Hi Michael, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thank you for having me, VENTS! I’ve been good, thank you. I’ve been writing new music and coming up with more ideas. Also been busy promoting my debut EP called I Should Be Homeless. and getting more into social media – I’m pretty old school.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Dreaming of You”?
“Dreaming of You” is definitely a throwback-sounding R&B and adult contemporary track. It reminds me of the 90s with its minimal production and sound, also its quiet storm influences. I was hoping that I, as an artist of Asian descent, will be able to add a different feel and unique texture to it as well.
Did any event in particular inspired the writing of this song?
When my dear friend and writing partner Osman sent me over an early demo of the track, we had very different perceptions of what the song was about. That’s the beauty of music – always open to interpretation. He thought of it as a romantic love song, but to me it was about self-pleasure with a vivid imagination of that special someone – no porn involved!
The single comes off your new EP I Should Be Homeless – what’s the story behind the title?
It’s funny you mention that, I was actually going through some sort of a personal turmoil. Then one day this parody of Crystal Waters’ 1991 house hit “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” came across. The parody title really resonated with me – in a comedic and ironic way. I thought, “this is where I am right now and it speaks to me.” And it was also very liberating to intentionally use such a laughable title, because I have really never been a person with lots of guts and I cared too much about what people think.
How was the recording and writing process?
For this EP, the writing came rather smoothly – I think I was very inspired at that time. It was the recording and mixing process that took quite a while. I am a perfectionist especially when it comes to how the music sounds. When I covered Janet Jackson’s “When I Think of You”, it took me a long time to achieve the analogue sound of the early 90s, especially the mixing process – and the reel-to-reel tape recording did not help either.
Did you intentionally wanted to make a 90s album?
Yes I did. Actually all the little details in the music, the sound quality, the lyrics, and even the design of the EP were conscious decisions. I wanted to make this EP as if it was from the early 90s.
Why this music decade in particular?
Music of the late 80s and early 90s was very influential to me, as an artist and as a person. Not to mention that I grew up in the 90s and I am very nostalgic – the era of music and pop culture really shaped me. And It was such a good time – transitioning from the distinctive 80s style to a then-new decade with different kinds of minimalism and avant-garde artists and musicians. Being from Hong Kong, I was also very influenced by Cantopop music – and that specific era was such a fruitful and diverse age of Cantopop. One of the tracks in my EP is actually built around a Cantopop/rap sample.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
It was all about dreaming and imagination, and of course, some personal experience and people’s stories. To be honest, I am a very cynical person, and at times very pessimistic as well. The four tracks of the EP went from hopefulness to despair. “Dreaming of You” to me is about first falling in love (or lack thereof) and self-pleasure. Then it is “When I Think of You”, such a sweet and romantic stage in a relationship and in life too. When it turns sour, “Luv is?” to me is a very personal account of the cynicism of love and relationships. And “Broken Promise” is the dark, hopeless ending, full of confusion and emotional entrapment.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes and no. I would love to hit the road and do gigs all around New York first. I have been designing my performances using lighting effects and visuals. I am a very visual person when it comes to shows, and it would be a bore of me to just stand or sit there and sing. Going to a show should be an all-senses experience I believe, particularly for popular music.
What else is happening next in Tang’s world?
I have started planning a follow-up to I Should Be Homeless., which would feature throwback sounds of the late 80s. And also to enjoy life and the company of great people, family and friends! Sometimes we forget to appreciate little things in our lives that we already have.
Hi Dee, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? Hey! Thanks so much for this …