I am content. That’s how I would sum up looking back at 2020. Suffice to say that 2020 has been a strange year. I would not say that it has been the most difficult year of my life – I’ve actually had worse. However, looking back at 2020, I will have to confess that perhaps the best life lessons have been learned in this year, of all years.(more…)
Relating to my own personal matters
In my last post on coping with anxiety, I discussed how self-awareness (both internal and external) was a vital starting point for anyone who wants to manage the anxiety disorders in their lives. This is a good time to begin to look at individual symptoms that need to be tackled in order to successfully deal with anxiety. So, let’s look at Obsessive Problem Solving.(more…)
Last time out, I introduced this (hopefully) continuing opinion series where I share my own personal experiences with coping with anxiety. I truly believe that the first step towards managing an anxiety disorder is self-awareness.(more…)
If you don’t suffer from anxiety disorder, chances are it is impossible for you to empathise with those that do. So this article is not meant for you. I have written this article – Coping With Anxiety – for anxiety sufferers, whether they are aware of this fact or not.(more…)
The Fast Colors began as an idea discussed between Chris Toh and myself over a meal – forming a classic rock tribute band. We roped Patrick Chng into the band as well and before you know it we were playing gigs, together with Chee Wah Yong and Tan Boon Gee on bass and drums respectively.(more…)
Although human beings are social animals, the fact is that we are all alone in our heads. It has often been said that “we are born alone and we die alone” and while that seems like a trite sentiment, it is also true.(more…)
Take nothing for granted.
We live in a bubble. Sometimes it’s of our own making, often it’s not. Our perceptions shape our reality, such as it is. We see what we want to see. Thus, when things don’t work out the way we expect, we get upset and emotionally wrought.(more…)
CRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE : STOP CHASING RAINBOWS, BE CHASED BY RAINBOWS INSTEADCRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE : STOP CHASING RAINBOWS, BE CHASED BY RAINBOWS INSTEAD
People are encouraged to have dreams. Inherent in this is the pressure to be our best selves but not as defined by ourselves but by external parties. Unfortunately, this pursuit of the presently unattained – whether it be of a career, romantic partner etc – is the root of expectations and desires, which will invariably lead to disappointment and despair!(more…)
CRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE : RE-THINKING POSITIVE THINKINGCRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE : RE-THINKING POSITIVE THINKING
Positive thinking. What is that about?(more…)
The best laid plans…. I intended to release a new album in 2020, with supporting events etc etc etc. And then of course, COVID-19 got in the way. After months of staying at home, with hardly any social contact, I have begun to slowly coming out of the cave in the past week or so.(more…)
Positive thinking during a global pandemic that has not only killed hundreds of thousands but has tanked economies worldwide is certainly not easy. Not unless you are a 1 percenter ghoulishly enriching yourself during this crisis.
But try I must and I will. As I have shared before, I suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety disorder, which has been difficult to handle during this time. One of the issues I constantly struggle with is the constant need to connect with others, to avoid loneliness at all cost. A sense of perceived failure if nobody invites me out.
Now, the enforced isolation brought about by the lockdown and the fear of venturing into the public space – now a very rational one – has reduced this need a great deal. No self-loathing associated with being at home, when the whole world previously was out on the town. So that’s definitely a plus!
Of course, the reverse is also true. In the sense that where previously I had taken a few things for granted – like the ability to perform in public with an innate talent to make music – and had allowed my insecurities to actually stop me from even wanting to perform.
With any possibility of performing live totally removed during this pandemic, I truly believe that this kind of self-defeating wrong thinking has been completely flushed out of my system for good. Imagine the sheer enthusiasm I will possess for performing live when that is once again possible (in 2021?).
So lessons learned for sure and looking forward to a better me coming out of the other side of this shit show. Now it’s a matter of time, of which I will probably still have a lot of, to prepare for the new normal when it finally arrives.
… still there’s more …
CRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE : LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED …CRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE : LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED …
Pop culture in a time of COVID-19 is something difficult to contemplate. At the beginning of 2020, I was planning for a new album and getting back to performing live again after a 5-year hiatus. Well, the best laid plans, as they say. The irony is not lost on me.(more…)
KEVIN MATHEWS COMPOSER : SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION – SONGS ABOUT SINGAPOREKEVIN MATHEWS COMPOSER : SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION – SONGS ABOUT SINGAPORE
While I have no problem with shamelessly self-promoting my own music, I would not discredit any of my PoP10 ‘Best of’ lists by inserting myself into the picture. Who am I? Kanye??(more…)
KEVIN MATHEWS COMPOSER : SONG STORIES – 12 STOREYS, BE WITH ME AND WANTON MEE.KEVIN MATHEWS COMPOSER : SONG STORIES – 12 STOREYS, BE WITH ME AND WANTON MEE.
Today, 1st August 2020, Netflix begins streaming three Eric Khoo movies that I contributed music to. Over at the Kevin Mathews Composer Facebook page, I shared these song stories to mark this occasion. Hope you find the reading as much fun as I did the writing.(more…)
Thank you, kind visitor for reading this. If you’re observant enough, you would notice that the last time I posted here was in April – around the time Singapore went into a partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had even posted a CLOSED advisory, which reflected my depressed state of mind. It did seem to me that the pandemic signalled the final death knell of Power of Pop.(more…)
It’s time to break from the past and move forward.
This week, my mother passed away at age 84 joining my father whose demise came at exactly the same age, 8 years ago. Which gives me fair notice to think about the important things in life to pursue.
One of these things is this website. Music has changed so fundamentally that I feel that reviewing music is almost pointless.
So that aspect of Power of Pop will probably disappear as I focus more on films, books, comics and pop culture, in effect to turn this into an actual blog. Change is a-coming, folks.
Thanks once more for your support.
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD : KEVIN MATHEWS – COMPOSERTHE LONG AND WINDING ROAD : KEVIN MATHEWS – COMPOSER
If you read my bio, you’d realise that I’ve done quite a few different things in my professional career. I’ve covered legal, human resources, quality management and teaching in the over thirty years since I graduated with a law degree.
I am contented to say that I am a composer.
This year I have been fortunate to have my music featured in two projects. One in film, Ramen Teh and the other in TV, HBO Asia’s Folklore series.
I have no qualms in saying that I have retired from being a singer-songwriter and performer, and there is little motivation to come back to that thankless task.
Instead, I will focus on being a composer.
… still there’s more …
Mulling over the difference between facts and opinion on a Sunday morning.
Some of you folks may be aware that I suffer from anxiety disorder. It’s not something that is too obvious if you know me casually but that’s becuase it’s very easy to hide.
In my thirties, it was pretty bad – married with children and being the sole breadwinner was not helpful to my mental well-being. But since I turned 40, I have become more self-aware about my condition and learning slowly but surely to deal with who I am.
So here I am, knowing the importance of the here and now. Present sense. In the past decade, I have gone to hell and back but with such valuable lessons.
Yesterday is gone forever and tomorrow might never come. All I have is today. Live in the moment, my friends.
… still there’s more …
Faithful followers of my misadventures would have realised that I have stepped back from the Singapore music scene, for reasons previous enumerated.
Finally finished re-watching LOST, all six seasons. And I am satisfied and contented.
I believe in rock ‘n’ roll.
That’s probably a corny sentiment to share but music is all I have in life now. Living the virtually solitary existence can be a mental challenge but eased immensely by the power of my favourite music.
To me, the terms “rock ‘n’ roll” or “pop” are meaningless especially when applied in a cold technical manner.
It has to be about how the music makes me think and feel. And that’s what the best rock or pop music does, in my humble opinion.
It’s all about the art, the craft, the emotion invested by music creators to express a real idea or feeling to the listener – making a genuine connection.
That’s what it has to be all about.
It’s almost been three years since my final solo album – Present Sense – was released. The tepid response to that release prompted me to retire completely from releasing and performing music.
As I watched Hanging Up the Moon (Sean Lam) deliver his beautifully crafted acoustic works in a little record store in the slick cold environs of the Esplanade Mall, I could not help but notice the curious onlooking shoppers wondering what the hell was going on.