Gregory Tan On His View on Modern Music

Gregory Tan On His View on Modern Music

Gregory Tan musician

Music business…
Gone are the days where record labels would actively seek someone with potential unless he or she has a cult following already. It feels that labels are no longer keen to develop an artist’s marketability unless they have already proven to be marketable, and this contrasts the way things were done in the 70s and 80s @gregtanmusic

Live Interview  
Episode #333 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW GREGORY TAN
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Interviewing Greg Tan Music or G.T. Music

Music business…
Gone are the days where record labels would actively seek someone with potential unless he or she has a cult following already. It feels that labels are no longer keen to develop an artist’s marketability unless they have already proven to be marketable, and this contrasts the way things were done in the 70s and 80s.

I feel that not everyone can be Amanda Palmer…
also given that this industry is competitive, and constantly changing. It’s awesome that I’ve found my niche as a composer. It prevents me from needing the validation of the general public to make me feel successful as an artist. I love working with publishing companies and commercial entities as well as movie directors to create music for other purposes as opposed to attaining gratification from the masses.

Social media…
Given Facebook and Instagram’s new algorithm where people are only shown what they’re interested in, it’s difficult to present new material to them without removing these filters. As much as social media is useful, I don’t think it should be a tool to gain “true fans”, but rather a platform to simply introduce people to something they’ve might not seen or heard before.

I love the idea that social media helps you stay in touch and connected, but if you expect people to buy your product because of the thousands of likes you’ve received on your post or page, it will more often than not, lead to disappointment. “Likes” don’t mean a thing if you cannot convert these “likers” into supporters.

Singles vs an album…
I guess when you release a single, it’s something that can and should stand on it’s own as a piece of music. It should capture the attention of people instantly and convey the message embedded within the song directly and clearly to it’s audience. It can be used as a prelude to an album, or it can be used to define the artist as a creative especially if he or she were new to the industry.

With an album, it’s different depending on the concept of it’s creation. There could be 3 really fast songs and 4 really slow songs and people could love the fast songs but not the slow ones. There’s a larger margin for error and this caters to a larger target audience therefore, and this changes the marketing strategy entirely.

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Hans Zimmer. His compositions are so inspirational, so unorthodox, yet they sound so pleasant to the ears and fits the motion picture he’s working on entirely. He was one of the first to combine electronic sounds with classical equipment. I admire him greatly for that.

Music Trends…
I think it’s about staying relevant and finding a target audience that appreciates your craft. I think it’s about staying true to what you want to create and to be the best version of yourself there is. You can end up doing covers your whole life and be known as a cover artist, and that’s find if it’s your aim, but I’ve always been about changing things up and exploring your own creativity while sharing it with the world throughout the process.

I am most afraid of…
Succeeding financially and artistically, but failing to make a positive impact on anyone’s life in the process.

My personal definition of success is…
Success to me is a series of failures that all contribute to part of the process of achievement. It is a journey; one that will eventually become your story. I believe you have to live the stories you want to tell.

A year into my composing tenure, I got signed to reputable publishing companies as a licensed composer. I did this while also achieving a specialist certificate from Berklee College in Rock, Blues and Jazz Guitar in the midst of completing university.

These achievements are just milestones along the way, but make you feel like you’re getting somewhere with your dreams. It’s not something that is tangible, yet you feel like you’re becoming better at your craft with these external acknowledgements.

My over all goal for my life & career is…
To make music for picture, to create value in being in the background. To show that being in the background is necessary but also important. To be a creative that matters.

3 Ways that I challenge myself…

1) Exploring new music and understanding the purpose it was written for and how it was done.
2) Establishing contacts in the industry and learning from everyone.
3) Managing my time and set deadlines/goals to reach.

I started off by playing the violin at the age of 6…
I’ve always had a love for melodies since I can remember. I realized that I could catch them easily and replicate them on an instrument. What inspired me to write and compose my own music however, was a mix of life experiences and immersing myself in nature.

Ivory Strings …
it was composed for a videographer friend to use. This song is entitled Ivory Strings. The song’s main melody is predominantly carried by classical instruments such as the violin and cello with other modern instruments such as electric guitars and drums playing a more supportive role.

This song was created as a reflection of my love for string instruments. I am a violinist and a guitarist, and string instruments have always been the foundation of my musical journey.

I’ve been focusing a whole lot on music composing these days…
writing and scoring anything between orchestral pieces to post-rock songs, to ambient cinematic soundtracks. For a while now, I’ve wanted my music to play a supporting role to something bigger than myself, be it a film, or visual art or commercial even. The great thing is, I have dabbled in a wide range of musical genres – this includes: Classical, Metal, Classic & Hard Rock, Funk, Blues, Jazz, Progressive, Electronica and more. I feel that all these influences have helped shape my music composing. It’s almost exciting because I don’t have to meet the expectations of people who listen to my work. I’m not limited by genre labels. I just want to write instrumental music that can possibly serve as the soundtrack of the season within an individual’s life.

With regards to marketing, I choose a limited number of platforms and make sure I excel at them. These are predominantly Twitter, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. I am on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook as well, but these platforms are either to share the work of fellow artists of just for personal usage.

Gregory Tan indie artist


I am originally from Singapore…
and will be heading back there at the end of June 2016. I was completing my undergraduate studies in Melbourne till now. The music scene in both Australia and Singapore differ greatly. In Singapore, there’s a whole lot of support for foreign bands, but hardly anyone pays attention to local musicians until they’ve been validated by the international scene. In terms of places to go, the Esplanade is a great place that showcases a variety of music and art. It’s the national arts hub of Singapore and I used to intern at the Music Department there.

In Melbourne…
it’s the total opposite, and the arts culture here really flourished. The downside is because of that, the market’s kind of saturated and competition is very stiff. Nevertheless, there are a lot of independent organizations willing to reach out to help independent artists. These are usually self-funded runs and reveal how passionate those involved are. Any pub or festival (they have a whole bunch) will do. They do a brilliant job in showcasing local talents or acts.

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