Upcoming performance

Hey everyone, I’ll be playing tomorrow night at the Swee Lee Music Cafe @ *Scape Mall. Accompanying me on the guitar will be my friend Anthony Kok.

We’ll be doing a selection of my originals and a few covers too.

Do come and watch if you’re in town! Show starts at 8pm.

Week 17 – Driving On The Wrong Side Of Life

I had the title for this song “Driving On The Wrong Side Of Life” for ages. Wrote it down somewhere, but never got down to doing anything about it until this week.

After spending a relaxing five days with Carol in Bangkok, I returned home early Saturday morning desperately searching for song ideas for the week, and fortunately stumbled upon this title. It spoke to me because I have been feeling a little out of sorts lately, wondering if I’ve chosen the right path in life.

I love the title because the imagery is easy to grasp – it’s a song about going against the flow, doing your own thing. Inevitably, though, you will have to dodge the oncoming traffic. And that’s how I feel sometimes.

Driving On The Wrong Side Of Life
© Music and Lyrics by Marcel Lee Pereira, 28 Aug, 2010

I see the headlights coming close
So close
I can feel the cars as they whizz past
It’s dark on this winding road
People rushing
To a place that I don’t know

They stare as if I’m crazy
Or high
On air and dreams, and make believe
The way ahead is hazy
Should I
Turn around, go with the flow

Chorus
Look at me, I’ve lost my stride
It’s like I’m driving on the wrong side
Of life
Of life

I wish I had somebody here
Beside me
To show me where I’m supposed to go
No wrong or right, no fears
A friend
Who’ll hold my hand as I carry on

Bridge
Will you take my hand
Will you take the wheel
Sometimes
If I’m lost and blind

***

I was privileged to catch Singaporean singer-songwriter Corrinne May’s concert last night at the Divine Mercy Church in Pasir Ris. It was a free event organised by Cana, The Catholic Centre (the same people behind the 13:34 musical), and the tickets went like hotcakes. A church may seem like an odd place to hold a concert, but it really was the perfect setting – just her and a grand piano, playing her original compositions to a packed hall.

I can’t say that I know many of her songs – I only recognised 2-3 of the numbers she played… songs like “On The Side Of Me” and “Five Loaves and Two Fishes”. Her voice is like a warm, soothing breeze that washes over you and calms your spirit, and I couldn’t help but cling on to her every word.

It was my first time watching her live, and she has completely no airs about her. She chatted to the audience in between songs, fussed over her young daughter Claire, who was seated in the front row, and spoke about her Catholic faith and how it influenced her songwriting. Her songs are indeed moving, powerful, and very spiritual. I’ll just share one of them with you here – it’s about the boy in the Bible who offered what little he had to Jesus.

I feel humbled and inspired to work harder at my craft.

Week 16 – This Little Earth Is All I’ve Got

This Little Earth Is All I've Got

Visit the link and click Like to vote for my song!

This week, I decided to throw my hat into the ring and take part in a nationwide songwriting competition all about going green. It’s called the “Eco Music Challenge” and is organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the government body that oversees environmental issues on our sunny island.

Anyway, I was on the fence about this competition because I wasn’t sure I could pull off a “green” song without sounding too cheesy or preachy. Then, I thought, shouldn’t I be challenging myself to write songs about any topic under the sun?

So I did.

This song really is my wish for the planet – that people all over the world will take our environment more seriously, and begin to make changes in their lives. We only have one Earth to call home, and I hope that this will inspire people to be more eco-friendly.

No matter how small the change, it still counts.

I wanted to produce something more than my usual YouTube videos, so I brought out my makeshift (and under-utilised) home recording equipment, and with the Garageband and Cubase LE 4 softwares, I put the song together. I know it’s not the most professional-sounding track, but hey, I tried!

Then, using iMovie, some of my own pictures and others I got from the internet, I did a simple slide show to accompany the song.

So if you dig what I have to say, please click the “Like” button on this link. Lyrics below.

Thanks for the support!

This Little Earth Is All I’ve Got
© Music and Lyrics by Marcel Lee Pereira, 18 Aug, 2010

Verse 1
The world is such a wondrous place
Filled with all my favourite things
Like raindrops falling on my face
And all the beauty nature brings

Verse 2
But I see people doing as they please
Taking what they want, not what they need
Killing the trees, the land and the seas
Breaking my heart as I watch them bleed

Won’t they spare a thought for me?

Chorus
This little Earth is all I’ve got
This little Earth is all I’ve got

Verse 3
I may be on a tiny isle
Or in a city far away
But I will walk that extra mile
I know I have a part to play

Verse 4
I’m gonna change the way I live
For our dear planet so fine
So to my children I can give
A world as wonderful as mine

So come and join me as I sing

Chorus
This little Earth is all we’ve got
This little Earth is all we’ve got

Bridge
What are we waiting for?
From California to Singapore
The time has come to take a stand
While the future is still in our hands

Chorus
This little Earth is all we’ve got
This little Earth is all we’ve got

This little Earth is all I’ve got
This little Earth is all I’ve got

Week 15 – One Minute

The idea for this song came to me completely at random. I chanced upon this video called “You In Five Minutes”, which is a very weird clip that has nothing to do with this song, really. But watch it anyway, it’s quite hilarious.

What actually made me watch it was the title – “You in Five Minutes”. I thought, man, that’s a great title for a song. It could be about, say, listing out all the great things I like about you in five minutes; or perhaps needing just five minutes to decide if I like you or not.

Then I thought, I don’t need five minutes to decide if I like someone – I probably need just a minute to form an impression! What about something called “One Minute”? But instead of it being about me judging someone else, why not put myself in the shoes of the person being judged, and convincing them, in one minute, why they should like me? Something like an elevator pitch of sorts. So, that’s how this song was born.

I love songwriting. You can get inspiration from just about anywhere.

One Minute
© Music and Lyrics by Marcel Lee Pereira, 13 Aug, 2010

A large room, full of unsmiling faces
The sound of my footsteps
Ring louder than a churchbell
Under my jeans my knees are shaking
But I look ’em in the eye and say

I know you’ve had a long day
And I thank you for your time
I have way too much at stake
And I’ve come too far
To let this go to waste

Chorus
So give me one minute
That’s all I need
One minute
And you will take me seriously

I had a crush on a girl in school
We were friends, I hung onto her every word
And till this day she doesn’t know
I wish I had the courage to say

I know you’ve had a long day
Just give me a little time
This may be in bad taste
But I’ve come too far
To let this go to waste

Chorus
So give me one minute
That’s all I need
One minute
And you will take me seriously

Okay I’ll admit it
It’s hard to get a break
Most of us are too willing to walk away
But all I need is 60 seconds
Not an arm or leg
It’s not too much I reckon

Chorus

One minute
What will you do
One minute
To get your message through

Chorus

***

P.S. I’m really looking forward to my performance tomorrow at the Library@Esplanade. It starts at 3.30pm, so do drop by if you can! More details can be found here.

Week 14 – Making Memories

Today, I celebrate my first wedding anniversary with my wife Carol. It’s been a wonderful year, and we’ve been blessed with so much. There’s nothing more I could ask for, really. Carol, I love you, and I thank God you’re in my life. This song is for you, and I hope we’ll make a million more memories in the years to come.

Making Memories
© Music and Lyrics by Marcel Lee Pereira, 6 Aug, 2010

If there’s something I cling to, it’s times with me and you
Moments tucked away under the trappings of everyday
You know how precious they are to me, the diamonds that brighten my way

They are all I need
You are the face I see

Chorus
We’re building, building a home
And we’re making memories, memories
To have, to have and to hold
I want more of these
Memories, memories

My heart takes a picture of us, every date and every kiss
Making plans, the glances I take at you, there’s nothing I want to miss
They don’t gather dust, the world falls away as we reminisce

Wash away the sands of pain
You’ll see the gold remains

Chorus

Bridge
A year has gone by so fast
And today I say to you, my love
Remember us and smile
I know we’ll last, more than a lifetime

Chorus
We’re building, building a home
And we’re making memories, memories
To have, to have and to hold
Here’s to more of these
Memories, memories

***

It was a really busy Saturday for me, which is why I’m posting this at 4am!

Had a great time at the Maestro Acoustic Lounge @ *Scape Mall in the afternoon. It was quite an experience playing a full 45 minute set of original music in a shopping mall, but it sure felt good having people stop by and listen, even if it was for a little while. I really enjoyed myself, and I’m looking forward to performing a lot more in time to come. Thanks to everyone who came by, I really appreciate the support! Here’s a picture of me with my friend Adrian on the cajon.

Singer-songwriter Marcel Lee Pereira performing at the Maestro Acoustic Lounge @ *Scape Mall. Accompanying him on the cajon is drummer Adrian Loo.

My sis, Gemma, managed to get tickets to the rehearsal for the Youth Olympics opening ceremony (the actual thing is on Aug 14), so straight after the show, we headed to the Marina Bay floating platform. Here’s the view from the grandstand, just before the show started:

I must say, though, while the ceremony was snazzy with its choreographed performances, fireworks, giant walking characters and even water displays, I felt there were just too many bells and whistles – and not enough heart. It just didn’t speak to me, and I couldn’t see the connection of some of the performances to the Youth Olympics. Well, maybe the ending was better – but we left early.

Ok, I’m off to bed now. Long day ahead! Champagne brunch with Carol and then we’re checking in at the Pan Pacific for the long weekend… 😉 Cheers! Oh, and Happy National Day.

Save the date! Aug 7 and Aug 15

Hi there, this is just a quick post to remind everyone of my two upcoming shows!

The first is happening tomorrow (Aug 7), 3.30pm, at the Maestro Acoustic Lounge located at the new *Scape Mall in Orchard Road, near Orchard Cineleisure.

And next Sunday (Aug 15), also at 3.30pm, I’ll be playing at the Library@Esplanade. More details here and in the poster below, courtesy of the National Library Board.

Singer-songwriter Marcel Lee Pereira performs at the Library@Esplanade on Aug 15, 2010, in his first-ever solo showcase.

Week 4 – Why Wait For Life

I found this week’s song especially challenging.

My good friend Jeremy, who’s the keyboardist of my band, and the founder of the Songcraft Songwriting Circle, organised the inaugural “Songwriting Idol” contest yesterday. He asked me to sign up, and of course I did.

What made this contest interesting was that we had to write a song to fit the theme “Inspirational”. This was the brief given to us two weeks before the contest: “You are to write a song that has inspirational meaning. It could be a song that encourages people, to enthuse them towards a good cause, to promote peace, unity and harmony, or to promote change in the world.”

I feel it is so hard to write “inspirational” lyrics that don’t come across as clichéd and cheesy. I tried, I really did. I spent two afternoons with my guitar trying to write, but nothing came.

Then, on the day before the event, inspiration finally struck. I thought about all the people I knew who wanted to make a change in their lives, but were always waiting for the right time to do it. They were always resigned to their situation; they never believed they could be any different. And I thought of my own obstacles, doubts and challenges I battle every day in doing what I’m doing now. Then I realised that if I had waited for the stars to align, I might always be doing just that – waiting.

So if you want to write that book, pick up a new hobby, get that degree, visit the places you’ve never seen, or do something new, now is as good a time as any.

This song is for you. I hope it will inspire you to start living.

Why Wait For Life
© Music and Lyrics by Marcel Lee Pereira, 26 May, 2010

Can you laugh
Like a child
Can you run like the wind
Is in your stride
And dance, with your eyes closed
And not feel shy

Won’t you cry
If you feel like crying
Go where the wind of change
Is blowing
And if it feels right, then take flight
Why wait for life

Chorus
Why wait for life to begin
When it’s right outside your door
Why wait for life to begin
Time wears thin, then it’s no more

So sing
While your music’s still inside
Don’t let your dreams
And fear collide
The sun doesn’t need
Your permission to rise
You don’t need mine

Chorus
Why wait for life to begin
When it’s right outside your door
Why wait for life to begin
Time wears thin, then it’s no more

And if it feels right, then take flight
Why wait for life

Chorus
Why wait for life to begin
When it’s right outside your door
Why wait for life to begin
Time wears thin, then it’s no more
Time wears thin, then it’s no more

***

P.S. If anyone out there’s interested in attending or taking part in the “Songwriting Idol” series, I believe it’s going to be held at the Library@Esplanade once every two months. The next one should be in July. Stay tuned!

Week 3 – Coffee Love

I seem to be writing happy songs these few weeks 🙂 Maybe it’s because I’m finally doing what I love?

Anyway, this week’s song is another laid back track. It is an ode to coffee – dedicated to all coffee lovers out there. I had fun with the lyrics this time.

Coffee Love
© Music and Lyrics by Marcel Lee Pereira, 20 May, 2010

Go easy on the whipped cream honey I’ve got too much in my veins
The doctor said my pressure’s hit the roof, and I’m to blame
Toffee nut latte that’s my favourite but I can’t have any now
I’ve sought my 25th opinion and I say how now brown cow

But I love, love, love how good your lips taste after a lemon zest
And I could eat a tub of honey dripping down your
Oh, and the smell of your fresh cookies makes my tongue do a jig
They tell me stop before its too late, but I can’t help taking a swig

My coffee love, you’re my coffee love
Coffee, toffee, coffee love
My turtledove

You warm my cup, Heat me up
Frothy love

Storm my senses with your hot and spicy
You’ve got me nicely lost in paradise

Go easy on the whipped cream honey, I’ve got too much in my head
The shrink said I’ve got nothing to do but jump into bed
Oh but the sheets are cold and empty and I’m feeling a little sick
I need a little stimulation cos that’s what makes me tick

***

On a separate note, I’ll be performing a couple of songs at the “Originals Only Open Mike (OOOM)” tonight at the Singapore Art Museum in Bras Basah. It starts at 7pm.

As it’s a first-come-first-served event, I’m not exactly sure what time I’ll be playing, but if you’re in town do come and check it out! You’ll get to see a whole bunch of talented singer-songwriters take the stage.