By Jocelle Koh
Even for the mellowest amongst us, turning thirty can be a hard pill to swallow. Its a time for reflection, and often leaves the best of us wondering where the time went, or whether we’ve met our expectations for where we’d be by this time.
Local songbird OHMYMEITING 黃美婷 has condensed her thoughts on the topic into her latest acoustic EP “邁向三十Turning Thirty”; and what better time than to mull over these topics than during this strange year of isolation and self-conversation.
The almost-thirty (only next year!) artist shared a little about the latest EP and how she hopes to close the distance between her and listeners candidly; sharing her inner world with us.
Q: Congrats on the new EP! Can you share a little about the interesting concept behind the EP?
A: Thank you! The EP is titled “邁向三十” (Turning Thirty), and just like its name, I’m… also turning 30 next year. For this EP, other than the song audio tracks, I will also be releasing “talking tracks” to explain each song, creating a sort of pseudo “live” experience for listeners. This is especially meaningful in this pandemic because we can’t travel or have live shows, especially in Singapore, so I’d like to recreate that experience since I really miss it too.
Q: You’ll be releasing acoustic versions of previously released tracks. Why in particular did you choose each of these songs to re-release as part of this EP’s concept?
A: These are songs that I feel I can relate to at this point in time. Each of them revolve around a particular concept or emotion, for example “uncertainty” or the notion of infinite “possibilities” in the future. These are concepts that I might not have thought of when I first wrote the song, so I kind of feel that these songs grew together with me, and now it has this added layer of maturity that I’m very proud of. I guess this EP serves as a reminder to myself that change is going to be a constant in life, and I should always embrace it.
Q: Your unreleased demo ‘Kids’ is inspired by your nieces. Do they like the song?
A: Actually I haven’t let them hear it. But I will! Before its release. And then you can check out a reaction video on my social media, maybe.
Q:Turning thirty is a milestone achievement! Can you share with us what anxieties, hopes and well-wishes in particular you grappled with in respect to this new chapter?
A: You know how we used to say, “when I grow up”? For me, I used to think that being 30 was the very definition of being an actual grown up. I used to think, I’d get so many things achieved by this time, I’m gonna travel and see the world, live out my youth, get married by 27… and so on. I thought I’d be pretty much settled down by this time. So there was a period when I was really worried and feeling a little lost, because I didn’t feel like I lived up to my own expectations. But now it’s kinda like, you know… 30’s not that old. I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made so far at this age. And to everyone who’s facing the same anxieties and uncertainties, I just wanna say that you’re not alone, and my own experience is just that you gotta keep moving on and things will turn out fine.
Q: What will you be doing to celebrate your birthday next year!
A: I would like to travel (fingers crossed!) to somewhere I haven’t been. Hopefully somewhere with snow, because at the age of 30 I would like to say that I have seen snow.
Q: It’s such a cool idea to create a live atmosphere on the EP to make up for the lack of live performances at the moment. How did you come up with this idea?
A: Honestly, a lot of my projects are based on a “do first, think later” concept. I thought a lot about this concept EP, and first decided that an intimate, acoustic project sounded like the right direction. In addition to that, live music has taken a big hit during this pandemic, and I really miss the feeling of being on stage and being able to connect with my listeners, so I thought of combining the two into a concept EP like this.
Q: How are you holding up during the pandemic as a creative and artist?
A: Other than the lack of live shows, I’m actually doing pretty good! I try to think positive and make the best of the situation – releasing songs digitally to reach out to audiences who require more digital content while at home.
Q: You’ve done amazingly for yourself as a local artist and creative. What do you hope next year will be like for you?
A: I hope to release another EP next year (we’re in the midst of preparing for it!) with all new songs – I really like those tracks so I’m quite excited for everyone to hear them. I hope to be finally able to fall into an exercise regime that I like (HAHA I’ve been trying but I’m just so lazy…) and also to improve on my music production skills!
In choosing to address this topic in her music, Meiting uncovers a more personal side to herself than listeners have previously experienced.
With worries and fears like the rest of us, by opening up about them, the humble but talented artist is finding self-acceptance and hope in the process.
Indeed, ageing is not something to be ashamed of, but instead a milestone to be proud of. Life is a constant renegotiation of circumstance and common sense, and Meiting is fast discovering that finding ways to adjust to it is what gives our journey meaning.