Home-grown Heroes

Kelvin Tan: 143 solo albums released since 1998

Musician Kelvin Tan's latest work is a triple release: Life In A Time Of Dying, Neither The World Nor Death and Songs In Tandem For Re-Birth.
Musician Kelvin Tan's latest work is a triple release: Life In A Time Of Dying, Neither The World Nor Death and Songs In Tandem For Re-Birth.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Singer, songwriter and experimental musician Kelvin Tan puts out batches of albums like clockwork every year.

Also known as the guitarist for indie pioneers The Oddfellows, a part-time lecturer at the Puttnam School of Film & Animation in Lasalle College of the Arts and a published author, the 53-year-old's latest work is a triple release: Life In A Time Of Dying, Neither The World Nor Death and Songs In Tandem For Re-Birth.

With these three self-released works, Tan has released 143 solo albums since 1998.

Tell us in 100 words or fewer what your new releases are about.

Life In A Time Of Dying are songs dedicated to learning from one's own struggles and to find meaning in them.

In Tandem For Re-birth is a vocal-drums album with drummer Tan Boon Gee. It's an homage to jazz vocalists such as Bobby Mcferrin, Mark Murphy and Al Jarreau, though it's not a jazz album.

Neither The World Nor Death is a spontaneous instrumental exploration with Tan on drums too. It's a melding of funk, blues, jazz elements and noise.

As with most of my more recent albums, all compositions were improvised.

Who do you think will like your new albums?

My music has always been more improvisational, exploratory and experimental, so those who are open to new ideas, possibilities and music that attempts to break genres, may be able to connect with them.

In 10 years' time, how might you think of these three albums?

Because making work is always such a labour of love for me, I tend to be very proud of every album I release, and there have been more than 140 of them.

I believe in what I do as an artist. Even the imperfections inspire me. Improvisation is by nature a flawed but awe-inspiring process.

•Kelvin Tan's music can be found at https://kelvintan1.bandcamp.com

•Home-grown Heroes is a new regular music column that features Singapore and Singapore-based artists and musicians and their new works.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2017, with the headline 'Kelvin Tan: 143 solo albums released since 1998'. Print Edition | Subscribe