Monday, April 30, 2012

On volunteerism.. and the freedom song

I've got the tickets to Jason Mraz in Sg!!!
Uber looking forward, but i know it's gna get crazzzy squeezy..

I had become a fan since everyone was a fan,
(yea i admit i was one of those followers),
and so is Deon!

Deon Toh's an amazingly talented singer-songwriter i met,
a couple of years ago at NUS Jazz Band..
and we're now working together, writing songs weekly at his Thunder Rock School (:
So you can look forward to some collaborations between me and Deon in my upcoming EP!!

Here's a video we did in the wee hours of the morning (:

Well, the reason why i did this song was because i recently heard
the newly recorded version by jason mraz,
and i was just duper excited because just some time back,
i was putting the acoustic version of this song on repeat,
wondering when the recorded version is gna come out!

Of course my love for this song was due to the story behind it.
A while ago, my sister showed me this video
where Jason goes to Ghana to visit former child slaves at Challenging Heights,
a rehabilitation centre where these kids are taken care of after their traumatic experiences.

"this is a shelter, a rehabilitation centre, where they are cared for, 
they are given proper nutrition, and are slowly explained what's really been going on, 
and if their families have really been looking for them. 
And after they get through the rehabilitation process, 
then they are reintegrated back into their communities. 

So this is like the halfway point between being slaved.. and being back in the free world." 

In the video, the freedom song was introduced,
and I teared watching it,
because i realized there's so much to be done in this world,
so many lives to save,
yet all i could do is to sit in front of the screen at home and tear at a video,
before going back to my normal life.
Jason goes to Ghana

"Come on along, 
i know you really wanna hear our song,
we've got some life (light) to bring, 
we've got some joy in this thing"

Will simply spreading awareness ever be enough?

I've always wanted to be part of a volunteering group,
but never had the time and enough commitment to dedicate myself to it/prioritise it above others..

But i've done some community service during my schooldays
and this brought back fond memories..

I wish volunteering stems from teachings of love & compassion,
from the desire to make the world a better place,
than from a requirement for graduation.

Even now as i look back,
as pure my intentions were to help others,
i can't help but feel sorry that i had spent those few days bonding with the kids,
only to abandon them in their shelters later,
never to return again.

I mean, i'm sure there are many volunteers who return every single year,
but what about the rest that forms the majority?

These kids' lives were filled with hopeful volunteers,
who went,
and left.

I can't figure what is the best form of volunteerism.
Are all volunteerism beneficial for the community served?
Does the age-old quote regarding compassion and starfish even make any sense?

sigh.. :(

Monday, April 16, 2012

The 6 Most Memorable Weddings i've done... yet.

Till date, i've sung for over hundreds of weddings, 5 years & counting now..
and since it has been such a big part of my life i thought i should create a list of
some of the most Memorable weddings i've ever done!

So here you go, after careful consideration/privacy issues, i've shortlisted 6 most memorable ones!
Be warned it's a giant of a post....

In no order of merit...

1. Beachside Bliss 

Audrick & Jenny, 2011 

I truly enjoyed this wedding because i'm by nature a beach-lover,
and though the weather turned my face into a oily-paradise, 
Sentosa's Coastes Sand Bar had such a nice ambience, 
with fireworks from Songs by the Sea show right across the island at night..

it was almost perfect!

plusplus, cherry on top of the icing was the wedding decor by
Chere Wedding & Parties (,
& the most amazing part was that Weiwei, owner of Chere, was my primary school penpal whom i've lost contact with since i was 9!

It was also my first time witnessing a sand-pouring ceremony (instead of the usual cross toast),

2. Heartwarming cake art 

Joseph & Hooi Ling, 2011
I was the emcee and wedding singer for Joseph & Hooi Ling's night and 
they were so hospitable and accommodating! 

In fact, their whole family was a testament of overflowing love..
This castle of cake was specially handcrafted & pieced together, bit by bit, 
by Hooi Ling's father, who's a Pastry chef from Montreaux Cake House & Patisserie

It was so popular that night it quickly became a photo-point..

Apart from the beautiful lightings on the outside, 
the intricate designs on the inside was astounding (i swear i have no better word to describe it)
Check out the sculpted horses carriage!
Impressed TTM, i almost wanted to cry when i watched the making-of video..

3. A wedding dedicated to others in need 

Ivan & Shirleen, 2011

Ivan & Shirleen is a beautiful couple, inside out,
they've always been avid volunteers of Radion International (, 
a Christian relief & development agency dedicated to helping marginalized communities.

but volunteering wasn't enough as they even took their wedding as chance to help 
spread the word for doing good. 

Each table had this little card to spread awareness about the organization

An introduction video about Radion was also played before their wedding video.. 

4. It's a family affair

Mandy & Irene, March 2011

It was double the joy & fun (名正言顺的喜喜) at Mandy & Irene's weddings, 
because both twins decided to get married with their respective husbands...
on the same night! 
If only their husbands were twins too.. haha

6 months later, they got us again to sing for their sister's wedding! 

Mavis & Ming tye, Sep 2011

5. My first Malay Wedding 

Faizal & Divya, 2009

It was really an eye-opener,
seeing the elaborate malay drummer troops lead their majesty into the ballroom,

the couple then proceeded to their thrones to watched a dance item..
i guess they couldn't stand just watching,
so they joined in the fun! 

6. My first Overseas Wedding

Suki & Jame's Overseas wedding in Bangkok, Thailand
10 & 11Jul '10

It was a whooping jam-packed 2 nights in Bangkok!

Day 1,
We took the early morning flight,

and upon reaching bkk, we satisfied our famished souls with authentic pad thai,

soundcheck, and it was showtime!

Suki's part-thai and Jame's from hongkong.
They both met while studying overseas
so the first night was a cosy dinner held at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit,
specially organized for their dear friends from all over the world (:

Did i mention, Suki's super pretty??

Day 2,
we seized the daytime and headed straight for chatuchak!

There, we met Jack Sparrow,
witnessed the world's coolest teh-tarik man (IMHO), you gotta see the video to believe it...

& to daniel's joy he found some young & fresh "thai coconuts" hahaha
Then, it was back to the hotel for some serious business..

the 2nd night was meant for families all around the world,
so the turnout was really very impressive,
we didn't expect such a huge crowd!

Round 2 Soundcheck & show time,
introducing the band members from left to right, Ein on keyboard, WahYong on bass,
Leon on vocals with me & Daniel on drums!

Check out the crazy floral display/photo point

It was amazing travelling for music and weddings (:
the night ended with a pretty awesome foot massage at Suan Lum night market! bliss....

That pretty much sums the most memorable wedding encounters i've had..
i'm truly looking forward to more in years to come!

Monday, April 9, 2012

AJ Idol.. 6 years ago & now (:

You know whenever people ask me about how i started singing, i always quote AJ Idol '06 as the beginning of everything.

It was the first time i ever took part in a singing competition, 
the first time i stood onstage performing to a full audience,
and the first time i realize that i could actually sing. 

And even though i often chuckle at the mention of it, 
i owe everything i am today to back then
because it was my first step into singing, and i never looked back since (:

I wish i kept photos of the competition back then :( 
I joined AJ Idol '06 with a dear friend of mine, Jessica, as a duo,
and we named ourselves "153.5".. 
no prizes for what it meant.. it was our average height. lol.

Thankfully i still have this introduction video that was played before we went onstage for the finals. 
oh memories!

So imagine how excited i was when Ms Zhu (my JC form teacher) invited me back to be the Judge and guest performer for AJ Idol '12! 

I totally enjoyed the experience, 
& i really could not bring myself to criticize the contestants (i was told that i was a paula abdul ) 
partly because i couldn't believe the amount of talent showcased at such a young age!

My view from the judging table

Fellow judges, (left to right)
Adeline Lim, piano instructor
& Celine Jessandra, founder of CJ Dance School that specializes in Korean dance (:

A group shot with the performing students and AJ Idol committee! 
Great job to everyone, it's my honour to be back in AJ again! 

My jc friends came back to support me as well (*touched!). 
And these are the girls i took the devilish A'levels with, 
girls i travelled Europe on a backpack with for 1.5 mths, 
girls that stood by me after so many years (: 
LOVEE them! 

My girls & Ms Zhu on the far right hand side (my JC form teacher) 

The seed of passion was planted 6 years ago, 
in the comforts of a school tucked away at yio chu kang. 
Today, the seed continues to grow, 
i don't know where i will end up, 
but i know i've found my passion, and a reason to live for (: 

I hope everyone finds their seed of passion, 
and pursue it, fight for it, 
cos you never where it will bring you 6 years later (: 

p.s: awaiting performance photos from the AJ Idol committe (: