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Inching Closer: Up Close and Personal With Inch Chua In 5 Minutes

If you have been following the local music scene, you must have heard of her name. You must have at least heard a song or two from her, especially this recent one with Shigga Shay. You might have also caught her virgin musical act, 老九, with co-star Sugie Phua. If you still have no clue who we are talking about, this is where you will know more about the 27-year-old local singer-songwriter, Inch Chua

We phoned Inch, who is currently living on the little island, north-eastern of this little red dot - Pulau Ubin. Read on and find out what's been going on in her life, who's her greatest inspiration in life and what's the next mountain she's going to climb and conquer. 

Photo: CRISPI Productions

Naiise (N): Hey Inch! We've heard that you are currently staying in Pulau Ubin. How's it like to be away from the city?

Inch (I): It's been good! I've actually been staying here since the start of March and will be here till mid June. It has been awesome so far. I always love roughing it out and I love seclusion. And you know how your parents always tell you about their stories when they used to stay in the kampong and how they have to wake up at 6 in the morning to draw water and all those things. I'm doing exactly those things now!

N: So what's your typical day like in Ubin?

I: Over here, the roosters will wake me up at 6am. I will get up, draw some water from the well to shower. 

N: Wait, you need to draw water?!

I: Yeah. The water is pretty delicious actually! Then, I'll cycle out to the coffeeshop at the jetty area around 7.30am to get some coffee. That's also when I'll pull out my iPad to reply all my emails. After that, I'll head back home and try to write, or do something random. I'll also head out to collect sounds for the new album.

Come 2pm, I'll head indoors because it's way too hot to function and my brain will be fried by then. Oh, and I've started taking naps too.

Photo: CRISPI Production

N: Is it true that naps make you more productive?

I: Yes it is! I actually feel great after a nap. Then, I'll take a shower before the sun goes down, because I don't want to shower in the dark. Nights are pretty much spent indoors too. You don't want to roam around because the wild dogs can be pretty scary. I got chased by them a few times. 

N: No way! How did you escape from them?

I: When they chase after you, don't think. Just run. 

N: So we heard that you have a little project, #LettersToUbin, going on. Tell us more about it. 

I: #LettersToUbin is a joint effort by The Artist Village, National Art Council, Lee Foundation and me, to allow participants to experience a day in my life here. I'll be giving a 3-hour "workshop" and tour of Pulau Ubin. There will be a sneak preview to my new album too. 

Photo: Inch Chua

N: What's the next thing that you will be striking off your bucket list?

I: I have a crazy list of things to accomplish. I've been very into mountain climbing and last December, I've conquered Mount Everest. This time round, I'm going to Yakushima Island and climb those mountains. Fun fact: The forest setting in Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke was inspired by the forests of Yakushima. 

N: Who has been your all-time-greatest inspiration?

I: On a personal level, my mum is always my inspiration. The level of unconditional love is ridiculous and she is just the greatest!

Musically, it's actually an architect called Antoni Gaudi. I have always loved his works.

N: There was a song about him in your album right?

I: Yeah! But I never play it live. I always feel you need a larger band to do justice to the song.

Sufjan Stevens is one of the musicians who inspire me too. He looks ridiculously gorgeous for a 40-year-old guy, and he is also one of the greatest poets of our time. Such an eye candy!

N: What is looping in your playlist these days?

I: Sufjan Stevens' latest album, Carrie & Lowell. It's his best record ever written. He's really talented. I would love to marry him!

 Photo: Zoe-Ruth Erwin

N: What are your upcoming plans this year? 

I: The new record! This record is going to be a lot on how I feel about Ubin and what I think Ubin feels about me. It feels like a budding relationship - Ubin and I know each other for a while but we were never close. Now we are together, my life has changed to accommodate to a lot of things, like the weather, the wildlife, the electricity etc. It's going to be documentation of all of that. 

N: Looking back, what would you have said to your 17-year-old self?

I: I'd tell my 17-year-old self not to be an idiot 'cos she was one (and she would agree with me! Haha!) Also, be a more patient person and know that nothing in life is that urgent. Life is great!

N: Any wise words for budding musicians?

I: Know what you want, learn how to ask for it, and be hungry. 

p.s. Today is a special day because it's Mr Ricky's birthday! Happy birthday! :)

Follow Inch Chua on her Instagram and Facebook to get the latest updates. 

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