Sharon is our very first Creative Fridays feature from the video games industry. She works as a composer and sound designer in Singapore. I first met Sharon at last year’s amazing Level Up conference in Kuala Lumpur. It was inspiring to hear her talk and discover more about her experiences creating music and sound design for video games. Along with her colleague Gwen, I was guided into the behind the scenes working of an industry that I have been fascinated with. Let’s learn more about her:
Sharon is one of the co-founders of IMBA Interactive along with two other partners who share the vision of bringing about positive change in the industry. These days, aside from creating original music compositions and customised sound design for games, she finds herself travelling around the region, championing and sharing about the importance of audio in games to developers and students. Of the many games she’s involved in, some have gotten awards in Indie Game Festival China 2013, Tokyo Game show Indie Prize 2015 and the Silver Award and the Best Music and Sound Effect Award at Bahamut ACG 2016.
Now let’s see what she’s been up to!
1. What’s your latest project?
I am currently working on No Straight Roads along with my colleague Gwen. It’s a project by the awesome team Metronomik. Really exciting stuff ahead of us!
2. What inspires your music?
Everyone gets inspired differently, for me I need to get in the zone. If I am relaxed and at a good place in my heart It’s a lot easier to express something I want. Sometimes, I play a tune and build on that first tone of inspiration. What helps me to be motivated to want to compose beautiful music is when I play and sing to God freely, it’s very personal but when I do that all my stress or anxieties are released. My creative juices gets filled up at the same time.
3. What’s your 5 Desert Island Albums?
Moments: Mighty Sound by Bethel Music
Without words: Synesthesia by Bethel Music
Song of the sea (original motion picture soundtrack)
OO by Zion.T
4. Who’s one artist/musician that you love but most people probably don’t know of?
Kim Walker is one of the artist that I admire. One of the songs that touched me deeply when I first discovered her songs is “I need you more”. It helps me surrender to what I can’t control in today’s world, it reminds me that there’s hope and there’s something bigger than me outside of what I know.
5. What’s an advice you wish someone told you when you started in the arts?
You are going to be fine, you have a great future ahead of you. Don’t worry too much about what you should do. Don’t compare, it’s an endless pit hole.
6. As a audio professional in the video game industry, what has been your biggest challenge in your work? How did you overcome it?
Sometimes I feel that I am never going to good or recognised enough in my industry. But after reflecting my work, I realised that actually the work or however excellent I do doesn’t define me too, if you strip off everything there’s still this character in me that no one can take away and all the experiences that has made me. I should value myself more than what I can gain on the outside.
My biggest hurdle is my own mindset and what recite in my mind or speak. I notice that that’s what will become of who I am. So I try my best to meditate on scripture, words that build me up and not bring me down.
Thank you for your time Sharon!
Thank you for reading this week’s instalment of #AzCreativeFridays. Please do check out the past interviews (23 so far, including this one) and come back next week for the next one with Jazz Guitarist & Educator, Josh Maxey. Till next time! 🙂
Read the recent [Creative Fridays] interview:
[Creative Fridays] #14 : Taylor Roberts
7-String Solo Guitarist
[Creative Fridays] #16: Scott Murphy
Saxophonist and Composer
[Creative Fridays] #17: Nisa Addina
[Creative Fridays] #18: Jake Shimabukuro
[Creative Fridays] #19: Jared Sims
[Creative Fridays] #20: Gabriel Lynch
[Creative Fridays] #21: Rizal Tony
Jazz Guitarist and Educator
[Creative Fridays] #22: Raja Farouk
Multi-Instrumentalist and Sessionist
[Creative Fridays] #23: Kho Chia Wen Sharon
[Creative Fridays] #24: Josh Maxey
Jazz Guitarist & Educator
Coming up September 14 2018
[About Creative Fridays]
The original Creative Fridays was an interview series I did back in 2012. Published on my website, www.azsamad.com, it explored the musical influences of various musicians from all over the world. Relaunching this now in 2018, there are some cool add-ons. For a super obvious one, we’ve now added Spotify and YouTube links whenever possible for the Desert Island Albums list.
This to me is amazing because you can actually immediately listen to the recommended albums. Coming from a generation that used to make trips to the record store to check out new music, it still boggles my mind that we can immediately listen to the records that is recommended here. Imagine if you listened to the 5 suggested albums – how much could you learn from it?
Also, in addition to the original questions from the series, I’ve added a new question into the mix asking about the biggest challenge each individual has faced in their work. I’ve found that we all can benefit by learning from one another. Let’s share and grow together!
If you know a musician who you think could be a good fit to be featured in Creative Fridays, please contact me with your ideas. The focus is in diversity for music, cultural background, geography, age and experience. It doesn’t matter where you are around the world, if you’re a creative making interesting music on an interesting journey and have something to share, please reach out to me. Please do note, due to this being a weekly series, the interview may be featured later in the year depending scheduling.
Thank you! 🙂
[The Original Series]
Season 1: Every week for 13 weeks, published from Feb 2012 to April 2012.
[Creative Fridays] #1 : Kevin Broken Scar
(Melbourne Singer-Songwriter/Sound Engineer)
[Creative Fridays] #2 : Deborah Crooks
(SF Bay Area Singer-Songwriter)
[Creative Fridays] #3 : Dylan Kay
(UK/Auckland Jazz Guitarist)
[Creative Fridays] #4 : Azmyl Yunor
(Malaysian Singer-Songwriter/College Lecturer)
[Creative Fridays] #6 : TragiComedy
[Creative Fridays] #7 : Candelaria
(Oakland Cumbia-Dub Band)
[Creative Fridays] #8 : Pete Teo
[Creative Fridays] #9 : Lori McKinney
(West Virginia Bandleader/Festival Organizer)
[Creative Fridays] #10: Helen Sherrah-Davies
(UK/Boston Violinist-Composer & Berklee faculty)
[Creative Fridays] #11: Adam Everett
(SF Bay Area Drummer-Composer)
[Creative Fridays] #12: Julian Chan
(Malaysian Jazz Saxophonist)
[Creative Fridays] #13: Sharon Chong
(Malaysian Keyboardist and Vocalist]
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