ST Sessions: Why neo-soul troubadour Charlie Lim left Australia to pursue music career in Singapore

Neo-soul troubadour Charlie Lim broke stereotypes in Australia, and left his family to pursue his music career in Singapore.ST VIDEO

Singaporean Charlie Lim gave up the idea of studying medicine early on to pursue music, as he mentions in ST Sessions, where he performed some songs and did video interviews with The Straits Times.

The son of a doctor and a teacher, he instead left his family to return and base himself in Singapore.

The Bachelor of Music graduate from Australia's Monash University explains why in this video.

Lim, 26, writes poignant songs of heartbreak, but the neo-soul troubadour insists he does not milk misery for melodies.

He said: "I don't want people to confuse melancholy with depression - that's very different.

"Melancholy is a state of mind where you can ask yourself questions and reflect on them. I can never write in a state of sadness or depression. I would be too anxious."

Below is his full performance of Bitter, the song he is most known for.

Lim's recent release, a double EP titled Time/Space, is a profound collection of original compositions that run the gamut of folk, R&B, jazz, electronica and blues. A man of many talents, he not only played many of the music instruments himself, but also served as his own producer, overseeing all work in the studio.

He added: "I do everything myself when it comes to the music.

"I play piano and guitar, which is what singer-songwriters do, but I'm not happy with that alone, so I take on the producer's role too."

A song, for the perfectionist, can comprise up to 150 layers of instruments or vocal tracks.

Below is a video on why Lim chose music over medicine, and how he broke stereotypes in music as a Singaporean in his teenage years studying in Melbourne.

Since his debut 2011 release, EP, Lim's meticulous attention to detail and velvety voice have won him a growing fan base.

He started playing piano at four. The bachelor, who has a younger brother and sister, has been playing more prominent shows recently, including the closing ceremony for the 28th SEA Games at the National Stadium and a set at the Singapore International Jazz Festival this year.

Last year, he became the first home-grown act to sell out two shows at the Esplanade's now- defunct Mosaic Music Festival.

Below is his full performance of Choices, a song about relationship decisions.

He is starting to build his presence outside Singapore, having played gigs in countries such as Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea.

He also collaborated with singer- songwriter Corrinne May, whom he calls his idol, and classical music's T'ang Quartet on a song for the SG50-themed album Sing, Love.

Watch more and connect with Charlie Lim:






ST Sessions official backline equipment provider: Ebenex

Full list of ST Sessions acts in Season One

List of ST Sessions acts in ongoing Season Two