I apologise for keeping quiet and laying low for some time. Many things happened and didn’t happen, from no gigs, to my father’s illness and his subsequent passing late last year. During that period of time, I was struck by a condition which affected my nervous system and thus, my left arm, back, and shoulders were incapacitated.
Thankfully since then, I am feeling considerably better, both emotionally and physically.
It has been a difficult journey and it would have been made more difficult if there wasn’t for passion, family and friends, and fans. Each represents an element of an equilateral triangle that represents the journey I am on. Without any of the elements, the triangle can no longer be a triangle; it becomes incomplete. If you are at the base of this triangle, you are the foundation of my journey. If you are at the sides of the triangle, you become the support of my struggles. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which side of the triangle these 3 elements are on or which side the triangle is based on as all 3 are equally important to form the triangle that always points upwards.
With that, I officially announce that I am back on track, preparing for my 2nd instrumental album.
I may have played music for the past 29 years but I am still new to the instrumental path and Singapore’s instrumental scene is still in the developmental stages. I am happy to see in recent months, some people, namely members of Fretboard Frenzy have taken the same path and started to promote the instrumental industry.
My personal opinion towards the local music industry is that if there is a problem in the industry and you are a part of the industry, it is likely that you are a part of the problem by your lack of actions to do something to solve the problem and instead just staring and lamenting about it. Coming from the industry, I have become part of the problem as well and I decided to do something about it rather than to complain or sit and wait for a miracle to happen. That something was my first album Dragged and now I am working on my second.
Contributions will change the industry but the expectations have to be realistic. Changes take time before it can be seen.And when you decide to do something about, is the goal really for the betterment of the industry (i.e. for passion) through positive contribution or is it more for your ego and/or materialistic gains?My journey started with Dragged and I don’t know when this journey will end but one thing is for sure: I am not going to stop now. I hope that others can do the same, not to give up and take the path to build up the instrumental scene in Singapore.
Personally, the 2nd album has become a confirmation of the path I have taken and it is not going to be just another instrumental album. Right now, it is one of the most important and urgent items on my list, while the people involved in the album are the key players in the grand scheme of things.
My sources of inspiration have shifted from those within the industry to those outside of the industry but with the passion and zeal for their craft.
The concept for the album will be based on these things and events; my journey is like the story in a book, with the songs being the chapters of my life and the 2nd album a platform to bring these chapters to life. Dragged is like the first book of a novel series and this one picks up from where the first left off, chronicling the main character’s journeys.
In this album will be a trio: myself and Keyjohan Ismail as the producers respectively, (Keyjohan being the drummer of the album as well) and there will be another co-producer joining us. On the advice of Keyjohan that less is more, the album is going to sound more ‘intimate’.
I am very glad and honoured to have Keyjohan onboard as the producer and drummer. Keyjohan is a self-driven musician and he is patient and unselfish. He has commitments to fulfill (both work and home) and yet he dedicates his time wholeheartedly to work with me at Room 354. He understands how I compose my music and he has the passion for the music. What impresses me is that he takes on this task personally where he actually grows and starts to compose the music.
This is how is going to work: based on a trio that develops and flourishes with the music. It is no longer simply enlisting the help of certain people and giving them songs to play. The album and the process of making it are going to be as organic as it can get.
It is like piecing a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces meant for that particular puzzle will fit in nicely to form a picture. Making a brand new album means piecing together a different jigsaw puzzle and pieces from the earlier puzzle won’t be able to fit. Then again, it doesn’t mean the pieces from the first puzzle are not important anymore.
Family and Friends
Having said all that, I want to thank my family who understands and will always support me no matter what decisions I make. They have seen me through the years in my ups and downs and they are always there for me, helping me without expecting anything in return. When I perform well, they applaud for me and when things don’t go well, they give me a pat on the shoulder and say “It’s ok”.
I am thankful for friends who have been with me on my journey since I picked up the guitar. Thank you for your encouragement and for being my audience, even to the friends who are no longer around. At the end of the day, all of you are still my friends and have played an important part in moulding me into what I am today.
Since Dragged or even from the first day I’ve known you, I am still the same old Rosli and I like to think that you are still the person I knew since the day I met you. It’s alright if you’ve decided not to include me as part of your life because you will always be a part of mine.
Friends talk about their friends without any ill-intentions and teasing is different from mocking. I believe that we have to agree to disagree because if we only take our own views into consideration, we are not giving others the fundamental amount of respect they deserve for their personal opinions and own free will. Don’t let external entities become the cause of a broken friendship.
Recently I found my long-lost friends on Facebook and they know of my passion for music and the guitar. I thank you for the acknowledgement of what I’ve done so far in the music scene and for reminding me that this has always been my dream. Despite how things seemed to be on the surface, there are more that lies beneath that will never emerge and some things are better left unsaid. More importantly, I am still the same dude you’ve known since 27 years ago and I will always see you as my friends (provided I see you at all! Hahaha!)
Lastly (and it doesn’t mean it’s of lesser importance), I want to thank my fans. The fans are made out of my students, family, friends and even total strangers. And you, my fans, are the key to my success. Without you spreading the passion, I would not be where I am today. It is through every single action, like letting your friends have a listen, or promoting my music to fellow music lovers that has caused a great reaction – more people are exposed to me and my music. So thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for all your support and I hope if you are on my Facebook or MySpace and you see me on the streets someday, please feel free to come up and say hi. I would love to know who you are and express my heartfelt thanks to you for supporting, enjoying and promoting my music, and hopefully the 2nd album will be able to surpass all your expectations and make it an even more impressive experience, both aurally and emotionally.
My Heart Has Spoken. Thank You.