You know the saying that cream rises to the top. But sometimes having the talent isn’t good enough. One has to have the drive, vision and self-belief to turn dreams into reality.
Inch Chua is one of those rare breeds with all of these qualities in abundance.
The 21-year-old final year arts management student at LASALLE College of the Arts is the front woman of local independent rock band Allura. After gigging for about three years and putting out an EP, Allura had to go on hiatus in mid-2009 when three of its members were enlisted for National Service.
Inch thus took the opportunity to embark on a solo project.
She released two EPs, The Bedroom EP and Peace, Love and Mistletoe, in 2009 – both as free downloads. This year, she has plans to release a full-length solo album and head to the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas, in March.
Friends from the music scene have bandied around to help her cause by volunteering to perform at the fundraiser gig titled 9837 Miles to Texas on Friday, 5 February.
InSing.com got up close and personal with Inch to find out about her exciting upcoming plans.
How has the journey been as a solo artist?
It’s been tougher than I thought, ’cause I definitely find security in numbers when it comes to performing, so going solo has just been more nerve-wrecking than before. But when everything's out and done, it just feels really rewarding that I’ve worked so hard.
Two EPs already, and you're going to record an album this year. That's prolific! How do the songs keep coming? Do you have a regimen?
Well, I do have a calendar planner up on my wall, like a production calendar, but while I plan, I’m one of those people that don't rigidly follow it. I wish I could, though. But I most definitely give myself deadlines for things, so as least it gets done by some point.
Is the album going to be a free download? When can we expect it to be out?
The full-length (album) is coming out in July 2010 and would also be a free-for-download release – just as how all my releases will be free for download. But I do accept donations for it and to date, there have been some people who've been so kind to thrust their money (forward) to support me. It’s much more comforting, I feel, this way, ’cause it’s all out of self will, like an extended gesture.
How did you get to be invited to SXSW? And how do you feel about it?
Well it’s pretty simple actually. Just like every other act that goes, you just send your press kit in for viewing and pray you get picked amongst the other 10,000-over applicants. From there, they pick about 1,000 acts across the globe. I mean, getting invited just came to me as a huge shock. I didn’t expect to get selected and it really came to me as a pleasant surprise that I was, and now my recording schedule has to be pushed back a little.
How much money do you need to raise to get there?
With flight, accommodation, and transportation for four people, we'd need about $20k to set us (up).
How can people reading this make donations to you?
Come on down to the fundraiser coming up at 15 Minutes, LASALLE College of the Arts, on 5 February at 8pm. We'll be canvassing for donations then as well as selling some merchandise. Alternatively, you can drop by my website (www.inchchua.com) and donate via Paypal.
The 9837 Miles to Texas fundraiser starts at 8pm on Friday, 5 February, at 15 Minutes, LASALLE College of the Arts. Performers include Talk to the Walls, Plainsunset, Caracal, B-Quartet, Amateur Takes Control, A Vacant Affair and, of course, Inch Chua. Admission is free. To read more about local bands, please clickhere.