Songs that mirror his life experiences

Singer-songwriter Dru Chen, whose groovy music straddles R&B, funk and pop, released his debut album, Mirror Work, last Friday.

His previous releases include an EP, Intentions (2013), and Distant Memory (2018), a single taken from the new album. The 29-year-old will hold an album launch show at Aliwal Arts Centre on April 12.

The songs in Mirror Work reflect the major events in his life, he says. "Falling in love, signing a record deal with Warner Music and surrounding myself with a beautiful family of managers and creatives... All these are why I am able to put out my debut full-length album only now."

Here are five things about Chen:

1.

Born in Australia and based in Singapore, he has performed in these two countries as well as the United States, Malaysia and the Philippines.

He released his debut single, You Bring Out The Best In Me, in 2012.

2.


Singer-songwriter Dru Chen. PHOTO: CRISPIAN CHAN
 

Chen wrote the songs on Mirror Work over 10 years. It took him five years to record the songs, which were done in studios in Singapore, Australia and the US.

He says: "These songs are the life experiences and sonic excursions I have stockpiled over the past 10 years."

3.

His love of music from the 1970s is reflected in more than just the songs in Mirror Work.

  • BOOK IT / DRU CHEN // SPACES BETWEEN US

    WHERE: Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street

    WHEN: April 12, doors open at 7.30pm

    ADMISSION: $25 from druchenlaunch.peatix.com

The studio mixing was done on analogue tape and he has also released the album on vinyl records in a homage to what he calls "the golden age of music".

4.

He was singled out by home-grown entertainment veteran Dick Lee as one of the most exciting young talents in the music scene here.

He has played guitar in Lee's band during live shows, including for the 2015 Sing50 concert at the National Stadium in front of a 41,000-strong audience.

5.

Together with his partner Melyssa Goh, Chen organised a 2016 charity jazz concert, beCAUSE, which raised more than $14,000 for Healthserve, a non-profit organisation that provides medical care for migrant workers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2019, with the headline 'Songs that mirror his life experiences'. Print Edition | Subscribe