Sunday, May 26, 2024

Finding her Voice

Difficult times often bring out the best in people. FARIDA MASTER has a chinwag with upcoming, self-help Indie-pop artist Raging Flowers who had touched a breaking point until she discovered a new direction to reinvent herself with the release of her first EP.
Can someone I love, love me please?

Sounds familiar? Thousands of lonely hearts can easily identify with the heartfelt lyrics.

It was after an evening out with someone she’d just met on a dating app, that Amy Wang whose nom de plume is Raging Flowers was inspired to write the lyrics of her debut song.

“I was so upset that the evening didn’t pan out as well as I hoped that it prompted me to put my feelings down on paper. I’ve been on dating apps but haven’t found the one I’m
looking for yet.

“After an unsuccessful date I was so disheartened, I thought of writing a song to comfort myself. Surprisingly, the song turned out to be on a cheerful note, and I felt much better after that,” says the Chinese-Kiwi singer-songwriter-producer based in Pakuranga.

The catchy song featuring Chet Atkins-inspired chicken pickin’ and finger-style clean electric guitars, accompanied by vocals have a raw vulnerability. Every note of the India-folk pop song tells a story of being tired of the dating game and yet deeply longing for love.

An unusual start to a music career

A software engineer who worked with blockchain, AI and music software, for some of the top software companies, Amy had the opportunity to connect with many aspiring artists with day jobs in tech. They included Mazbou Q, Sheep, Dog & Wolf, as well as band members of Acetone, Beachware, Cripple Mr Onion, Dick Move, Hit Pump, and Tahuna Break.

Driven by pure ambition, she was focussed then on building a small software business.

“After an unsuccessful date I was so disheartened, I thought of writing a song to comfort myself.” – Amy Wang

“Over a period of five years, I built and launched my software, MusoPipe, a music player for learning music, while working part-time as a software engineer,” she says.

The young and driven techie was undoubtedly pleased with all she had achieved. Though she didn’t realise then that she’d worked herself to the ground whilst setting up a new business.

“At the same time, I started training in Muay Thai and competed professionally,” says the popular coach for kids and beginners at the Wimbledon Muay Thai gym.

Breaking point

It took Amy a while to realise that she had burnt both ends of the stick and was completely burnt out. The combination of work pressure and intense training left her physically and mentally exhausted. Everything came to a standstill.

“I felt dead inside. My blood sugar and cholesterol levels were alarmingly low for an athletic person.

“I had to take a good break to care for my body and mind.

“However, with a hyper-active mind, I needed a focus. It was difficult for me to break out of the habit of high productivity and rational thinking, which I worked hard for,”
she reasons.

It was then that she came across Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which inspired her to connect with her creativity.

It encouraged her to journal every day. “I set off on a creative journey and started writing.”

Amy also got professional help.

“I talked to counsellors and got to know my feelings. I read a lot, went for long walks, painted, and played with clay. Very slowly, I learned to relax and have fun. As I got to know my deepest fears, I became braver too.

“One day, I had the idea of taking singing lessons. It was something I always wanted to try,” she recalls.

She nervously contacted Jennifer K Austin, a singer-songwriter and vocal coach.

“Jennifer was incredibly friendly, but I was still anxious. In a few months, she managed to calm my nerves and taught me how to enjoy singing. She then encouraged me to try songwriting.

“It turned out I love it and I’m pretty good at it. Then I got into music production. Over the years, I’ve built myself a home recording studio.”

She enrolled for a few online courses on music production and was thrilled to get early validation from the industry. It was a very special moment when her debut song, Can someone I love, love me please, was played by the Most FM on its release day.

Procrastination

Another Raging Flowers’s single titled Procrastination was released on 29 March.

“Being a small business owner, when it came to filing my taxes, I always procrastinated. I’d find something else to do instead of getting on with the job of filing taxes,” says the long-time student of guitarist Tam Scholes from the jazz-fusion world music band Carnivorous Plant Society. “I decided to write a song about Procrastination.”
Which again hit a familiar note with listeners.

Self-help Indie Pop

For a newbie on the block, the 30-year-old says she couldn’t stop smiling when a senior A&R & Label Relations manager from a licensing company in Miami, emailed her saying the song, Can someone I love, love me please, put a smile on his face.

“I’m making light-hearted music about darker emotions to encourage people to explore their feelings, because it’s too easy to get caught up with being busy and get increasingly numb and unhappy.

“I classify my music as self-help indie pop. I wish my music to get out there and help someone through a tough day or bring them a big smile.”

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