Two years ago, the pandemic struck the whole world, we all stayed in, and this ultimately mean we have more time with ourselves.
Fresh got out of Form 6, it was year 2020 and I was completely lost. There wasn’t a second that I don’t questioned myself:
“What do I want to study next? “
“Dentistry? Traditional Chinese medicine? Finance?”
“What’s the purpose of life?”
I broke down a lot in the same year because of the emotional baggage that has not healed from my past relationship and a dark period of my life that involved abuse. My STPM results were average, this has caused me to lose a lot of faith in life. Feeling quite pessimistic towards my future. That little voice of ego-driven self-doubt in my head gradually became prominent as days go by. Basically, I was at the verge of depression, but then I’ve made a new discovery about myself that changed my life.
I wasn’t allowed to go to University Sains Malaysia (USM) to attend my bachelor’s degree in Applied Science (Biology) due to Covid, so I stayed at my home. Back then (and still am), fascinated by movie soundtracks. So, I was always on the orchestral music heist, exploring YouTube videos all the time.
Until one day……
I found a video of a person producing an orchestral piece by using a software in his laptop, in his bedroom! It was mind-blowing! I never knew it was possible that a regular person like me, can create professional, Spotify-worthy songs at the comfort of my home. It felt like there’s a fire burning inside of me, it was that moment I knew I found my passion.
But it wasn’t a smooth sail……
Even though I didn’t start off having a studio and equipment like audio interface and midi keyboard, I was able to create a theme song for a Chinese society in USM, with just using a 2-core laptop that cost only RM 2800. If you ask any professional music producer, they will say it’s impossible because making music is very CPU and storage intensive. It will be too weak as it will cause lagging, software crash down and insufficient storage to download plugins. I must admit. YES, it is extremely challenging as I had faced all these problems too, but that didn’t stop me from achieving my goals.
I’ve utilized many tactics on how to reduce laptop CPU usage so I can still have stable workflow. I had also acquired numerous mixing skills and sound designs to replicate specific sounds without having to download several massive plugins that can easily cost up to thousands of Ringgits. Even right now, I live in my university dorm (not acoustically treated), I would use blankets and mattresses to create a recording booth so I can record vocals without any unwanted sounds and reverberation. I don’t come from a rich family so it’s hard to afford musical equipment. I worked many part-time jobs in the past, finally got enough money to afford a 61-key midi keyboard, an audio interface, and a condenser mic. After that I completed a few originals as well that I am proud of.
If there is a problem, there must be a solution. My problem- solving skills has helped me on saving tons of money too.
I was travelling to many places to attend music producing competitions and meet up friends from other cities to do recording sessions. it was tiring and troublesome bringing heavy equipment around. But I was so determined, my level of disciplined has reached to another level. Additionally, even though my schedule was also packed with my academic sessions and badminton training (I’m a university athlete as well surprise), I organized my time efficiently so that I can balance my life without sacrificing anything. There were countless of students from my peers reached out to me saying they were impressed and inspired by my music journey, and they also seek guidance and advice from me on how they can start making their own music as well as a student. I was glad that I can contribute and help others.
It’s been two years since the starting point. Looking back, I know if it wasn’t for the obstacles in the past, I won’t be as resilient as I am today. Anyone reading this, you acquire strength not through the easiest times, but the hardest times of your life. Ask yourself what would the best version of you look like? I’m beyond grateful for Monsta for the opportunity for me to share my transformation story. Stay strong and keep shining!