“if the album takes off and connects with an audience, I will be so thrilled, however if it doesn’t, I’m just happy to have made an album that represents me and who I am, that I can share with my family and friends (both now and in the future) and leave something behind as a legacy of sorts with my own children and grandchildren I hope.”- @NYC_newmusic
Listen to the Interview
Episode #318 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/04/27/episode-318-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW NIGEL YONG-CHING NYC
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
As I say, for this release, I don’t really have any expectations…if the album takes off and connects with an audience, I will be so thrilled, however if it doesn’t, I’m just happy to have made an album that represents me and who I am, that I can share with my family and friends (both now and in the future) and leave something behind as a legacy of sorts with my own children and grandchildren I hope.
I know the music business is tough and requires a lot of focus and careful handling if you are to be ‘successful’ in the hugely competitive music world. I’m definitely trying to get my music out there though, through Reverbnation (which has led me to radio play and attention in my local press), YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and soon, my own website (which my fiancé has created for me).
I work full time too…
and am also planning my own wedding, which is happening later this year, so time is not something I have a lot of!! I therefore do what I can, with the time that I have and if that leads to a humble degree of success, then fantastic!
Otherwise, I’m just really happy to have completed such a personal project and to be able to share it with people across the World…which is the great thing about social media…it makes sharing and connecting so easy!
I really appreciate the ease and simplicity of sharing music through social media and just how it helps you to get your brand established and connect to a wide range of people from all over the World.
Facebook in particular has been really helpful to reach an audience and Reverbnation has been fantastic, by providing opportunities to be considered for radio play and even participate in music contests.
One of my tracks…
‘The Life That You Wanted’ from my album, won ‘Song of the Month’ on a UK music website called One on One Music. That happened through me submitting through Reverberation and in fact, caught the attention of local newspapers and created awareness for my material that I would never have had otherwise.
To get my music off the ground…
and start to gain attention, I did find that it wasn’t enough to just set up social media sites in isolation. I did end up initially investing in advertising to provide a start-up boost and to help spread the word. Whilst that was actually very effective, it can be quite expensive and you can’t rely on advertising forever.
I came to realize that there are other ways of promoting yourself…
like reaching out to radio stations, the press, setting up your own website, taking up the opportunities on Reverbnation and connecting to musical communities…all these things can really help. Nothing is ever easy of course and you do need to persevere and have patience!
Singles vs an album…
Releasing a single I find is fun…a song in isolation tells a specific story and I’ve started to really enjoy the process of creating a music video to help visualize that story and accompany the single. I do love hearing from people who interpret my songs and relate them to their own lives in some way and that’s the best part of releasing songs for me.
A single, however, can be limiting and only gives a narrow view of an artist. To gain a fully rounded view and a deeper understanding of who an artist is and what they are all about…that’s when the album plays its important role.
With my album ‘Breathless’, whilst there are fun moments such as ‘The Life That You Wanted’…but to really understand my journey, you need to also hear the darker moments – ‘Unbroken’ for example…which shows that there other sides to me to also understand.
Marketing therefore is tailored to either the specific story of a song and its accompanying video, if promoting a single. If you are looking to market an album, then, a more rounded narrative approach, to support the understanding of core themes and the musical journey that the album provides is key.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Hmmm. Tough question. Multiple answers! Either one of the following (is that allowed?!) From a non-music perspective…Kathleen Kennedy (President of Lucasfilm)…being a huge lifelong Star Wars fan, I would really like to know more about what is in plan for the future of the movie series and see concept artwork and just quiz her about the creative process of making these amazing movies.
From a music perspective…Either Stevie Wonder or Mariah Carey…both legendary songwriters, untouchable singers and both with hugely successful and history-making careers…. I’d just like to be in their presence and hear their stories and get some advice on songwriting and performing.
I think, depending on the artist…
there could be a tendency to lean towards the kind of music that is the most ‘popular’ or ‘of the moment’ when you are writing material and try to create something in that kind of ‘mould’…shaping your sound around what is likely to trend etc.
Personally, I’m not interested in that approach.. I just prefer to write from the heart, tell an honest story and deliver with authenticity. The ‘sound’ that you then create, in order for all that to happen, is therefore uniquely ‘you’ and not ‘you trying to be the artist of the moment’.
I am most afraid of…
Plane crashes!! Ive had a recurring dream since being a teenager of being on a crashing aircraft..the opening episode of LOST therefore freaks me out and Final Destination 1…? The true stuff of nightmares!!
My personal definition of success is..
Reaching the point where you realize and know in your heart that you have achieved exactly what you set out to achieve…whatever that may be.
Success should be deeply personal and relevant to only you as an individual… nobody else can define what success is for anyone else.
Ultimately, success is preceded by setting your own personal goals and pushing yourself to your limits in order to achieve them.
I would have to say, completing my own album is a personal success story in itself. It’s something I have always wanted to do, yet somehow doubted I had the ability or talent to achieve.
Over the years I have always written songs and made various attempts at making recordings, but my career has been in finance really. I suppose I became too preoccupied with trying to do what I thought was responsible in others eyes (i.e. make money, get a car, buy a house, get married, start a family…. and in that order more-or-less!).
My heart however, has always been drawing and urging me back to music.. yet time slips by really quickly and before I knew it, I was a responsible home-owner, doing well at work etc.. etc… so when was I ever going to get the chance to do more music and also…I was ‘getting any younger’ as they say!
Then last year, I just sat down at my computer one day, opened up Garageband and started experimenting. Before I knew it, I had written a fully structured song.
So I started writing another..and another..and eventually tapped into key events of my life, how they made me feel (on a rational or irrational level) and the lessons I had learnt along the way.
I really focused all my creative energy into translating those experiences into songs. Over a 9month period I had written and recorded a collection of deeply personal songs that I filtered down to 12 tracks…that collectively and cohesively told my story and showcased who I am..not just as a musical artist, but as a person also.
I then took the plunge and decided to share this collection of songs with the World and so far, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m so grateful for all the encouraging words and messages I receive from people all over the globe.
I consider this a success story as it represents the achievement of a deeply personal goal, that has always existed in my heart. It was previously prevented from being achieved due to time, self-doubt and simply ‘life getting in the way’.
The fact that I focused my energy, time and life into making this happen and finally releasing it for everyone to hear and experience, has really been one of my most fulfilling moments in my life so far and I’m really proud that it’s done and finally out there! Of course I couldn’t have done this without the patience and tolerance of my fiancé, who ‘lost’ me for hours and hours over the course of those 9months of writing and recording!!
My overall goal for my life & career is…
To be happy, live a comfortable and fulfilling life, surrounded by family, friends and loved ones and to be able to use my creative abilities to bring satisfaction and enjoyment to myself and others.
I would also love to have children one day and provide them with a good and decent life, filled with love, happiness, laughter, music and adventure! And Star Wars ; )
3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) Don’t just exist…Strive to achieve what will take you towards your life goals…push yourself towards what you really want in life
2) Don’t be afraid of being afraid…do things anyway! Usually the scary things in life put you off doing things you want to do because they take you out of your comfort zone. This can actually stop you from achieving your goals. I’ve learnt that being scared can actually be a good thing…you become forced to learn more about yourself and really test your abilities and understand how you can become even better at things than you ever thought possible…eventually reaching a point where you are no longer afraid anymore.
3) Prioritize and put things in perspective. Sounds simple, but sometimes with all the crazy stuff that goes on in life and in the World, it’s often easy to lose perspective and the smallest things can become overly complex, weigh you down and stop you enjoying life and achieving what’s most important to you.
I really believe that you need to challenge yourself to find time in your day/week/month to take a breath and really focus on what are the things in your life that you need to start/stop/continue in order to actually help you achieve what is important to you and your future.
Ever since a really young age…
I’ve always been able to hear melodies and songs in my head that really came from nowhere, or at least from a place that I could never really explain. I’ve always loved singing too, in fact I remember being just a kid and seeing Bruce Springsteen on TV performing and thinking to myself ‘that’s exactly what I want to do’. As I grew up, I started writing whenever I could and working with different musicians to try and translate the songs in my mind into something real that I could share with others. The more life experiences I gained over the years, the more I felt the urge to write music to capture and reflect the lessons I was learning.
I wrote the track Breathless to represent being inexplicably drawn to a person, in a almost spiritual, fateful way. The song tells the story of reaching an ultimate low point, that blinds you from seeing any hope of recovery or a chance of building the life that you want. Unexpectedly at that same time, someone enters your life, breaking through the psychological and emotional barriers surrounding you, in an overwhelming, breathtaking way. It feels like the World has always meant for you to find this specific person and when you do, everything suddenly makes sense.
I wrote the song as a true story – my fiancé really is that person I felt inexplicably drawn to and who lifted me from a really tough time in my own life. I’d almost lost hope in fact…yet fate stepped in and changed the game, when I least expected it!!
The song was written and recorded…
(along with the rest of the album) at my house, which coincidentally is the childhood home I grew up in. I actually left the house at age 9 or 10 when my family and I moved around different places across Northern England.
Many years later as an adult, I was looking to buy a house of my own and it just so happened that our original family home came up for sale at the exact same time.
It was surreal moving back into the house after all those years. It’s amazing to think that the place where I wrote and recorded my first album was the very place where I first fell in love with music when I was just a child.
My album ‘Breathless’ is…
a collection of songs that really tells the true life stories and experiences I’ve had, the highs and the lows, the good and the bad and all the lessons I’ve learnt along the way. I hope it inspires others by providing a sense of optimism and hope, that despite the tough times, you can overcome these and reach a point in life where things are better than you could ever have expected.
The album is…
deeply special to me – every track is completely honest and is written about my own personal experiences throughout my life to date. Through it’s honesty, it really represents me as a person and an artist. I like to write songs that feel authentic and that inspire others in some way – either musically or through the messages within the songs themselves. To hear comments that reflect how people are enjoying the songs and identifying with them on a personal level, gives me a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.
A core message in the album is…
no matter how tough things get in life, there is always hope that things will become better than you could ever expect.
Ultimately, I would love to have kids one day and play the album for them so that they know the kind of person I am, understand the things I’ve been through and hopefully give them inspiration and valuable life lessons that will help them along the way as they grow up.
I actually have no expectations with the release of my album really!! It was such a personal project and I didn’t really expect it to see the light of day.
Once I had finished recording…
I decided to just put the album out there and see what kind of reaction it got. The fact that it is gaining some attention now is a welcome surprise and its fantastic to get messages from people all over the World who have been enjoying listening to the songs and making personal connections to the lyrics and messages on the album.
I will continue to promote the album on social media as best as I can and try to gain further radio attention too.
I have more music videos planned, which I’m unexpectedly finding I’m really enjoying on a creative level. I hope my videos continue to help me visualize the stories in the songs and spread the word about the album and who I am as an artist.
Appley Bridge, North West England…
I live in a really quiet village in the countryside. It’s a place called ‘Appley Bridge’ in the North West of England. I love it here, its peaceful, you can see the hills from my house and yet its not too far from larger towns and cities where all the action is! It’s kind of like having the best of both Worlds really.
Not too far away are cities that have amazing musical connections – Liverpool is not far, which was home to The Beatles and Manchester is also nearby, which was home to Oasis and The Smiths.
The music scene in Liverpool and Manchester, as you would expect given the history, is really bustling, with gigs, events and festivals for pretty much everyone.
As well as making music and videos, I do have another passion in life…
Star Wars!! I fell in love with the original Star Wars movie back at the age of 4 and never looked back..now I travel all over for anything Star Wars related, even attending the Disney Star Wars Weekends in Orlando, Florida multiple times and with last year’s release of the brand new movie, I was in my element at the midnight premiere!
NYC YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/c/nycnewmusic
Website (In Development): www.nycnewmusic.co.uk
NYC Reverbnation link to the song Breathless: