The Dreamer Project Part 1:
**Part 1: The Dream Project is a blog series that interviews collaborators who have worked with Meimeiwawa in some way or another, and embody the true spirit of perseverance and headstrong which we believe are needed to achieve one’s dreams. Perhaps they are particularly serious about doing music that is true to themselves like Lara, or have a strong artistic vision that they persist in like Esther. There is a dreamer in every one of us, and we hope that through these stories we can inspire you to nurture it and help it grow. Watch the collaboration between Steve & Meimeiwawa here.
Author: Jocelle Koh
Although you may not have heard of Steve before, his presence in Singaporean music circles is subtle yet influential. Having worked with many of Singapore’s most prolific artists and projects, such as singing backing vocals for the Sing! China auditions and working with Tay Kewei, the baby-faced YouTube sensation first reached out to us on what came to be our ‘Meiwa Musical Month’ project around the midpoint of this year, presenting us with a mysterious demo that he promised would be a wonderful mashup. And he sure as anything did not disappoint. A multi-hyphenate who writes, sings, produces, and directs, Steve’s hard-headed persistence and passion for music is his best asset. We spoke to him briefly about his journey thus far, his collaboration with Meimeiwawa, and what it means to chase your dreams.
1. For readers who might not know you, can you introduce yourself briefly?
I am Steve苏稳璋. A singer-songwriter, videographer and a YouTuber who specializes in vocal harmonies and producing mashup songs.
2. As a talented and experienced cinematographer and all-round musician, when did you first discover your passion? What made you decide to pursue it?
I was forced to learn music and play the piano at a very young age (around 5 years old) by my parents. At the age of 16, my parents gave up forcing me and sold off my piano. It was then that I felt an emptiness in my life. So I decided to join the song composing club in my school at the age of 17 to get back into music again and my passion grew stronger each day. Through those experiences, I discovered my passion in writing songs and producing new mashup and remixes from cover songs. I want people to listen to my creations. Therefore, I decided to set up a YouTube channel and studied videography as a major to film my own music videos.
3. Did you undergo any training in pursuing your love for music/cinematography? What made you decide to do it, and was it helpful in determining your career pathway?
I learnt the piano from a private teacher since 5 years old. Song writing and producing music was all self-taught through observing online videos and music and friends’ music works. Passion and my love for music is a strong deciding factor that made me to do it. I grew to love Videography too, which is now my main career in my life to earn a sustainable income. I do music as a side job to showcase my works and to fund for my future music videos projects.
4. I’m sure you have faced many obstacles in pursuing these dreams. During these times where you may have felt downtrodden or disheartened, what was it that made you keep going?
It was really difficult to pursue music alone as a main job. Income was not sufficient enough to fund for music video projects and my expenses. And when I first started out, recognition was extremely little and its quite disappointing to have put in so much effort into it and public care less about it. My savings are getting lesser each time due to recording and Videography expenses. Fortunately, I picked up recording and Videography skills and depended on myself to record my own music and film my own music videos. These saved me a lot of money and I am able to produce my works consistently every month. Recognition from the public grew more and more each time, which gave me a lot of encouragement to keep going. Eventually, some of my videos got viral in China and Malaysia and i have received invitations from agents to collab with them and to help market my works.
5. Can you say a few words about your experience working with Lara and Meimeiwawa on this mashup? How did the idea to work together come about, and what was the experience like for you?
I was surprised and very appreciative that Meimeiwawa took a liking on my demo when I first sent them and their willingness to collab with me. I always filmed music videos of myself on my own. I figured that to have a crew like Meimeiwawa’s team to film me, it would be a nerve wracking experience for me. Fortunately, the team gave me some pointers on how to express myself better in front of the camera and I felt better after that. Lara gave me a lot of encouragement the day before the shoot to prep my mood. Also, during the recording of the song, she has so many mashup ideas during the process to enhance the song. Thanks to her, it was much better than the initial plan! Working with Lara is awesome. She is always cheerful and hyperactive during the shoot and it keeps everyone’s spirit high! Also, Esther did an awesome job at the music video filming and edits!
6. What (or who) would you say have been crucial in motivating you to do what you have always wanted to do?
I do not have a specific person to mention. I would say initially it was my friends from the song composing club who motivates me a lot to pursue my passion in music and Videography. After graduation, it was the friends in the music Industry.
7. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself producing songs and music videos for mega stars in the music industry (hopefully! )
8. What is your ultimate goal that you would love to be able to achieve?
My goal is to be able to get signed to a music company, marketing me as a singer-songwriter and producing music albums and music videos. I always wanted to be in a band.
9. If you had to give one piece of advice to all the dream chasers, what would you say?
Do not dwell in the past, do not just dream of the future. Concentrate on the present moment and you will get to your dream eventually.
Learning skills in-house that many would have paid thousands to educate themselves on just to continue pursuing his passion sustainably; Steve seems just about ready to open a startup himself! His gumption and drive to better himself has gained him more opportunities than many had ever expected; allowing him to forge connections and collaborate not just locally, but also with influencers around the world. We have the utmost confidence in his never-ending reservoir of passion and persistence, and just know he’s going to hustle himself to the big-time one day!