Singaporean singer-songwriter Inch Chua is releasing her debut album, Wallflower, on July 17. And like her previous releases, it’ll be given away free!
Some might know her as the front-woman of alternative rock band Allura but Inch sings a different tune and embraces a different beat and sound as a solo performer. Inspired by singer-songwriters like Fiona Apple, Roisin Murphy, Shiina Ringo and electronic acts like Bjork and The Aphex Twins, Inch’s solo material is a potent hybrid of introspective acoustic tunes and chirpy electronica.
As the first Singaporean female singer-songwriter to be invited to the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas in March 2010, she was invited in May to attend Beijing's largest independent music festival, MIDI Festival. That same month, she won the Best Pop Act Award at the 2010 AVIMA Music Awards which saw her compete with more than 1,500 music acts from 20 Asian countries.
In August 2009, Inch released her debut solo EP, The Bedroom, which was available as a free download. She followed that up with a Christmas EP, Peace, Love & Mistletoe. Being an advocate of free music and Creative Commons License, Wallflower will be released on Saturday July 17 as a free download on her official site www.inchchua.com
Inch is gearing up for the album launch concert at the Esplanade Recital Studio on July 30. I caught up with Inch to talk about her overseas gigs and more.
Why the album title, Wallflower?
Wallflower is the title track for the album and is birthed from a reflection of what it was like for me to grow up. I’ve always wanted to be a wallflower but I guess I just never really was one either.
How do you think you’ve grown musically since your debut EP?
To be honest, I don't think I've grown musically as I had hoped to but I have learnt a lot of things over the past year or so. I’ve learnt so much from the experiences of playing shows, traveling to play overseas and, most importantly, recording. I think I've grown a lot more in terms of knowledge of technical, logistics and management of being an independent artist. I do hope, however, to make more time to develop my musical skills and expand my musical knowledge.
What was the SXSW experience like?
The whole SXSW experience was amazing and I learnt so much from it. I got to meet a lot of new people from various scenes in the US and I really do hope to go back up when the chance comes by again.
You've also performed in China not long ago. How did that go?
I had so much fun in China, heading up with the Caracal boys was absolutely fun, fun, fun. The guys were so hilarious and the entire trip was just so enjoyable. The reception was really good and I can't wait to go back again.
Allura played a farewell show last week. How did you feel about that?
The gig has to be one of my favourite Allura gigs. It always feels great to play with the guys and I particularly love the music as well. It was just so refreshing to be jamming and practicing with the guys again, especially when I've been starting to feel very jaded about my solo stuff.
What do you have in store for your upcoming show at the Esplanade Recital Studio?
The upcoming show is going to be a one-night only special with a full band, armed with back up girls. It’s going to be really hyped and at the same time up close and personal.
What are the activities you've lined up to promote the album?
We’ll be playing more shows trying to get more outreach to students. We are also trying to line up some radio shows. In addition, we'll be releasing a music video very soon.
Will there be another free download Christmas EP this December?
Haha! I would very much like to have another Christmas album but it all really depends on my schedule for the end of the year and I’ll see if it’s possible.
Inch Chua: Wallflower – An Album Launch Concert is on Friday, July 30 at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Tickets at $25.
About Patrick Chng
Forever young at heart, Patrick Chng loves going to gigs and checking out Singapore bands. He has also been playing in bands since the late 1980s, writing about music and being an important mover and shaker in the Singapore indie music scene. When he's not checking out or playing gigs, he's at home playing with his guitars and updating his Facebook.