Singaporean radio, Flo.