Bittersweet (Live at Taiwan)

I first met Yan (bassist) 10 years ago at the Spring Scream Music Festival in Taiwan. I was sitting at a 4-6 seat table at Starbucks because that was the only space available. He and his bandmate joined my table a bit later. I didn’t recognise them initially as their vocalist wasn’t there, but as we talked, I found out they were from Relax-ONE, a pretty well known band which I was actually familiar with. After we parted ways, we bumped into each other again and exchanged contacts. Subsequently, we met a couple of times in Singapore and Taiwan. 

Among the musicians who accompanied me during this tour, I’ve known Yan the longest, but we’d never spoke about playing together before this. He’s a full time professional musician on a whole different level. He plays for huge events, does recording for established artists and stuff. I was aware of my own (ahem) standards, but I really wanted to have the bass to complement the performance, so I invited him to join us even though it was nerve-wracking. To my surprise, he agreed, and I’m so glad I asked! 

I’m really grateful for Stephen as well. At first, due to budget constraints, the plan was to only perform together for the show in Taipei, but he decided to make an earlier trip to Taiwan, and that’s how we got to meet up in Hualien (where the performance in the video occurred). I knew that Cafe Jade had an awesome grand piano, so I begged him to play both the piano and the drums (not both together, haha, one at a time). He did well, the piano enhanced the performance. 

Somehow I knew I could trust both of them. With Stephen, we had experience working together, and we managed to rehearse for this particular setup while we were in Malaysia. We practiced and recorded our full rehearsal and sent them to Yan a month before, then communicated with him through text messages. I was impressed by their ability to capture the mood of my songs. 

The day before the performance, Stephen flew in from KL and Yan drove over from Keelung. We hung out at the night market. Finally the time came and we performed together. During the performance, the trust, skillsets (mainly theirs, lol), and active listening between the three of us combined, resulting in the video above. 

If there’s a choice, we MUST rehearse. But when we can’t, which is pretty common on the road, we need to get creative to overcome these challenges. This was an extremely fun experience for me, thanks to Yan and Stephen for being such good partners in crime. 

Special thanks to the venue for giving me the opportunity to perform, and they even provided accommodation and breakfast (touched cry). Fun fact, the sound engineer is a farmer during the day! Last but not least, we truly appreciate the audience who came and listened to us. Without them we syok sendiri only. Hah.