You can definitely call Starry Nite an annual tradition for many SMU students, where they party to a night of mind-blowing and just-plain-awesome music on the last Friday of each semester. This semester’s gig, with the theme “Illuminate”, was definitely not one to be missed.

Usually Starry Nite bands cover some of the most iconic songs, whether current chart-toppers or timeless rock classics. This year, however, the bands performed original songs of their own. It’s part of SMU SoundFoundry’s efforts to promote local bands, in Singapore and in SMU.

We went backstage to catch up with some of the Starry Nite bands to find out what it was like to jam together and create your own music. Get ready to rock on!

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Joshua Lim, Relentless

What’s the most challenging thing about writing your own song?

Pang Weng Fong (from The Mary Janes): When you cover a song, you just need to reach an interpretation of the original artist’s vision. Give your own take on it. When you sing your own original, it’s different. You have to be the song. You have to convince yourself you’re that person. What do you want to say?

Kim Evangelista (from Zero Fall Gravity): The worst thing you can do is to force a song onto a band. If it doesn’t fit, you either tweak the song or choose another one. That’s what’s really worked for us. We’ve transposed and rearranged songs to best fit our band, especially lead singer Ze Jie’s vocals. The most important thing is to be comfortable with what you’re playing, together as a band.

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Yamsu is a three-man band from Korea and are currently international students at SMU.

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Ze Jie, Zero Fall Gravity

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Prof Mark Chong plays the keyboard for Melting Pot. Many of his band members are his students!

What’s the most satisfying moment as a band?

Leon See (from Relentless): It’s when we’re jamming together. It’s always magical. We’ve been very fortunate to playing at several Starry Nites, starting with the one in our very first semester at SMU. We want to venture outward but for now, just being together is amazing.

Jeremy Tan (from Save the Taco): It’s really rewarding when we get to that playthrough of a song where everything comes together and we figure out what the groove is. For us, no matter what song we play, it ends up being funky. It’s a fun and very natural process for us to work our style into a song.

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Ariza Ansari, Save the Taco

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Nigel Chua, The Mary Janes

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SMU Music Interactive Club (MIC) was invited by SoundFoundry to perform at Starry Nite and they definitely got the crowd going!


What’s one thing you’ve learned working together as a band for Starry Nite?

Angeline Tan (from The Insiders): We’ve learned how to balance everyone’s music tastes and find that sweet spot. We’ve all got really different tastes in music and sometimes this makes it hard for us to choose a song for the band.

There isn’t a huge ego in the band, so no one is calling all the shots. Everyone decides together. — Kim (Zero Fall Gravity)

Ho Li Kai (from Zero Fall Gravity): Give and take is really important. Even though we all like rock, we all have our favourite genres within rock. It’s great that we all love the main genre, rock, and it’s about satisfying everyone’s interest — we may be playing Iron Maiden one night, and Guns and Roses the other night.

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Angeline Tan, The Insiders

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Are you searching for a band? Are you looking for gigs? Are you looking for a place to jam? Do you want to vent out your mugging stress through music? SoundFoundry is the answer.

Guitar shredders, bass slappers, smooth keyboardists, crazy drummers, captivating vocalists, SoundFoundry has it all. Check them out on Facebook for news on the latest gigs and performances.

© 2018 Snapshots by SMU