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Home is where the heart is

Inch Chua, Letters To Ubin

Interviews

Los Angeles? Barcelona? Local singer-songwriter Inch Chua prefers being in Pulau Ubin.

Inch Chua's passport might be running out of space soon.

After travelling back and forth between Singapore and Los Angeles while writing her previous album Bumfuzzle, the globetrotter's latest adventure saw her staying on Pulau Ubin to work on her latest EP, Letters to Ubin

She may be a Singapore resident, but Inch definitely is a world citizen. Over the years, the indie singer-songwriter has backpacked her way through the US, seen Antonio Gaudi's works in Barcelona and even conquered Mount Everest.

 
"MY FAVOURITE ARTIST OF ALL TIME ACROSS THE BOARD, MUSICIAN, ARTIST, ANYTHING IS ANTONIO GAUDI,"

Despite her countless escapades overseas, Inch asserted that she is a true blue Singaporean. 

"I think the world is shrinking to a point where we live in the most globalised time in the history of mankind. I can be everywhere and anywhere whenever I want, and there is no real reason to be based anywhere else but home, which is Singapore for me," said the 26-year-old.

During her four-month stay on Pulau Ubin, Inch had to adapt living without electricity and having to draw her own water. Despite the inconveniences, the petite singer has grown attached to the island. She also shared that leaving the island was the hardest part of the whole process.

"I love Ubin very much. Even today, I have to visit there at least twice a month. I'm actually going there this Sunday again," she said, with a smile.


INCH SHARED: "IF YOU'RE EVER IN UBIN, LOOK FOR A BLUE HOUSE BESIDE THE CHINESE CEMETERY. THAT WAS WHERE I STAYED." 

Her voice took on a more sympathetic tone when speaking about how the island is being urbanised. With a concerned expression, Inch shared: "They're building more roads, they're trying to make it more modern and I wanted the album to really reflect that."

She added that the electronic elements in the record were added to show the juxtaposition between Ubin's rustic vibes and the current urbanisation it is going through.

"I'd like to classify this record as folktronica. There's that nakedness of folk but you're sort of tweaking it with technology. There's something organic yet very electronic about it," said Inch.

I had the chance to attend Inch's listening party at Spotify last Tuesday, where we were treated to a preview of Letters to Ubin. Inch and EP producer Evan Low also unveiled the inner workings and stories behind the record. 

 
INCH ADMIRED EVAN'S (LEFT) ABILITY TO RETAIN THE ESSENCE OF HER SONGS WHILE ADDING HIS OWN STYLE.

As a nod to her album muse, the afternoon was complemented by lovely cocktails made from ingredients foraged from, yup, Pulau Ubin. 


I HAD THE 'PUAKA BLUE', A COCKTAIL MADE WITH BLUE PEA SYRUP, LIME, KAFFIR LIME LEAF AND REYKA VODKA.


WE WERE SERENADED 'FIRST HAND'.

One of the leading lights of the local music scene, Inch may be gallivanting in the Grand Canyon or Antarctica in the future, but we can take comfort in knowing that Singapore is where her heart is.

Letters to Ubin will be available on iTunes and other digital platforms on Nov 27.

Tags: Interviews