At 10am, we took a walk from the Esplanade to the lotus ponds of Marina Bay Sands. At 11am, we had a discussion about the new Star Wars movie. At 12pm, her single ‘Mousedeer’ made it to #3 on Spotify’s Singapore Viral 50 and we celebrated over overpriced nasi padang. And at 1pm — I was having cocktails with Singapore singer-songwriter Inch Chua.
Whether it’s Los Angeles, Mount Everest, Pulau Ubin, or even downtown Singapore, this lady is always taking flight — it’s always about going places when it comes to Inch. She’s an established name in the local scene: Inch started out with her band Allura, and then moved on to solo work, pursuing her career in America. She’s also published a book, and is currently prepping for the launch of her album Letters To Ubin — one of her most interesting projects yet.
The Island Life
The new album took her on a sabbatical to Pulau Ubin where most of the album was birthed. For a few months, Inch did away with the stuff we’re used to having all the time — the reliable and strong signal of Wi-Fi being one. But living the simple life seems to have been good for her otherwise nomadic nature: the first single off the album, ‘Mousedeer’, is one of her strongest songwriting efforts to date, and we can only wait to listen to the rest of the album when it launches on November 27.
She misses Ubin, she says while gazing at the lotus ponds surrounding the ArtScience Museum. I tell her it’s one of my favourite spots in Singapore. “Then you would’ve loved it in Ubin! There were these two ponds there in Ubin with huge lotus leaves, bigger than this,” she recalled fondly. She also tells me about spotting mousedeer, or kancil on Pulau Ubin, which became quite an influential creature (as you will see later) to her.
This is no get-woozy-on-a-weekday outing we’re embarking on. We were trying out the bespoke cocktails that would be available for her album launch, made with foraged ingredients — like sweet potatoes, locally-grown tea leaves, and the native blue pea flower — from Pulau Ubin itself. It’s all very thoughtful and unique — a characteristic that shows in everything Inch does. Even when you put her on the spot with the Geeking Out questions, she still breezes through them with creativity, flair, a lot of doodles and very interesting answers.
Like every musician, Inch has an array of gadgets when it comes to performing and producing her music. But when it’s not about music, she’s pretty well-read when it comes to video games and sci-fi, too. “I haven’t seen the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens so it’s going to be magical the first time!” she enthuses.
Forget ‘spirit animals’, Inch has her own Patronus. We reckon she’ll be alright in Hogwarts.
“I play everything by Kairosoft (a game developer). Right now, I’m into Mag Mogul, where you can run your own magazine about anything for anyone,” she says. And then there’s Triple Triad, which is technically a card game within a game in the Final Fantasy franchise — if she could, she’d fill this section up with games — “Oh, and Facebook obviously,” she says as she draws it out.
“I’ll definitely do something augmented reality,” she says. She chuckles and draws out her plans.
She tells me, “Charlie (Lim) and some of the guys from the band chipped in and got me a PS4 for my birthday but if I were to give in and focus on gaming, there would be no music from me. Maybe that was their plan all along…”
Like everyone, she’s pretty excited about the upcoming release of Fallout 4.
In last week’s Geeking Out, Benjamin Kheng of The Sam Willows also vouched for “Limp Bizkit’s solid band”. I guess Limp Bizkit’s proper legit now.
Ah, darkness, our old friend. Tell me someone who hasn’t gone through the emo phase during their teenage years — or at least gotten a little interested in it.
Inch’s album Letters To Ubin is out November 27. Listen to her single ‘Mousedeer’ on Spotify.