A pinch of Inch Chua
Inch Chua gets personal at Pioneer Junior College.
Inch Chua is no stranger to the local music scene. After four years in the US, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter briefly stayed on Pulau Ubin to seek inspiration for her next EP.
Pioneer Junior College was the latest school to be invaded by *SCAPE, where she shared about the importance of grounding herself in personal philosophies and how she finds true solace in relationships and camaraderie.
Here are some wise life lessons the young artiste has learned during her journey:
1. It is okay to make unwise decisions.
Embrace your unwise decisions and do not regret them, echoes Inch regarding her move to Los Angeles. She said: “At that time I felt that Singapore wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to be in America to experience all this talk about how the grass is greener on the other side. I left in 2011, not the wisest decision, but I emptied my savings account, took every dime I had and spent it on relocating in America, just to do music.”
2. Get out of your comfort zone.
Getting out of the country and taking on Los Angeles and New York has taught Inch that “no man is an island”. Relocating to America was tough, because she did not know a single person there. But eventually everything fell into place, and she had the opportunity to tour and play at festivals like SXSW (South by Southwest), CMJ Music Marathon and Canadian Music Week.
However, her personal life was not fairing as well. “I felt like my life was in transit; I could not maintain relationships with friends and family, and it took a toll on me. However, if I had never gone to America, I would never have met one of the most important people in my life, my producer/engineer/mentor, who has given me a moral compass in life,” she said.
Going abroad and meeting new people made Inch realise that “the good endeavour doesn’t come from the athletes of success, but simply the comrades around you”. She holds the value of friendships and relationships dear to her heart, and discerningly says: “being around people builds character more than anything else, and with that character you can only hope to contribute to a community (music) through collaboration and giving and receiving.”
3. It is all about balance
With regards to artistry, Inch believes it is important to establish and cultivate a healthy balance between music as a passion and as a career. She also feels that it is imperative not to let the relentless pursuit of a particular achievement blind your passion.
Inch commented: “Satisfaction is definitely a part of this, it pushes yourself to be better, but the downside of that is you never learn to let go. As an artist I always feel like it is really important to find that sweet spot of self-deprecation, enough to push yourself to do better each time. Without this philosophy I wouldn’t have gone overseas.”
4. Inspiration is everywhere.
Inch took comfort in the peace and stillness that Pulau Ubin offers, but shared that it is certainly not the only place to get inspiration for song-writing.
“There’re a lot of places that are generally undiscovered in Singapore,” Inch explained. “There’s a kampong in Buangkok, it’s practically untouched. Nature parks like Bukit Timah, Bukit Brown cemetery, and the Botanic Gardens are some of the places I enjoy going to. There are so many outdoor places in Singapore that offer inspiration and new perspectives. My personal favourite is Seletar Reservoir. It does well to go for a jog and clear your head.”