Up and coming indie musician Hongjoin on his ardour for music and the way it led him to play for his idol

Up and coming indie musician Hongjoin on his passion for music and how it led him to play for his idol
Pictures: Ashe Liao

“This EP is an embodiment of my progress as a musician, and the truth that it’s out there’s something I’m so pleased with.”

Upon first look and dialog, Hongjoin strikes me as a soft-spoken and shy particular person together with his light tone of voice. It’s anticipated, on condition that he’s written songs about heartbreak and longing in fantastically melancholic indie tunes. However the minute we clip a microphone on the coriander-lover, he charms us together with his charisma and fervour for music. The 21-year-old turns into starry-eyed, eagerly stepping into the main points of his newest EP with us. As a part of our new Honey Unplugged collection, the place we get intimate with native musicians and uncover extra about their journey, we sit down with Hongjoin to search out out extra about his current EP and his musical journey.

Stumbling into love

Like most musicians, Hongjoin has a lifelong love for music. Earlier than his Nationwide Service, he labored on a track with associates that ended up blowing up on YouTube. Cue his journey into studying how one can produce music and enjoying dwell exhibits – he even produced two EPs and debuted in 2021.

This adoration for tunes has additionally seeped into his private life. Initially, his schooling took him down the straight and slim path, with plans to attend an area college. Nonetheless, being accepted right into a US music program that he utilized to on a whim took him on a whirlwind of a journey.

Now again in Singapore for his summer time break, he’s simply launched his second EP, F(OOL). This assortment of songs speaks of eager for somebody out of attain, enjoying on nostalgia and progress by means of its heartwrenching lyrics. Debuting the EP at a dwell live performance for an viewers of over 200, his presence on stage is like dynamite. He instructions the group together with his power, backed by a band consisting of shut associates. However as electrifying because the vibe could also be, his expressions nonetheless convey the sombre nature of his lyrics.

We stan a multi-talented king

hongjoin interview honeycombers
Pictures: Thomas Nguyen

Dedicating your self to an EP manufacturing from begin to end isn’t any straightforward process, particularly if you don’t have the required experience. However that hasn’t stopped Hongjoin from attaining this huge feat. Regardless of having a big repertoire of songs underneath his belt, the seven-track EP nonetheless took a yr to finish. However this was a calculated effort, as Hongjoin explains to me that he’s extremely intentional in regards to the songs he chooses to launch.

Whereas music is a method of expressing himself, he takes messaging into consideration. “I really feel a way of duty to talk of excellent issues in frequent experiences. I wish to inform people who life is okay, and all the pieces shall be nice finally,” he explains.

Producing his tracks isn’t the one ability he’s picked up on the best way. Not wanting to show to the standard route of utilizing simulated devices, he frolicked studying how one can play the piano and drums. Though Hongjoin’s expertise in these devices are primary (in keeping with him), you may’t deny his dedication to the craft. Out of all the pieces he’s discovered to this point, he tells us that synths had been probably the most attention-grabbing in creating a brand new sonic atmosphere for his tracks.

live music in singapore

When success isn’t a numbers recreation

hongjoin interview honeycombers
Pictures: Nathan Ng

I ask him what the success of this second EP seems to be like for him, and Hongjoin pauses to assume. Is there a specific variety of listens, streams, or downloads he’s on the lookout for? “Completely not,” he responds instantly with conviction.

Whereas quantifiable metrics of success are precious, that’s not one thing he chooses to deal with. “The truth that it’s already out there’s something I’m already very pleased with,” he gushes, displaying real satisfaction for his laborious work. To know that there are lives modified and a constructive impression made is probably the most satisfying factor he can ask for.

It’s no shock that his mixture of cinematic soundscapes and hard-hitting lyrics has resonated with folks. He takes the time to dig deep into his experiences and creates genuine, relatable tracks. As for his subsequent steps? He’s taking his music dwell and looking out ahead to assembly individuals who have been influenced by him. The flexibility to attach with an in-person viewers is one thing Hongjoin cares about deeply. He credit his listeners as his motivation to maintain producing music.

From fanboy to opening act

hongjoin interview honeycombers
Pictures: Nathan Ng

Hongjoin considers being the opening act for fellow indie singer-songwriter Matt Maltese some of the memorable factors of his profession. It additionally occurs to even be a candy full circle second! Being an enormous fan, Hongjoin fondly recollects the expertise of being up on stage and assembly the British singer. His pleasure is clear as he gushes about performing in entrance of a crowd that was there for each him and Matt. “I couldn’t assume straight; I used to be simply glad to play for him and meet his band in individual,” he says.

The native singer can also be making his personal waves within the Singapore music scene, having garnered a considerable fanbase in a brief period of time. A few of his most healthful experiences with followers embrace receiving presents from listeners that attend his dwell exhibits. “It’s so candy understanding that they’re considering of me and my music once they give me one thing,” he says, displaying me bracelets and necklaces he’s acquired.

What’s to return

The discharge of F(OOL) marks a stepping stone within the path that Hongjoin needs for his music. He’s written plenty of songs however doesn’t plan on releasing them until the time is true. Till then, he plans to remain centered on college and goals to have music be his full-time profession. “I don’t know if my profession will take off, however I’ll be doing it regardless of the place I’m,” he declares determinedly.

He tells me of his ambitions to play on the Head within the Clouds Pageant and hopes that his music will take him throughout totally different continents. His listeners are scattered everywhere in the world, and as somebody who values assembly the individuals who’ve proven him a lot assist, he plans to satisfy them past Singapore’s borders.

Within the meantime, he has loads of collaborations within the works, together with a set of songs which can be “actually danceable”. We acquired teasers on upcoming songs co-created with native abilities like Marian Carmel and Rene – and doable collabs with Joey Tan and Lew Low – and we are able to’t wait to see the place his music takes him.

It’s evident that Hongjoin has no intentions of slowing down. He’s wanting to make his mark on the earth of music whereas staying true to his songs and the messages he needs to ship. For now, we’ll be listening to F(OOL) as we await his subsequent launch.

Need us to highlight an area artist for the following version of Honey Unplugged? Drop us a DM @honeycombers.



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