A new world of opportunity opened up for me in the mid-90s when filmmaker Eric Khoo roped me into working on some music for his features Mee Pok Man, 12 Storeys and later on, Be With Me.
Couple of years back, I recorded a Xmas song with Patrick Chng called “4Christmas”. My former NOISE mentee Rachael Teo designed a cool lil cover we used for the single (see above).
Well, boys and girls, that’s all she wrote! With the re-release of The Crowd’s Pop (1997), and the Popland albums, Groovy and Action!, the KAMCO Music – Kevin Mathews reissue program has been completed.
Here are the links. Thanks for your support.
Here’s a Spotify playlist of all 73 tracks of the re-issue programme!
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I experimented with 20 Originals performance events earlier this year at a local outlet, which was not perfect but was a good platform to push the novel idea that original music made in Singapore needed to build a fan base in order for the local indie scene to survive.
The biggest difficulty was as usual, getting people to attend. I always laugh when folks describe me as a ‘legend’ cos if that was true I would not struggle to get people to my gigs (especially when the admission is FREE). So that’s the reality — nobody really gives a fuck about original music in Singapore, and in particular, mine.
Of course, that’s a generalization – a sweeping statement. Sure, there ARE people who dig my music, even if it’s a minuscule group. There are people who pay ‘lip service’ – flatterers who maybe believe that they can get something out of me in return. But these are the same people who NEVER attend any of my gigs. So there you go, actions speak LOUDER than words! You know who you are! Aha!
But I digress. Despite the challenges, I plod on. Ultimately, I believe in myself and my music, even if the world does not. And that’s what it’s all about really. Perhaps it’s self-delusion – so what? At least, I know that the handful of people who do turn up on Saturday for this event are truly the people who do believe in me and my music. And for that, I am eternally grateful and that little encouragement drives me to keep moving forward.
So, here’s the deal. Two sets of 10 songs each. The first set will concentrate mainly on the 90s (and mostly ‘love’ songs) and the second set will focus on newer material (mostly ‘hate’ songs) and will also see the debut of four new songs that will form the bulk of my upcoming 2015 EP. See you there if you’re interested. And oh yeah, NO FUCKING COVERS!
More info etc – https://www.facebook.com/events/740476162667896/746885612026951
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The final part of our look back at 2013’s recommend album list – accessible at Spotify.
Kevin Tihista – Modern Standard
Under the radar perhaps but fully deserves your attention. Pop music making at its best.
First of a series of regular EP releases, “Hand To Mouth” is actually the first release under my own name. Ever! Amazing eh? Have never been entirely comfortable using my own name in the past. Better late than never.
Also, in the spirit of 90s indie S-ROCK, think of these EP releases as “demo cassettes” – good old fashioned homemade cookies. You can listen and/or download from Bandcamp right now. It’s on a “name your own price” basis and what you feel like paying is entirely up to you.
Consisting of five tracks recorded at home on GarageBand or Audacity, the songs are “in the moment” pieces to celebrate the art of songwriting. So, there are stripped down acoustic tracks (If I Wasn’t Paranoid, I’d Be Dead & Boomz), a hip hop parody (Hit And Run), a song contest spoof (Game) and the obligatory melancholic piano ballad (Do My Best).
I feel that this is the best medium to get my music out there and since there seems to be lots of it… Please take a listen and would greatly appreciate your feedback and comments.
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There are a couple of versions of My One & Only out there, which is basically me milking it. Or it’s just me trying to get things as perfect as I possibly can. So that was the case with the original version of My One & Only, which is on 1993’s Democracy album. I’ve never been completely satisfied with it for various reasons and so when I recorded the quickie follow-up Love EP (with Pat Chng & Ben Harrison), I figured why not have a new edition with a different arrangement and new instrumentation. I think this ’94 edition is better than the original but of course, that did not stop me from recording another version in 2008, which you can find on the +65 Indie Underground compilation.
Anyways, the ’94 edition has been uploaded at Bandcamp.com and you can download it for FREE here. You’d need to provide a valid email in order to do so, hope that’s not too much of an inconvenience. Thanks once again for your generous support, you are the best!
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It has been a fruitful week for Kevin Mathews/The Groovy People as we played two gigs in five days!
On Sunday, 21 June, we play an half-hour set at St James Powerhouse in aid of Mercy Relief’s humanitarian effots in Pakistan. Even not feeling 100% well, the (rock) therapy of playing with the Groovy People more than carried me through. It was a kick watching Mike Cho, Ark Analogy and my pals, King Kong Jane doing their bit for a good cause, as well.
Jealous Guy, I Love Singapore, Orchard Road, Easy, Heaven, My One & Only, Gum
Thanks to weetz for the youtube videos!
On Thursday, 25th June, our mini-tour concluded with an appearance at Milestone at Empress Place for the 1990s segment. Appearing as Watchmen we took the stage after legendary 90s bands, Concave Scream & Force Vomit. It was a fun time although for some reason I totally screwed up the lyrics of Damaged and fluffed chords here and there. Whatever…
Set list – Hot Burrito #1, I Love Singapore, Orchard Road, The High Cost Of Living, Climate of Fear, Easy, Jealous Guy, Damaged, Heaven, My One & Only, Gum.
Videos of the Milestones gig can be seen on Facebook. Thanks to Narisa for uploading!
And today, Saturday, 27th June I’ll be playing two solo sets at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre from 7.30pm to 8.15pm and from 8.45pm to 9.30pm. See ya there!
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So far, Kevin Mathews/the Groovy People have barely done two gigs a year. Really. So how does one figure two gigs in FIVE days? Cool, huh?
First up, on Sunday, 21st June, we will playing a charity gig at St James Powerhouse, e-flyer below.
Then, on Thursday, 25th June night, we’ll be playing in front of Timbre @ The Arts House disguised as Watchmen. Poster below.
Hope to see ya there.
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