Interview: Linying (Singapore) on her debut EP, the Singaporean music scene & Australia!

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Fresh off a tour with Felix Jaehn, Linying is up for a busy month this November with a slew of gigs in London, Melbourne and Singapore. For those who aren’t aware of the Singapore gem, its time to get acquainted with this singer-songwriter who bounces from folk to deep house. Linying gained fame by having her single “Sticky Leaves” making it into Spotify’s Global Viral 50 chart alongside The Beatles and LCD Soundsystem, and catching the eye of international indie music community.

With indie-pop ballads and lyrics as lovely as the music itself, Linying has started performing more of her own compositions and collaborations with producers like Krono at world stages.  Having just recently returned from a slot at Zandari’s Festival in Korea, Linying answered a couple of questions we had about her debut EP, her inspirations as she prepares for her her upcoming trip to Australia.

Congrats on the release of your EP! How do you feel the reception has been so far?

Thank you! It’s hard for me to get a good feel of how the reception has been, just because of how much is going on all around at the same time, but I think – and hope – that people have been connecting to the music. One of my favourite things is when people tag their friends in comments or tweets, or when they single out a lyric from a song. Getting to see that is heartening.

It might be your debut EP, but how far back do some of these songs go? What are the origins of their recording?

The oldest of the songs is “Speak Up Selah”, which was written sometime [in] 2014. Most everything I’d written before that I’ve shelved away, only to revisit for maybe entertainment… These songs are – to me – the clearest, most vivid snapshots of places and states of minds that I’ve been in. It took a conscious effort to make sure that every song on this EP was, in a way, necessary.

You’ve recently signed with Nettwerk Music Group – Congrats! can you tell us a little bit about how this came about?

I’m really excited to be working with Nettwerk; I’m a fan of many of the artists on their roster, so it’s a real honour. It also means that I’m given the opportunity to grow an audience in a market from which many of my own influences come, so I think that will be very interesting.

You made your live debut earlier this year on a pretty major stage – Summer Sonic Festival – what was that experience like? Talk about jumping in the deep end!

I know… I remember seeing a video of Steve Appleton (this British singer I had the biggest crush on when I was 16) performing at Summer Sonic and then thinking that I had to go there one day. It’s funny to think that my first time there would be performing, which was quite surreal (let me tell you about being on the same .jpg as Radiohead), but I got to see some of the acts I’d been looking forward to see live, too, like The 1975 and Run River North, so it was very fun.

How do you feel your live show has developed since then?

It’s developed a lot since then. Josh Wei is an incredibly talented music director I work with for my live sets, who’s been instrumental in bringing a lot more nuance and dynamic range to the shows; it makes them a lot more fun and dramatic to play.

You’re next in line to go global after Gentlebones and The Sam Willows. What do you feel the reception is like for Singaporean artists in the global music landscape?

I feel like it’s hard to say at this point because, it’s early days yet and even so, I think all of us are still figuring out where our sound fits in the context of the global music landscape and the subsequent trajectories we should be taking. While it’s really novel and exciting to see outlets outside of the country pick up on Singaporean music, I think the fact that the vast majority of our influences come from abroad makes it kind of right.

What are you looking forward to on your Australian trip?

I hear that there’re really good cafes in Melbourne, but I’m not huge on coffee; I have this thing I do everywhere I go where I have to try the Asian food of each city, and I hear Melbourne’s got some of the best, so I’m seriously looking forward to that.

What can fans/the curious expect from your set?

Way 2 many feels, way 2 much emotion.

You dabble in so many genres, from indie to electronic dreamy pop. Which genre do you enjoy dabbling in the most – and are there any that you might like to explore in the future?

The folk, electronic part of my stuff is usually tied to what’s emotional and cathartic, so that’s probably what I find most remarkable about the genres. I really enjoy singing to dance tracks. It’s a lot of fun to sing live but also great to write on, because I get to take a more formulaic approach with rhyme and rhythm and phrasing and it’s really therapeutic, kinda like doing math.

Are there potential collaborations coming up or people you want to work with?

I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Lemaitre, which I think would be great fun. Also Dawn Golden – I think his work is wonderful.

Linying will be performing at Melbourne Music Week 2016 and Queenscliff Music Festival.


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