Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My first song-writing epiphany..

I had my first song-writing epiphany a few weeks ago,
and that feeling was real bizarre.

It was the first time i ever experienced such jolts of inspiration
without having to expend much effort at thinking of lyrics,
struggling to find a catchy tune...
nothing like that!

It was a moment of flow.
[the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake 
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
For 15mins of that time, i knew exactly what i wanted.
The words came out easily,
the tune was already in my head when i started writing,
and everything was just right.

Now this is totally new for an amateur song-writing like myself.

Just to share a little on how i usually work,
for the past few weeks i had been seeking the help of producer tat tong.
I would laze on the couch in his cozy studio,
first think of what kinda songs we want (e.g ballad, fast-tempo etc.),
then he would guide me with a chord structure while i hum whichever tune that comes to my mind.

I was a lone ranger in the lyrics department
and had to force myself to camp at a particular starbucks,
and bombard my head with 词解 (lyrics explanations),
new songs, interesting sentences...
Yes it was a struggle.

But this time it was different.

I was going about my usual stuff,
when i heard about the news of a friend's death.
He was my uni aquaintance,
a dude full of life, always enthusiastic,
and i had fond memories of him making pizza for me during my school days.
Then life took over, and we lost touch upon graduation.
He died while cycling when a sleeping truck driver knocked him down :(

This news came shortly after another secondary school friend's death.
He collapsed while playing soccer from a sudden epilepsy.

How can someone so young die?
The worst part about it is that their facebook walls quickly became death testimonial pages.
And yes i think this is bad,
because handling death cannot get any easier with a wall choke-full of heartbreaking testimonials,
speaking of love and condolences towards the deceased.

I was deeply saddened,
and went for a job around bishan park.
At the back of my head hung carpe diem thoughts about the fleeting nature of life
and when i reached home,
i immediately sat down in front of my laptop and started to write.

The funniest thing is,
it was a positive song.
Nothing about death nor seize the moment,
but more of being grateful for today and believing that
someday you'll be what you want to be.

Here's the soundclip i recorded with my iphone the moment i reached home. 
yes, it's of bad quality & it's incomplete,  
but hereby holds the essence of my songwriting epiphany, 
and my first no less. (: 

Verse 1
I wanna wake up, to the smell of the fresh morning dew
I wanna smile, let it resonate with my heartbeat tune
But I gotta be patient, I gotta keep my head on my shoulders now
Today I’m gonna count my blessings and set off unbound

Verse 2
I wanna run wild, bare-footed on the concrete ground
I wanna feel the earth move, feel the warmth of the sunrays fade
I’m ready for a change, I’m ready for a brand new start
Today I’m gonna give my all and make it count

Someday you’ll be
What you wanna be
Someday you’ll be
From the battles raging, in your head
Someday you’ll be

Someday you’ll be

Looking back on this
Someday you’ll be
From the troubles you’ve seen
Someday you’ll be 
Better than you’ve ever believed

Verse 1
Don’t ever give up, to being the best that you could be
Don't you dare to lose the grip for hope and faith, Or you’ll lose yourself
You gotta stear clear, from the caverns of negativity 
Just stop, and give yourself a chance to steady your feet


Even if today throws your feet under your
Even if the clouds shrouds in darkness over your head 
You gotta make a

Repeat Chorus (up key)

I can't wait to start with this song 
and share the complete version with you (: 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lifestyle Gadget Sponsor - The New Toshiba M840!

I'm a proud owner of the Toshiba M840 - Gold Blaze
launched alongside the Toshiba Satellite Star Campaign Jun-Aug 2012

I had the good fortune to be featured as Singapore's Satellite Star, 
here's my story, filmed and produced by Toshiba!

The New Satellite M840 series is an affordable notebook with configurations that 
meets the expectations of youth to tackle daily computing challenges with ease. 
It comes in 3 exciting colours and mirrored designs which allows youth to 
flaunt their personality in style! 

3 things you cannot miss about this new kid on the block!

#1 Eye-catching design & Super sleek profile 

Make a fashion statement with this uniquely metallic mirrored finishing!
Comes in Gold, Pink and Turquoise! Which one is you?

Are you a blue horizon? 
hmm.. this one ain't a perfect match with my personality...
i'm not really a gadget girl..

Alright, i'm not gna pretend that i don't love pink..
 I mean my iphone cover's bright pink, my fav dress' neon pink...
BUT i'm not exactly a fashionista either..

Seriously, gold blaze is perfect.
I'm always in for a great adventure,
i'm a hopeless wanderlust meets workaholic.
This is exactly what i need!!

Working made easy while travelling in australia (:

#2 Great Usability 

#3 Digital Lifestyle 

Read more about this awesome product here

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's a regular affair..

I lovee doing my Thurs regulars at Switch (:

Switch is the newest Timbre Branch located right next to the Singapore Art Museum, 
and one of the first few bars to host bilingual live music!

And i'm so very happy to witness,
and also be part of this up & coming trend (:
Singaporeans need some live bilingual music!

What i really like about doing regulars, 
is having friends that i've not seen for years coming to support me (:

I've long-lost secondary school/uni friends,

dearie steph, my uni-mate, people say we look alike!

dearie family members,

current close girlfriends, 

Thanks jianqiang for always supporting and your song dedications!

Alan & Jason, thanks for the photography/brainstorm session!
I'm so spoilt at Switch because i have people bringing sweet treats!!
Here's Linda and her awesomeee brownies,
check out her baking website
And all the way from Australia, 
thanks shang for dropping by! 
Definitely won't forget evon and her twelve cupcakes!!
Thanks for the continuous support & turning up for all my shows!
Appreciate it deep!

with all these people turning up weekly at my regular spots,
i'm sooo grateful.

i'm not exactly best at keeping friends
partly cos my job doesn't allow me to be free when most people are. 
So it's really a heartwarming feeling catching up with so many people i know.

There are many things i love about Switch,
  • It's quirky yet cozy interior
Switch's fully packed for fridays/sats,
and for Thurs you sometimes even gotta queue!
So please make advance reservations if you want good seats (: 

  • the fantabulous western-asian fusion inspired food,
    not to mention the cool ipad ordering system,
I'm there every single week so trust me for food reco!!
First timers MUST TRY the timbre's signature..
It's a wonderful mix of sweet-salty hoisin sauce & mozzarella cheese,
topped with roasted duck & crispy popiah skin!! 

& my personal favourite asian dish is the 
Super comfort food that warms my tummy mmm...
The angel hair pasta is served with a thick broth of wolfberries & red dates (:

For a refreshing Ladies' drink, you have to try 
it's a mix of house vodka, lychee liquer & ribena.. i love!

Alfred's my super partner! 
Though we are not a duo, we've been singing together for ard 4-5 years 
for various weddings & events at Sparkle Live Music (
He's suave, funny & not to mention really talented!
Not only does he have a rockin' tone & versatility, 
his impersonation skill of louis armstrong, andy lau, jacky cheung etc. is flawless.
You gotta come to hear it for yourself!

  • and the ever-entertaining dedication system
    that played a part in celebrating so many people's
    birthdays, hen's night, marriage anniversaries, career promotion, farewell etc.
Switch is definitely somewhere you wanna be at for all occasions! 

Want somewhere with great food, perfect ambience, good live music to hangout?
Come join me!

@ SWITCH by Timbre
73 Bras Basah Road

Say hi if you do (:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Confessions of an Adrenaline Junkie - The Diving Diary (:

There's something about backpacking and venturing on off-beat transportation
that satisfy the rugged wanderlust in me (:

I've backpacked around europe with my girlfriends for 1.5 months,
we slept overnight at train stations and laughed at our wretched selves. 
I once spent 4 months studying in the states and
remember sitting on the floor of the car for hours on end during road trips 
because there were too many people in the car and we didn't want to get caught.

I know i complain, but i secretly like roughing it out, 
and i'm definitely all for adventurous activities (except bungee jumping, i rest my case on that). 

On Land, 
I've trekked up mount versuvius, alongside vocalnic craters & clouds..

snow-shoed & skied through Yosemite forest,

snow-boarded down the glittery whites of Big Bear mountain, 

braved through a 2 hours hike across cinque terre (in haviannas no less),
& had multiple near death experiences, 

In the sea, 
surfed the tiny waves of Pacific Beach in San Diego,

snorkelled in the pristine waters of Santorini (for a while until i started to puke from seasickness), 

wakeboarded (still doing this) in murky bliss of punggol river,  

and i knew there was something missing... DIVING.

It was a calling, i knew it was time i do something about it, 
so i responded to its sweet beckons with intensive research,
and before i knew it, i was on my way to the far-flung beaches of...


Let's just say i left my heart in perhentian and i'm suffering from immense diving withdrawals. :(

Perhentian is definitely not for the cosmopolitan city-dwellers,
limited wifi & internet, there was no TV (at least not for my resort),
but then again my "resort" had holes in the door -_-", 
no gourmet seafood nor michellin 5 star restaurants to indulge in,

Simplicity can be sweet too (:
Banana pancakes & teh-o for breakfast..

everyday we would go to the same eatery, 
"B First Cafe" for dinner..

it tasted like homecooked goodness,
and most of all, it has the best view ever (: 
Teh-peng with a sunset view.. that's the life!

definitely no nightlife (unless you're talking about the bunch of locals dancing around on the beach with their illuminated subwoofers blasting club mixes),
nowhere to go but into the jungles and across the sea by water taxis

because the entire island is made up of only a stretch of beach,

A panoramic view of the beach,
it's in fact longer than this seems.

but what it does offer is
a liberating breakaway from technology, 
fine-sand-in-your-feet feeling , 
moonlit walks on the glistening beach for nightlife, 
lazy days & nights on the hammock,

Seeking shade from the afternoon rays under the trees..

Chillin' beneath the moonlight..

waking up to the sounds of the waves wash up and down the shores, 
seaview sunset with the vast ocean melting into the skies, so much that there was no dividing line,
and an ocean of hidden wonders waiting to be discovered (: 

I saw so many underwater creatures, 
with my Open Water Dive, we went 18m deep and saw
lionfish, sharks, stingrays, turtles, nemo!
i just wish i was good enough to take pictures!

I'm not sure whether i had convinced you enough to go diving, 
but here are some tips i can offer for your consideration when making your plans (: 

My Open Water Dive Course
... rocks! I took it with Flora Bay Diver (it was recommended by a friend) and it was awesome-doodles! The whole course excluding online theory lessons was 900RM. 
  • My instructor was a dude called Zam. He's highly professional, very well-versed in English, even spouts the occasional american joke when he sensed that my mind was drifting. 
  • Best part about the course is that it was one instructor to 2 of us learning. Some others i've heard took their diving with a 1:8 teacher to student ratio. Having his attention made me feel confident and less afraid of freak accidents. 
  • The Open Water dive consisted of 3 confined waters, and 4 Open Waters. All lessons were conducted in the sea. Some dive companies conduct confined water lessons in the pool while this was done in shallow waters. 
  • Online theory course was offered at SGD160. A tad pricey but definitely worth it for the busy people who wants to save time on taking theory lessons on the island.  
  • Of course, having it in perhentian was amazing! I saw so many creatures, including lionfish, sharks, turtles etc. 
Here's our instructor Zam, 
i'll recommend him to anyone who wants to take Open Water! 

Getting There 
... is a bitch if you did it my way. 
But then again i don't think there are many other alternative ways to go about it. 
There are several legs to the journey 
  1. Bus to JB (there used to be a direct coach that goes from Sg to Jerteh but it has ceased operations and i had to take the bus from JB Larkin Terminal).                                                                                                 Cost: Normal bus ticket prices applies.
  2. Take NICE Transnasional Coach from Larkin Terminal to Jerteh - you have to buy the ticket in advance from NICE's office in singapore (33 MacKenzie Road, call (65) 6256 5755 to check about timings). No online nor phone booking. The coach terminates at Kota Bahru so you may want to alight at Kota Bahru, but i suggest dropping earlier at Jerteh as it's nearer to the jetty.                  Cost: $78 for 2 way 
  3. Take taxi from Jerteh to Kuala Bersut Jetty - it's only a short distance 20min distance away.   Cost: 6RM 
  4. Speedboat from Bersut Jetty to Perhentian Island - 30min water-splashing speedboat ride             Cost: 70RM for 2 way
... sucks if you're looking expecting even average quality resort.
I stayed in Flora Bay Resort (along with Flora Bay Dive Company) and i thought it was wrong move!
Cost: 210RM per night
  • Booked the seaview resort, but was given a garden view. In the end we changed to a new seaview resort with holes in the door. Win. 
  • The bathroom was old & peeling. horrible. 
  • The bed was so uncomfortable i had nightmares all 3 nights (I'm not exaggerating).
  • There was a hole in our door!! 
  • The only saving grace was the aircon. 
We were so desperate we travelled to other islands in search of better place to stay in. But we realized our beach was the best.. so we decided to stay put :( 

For better rooms, i would recommend Arwana Resort. It looked better and more well-built than the dingy Flora Bay Resort.

Deceivingly nice front of our flora bay resort :( 

4 days of diving, 
flying in water, 
caring nothing less but survival when underneath. 
I slept really early every night (due to lack of things to do), 
and woke up early every day for a day of workout (the scuba tanks were heavy for my frame), 
ate at regular timings due to diving schedule. 
And it got me thinking that, city life seriously screwed our bio clocks.

Our daily routine before hitting the water (:

I cannot wait till the next time!

Diving trip anyone? Count me in!!