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Living a rich life through giving

Aldrich Atcoustic

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Local singer Aldrich Atcoustic proves to us that we can live a rich life through volunteerism.

Aldrich Tjahjadi was 6 when the music bug bit him.

His first instrument was the electone, although he was too short to play it while sitting down. His dad then gave him a $20 second-hand guitar, which led him on a musical adventure with the piano, ukulele, harmonica, and the drums.

Little did he know that years down the road, he would be using his musical talent for a good cause – volunteering at community homes.

The 29-year-old singer and songwriter released his debut album, RICH – which also stands for "Reach Into Community Homes" – on Nov 26 last year.

"The album, to me, is not a product, but a movement.

"It is the willingness to give, even when nobody else is looking," said Aldrich, who is donating 20 per cent of RICH's proceeds to Make a Difference (MAD), Mummy Yummy (a food provider that delivers a meal to the needy for every dollar contributed) and other organisations.

Aldrich Atcoustic
ALDRICH DESCRIBED HIS VOICE AS
"AUTHENTIC", "EXPLORATIVE" AND "QUIRKY".

Growing up, Aldrich, who is now a featured artiste on mobile entertainment platform Migme, took part in various songwriting competitions. When he was 15, he won a Total Defence song writing competition. He also posted song covers – initially filmed with just a Macbook Pro – on YouTube with two of his friends.

The self-declared social media addict actively interacts with his 5,100 followers on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

While many would find it challenging to sacrifice their first two days of Chinese New Year visiting the homes of complete strangers, Aldrich and his friends took some time off their holidays last year to spend time with the elderly, some of whom had no other visitors.

CNY home visitation
IT WARMS HIS HEART TO BRING JOY TO OTHERS.
PHOTO CREDIT: ALDRICH ATCOUSTIC

He recalled an incident when he went to one elderly person's house to talk and sing songs together.

"Everything was quite okay. The house was neat and nice. [However, a lot of the elderly] try to save whatever they can save. This elderly citizen had a dangerously broken fan with no cover on, so we replaced it for her," added Aldrich, who owns a music company, Atcoustic.


THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR HIS TITLE TRACK, 'RICH', FEATURES
HIS HOME VISITATIONS DURING CHINESE NEW YEAR LAST YEAR.

Although he did not do anything similar for Chinese New Year this year, he shared his volunteering plans for 2017.

"This year, I am collaborating with Mummy Yummy. I will be singing to cheer up and motivate the beneficiaries," said Aldrich, who loves to blog and watch horror movies in his free time.

CNY home visitation
ALDRICH AND HIS FRIENDS (BACK ROW) VISITED THE ELDERLY TO
SING SONGS WITH THEM AND BRING THEM GOODIE BAGS FILLED WITH BASIC NECESSITIES.
PHOTO CREDIT: ALDRICH ATCOUSTIC

This is not the first time Aldrich dabbled in community service.

In 2007, before he enlisted into the army, Aldrich was amongst the pioneer batch of CityCare, a social enterprise promoting volunteerism.

CityCare
AT CITYCARE, HE DID HOME VISITATIONS AND CONDUCTED DANCE CLASSES.
PHOTO CREDIT: ALDRICH ATCOUSTIC

"[My time at CityCare] was one of the most meaningful times of my life, where every day was about impacting lives," he recalled, "This is one of the reasons [why I dedicate] 20 per cent of the album proceeds to community work."

He also volunteered for other events, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation Fundraising Walkathon performance, and a performance with One Hope Centre Musical to raise awareness about gambling addiction.

Despite his busy schedule, what drives him to volunteer?

"It is more blessed to give than to receive," said the cheerful youth. "This is my way of encouraging people to have a rich mindset, which means to be willing to give your time and finances to bless somebody else."

He added, with a laugh: "A lot of my friends will say I have an overly optimistic personality, so in terms of personality, [volunteerism] is already part of me!"

Christmas carolling
ALDRICH LED A CHOIR TO SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS FOR THE COMMUNITY.
PHOTO CREDIT: ALDRICH ATCOUSTIC

So, what's next for Aldrich?

"I will continue exploring community homes to give and serve in, both locally and abroad," he said, with a grin.

The bubbly artiste, who was once a Timbre singer, added: "I will also be making music videos for all five songs in my album, so stay tuned for that!"

Follow Aldrich on Facebook, Instagram and Migme.

BANNER PHOTO CREDIT: ALDRICH ATCOUSTIC