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Singaporean Folk Singer Lewloh on Writing Songs With Twitch Fans on the Heels of the Pandemic
May 24, 2022
The rise of online events and activities due to the pandemic led many of us to unmask and learn more about the things we didn’t know we can do virtually such as online birthday parties, cooking classes, workshops, and even concerts.
Joining a throng of digital-savvy millennials and Gen Zs who discovered hobbies amidst lockdowns and physical distancing, folk singer and songwriter Lewloh shared with The Beat Asia how he started performing on Twitch and his experience writing music with his fans.
On His Personal Life and Quest for Music
A former police officer and a yoga teacher, Lew was born and raised in Hong Kong but now he calls Singapore his home. His penchant for songwriting began after his “high school situationship” during his teenage years.
Upon moving to Singapore for National Service, he used his spare time to write and perform his original work to express his artistic creativity, as well as to release stress. A couple of years later, established a small listenership who resonated with his music and inspired him to pursue a full-time career in music.
Lew's desire to connect with people's souls through music remained strong. He believes that “Music is so powerful, in that it not only affects you physiologically but spiritually too. Most times when things don’t make sense, music still does.”
Besides his fascination with music, Lew practices yoga about three to four times a week. He also admitted that he’s a huge gamer, playing for about six to eight hours a day.
In our email interview, Lew also shared that the last time he performed in front of a live crowd was in February at the Esplanade Outdoor Theaters in Singapore.
"It reminded me how much joy I derive from live shows. The final live performance pre-pandemic was at The Great Scott in Boston. I remember being with my college friends on stage, celebrating the start of our mid-term break… blissfully believing that COVID-19 was going to give us an extra week to rest.”
Creative Process, Collabs, Future Projects
The singer openly talked about the story behind his sophomore album called “michigan/missinghim.”
“[The album] is about my second heartbreak, and how there are no pure heroes or villains in any story. ‘Summer boy’ is about the regrets I harboured, whereas ‘Dance around him’ is about a protagonist who is desperate for reconciliation with their lover.”
When writing music, he revealed that his creative process usually starts with a concept followed by the message that he wants to convey and how he will deliver it to his listeners through “digestible and fresh” harmonies.
As a folk singer and songwriter based in Singapore, he hopes to collaborate with fellow Southeast Asian artists to create “mutually understood” pieces fuelled by “honest writing sessions.”
“It’d be a dream to work with Passenger or Canyon City. They both have a way with words, and the ability to create new worlds for their music to live in. I was also a writer on Sezairi’s latest track ‘Fool’ and look forward to more collaborations with artists in the SEA region,” he added.
Similar to the social sphere of the new normal that kept people connected mostly online, Lew gave a little spoiler about his upcoming project of turning his “Twitch songs” into an EP. He attributed the idea to a young man who enjoys uploading and sharing his creations on the internet and meeting strangers along the way to help him create an album.
When asked what is so special about performing on a different platform, Lew revealed that Twitch is his favourite social media platform as it allowed him to build a positive relationship between his viewers and other streamers.
“I get to connect in real time with my viewers/listeners and build a community that is warm and open. I also write songs with my chat (viewers) every Monday, where they bring in lyrics and concept ideas. We have since written 15 songs together!” he said.
For Lew, just like any other artist, making music was a way to let his emotions "marinate" and express himself truthfully.
“To be honest, songwriting has become an indulgent habit for me. I cannot go through any ounce of trauma, without thinking about how I can turn it into a song (half-kidding). But maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much… it gives me the space to take my time when reflecting on mistakes made."
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