In a beautiful mess of her own creation

1 06 2013

One of the things I was able to do during the recent Indie music festival, Music Matters Live with HP 2013, was to catch a few of the local acts. One act which came at the recommendation of a friend, was that of singer/songwriter Natalie Hiong, who I also had a chance to have a short chat with after her performance on the final evening of the three day festival.

Natalie Hiong

Natalie Hiong

Blessed with great looks and a great voice, there is probably nothing about Natalie not to like. I did find her music very likeable as well. Simple, bright and cheerful, her melodies and lyrics are easy to listen to and I enjoyed every bit of her brief appearance at Beer Market during which she performed songs which featured in her second EP, Beautiful Mess.

Natalie and her band at the Beer Market during MML 2013.

Natalie and her band at the Beer Market during MML 2013.

It is in the title track of the five track EP where Natalie speaks of the beautiful mess of her “own creation, awash with colours of fear and excitement”, which she does find herself in. It is a mess she got herself into a little more than two years back, quitting a two year investment banking job in London she found herself bored in, admitting that she would have quit earlier if the bonuses paid at the end of the first year had been better.

A graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE), Natalie does admit to being something of an academic high-flyer – which does make it a lot more unlikely for her to take the path she has. Trained in classical music, it was her involvement writing music for a student produced musical, “Excess Baggage”, in her second year in LSE in 2007 which provided her with the yearning to pursue a career in music – again admitting to wanting very much to quit her studies there and then to allow her to do just that.

In her beautiful mess.

In her beautiful mess.

With two EPs under her belt, Natalie is now working towards her goal of recording a full album – which she hopes to complete next year. It is also her dream to get into the musical scene, having had acquired a taste for it with Excess Baggage, as well as in her writing the lyrics for the recently concluded magic themed musical Incanto which played at Resorts World Sentosa. I did also have the chance to ask Natalie if her parents were supportive of the choices she has made. “They are”, Natalie says, “they always knew I was going to go into music, it was only a question of when”.


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Music Matters Live with HP 2013

23 05 2013

Going on until tomorrow evening (24 may 2013) at Clarke Quay is the latest edition of Music Matters Live (MML), Music Matters Live with HP. Part of the award-winning Digital & Music Matters Conference 2013, the three evening event brings more than emerging 50 bands representing some 20 countries to Singapore.

Music Matters Live with HP 2013 opened at Clarke Quay last evening.

Music Matters Live with HP 2013 opened at Clarke Quay last evening.

Carlos Castaño opens the three day music festival.

Carlos Castaño opens the three day music festival.

Opening the event last evening was a great first act from Filipino soul singer, Carlos Castaño who was followed on the Fountain Stage by Indonesian YouTube sensations Gamaliel, Audrey and Cantika (GAC) and Singapore’s rap and hip-hop artist Kevin Lester. It wasn’t just the acts at the Fountain Stage which had the feet of the audiences tapping – there were performances at various other venues including Singapore singer/songwriter Sarah Cheng-De Winne – a nominee in the 12th Independent Music Awards, as well as acts from some unusual origins. One that came on at the start at China One was what is the first pop and hip-hop girl group to come out of Myanmar, the Me N Ma Girls (ex Tiger Girls).

Another shot of Carlos Castaño.

Another shot of Carlos Castaño.

The Me N Ma Girls from Myanmar.

The Me N Ma Girls from Myanmar.

Kevin Lester.

Kevin Lester.

The party continues this evening with a line-up of some 43 bands at the six venues. Judging from the crowds last year, the highlight for many would probably be on tomorrow evening at K-Pop Night Out which will feature the likes of R&B diva Lena Park, a pair of girl groups AOA and SPICA, Eastern Sidekick – an indie rock band, an idol group M.I.B and jazz artistes Park Juwon and Jeon Jeduk.

Sarah Cheng-De Winnie at Fern & Kiwi.

Sarah Cheng De-Winnie at Fern & Kiwi.

The final evening will also see a showcase of our local talent which will see a line-up of local indie bands appear. These include Electrico, Plainsunset, Kevin Lester and The Observatory, as well as the very raw The Summer State, Natalie Hiong, These Brittle Bones and The Sam Willows.  MML 2013 is supported by the National Arts Council (NAC) as well as YouTube, Singapore Tourism Board, Media Development Authority, Pacific Beverages, Fender, Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), and many others. More information can be found at www.musicmatterslive.com and https://www.facebook.com/MusicMattersLive. The event can also be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/musicmatters and at the official Youtube channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/musicmatterstome.

The crown being warmed up at the Fountain Stage.

The crown being warmed up at the Fountain Stage.

Venues and Schedules (click to enlarge)

Fountain Stage Schedule

Music Matters Live 2013 - Programme Booklet A6 closed - 2013.05.

China One

Crazy Elephant

Fern & Kiwi

Music Matters Live 2013 - Programme Booklet A6 closed - 2013.05.





Hundreds of screaming girls and a show of hands

25 05 2012

I was at Clarke Quay last evening to catch some wonderful independent acts perform live on stage at the first day of the 3-day Music Matters Live event. It being K-Pop Night Out, hundreds of screaming girls holding placards and iPads coloured the scene around the Main Stage. Among the performances that I caught were indie-folk duo Minor Soul from Hong Kong – who are produced by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, Natasha Duarte from Australia who was performing for the first time outside of Australia, and K-Pop’s Rhythm King and seven member BTOB.

Indie-folk duo Minor Soul who are produced by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart.

Natasha Duarte from Australia.

Guitarist for Natasha Duarte.

Rhythmking.

Rhythmking Fans.

BTOB.

There were hundreds of screaming girls!


There was a show of hands in more ways than one!


PRESS RELEASE

Music Matters 2012: A Diverse Live Experience

The show will be kick-started on the main stage by a hip hop showcase from Korea on May 24. Drunken Tiger, a pioneer of the genre, will be performing alongside the ‘Queen of Soul’ t Yoon Mi Rae. They will be accompanied by heavyweights such as the hot idol group M.I.B, rapper and hip hop prince J’Kyun and DJ Clazzi of the experimental genre-defying project Clazziquai. One half of dynamic hip hop duo 2wins, Rhythmking will also be appearing as well as BTOB, an energetic vocal group with seven members and a massive fanbase.

Aussie BBQ will be held at Beer Market on May 25 and will feature some of Australia’s best talents. Epic stadium rockers Pandorum, rising alternative rock band This Sanctuary and the classically trained singer-songwriter Kate Miller Heidke. Canada will also have a strong presence in Music Matters Live. Following last year’s arrival of Simple Plan on Singapore’s shores, Canadian Blast will be held at Cuba Libre featuring soulful singer and acoustic performer Peter Katz, alien surf rockers Hill & The Sky Heroes, rapper Manafest and USS, one of Canada’s top indie rock acts.

Singapore will also be well represented. Inch Chua, who has performed at massive festivals such as SXSW, will be featured. The local line-up also includes The Great Spy Experiment, who quite recently rocked the stage at Singapore Day in New York City and The Auditory Effect, a band whose music is a dynamic fusion of high energy, style and groovy beats.

All performances will be held at the main stage at Clarke Quay, Beer Market, China One, Crazy Elephant, Cuba Libre, Forbidden City by Indochine, Shuffle and The Arena. Gigs start at 7:30pm and end at 2am. For updates on the gig schedule, visit http://www.facebook.com/MusicMattersLive.

This music festival aims to showcase to Singapore and the region many of today’s greatest breakthrough bands, irrespective of national and cultural differences. Access to most acts will be free, encouraging attendees to open their minds to a journey of musical discovery. No one will be left out as all the line-up for the main stage will be broadcast live over Youtube for the first time, making the audience limitless.

Aside from the themed nights on the main stage, expect standout performances from festival favourite Midnight Youth (NZ), indie-folk twosome Minor Soul (HK) who are produced by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, post-punk act Aftermiles (Indonesia) and many, many more.

Music Matters Live is just one segment of All That Matters, a convention and platform for discussion on music, technology and media. The programme is filled with talks by esteemed members of these industries including Bob Ezrin, the legendary producer who has worked with the likes of Pink Floyd on their landmark album ‘The Wall’ and KISS. Further information and the full schedule can be found at WWW.ALLTHATMATTERS.ASIA.