Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Appreciation, Excitement, and Music Videos

So tonight I’m filming a music video for my song ‘Implications!’ I can’t really give away toooo much about the video, but it basically involves a crapload of people having an epic dance party in a supermarket! Last night we had a dance rehearsal for the video, and it looks absolutely unbelievable.

Here's the song if you haven't heard it:

It’s so easy for me to get caught up and complain about all the stuff I need to do, so I really need times like these when I get to step back and just be humbled and grateful for everything I am blessed with.

Thank you to every single person who is going to be in the music video. It’s so amazing to think that I have people in my life who are willing to give up their time and energy and talents for a project like this! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love and appreciate you all for being a part of this video.

Thank you to my family for always supporting me and keeping me pointed in the right direction. I know the music business is a crazy place, so thank you for letting me chase my dreams (while also keeping one foot in a sensible job haha)!

Lastly, thank you to Voice Films, Zeal, and Skycity for believing in me enough to give me this opportunity! It’s a huge motivator to know that somebody else has enough belief in what you’re doing to give you a real shot to do it bigger and better! Working with you guys has been absolutely awesome.

Seeing everything coming together last night was such an incredible experience for me. I sometimes get doubtful of whether I’ll ever get anywhere as a musician, whether I’m good enough to even try, etc etc, but the knowledge that I have the support and belief of all you guys motivates me to believe in myself, push myself harder and be better every day.

I’m not gonna let you down.

Let’s get it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Asia Adventure

So I have just 5 days left until I fly back to good old New Zealand to start work and a new chapter in my life. The last 6 weeks have been amazing, and I thought I might fill you in on what I've been up to. This is going to be a monster post so hang on to your hats!

Jack + Jordan's Wedding!

I've known my cousin Jack for a long time, probably all my life actually (he's older than me). I have many fond memories of him showing me how to play the guitar, how to make startlingly realistic fart noises, and how to break the horn on Aunty Jenny's car. So it's only fitting that I would be chosen as one of his groomsmen, or heng tai. This is a bad thing. A very bad thing. In Chinese culture, before the groom and the bride can marry, the groom must choose a bunch of his buddies to go through a whole host of embarrassing and/or physically uncomfortable tasks in order for him to secure the hand of his beautiful bride. Dog food, chillies, leg waxing, armpit waxing, wasabi-tooth-brushing, cross-dressing, cricket-eating, lizard-eating, it all happened.

Here are the unfortunate 30. I'm in there somewhere... Probably hiding at the back.

After clearing the obstacle course, it was time for eating! Malaysians love the crap out of food. Everything is an excuse to eat and celebrate. Getting married? Dinner. Got a new job? Dinner. Managed to peel an orange without squirting juice in your eye? Dinner.

The reception was pretty mean.

I remember one particular occasion a long while ago when Jack, a couple of younger cousins and I were in a car together, and Jack turned to us and asked 'Hey guys, should I marry Jordan?' Obviously we all said yes, and obviously he took our advice!


The Fam Bam

My family is awesome. Crazy, but awesome.

Some of my dad's family. There are at least 15 people unaccounted for in this photo!

Some of my mum's family. Evidently it's very hard to get entire families to stand still in one spot for a photograph.

My cousins are awesome (and crazy) as well:

Some of my cousins on my mum's side.

Most of my cousins on my dad's side, with an aunty and an uncle thrown in for good measure.


Singapore was pretty mean. I went here:

It's pretty big in real life. Just like my... Nevermind

Unfortunately, this was closed:

Also pretty big in real life. Just like my... Nevermind

There was a cool show in the evening called 'Songs of the Sea.' It looked like this:

For some of the time.

Pretty awesome. The level of development in Singapore is nuts. Everything is clean and runs smoothly, and the public transport system is so kickass that it's actually painful. Well not really, because then it wouldn't be a very good public transport system. But yes it is very good.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai was pretty awesome too. We did heaps of stuff.

My new pals Mae Sa and Mae Rim:
Elephants are awesome.

The elephants have one trainer for life, so trainer and elephant have an amazing bond. They spend all day and all night together and they seem to have a lot of trust and understanding for each other.

So cool.

Here's my other new pal Lucky:
Just being a badass and chilling with a tiger. No big deal.

I asked one of the caretakers if anyone had ever been hurt by one of the tigers. His reply: "Yeah, sometimes."
"Did they get hurt badly?"

One of the many Buddhist temples in Thailand:
The architecture is amazing.

Our tour guide told us that Buddhism (and temples in particular) are become increasingly commercialised and straying further from the religion's original teachings. Pretty stink.

And that brings us to today! Phew.
See you all soon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Goodbye University

This will be a stream of consciousness blog experiment. Mainly because it is currently my second to last day of classes at university, and by the time I finish writing this blog, it will be my very last day.

I never really imagined that I would see today come so quickly. I still remember quite clearly my very first class. It was pretty mean, and it made me think that maybe I'd made the right choice in choosing an engineering degree. I actually still remember my first time trying to figure out nDeva. Those were some good times.

My head is full of mixed emotions at the moment. The last few years have been incredible for my growth and development in all facets of my life, while at the same time feeling a lot like running on an endless treadmill of assignments and tests with no real reward. I have met so many amazing people too, and it makes me sad to think that after this year, many of our paths may never cross again.

I attended an international school in China for a couple of years (2001-2003), and one of my teachers said something which really made an impression on me. She said that it is a bad idea to get close to people emotionally, because people will always be moving and out of your life, and it is best to spare yourself the pain when they leave. And to a degree this has affected the way I think about my relationships with people even now, and it makes me a little bit upset to know that I have a bit of that mentality in me because I don't agree with it.

I don't think that I've really conducted myself in a way which pushes people away when they get too close, but there is still a voice in the back of my mind that says 'Dude, it's really going to suck when they leave.' Which is stupid because I shouldn't have even been thinking about that in the first place, because the only thing that you should think about is here and now (within reason, of course). Imagine how many memories I could have missed out on, how many friendships I could have squandered, how many experiences I could have passed over if I had let that voice get the best of me. That was stupid advice, Mrs. Maths Teacher From 2002.

It's kind of strange. I'm happy and I'm sad at the same time. I'm not going to miss the tests and exams, that's for sure. I'm going to have assignments and projects for the rest of my career, so it's not like I'm going to be leaving those behind. If I was though, I don't think I'd miss them either. I think, apart from the people, I will miss the freedom that comes with the process gaining a university education.

Reflecting back on the past 4 years, I have realised how big a part of my life music has become. When I first started engineering, music was more of a hobby, and not something that I really wanted to do seriously. But over these last few years, the idea of music being a viable career option has changed from being a fantasy to something rather more realistic and appealing. Funnily enough, if there is anything that engineering school has taught me, it's how much I need and want and love to make music.

To be honest, the thought of having a desk job is one of my biggest fears. I don't feel like it is something that I'm cut out for, or would be very good at. I have a graduate engineering position next year, and it kind of feels like I am at the start of the rest of my gray, boring, working life. Is this really what I am going to be doing for the next 45 years? Maybe I am just part of a work-averse generation. Or maybe this is not what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't know.

Or maybe I just don't have the courage to admit to myself that I do want to be a musician full-time, and that music is what I truly want to dedicate my life to. Maybe I don't have the guts to throw myself into the deep end and just make music full time, without the safety of engineering. Maybe this is ultimately what will stop me from doing what I love for a living. Is it fear? Or is it just me being rational about what is possible and what isn't? I don't know.

The trouble here is, music and engineering are two divergent life paths. Each will require too much of my time for me to be able to continue with the other one. And the bigger problem is that as time wears on, the paths will continue to diverge away from each other, until it is pretty much impossible to swap between them. Currently I am lucky enough to be able to walk both paths simultaneously, but pretty soon the gap will be too wide for me to carry on doing this. So I need to make a call and make it soon.

The other problem is, am I really that good of a musician? I know that I can play a and write a bit, but am I good enough to be exceptional? Am I good enough to make a living from music? Obviously I am good enough at engineering to make a living from it because I have a job next year, but with music it is much harder to tell. It's much less objective, and much more uncertain. Maybe this is why I am so unsure of myself and unsure of whether or not to pursue music.

Anyway this has gotten much deeper than I originally anticipated. I guess that's what happens when you just start typing whatever comes into your head. I think I will stop now.

To all my friends and family: You are awesome and I love you. I realise I sound rainbow as but I think that now is as good a time as any to get all sentimental and stuff.

Okay actually stopping now.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shows, shows, and more shows!

I just thought I'd share some videos from all the shows I've been doing recently!


Earth Song by Michael Jackson, featuring Victor Hawkins-Sulfa:

Seasons of Love from Rent, featuring Tamsyn Miller and Lui Fauolo:

Oh Happy Day, featuring Matt Nanai:

Lady Gaga Medley:

Que Sera Sera, by Sly and the Family Stone, featuring me (lol):

East of Eden:

The Diary of Anne Frank, live @ Zeal:

Mount of Olives, live @ Zeal, featuring the wonderful Hannah-Jane Thorne:

The DeLoreans:

Suburban Breakdown, live @ Cassette #9:

Just by myself:

In the Still of the Nite, live @ Tabac:

Between You, Me, and the Irony, live @ Juice Bar:

So hopefully these videos have convinced you to come out to a show sometime. It's always more fun when more people come, so please come hang out, bring some friends, and we can have lots of fun and eat lots of fruit together! It's good for your digestive health, you know.

Till next time!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Even More Busyness!

Still feeling like a real musician! I've had so much music stuff going on over the last month and I am just busting to share it with you guys.

First up: East of Eden!

Here's a video of one of our shows at Zeal:

I am so lucky to be in a band with these guys. Every show we play together we get tighter as a band and as friends, and it's so much fun. The best part for me is being able to reach out and spread the word of God to the audience through our music- a guy who had alcohol and drug problems came up to us after and had a chat to us about stuff and it was awesome. It's great to know that people can take something away from our shows other than just a great time. It's the most amazing feeling having the crowd sing along to your songs live as well! The crowd looks a bit small in this video because the camera was sort of at the back edge of the circle pit haha.

We have some amazing shows coming up so it'd be amazing to see you there: 28th of August at Zeal, 4th of September at Zeal with SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS (USA) and MISSION IN MOTION (AUS), and 9th of September at Ellen Melville Hall with ATTACK ATTACK (USA) and PIERCE THE VEIL (USA)! I'm so excited to be playing these big support slots. I feel so fortunate to be a part of the craziness that is EoE.

Speaking of craziness: Glee!

Here's a rehearsal video:

Glee has been consuming my life a little bit over the last couple of weeks, mainly because OUR SHOW IS HAPPENING THIS SATURDAY!

Get your tickets right hurr:

I'm actually so unbelievably excited about this show, and I'm pretty sure everyone else in the club is too. We've been rehearsing for ages and we can finally see it all coming together- we've definitely come a long way since the first rehearsal! Mega props to the exec team for taking the initiative and starting up something amazing.

Finally: My EP!

It's so close to being finished. Sort of. There are still some vocal bits to be recorded, but other than that it's pretty much ready to be mastered. The artwork is just about finished as well- I've been teaching myself how to use Photoshop, and as anyone who has ever tried this knows, it is incredibly frustrating. I think it is looking pretty cool though. I wish I could post up some samples or something but I'm writing this from a uni computer and everything is on my computer at home. But you will get the real thing soon. So very soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Super Busy Musical Week

I feel like a real musician this week! I've been lucky enough to have been involved with lots of musical stuff over the past few days. In particular I've been doing loads of drumming, filling in on drums for Alex Freer in Martin Paris's band, and playing drums for my band The DeLoreans, while we search for a drummer. Drumming is so much fun, I really enjoy getting into a mean pocket with the bass player. I also like hitting things in general so the drums are pretty much perfect really.

In Martin's band we opened for The Bayonets (who have a residency) at TABAC yesterday night. Chelsea Jade was the other act on the night, and she was awesome. She did all this amazing looping stuff and like played a Casiotone and a drummed with mallets on a floor tom and totally reminded me of Regina Spektor (and if you know me you know how much I LOVE Regina Spektor) which was just so cool. I wish I had some photos or videos, but I forgot to bring my camera. And my phone is too old to have a camera. Here is a picture of Martin anyway, so you can see how beautiful and masculine he truly is:

And here is a picture of Chelsea, who is just as beautiful, in a more feminine way:

I've also been practicing hard with the Glee Club at uni! It's SO COOL LIKE SERIOUSLY KSFBAKUIFBKJASBDFJUIASEUIFBASJDHBFKJASDBHGFBAESAWEDQ. Here is a trailer for our upcoming show! The choreography isn't quite sorted yet so it looks a bit naff:

Singing in a group is so cool, especially when you are surrounded by other singers who are incredible and amazing and inspiring. Mad love for the Glee Club. Seriously. Respect.

I also played the Kiwi FM Open Mic at Juice Bar on Wednesday, which was really cool. Open mics are great because it's always really low key and really low pressure, which is good for me because playing solo still scares me a little bit. Plus you get to meet loads of cool new people and hear loads of cool new music which is always nice. Here is a video of me singing "I'm Gonna Find Another You," by John Mayer. Please excuse the lyrical (and musical) screwups:

And a video of me singing an original song, "Between You, Me, and the Irony":

Sorry about the lighting. It wasn't my fault. Honest.

Lastly, here is a picture very close to my heart (stolen from Allison Weiss's blog):

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


And welcome to yet another blog which I am creating in the hope that I might actually keep posting on a regular basis! I'm thinking that I might keep this blog a bit more musically focused and talk more about musical projects, gigs, bands, favourite musicians, cool people I have been hanging out with, and other fun things (Not included: posts about boring stuff).

Anyway to kick things off, today I have been working on making some loops for my friend Amitabh Arthanari. He's a mega talented aspiring hip-hop producer and needs some groovy guitar samples for his beats.

Here is the guitar I've been using:

It's the first electric guitar I ever bought. It's been around the block a few times and is pretty bashed up, but it makes an awesome sound and is great for doing funky stuff like hip-hop. It also doubles as my sticker album. Yeah. I never really grew out of those.

I'm running it through this mean program called Guitar Rig which gives me a bunch of cool amp and effect models which I can use to change the sound up.

Here is one of the finished guitar loops!

I've also done a funky little keyboard loop, using my trusty Casio digital piano (pretty much a Casiotone, but all grown up and wearing a nice suit):

Here's the keyboard loop! I used a Rhodes electric piano sound.

I'll post up the finished beats for you guys to have a listen to when Amitabh gets done with them!

So what do you think? Would you like me to keep posting these updates? Leave a comment and let me know!