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Sunday, April 15, 2012

KEVIN MATHEWS: UPFRONT AND IN YOUR FACE @ HOOD BAR


Or the reality of being a singer-songwriter playing original music in Singapore.

There's been the usual online talk on whether musicians should play for free in Singapore. One camp will scoff and denigrate those musicians who do play for free accusing them of 'spoiling the market' and 'shooting themselves in the foot' whilst the other camp will defend themselves on the grounds of building fan base and market share. 

I stand, of course, somewhere right in the middle. Yes, it would be great to be paid for your music but in Singapore unless you play top 40 covers fairly competently, no bar/club owner is going to give someone like me - i.e. a solo singer-songwriter who is defiant about only playing his own original music - the time of day. 

And even if you were a band playing only original music, there are not that many options available - maybe three venues (tops) who might pay. What we do have instead is a multitude of bar/club owners who only want top 40 cover bands. This in my view 'spoils the market' for people like me more than musicians playing for nothing! 

So in these circumstances, either I play for free OR I DON'T PLAY AT ALL! Sometimes I really want to laugh out loud when people describe me as a 'legend'. If I am a 'legend' why won't anyone pay me to perform my own material? What a fucking joke...I know people mean well when they do so but WTF right?

Which brings me to the whole point of this post. I am performing at Hood Bar this coming Saturday (21st April) and no, I am not getting paid. In fact, I am rather grateful to the folks at Hood Bar (Clement Yang to be specific) for giving me a stage to sing and perform my own songs. Cos the reality is that not many bar/club owners would give me and my songs a chance, even if I agreed to play for free.

So... the long and short of it is - if you believe in me - the 'legend' - and my music then make a date with me this Saturday at Hood Bar from about 8pm and I hope to share with you two 30 minute sets - one with acoustic guitar and one with keyboards. 

Thank you for your kind attention. Back to regular programming... 

(KM)



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