Aiming for the high notes
by Philip Wong. Posted on June 24, 2012, Sunday
YEO Soon Chiong has a dream — a big dream.
The 21-year-old Chinese medicine dispenser from Sibu aspires to be a music composer – perhaps in the mould of famed Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou.
Yeo knows it’s a tall order and is still miles from his goal but he is determined to work hard to reach his musical pot of gold. He is not going to let anything derail his plan of becoming a successful music composer one day.
So far, he has composed one sentimental song while three others are in the works. He will complete all of them when he gets the inspiration.
“I see this as a big challenge and I believe I can do it,’ he told thesundaypost.
Yeo is one of the candidates for KTS Group’s Sarawak Youth Talent Discovery (SYTD) project, a youth empowerment initiative and part of KTS’ activities to celebrate its 50th anniversary and fulfill its corporate social responsibility (CSR) to youths.
Yeo revealed he never had any interest in music until he reached 17. It was then that he took lessons and discovered he had a deep passion for music.
Practise and compose
After his father bought him a piano, he would practise and compose whenever he could.
“I felt a sense of deep satisfaction after composing my first song about a year ago. I wrote the lyrics, then the music — one thing led to another — that was how it started,” he recalled.
Yeo has not looked back since — and he continues to spend time improving his three remaining compositions.
Yeo completed his Grade 5 theory in 2010 and will be sitting for his Grade 8 exam this coming July. He is looking forward to it and hoping to take up a diploma in music after that.
Could he perform his songs on stage or in a concert? He didn’t think so.
“It’s not easy — there is a difference between a music composer and a performer. I believe my talent is more inclined towards composing, not performing.”
However, should he be called upon to perform, he said he would oblige.
He plans to upload his songs on the Internet to let people listen to his music.
“It’s also for the listening pleasure of those who believe in me. Hopefully, they will get to like my songs.”
Yeo singled out Chinese singer Wu Bai as his favourite, saying he had a special liking for the popular artiste’s songs because they gave him inspiration whenever he lost direction.
Wu Bai, born Wu Chun Lin, is a Taiwanese rock singer and songwriter and considered to be one of the biggest rock music stars in Southeast and Eastern Asia.
Yeo said he was also a fan of Modern Talking, a German synthpop duo consisting of Thomas Anders and Die Bohlen whose music has often been classified as ‘Europop’.
On the talent discovery project, he hoped he could be one of the beneficiaries.
“If I made it, hopefully, one day, I could produce my own albums for lovers of sentimental songs.”
The SYTD project aims to help develop Sarawakian talents with a RM1 million grant. Under the project, talented youths between 18 and 35 can apply to the KTS Group with their videos, artworks, proposals or essays showcasing their specialties, along with a brief on how they wish to develop them.
The RM1 million grant will help fund chosen applicants in pursuing their dreams. The number of beneficiaries is not fixed.
So long as the applicants pass the evaluation of KTS Group, they will be provided with financial or material assistance.
The scope of talent under the SYTD project can cover a wide range of specialties in the arts, sciences, horticulture, agriculture, sports, engineering, architecture, information technology, hospitality, mass communication and many more.