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Warner Chappell Songwriting Camp in Penang

2017 May 15
by Eric Ng

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Straight off the Wakin show, I was invited to visit the first songwriting camp hosted in Penang. Organised by Warner Chappell Taiwan, they had 26 songwriters from Singapore and Malaysia out of which Funkie Monkies Publishing sent two representatives. I arrived on the last day as they were wrapping up, just in time to hear the songs they’ve written!

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Being involved in organising in the Funkie Monkies nationwide talent search songwriting camp last year, I know how much work it takes to organise a camp like this. Kudos to the organising team from WCM!

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However once you get to witness the joys of creative collaboration when you put the right songwriters together. The efforts are worth it!

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Jason and Joshua from Funkie Monkies sharing their thoughts on their songs and their experience working with their Malaysian team counterparts.

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After listening to the 25 works created by the various teams of writers, I was asked to speak a few words of what I felt about the camp and the quality of songs I’ve heard.

Having met and worked with many Malaysian musicians, I’ve always respected their work ethic. Once they realised that their passion is in music, no matter it’s a less travelled path, they go all out to realise their goal. This hunger to succeed is definitely commendable. I also highlighted some of the newer generation talents whose works I thought were cool. Guys like Tux18121444_1382849081776316_3706218799069769879_o

and Jia Wang 18193290_1382857825108775_2485452193552537987_o

It’s new hot blooded guys like these that makes me not stop wanting to improve myself!

When I arrived, Monica Lee, President of Warner/Chappell Music (Asia Pacific) shared with me that all writers fell silent when she casually asked them whom among them had works that they were satisfied with so far. She wondered jokingly should she be worried or is it that they are just too humble.

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After the sharing session, we both knew it was definitely the latter. I brought up what Monica shared again and advised the writers that the Mandarin music industry is getting bigger all the time. Naturally more and more talents are creating great works out there. I can say that over the years, Malaysia and Singapore have proven ourselves as a force in the music industry. It’s time we stand up and not be shy of our achievements, otherwise we might be lost in the huge sea of talent in Asia. In which my good brother 阿管 quipped in, ask 黄韵仁 if he’s good he’ll say “I’m good!”. To that I said Of course! And everyone cracked up. I added I’ve been active in the music industry for almost 20 years. If I’m still here I have to be good at something or something’s really wrong here. Finally, jokes aside, I shared with the writers that writing pop music is a business. We have to stand behind what we do, not be afraid to sell ourselves when needed or no one will bother listening to us. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, so don’t be afraid to sell your abilities.

And of course with that, after three days of non stop songwriting, when we work hard, we play hard!

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And so I left the camp with newfound friends, an itch to write and headed to Da Nang, Vietnam for a songwriting camp, by myself =D

**Nice Photos by Kitoki Tan and team.

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