One of the first major local releases of 2016 comes from a promising, new face with a voice that will cement itself in the hearts of many.
At just 22, Jude Young has already made some major appearances, performing at events such as Esplanade’s Yfest 2013 and the Noise Singapore 2014 Festival Exhibition. His honest songs are tinged with a youthful exuberance (much like the man himself) that is sure to leave an indelible mark on the local music scene.
Jude’s new single, aptly titled “Young”, is a rousing anthem with a string arrangement backing his lush, earnest vocals. Its positive vibe and grand chorus makes it the perfect song to inspire one to seize the day while you can.
DANamic.ORG had a chat with Jude to discuss his new single, the new MV and his plans for 2016.
Hey Jude! Your new single is dropping soon and that’s really exciting! Tell us more about the song and the inspiration behind it.
I wrote “Young” at one of the lowest points in my music journey, where I was plagued with doubts and no longer enjoyed what I was doing. This could seem contradictory because the song is rather affirmative!
When we are young, we are ignorant. As we grow up, we learn more, yet we fear more. I’m not saying “ignorance is bliss” – I’m saying use the knowledge and keep the audacity. Understanding should help you navigate danger, not make you cower into settling for less.
I love the optimistic and hopeful vibe coming off from “Young”. But I’m curious about the lyrics “I’m trying to cross the line… to see what I can find.” What line are you talking about here?
I interpret it as the line between the young dreamer and the life that one has learnt to live and settle for. With age, we tend to fall out of touch with the passionate self. Then again, I could be wrong. This song wrote itself.
Could you also perhaps give us details on the music video itself like what inspired the shots?
Jeremy Kieran, the producer of the music video, first came up with the idea of creating a surreal space where objects triggered memories after I sent him a draft of the song. The final version you see is not far from this. We played around with a few other ideas, including one that involved filming old people doing “crazy things” that young people would do in an experiment! Our concept and visuals eventually stuck very closely to the song because we acknowledged that the message of being “Young” was one that had to be delivered.
“Young” is part of an EP that you recorded with Edric Hwang. What was it like to have your music professionally produced and recorded and how does it compare to doing it all yourself?
Firstly, I have to say that my producer, Edric Hwang, IS THE MAN. Edric Hwang took a chance with my music, and I am forever grateful for he has enabled me to make more of my music than if I had done it myself.
For one, having someone else record my music means that I can focus on my craft – this means that I can give my all in expressing myself through my singing in the studio without having to switch gears between takes to review what I have just done. Beyond that, Edric is a hardworking genius who has contributed heaps to my sound.
There are a great number of singer-songwriters currently looking to make the leap to greater heights. What do you do to stand out?
Are you already implying that I actually stand out? HAHA! Thanks! (Editor’s Note: You’re very welcome!)
I work very hard to improve my singing. Instinctively, I don’t want to feel like I’m “cheating” my listeners, be it through studio magic or marketing. I respect myself enough to want my music to be a true representation of who I am.
The perception of the quality of local music being produced is slowly looking more favourable with the rise of acts such as Gentle Bones and The Sam Willows. What’s your opinion on local music now and where do you expect it to stand in the future?
Local music is just beginning to find its place in the collective consciousness of Singaporeans. I think Singapore is going to spearhead the regional music scene. I look forward to making this a reality with all the other local musicians.
There’s never been so much activity in the arts scene with so many producing their own works and under their own budgets. What helpful tips or words of advice do you have, having been there yourself?
Jeremy Kieran and I agree on this: hustle, hustle, hustle. Live within your means, and make up for the remaining differential between where you are and where you want to be with hard work. The lessons that come purely by dreaming big and working hard stay with you forever.
Writing is tough and it’s easy to get stuck without any ideas. What do you do to remedy writer’s block?
I struggle with this all the time. Let go – life is infinitely inspiring; live it first, tell the stories later.
What’s your favourite way to unwind and relax on your days off?
Days off? Okay… I like to unwind and relax by singing. This is confusing. HAHAHA 😉
Could you give us a little hint on your plans for 2016?
More singles. EP. Launch.
In 3 words tell us what you hope people will associate with you and your music?
Relatable, humble, sincere.
Photos courtesy of Jude Young, Lim Zi Song, and Jeremy Kieran.