Week 46 – Love Over Love by The Glad Stones feat. BBS

Watching the tragedy unfold in Japan the past week, we felt compelled to write this song.

Love Over Love” is all about celebrating the spirit of giving, spreading the love, and paying it forward. It’s about love and goodness building up with each good deed, again and again, until the world becomes a better place.

Our hope is that it will inspire you to do something to help the ones who need it most.

For this song, we collaborated with the extremely talented rapper, BBS, from Jaye’s hip-hop duo New Fro Matter. (Btw, he wrote the rap in about 10 minutes, just before we recorded the video!)

Love Over Love

Your heart’s down, but you’ve got friends around you, let the love
surround you
You’re lost we’ve found you, got your back
Gonna get you off the ground

Don’t cry, but if you do you can dry your tears on my sleeve
I won’t leave you hanging, don’t you fear my friend
In the end, love grows over and over

CHORUS
Love, over love, over love, over love, over love
It’s more than enough
Love, over love, over love, over love, over love
When life treats you rough
Love, over love, over love. over love, over love
Rays shine from above
When love gets together, bet’cha things will get better
And you’ll never haf’ta stand on ya own

The world’s too small to ignore all the people left behind,
Open the door, let your neighbour in, not them but friends
For us for all

More than the thought that counts, it’s what you give, a chain reaction
A spark of passion, start a flame, small actions
Go round again and again

There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the power of love
Beaming like the sunlight
A gift from above
Let’s share it and spread it
And so I shall declare it
Love is the solution for everything I merit
And so we declare
For everything fair and righteous
We might just get through the problems and fight this
And I’ll risk everything for life is a gift from His Highness
So spread the word and spread the vibe
Heal the world and open your eyes
Hear your heart and your mind
Love will keep us alive

Thoughts about Sixx, Singfest and making a stand

I was watching this video report by Razor TV about local hip hop band Sixx, and the unfortunate cancellation of their performance at Singfest last week. What happened was that the band was suddenly dropped as the second day’s opening act, apparently because the sound checks earlier took too long. You can also read more about it here.

Honestly, I hadn’t heard of Sixx until the incident – ironically, they did get some publicity out of it! But that’s besides the point. I really was quite impressed with how well they took the disappointing news. Yes, Singfest was a big deal, and I would feel devastated, had I been in that position. Instead, they are taking it in their stride and looking forward to other gigs and their upcoming EP launch. Kudos guys! Hope to catch you live soon!

Anyway, this incident, of course, led to some online buzz about how, just like that, the poor band was kicked off the show. I’ve experienced disappointments myself, from cancelled events to places that expect you to play for free “for exposure”, so I felt really bad for Sixx.

A few days later, Today music writer Chris Toh wrote an interesting post on the Poparazzi blog, urging bands to say “NO” to free gigs. I must say I agree with him, and I just wanted to weigh in on this topic of local bands and how they are treated as “second class citizens”, as Chris so aptly wrote.

I think the crux of the matter lies in the fact that local musicians are pretty much powerless when it comes to negotiating with the people or companies that hire them. Let’s talk about, say, a talented Top 40s band made up of a few friends, which is trying to make a living playing cover music, and hopefully write some original tunes in the near future. They will probably start off playing for free, and then if their passion for music is strong enough, press on and find some gigs that actually pay.

Yes, there’s always the argument that unknown bands have to start small, and perform anywhere that will have them. That’s fair enough. But at what point do you start asking for money? When you’re good enough? When you have been playing long enough?

The point is that the ball is always in the court of the people hiring the bands. To my knowledge, there isn’t some kind of association or union of Singapore bands that says that unless we are paid such-and-such a minimum fee, we will not perform. Trouble is, local bands are independent entities doing their own thing, and there’s always going to be a band who will be willing to play for free.

In the case of Sixx, wouldn’t it be great if there was some kind of musicians’ body to press the organisers for compensation for the band? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the international acts in Singfest were protected by contracts, so if something screwed up, there was recourse for them. I’m not so sure if Sixx signed some kind of contract, though. Even though they are not yet as big as say, Kanye West, don’t our local acts have rights too?

The thing is, who’s going to step forward and get Singapore bands together to talk about these issues – and make a stand? Probably nobody. So, I believe it’s really up to bands to fight for their own rights. If you think you’re worth your salt, and deserve to be paid for performing, then demand for it. If you’ve worked hard for your music, why let yourself be exploited?

For my own band Raised On Radio, we do ask for a minimum fee, based on the “market rate” for cover bands, which is really based on how much other bands we know get paid for playing at a similar place – which is basically hearsay. Yes, we do lose some gigs because of that, but I’m proud to say that for the majority of the performances we have done, we were paid at that “market rate”.

Well, these are just my own observations on this issue, so please feel free to disagree with me. Comments are welcome!

Week 10 – The Only Way

I was deeply saddened when I heard of the tragic death of Kerin Peh, the Singaporean bride whose husband mysteriously died on their wedding night in November last year.

On Monday, eight months later, she took her own life. She was only 28.

I teared when I heard the news. It was such a sad ending to their story. She never found out how or why her husband fell to his death from the Hilton Hotel that night. The lack of answers offered her no closure. To imagine the immense pain and loss she must have felt breaks my heart. There is a poignant romance about what happened too… perhaps this was the only path she could take to be with her husband forever.

On Monday night, I felt driven to write a song about her. It is a song about leaving… I hope she’s found what she left this world for, and that the two of them are now reunited. My prayers go out to Kerin, her husband and their families.

The Only Way
© Music and Lyrics by Marcel Lee Pereira, 7 July, 2010

She asked herself a million times
How her life came apart at the seams
Why the two of them, what was their crime
She prayed it was an awful dream

It was meant to be her happiest night
She the bride, he the love of her life
Tasted only seconds of joy
He was taken away, her tears ran dry

Chorus
As the shadow of her vacant life
Stood before her with a sharpened knife
She cried, there’s nothing left for me here
I’m sorry, but this is the only way I know
Where he’s gone, I have to go

Flashbacks stuck in her anguished mind
The pills offered no release
Hidden answers she could never find
A heart in pieces longing for peace

It was meant to be her happiest night
She the bride, he the love of her life
Tasted only seconds of joy
He was taken away, her tears ran dry

Chorus
As the shadow of her vacant life
Stood before her with a sharpened knife
She cried, there’s nothing left for me here
I’m sorry, but this is the only way I’ll know
Where he’s gone, I have to go

Will she find what she left us for
Did their souls collide beyond the door

Chorus
As the shadow of her vacant life
Stood before her with a sharpened knife
She cried, there’s nothing left for me here
I’m sorry, but this is the only way I know
Where he’s gone, I have to go