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INTERVIEW: Kevin Tiah

Hi Kevin, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I am very excited to be part of Vents Magazine again!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bring Back 2005”?

It’s a song I wrote back in high school when I first discovered GuitarPro 5, which I still use until this day (GuitarPro X now) to create a MIDI draft for every song that I write. I re-visited this old project after several years, where I had even completely forgotten it existed. I was surprised that the song itself was already so close to completion (even with MIDI vocal melodies). All that was missing was the lyrics so at the time I figured I might as well finish it off and get it recorded.

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?

I would say it was more of a collection of events from the past that inspired me. My peers and I (90s kids) have already begun early adulthood, and I wanted to write a song that would make people of my age group feel somewhat nostalgic about what we missed most about our teenage years. 2005 was the year I first stepped into high school and to me, becoming a teenager was the first milestone of my childhood.

Any plans to release a music video for the single?

At this stage, no. If I ever did, I’d imagine it would be quite a large budget music video with a lot of props and costumes. Who knows, that might change later on.

How was the recording and writing process?

As mentioned earlier, almost all of this song was already written years ago and the idea was to keep it as simple as possible like a traditional 4-chord Pop Punk song. Hence, the recording process was extremely easy since it was really just about actually playing what was written digitally but with real instruments. The lyrics on the other hand, took a little more time. Once I made a list of most of the things that my friends and I enjoyed doing during our teenage years, it was really a matter of just putting it together.

What role does Australia play in your music?

Nothing at all, really. Apart from being half the world away from the United States, I don’t think being in a different first world country would really make that much of a difference. Although I did spend more than half of my life living in Malaysia from birth so it’s hard to say how different the outcome would be if I were born in Australia or if I never moved to Australia. I guess that’s why I really enjoy the theory about parallel universes!

How’s your new material coming along?

I’ve just finished doing vocals for a Post-hardcore song as part of a collaboration project with another musician I met on YouTube who is based in Canada. I’ve got another HipHop/R&B song in the works, which will be released very soon too. My next song after that will be a Metalcore song, followed by a Techno song. My goal is to make every song I release sound completely different from the last. I want to be able to prove that musicians who release their own music don’t have to be restricted to one specific genre of music. While I’ve been told by a radio host that what I’m doing is very unwise since it would confuse the target audience, I’d prefer to create my art based solely on what I love to do rather than to be influenced by what the media thinks.

Any tentative release dates or titles in mind?

The song from my first music collaboration is due to be released on YouTube and Bandcamp by next week or so, and the title of the song will be “The Rise”. My HipHop/R&B song titled “Better Days” will be released in about 2 weeks or so. I’ve also got a music video in the works for my own Post-hardcore song “Beneath The Sea”, which will be released in the next few weeks or so. I’m still yet to decide the sequence of each release at the moment.

Would you be digging through memories of teenage and childhood years on this record or are you diving into other themes?

My plan is to release a multi-genre full-length album and I want to ensure that every song I release has some form of meaning to it or a message, whether it’d be personal or general. For instance, my previous single “Fight For you” was based on my own personal observations and experiences, which I’d like to keep as a personal reminder to myself to always cherish loved ones in my life. My soon to be released single, “Better Days”, is a song about depression and finding the strength to fight through it.

Any plans to hit the road?

I miss the old days when I used to play a lot of shows with my old band, although we were all younger with fewer responsibilities back then. Since I work a full-time job, it can be quite a struggle to find time to ever play shows and network with others again. That said, I do have some very supportive friends who are very willing to help me out if I ever decided to step on stage again.

What else is happening next in Kevin Tiah’s world?

A good friend of mine is a film producer who directed 2 of my music videos. He’s also got his own clothing label. I’m a huge advocate for mental health and helping people with depression so he and I have plans to start a project when my song “Better Days” is released. We would like to eventually film a high budget music video for it and get the community involved in it as well to hopefully get the message across to those who need it the most. We would also like to release some “Better Days” T-shirts and giveaways to promote a connection between sufferers of depression and those who are willing to provide support to them.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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