Singapore singer-composer KEAT is on a roll. Having released his first pop single, Leed Me On, last October, the 25-year-old who emerged runner-up at the inaugural Pershub Got Talent Competition 2016, is currently working on his debut EP, slated to be released in mid-2020.
Last year, he also performed at Esplanade’s All Things New 2019, Baybeats Open Stage 2019 and Voices 2019. This year, the musician was selected to be part of the Noise Music Mentorship Programme, an initiative of the National Arts Council.
“There’s an exciting unpredictability in doing music, and no two days of a musical process are alike,” says KEAT, who has also been involved in myriad recitals, operas and musicals, dabbling in stage work and performing with companies such as the New Opera Singapore.
NSMAN chats with this local breakout act.
Describe your music style.
Electronic pop with elements of rhythm and blues and synthwave. Like most songwriters, I think I subscribe to the cliche of writing love songs – not just about the lovey-dovey kind of romance but also about friends, food or getting out of love.
Why did you decide to become a musician?
When it comes to songwriting and performing, there’s a joy and burning passion that I feel when I’m on stage. I’m just drawn to how exhilarating, fulfilling and addictive it is. Creating music is also a self-exploratory process – you learn a lot about yourself, even the thoughts and feelings you might not have been aware of.
Share with us your music writing process.
I usually write in bed, maybe because it’s where I’m most comfortable and therefore most vulnerable. I tend to also begin writing songs very late at night after a good bak chor mee. That’s the thing about creativity – you’ve got to give it some space to blossom and grow into it.
You’re classically trained. Why the foray into contemporary music?
I don’t think I’ve moved completely away from classical music, though. Opera, for example, still calls out to me. But that’s only one side of me. I’ve always been someone who enjoyed many different styles and genres, so it’s good to pair these two together. I don’t see the two sides as mutually exclusive.