Singaporean indie-electronic artist Linying has been really busy lately preparing her debut EP for the world. But it isn’t her first step into the industry, as she has been working with some of the biggest names in European house music by long-distance collaboration for quite some time now. That work itself has brought her a feature at Coachella, over 20 million hits, and a #1 song.
Leading into her solo career, Paris 12 was released on September 30th, and it is absolutely phenomenal. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out two of the included tracks below, and then learn a little bit more about the magic behind the music in our interview with Linying herself.
What is the first album or song you remember listening to, and who introduced it to you?
I listened to a lot of the music my mum loved and put on in the car – and, thinking of it now, for very Singaporean, very Asian parents, it’s quite surprising – I used to join her on long rides in the car listening to Kenny Rogers’ ‘Kenny’ and Lobo’s ‘Best of’ all the time.
Was there a specific moment when you knew you wanted to pursue music?
I don’t think there’s ever been a moment where I’ve sat myself down and gone: this is it, I want to pursue music. Growing up I watched a lot of American Idol and always had fantasies of one day auditioning, and then I made Youtube covers all through my teenage years while at school, but the music that’s eventually come out of all this was made with “trying it out” at the back of my mind, because I’d been studying all this time until having graduated a few months ago, and then I’ve just been moving along with the pace of everything that’s been happening since then, not yet having been forced to think about whether I would pursue music. But I know that I’d like to now, and I’m excited to work for it.
Can you describe the music scene in Singapore and how it’s influenced your sound?
The music scene in Singapore is fairly young. In the 60s and 70s there were singers and band-acts hugely inspired by their country and jangly-pop counterparts in the West, and in the 90s, rock bands that came out and became inspirations for many local bands today – but it’s only in the last five years or so that Singaporean acts have begun to break boundaries and set new standards with music that’s increasingly individual and complex. Because of the great receptiveness the local scene has always had for music from abroad, I wouldn’t say the Singaporean music scene has ever influenced my sound, but it has very surely been instrumental in the process as a point of support, encouragement, and community.
What do you hope comes across to listeners from listening to your Paris 12 EP?
I wanted to detail, sonically and lyrically, an experience so specific and unique to my own that the feelings within it would be laid out that much more vividly, that much more palpably to the people who consumed it. I think that’s what I really hoped to be able to do with the record.
Favorite Singaporean foods?
Food is one of my favourite things about being alive, and Singaporean food has (to me) the best of it, so I have to explain a little. The country is extremely culturally diverse, because only a few generations ago, the population was made up of a mix of migrants from different parts of China and India and indigenous Malays. This means that what is considered ‘traditional’ and ‘local’ in Singaporean cuisine is equally diverse – down to the specific region and the dialect-group. My favourite Singaporean dish is a magical concoction known as Hokkien Mee, which is essentially egg noodles and rice noodles stir-fried in pork and prawn broth and served with seafood, pork, chilli sauce and crispy pork lard bits. It’s heart attack on a plate, but it’s divine. (My favourite place to get it is at Serangoon Garden Fried Prawn Noodle at the Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Food Centre, if you’re interested).
Favorite spots in Singapore. The non-tourist guide to anti-tourism.
Singapore’s so hot all the time that we mostly hide in air-conditioning all day, and honestly speaking, I’m a terrible tourist in my own country. I can tell you where to eat, but for sights, I hear that one of the best non-touristy places to visit is Haw Par Villa, an old theme park depicting scenes from Chinese mythology and folklore (I’ve yet to go, and am planning to). The Haji Lane and Little India areas are also great Arab and Indian stretches respectively.
The Paris 12
EP is available now
. For more from Linying, check out her Facebook