Your Ad Here
"Dreamy" music that dares to be unique.
Phillip Hong
March 2, 2010
When I think of Chinese pop music, it's usually this melodramatic mess with digital instruments that seem to spit out quite a cheap sound, combined with lyrics that are created for no other purpose than to entertain to the lowest possible common decimal. In fact, I believe there is a lack of soul in music that is created for the language, because a lot of that market is focused on selling albums as a Olympic sport out of all things.
Locus provides a very different, a more profound point of view into this otherwise failed genre. For those who don't understand the Chinese language, they have also given equal footing by being bilingual with their material. It's a form of pop that isn't corny or ridiculous at all... in fact, a number of genres take an influential role in their music, and that's probably their biggest draw.
I should brush up on my own pathetically amateurish knowledge of this mother tongue before I say anything else. My ridiculous questions have been answered by bandmates Jason Chu and Kaila So.
PHIL: How was the band formed in 2006?
KAILA: We actually didn't think about forming a band at first. It started when Jason and Kelvin began writing music ten years ago as a duo. I came on board in 2005 when Jason and I met while still playing for another band. Eric joined shortly after he began collaborating with Jason in late 2006. This led to a string of collaborations between the four of us, and in a very short time, we discovered we had written about 30 songs! Then we realized it would make perfect sense if we all joined together to contribute to each others' musical journey. Now, here we are, a songwriting group and best friends for life.
PHIL: How did music in general come into your life?
JASON: Kelvin and I started studying piano when we were four years old. Eric is self-taught in guitar and drums. Kaila has previously fronted other local bands and contributed vocals for local acts XYL and Daddy Chang.
PHIL: Your music draws heavily under a number of styles. Do these influences form a unique mold for your music, or are different elements spread across different tracks?
JASON: Both. In our early songwriting, we began by emulating some of our favourite artists (which include Delerium, Eurythmics, and Lamb, among many others), so our sound was largely molded from our influences. We're huge fans of electronic music but we also love acoustic, folk, and pop music, so it was always a conscious decision for us to make music with not only a strong electronic presence but also with all the sensibilities of pop music as well as the story-telling qualities of the acoustic genres. Over the past few years, we've matured a lot in our songwriting and we've started to develop our own nuances and idiosyncrasies, so we have more control over our sound than we used to.
PHIL: Tell me about your latest EP, "Shine". What was your primary inspiration there?
JASON: "Shine" is our third studio record, and it's the first release that we've written, arranged, mixed, and mastered entirely on our own. The inspiration behind "Shine" is the blend of old with new. The EP has three original songs, two of which were written before Locus was formed. Originally recorded as piano demos, we gave these "old" songs brand new arrangements. We finished the juxtaposition of old and new by adding a newly-written track, the first single, "Shooting Star," as well as including a piano version of "Sunflower," a track off our previous full-length album, "Ambrosia."
PHIL: If music wasn't such an important part of your life, what would you be passionate about instead?
KAILA: Music is too big of a part of my life. I can't think of anything else I can put in as much passion as I can for music. Perhaps fiction writing? movie screenplay? I usually write my lyrics for songs as stories of their own so if there's another thing I can be passionate about, it's writing.
JASON: I can't really imagine not making music, but I imagine I'd probably be a paleontologist. I love dinosaurs!
PHIL: Would a ukelele produce a "dreamy" sound, in your opinion?
KAILA: Sure! We would make it work somehow!
Phillip Hong is a presenter on AMPM, combining some great indie music with quotes and interviews.
Photo: DC Photography
Related Links
Listen to Broadcast
Saturdays, 9:55 am ET
Copyright © 2007-2010 SRN Mediaworks Productions
All rights reserved. We are not responsible for the content of external links. | Cafe | Fab | Radio | Local