Today we have the huge privilege of interviewing Peng Chi Sheng (冯启胜)!
Peng Chi Sheng is the Director and Music Producer at Intune Music Pte Ltd. He specializes in helping musicians and songwriting students turn their regular melodies into popular catchy tunes suitable for commercial recording projects!
In this feature, Chi Sheng shares with us more about Intune Music’s upcoming concert “Inspiration Lah!”, his album “The Runway Pianist”, and his reflections about his music journey over the past ten years.
Enjoy the interview!
Wan Wei: Hello Chi Sheng! Can you tell me more about yourself and what you are currently doing?
Peng Chi Sheng: I am a music composer, producer, pianist, instructor and one of the co-founders of Intune Music. I have been playing the piano since I was four years old, and also writing pop songs and performing since I was 21.
Right now, I am the busiest I have ever been in my life, juggling rehearsals for Sole Mate Play/Musical, Intune Music’s 10th Anniversary Concert “Inspiration Lah!”, preparing the launch of my instrumental music album, as well as my artiste website. I am also helping to manage one of our school’s singers, Tay Sia Yeun, for her EP launch.
On top of all that, I have to submit proposals to various MOE schools for programmes in 2018, and also confirm some promotional concerts for myself and Sia Yeun too!
Wan Wei: Congratulations on Intune Music’s 10th year anniversary–what an accomplishment! At the beginning of your music entrepreneurship journey, you once shared that you literally started with zero business knowledge.
Can you share with us the one thing that gave you courage and the confidence to pursue music in spite of this lack of business knowledge initially?
Peng Chi Sheng: That one thing is that I found the right partner who complements me, as he has character traits and abilities that I lack.
This partner is my co-director Aaron. He is very meticulous, handling all the school administrative issues, as well as accounting and logistic matters. This gives me the freedom to focus on the creative aspects of music making, for example music composition and production.
I also help to manage issues related to music publishing, as well as some public relation matters for the school. Aaron is more scientific and fact-driven while I am more people-oriented and emotions-driven.
Wan Wei: What do you think are the differences between doing music as a business and playing music as a hobby?
Peng Chi Sheng: Doing music as a business can sometimes murder the interest and passion of music.
This is because we have to have a proper and efficient system to manage our staff, instructors and students, so that everyone can have a platform to learn and grow in music.
We also have to be extra careful in our finances to tide through the tougher years, and to have enough savings to factor in increments in our staff and teachers’ salaries, as well as our overhead costs like venue rental etc.
Despite the above challenges, I will always remind myself why I initially pursue music as a career, and things will work themselves out eventually.
People who play music as a hobby usually find it more fun, as they can do it when they are free and have disposable income to spend.
Wan Wei: Where do you think the Singaporean music scene is heading, and what do you think is Intune Music’s role?
Peng Chi Sheng: The Singapore music scene is moving really fast, and most people are consuming online digital music rather than physical CDs. There are many more venues for musicians to perform nowadays, and it is definitely getting more exciting as new bands and musicians emerge.
Intune Music will still play an important role to develop our students’ interest, in the hope that it will be an inspiration for his/her friends. My co-founder Aaron Lim is the only certified Estill Voice Certified Master Teacher in Singapore. We hope that over time, more students who are serious about singing will gain from his teaching and sharing on what singing and voice training is really about.
We have also been working with various organisations as part of our CSR initiatives since a few years ago. Some examples are: Pathlight School (School for Autism), Singapore Prisons Service (Changi Prison), Singapore Boys Hostel, Children Cancer Foundation, Club Rainbow, Autism Association and many others.
We hope that when our instructors teach beneficiaries from VWOs, children with special needs, or people who are incarcerated, our instructors will then have a wider perspective of what the world is like, and be able to appreciate the various societal layers and difficulties that people face.
One day, they will know that music is a very powerful tool that can heal and inspire the good in a person.
Wan Wei: What is music to you in one sentence?
Peng Chi Sheng: It is like every next breath I have to take to keep my heart beating.
Wan Wei: On a parting note, do you have anything else to add?
Peng Chi Sheng: “The Runaway Pianist” album is a gift for my loved ones and myself, before I hit 40 years old next year.
I have written and produced songs and performed as a pianist for others for the longest time. It is finally time that I take the stage myself as a solo artiste. This album is a legacy that I am leaving for my loved ones so that they will remember me when I am gone.
For those who get to listen to my music, I hope you will also appreciate my stories and illustrations on my website too. I guarantee that you will find yourself transported to another world. Do not undermine the compelling power of words, visuals and music combining as a single medium!
We hope you have enjoyed today’s interview with Peng Chi Sheng!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 6336 0335 to book your tickets to Intune Music 10th Anniversary Concert “Inspiration Lah”! You may also buy Chi Sheng’s album here.
Photographs used with permission from Peng Chi Sheng.