NATIVE X LOCAL (Singapore Edition)

Crossing Oceans with DEON

We spoke to DEON to find out more about his Tokyo tour and his music. Read on to find out some of the interesting stories that happened!

1. Can you share with us more about your music?

I started out just wanting to write songs, I never did focus too much on the performance aspect of things during the first year of what was to become ‘DEON’ (my stage moniker). So that has always remained through what I do as a musician – I focus on crafting tunes. The main genres I choose as a vehicle for my music naturally incline to my personal preferences; indie, rock, pop, with some electronic influences.

Every song or album marks a certain stage in my life, it traces the paths I take as an individual, and reflects the stories that I’ve lived. Every time you listen to my music, its like I’m narrating my experiences to you.

2. What was the concept behind your album “Oceans” ?


‘Oceans’ was written during a period of change. I was graduating and contemplating life choices, and this internal debate sparked off a whole myriad of things I had to say. Coupled with the attitude of wanting to explore the world, I went on this journey over the course of 2 years – traveling overseas whenever I had the chance. Together with some of my band members and friends (not all at once), I flew to places like Iceland, Amsterdam, the UK, and Canada. We had many amazing experiences, and I was very much inspired by the journey inside that paralleled my travels. The themes in the album came together in a very uncontrived manner, and inspiration came bursting forth. On the surface, the album is crafted around the four seasons and nature – but really, its about personal stories.

Stream the music free here:

3. How was the production process like for “Oceans” ?

We spent almost 30 non-continuous days on recording and mixing at Snakeweed Studios, before shooting the album off to the States of mastering. Before that, I wrote the songs and produced their demos in my bedroom, before presenting them to the band to test them at live performances.

You can view the experience here:


4. You recently went to Japan for your tour and have been to Canada, and UK. Was there any interesting tour stories on tour?

There are so many interesting stories. I can name some memorable ones.

In 2015, just before our last show in Toronto, our guitarist Jie sprained his back while shifting his guitar amp. He was pretty much paralysed for the set, but he played through it like a real champ. Right after the set, we rushed to grab the van and sent him straight to a hospital. We spent quite a few hours in the hospital waiting for him to receive treatment. I remember falling asleep on the benches in the waiting hall.

In 2014, during the UK leg of our tour, we had to lug all our gear (luggages, gear cases, bags) around London and Liverpool. And at our first accommodation, the elevator was working. So we shifted all the heavy bags up 5 floors. It was pretty horrible. We call it our Spartan experience.

Of course, there were plenty of interesting stories in Japan too, but I shall leave them for another time. I guess my favourite thing about touring, is that every experience is extremely different, regardless of if you’ve been there before. There are many things you discover about your music, your band members, and foreign lands. Its extremely exciting, but of course, its very hard work too. You have to sacrifice a lot.

5. Beside music, name us one hidden talent of yours that not many people know about!

I wouldn’t say hidden talent – but as an indie musician in Singapore, you learn how to pick up necessary skills over time. I do a little of everything, from recording, to designing collaterals and my own website. Jack of all trade, master of none.