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BIGSOUND Q & A: Charlie Lim

Singapore-based singer-songwriter and producer Charlie Lim has unveiled his standout single, Welcome Home—lifted from his forthcoming new record (due late 2018). We had a little chat with Charlie ahead of his upcoming BIGSOUND showcase performance.

You’ve dabbled in quite an eclectic mix of genres throughout your past releases. Can you tell us a bit about how your latest single Welcome Home came about?

I guess I’m a singer-songwriter, but also a musician’s musician if that makes sense, and I really enjoy dabbling in different styles and genres. My last release (‘TIME/SPACE’, a double EP with ‘TIME’ being more acoustic/analog-sounding and ‘SPACE’ more electronic/DIY production-heavy) was more of a heart-on-sleeve, slow-burn kind of record. I’m glad I got to put that out, but also felt like I needed to try something new for this next body of work. I didn’t have a specific concept or genre in mind at first to emulate or reference, but knew that whatever I put out needed to represent where I am now in terms of headspace. Welcome Home is the first track off the new record and the whole thing is basically an ode to overthinking and overworking.

What can we expect from your forthcoming album and who did you collaboratively produce it with?

It’s going to be a lot more beat-driven as opposed to the last one. It’s dance music for people who hate to go to clubs, like myself. I collaborated with Yeo on the first half of it, and Simon Lam (Kllo, I’lls, Nearly Oratario) on the latter half. I’ve known both Yeo and Simon for some time now; I played in Yeo’s band for a few years and I met Simon at uni. It was really great to have them on board. I always give the analogy of them being a great rhythm section to work with, where they handle the groove side of things, while I deal with the melodic, harmonic and lyrical side of it. I’ve also worked with Andrei Eremin (Hiatus Kaiyote, Chet Faker, Japanese Wallpaper) for some time now and had him come over to Singapore to mix this upcoming record.

You’ve had great success back at home in Singapore and across South-East Asia, are you looking forward to heading over to Australia now and playing at this year’s BIGSOUND Festival?

Definitely. Australia’s actually a bit of a second home, as I did uni and Year 10-12 there and my family lives in Melbourne. I’ve played Brisbane Festival a couple of times before and love the city. I’ll be bringing my full band over for the festival so it’s going to be a party.

Which artists are you particularly looking forward to seeing at BIGSOUND?

I saw a couple of videos of G-Flip, she sounds great. Lots of energy.

If you could collaborate with any Australian artist, who would it be?

I really like BUOY, her last EP was amazing. That Clouds & Rain song was one of the most beautiful things I heard that year.

And last but not least, what is your hot tip for anyone visiting Singapore that isn’t the typical touristy go-to?

I’m an eastsider so I have to represent! Joo Chiat, Katong and East Coast Road is quite a quaint area with lots of preserved shophouses. It’s got a good mix and range of food: lots of coffee places, a bakery called Chin Mee Chin that does great kaya toast, vinyl record stores, and plenty of decent restaurants.

Charlie performs at the Hear65 BIGSOUND Showcase on Wednesday 5 September. Find details HERE.

Written by Chris Lamaro