Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Inspiration; Blocked.

Everyone lives a different life.
Everyone has a story to tell.

A songwriter is like an author of a book, summarising life stories into beautiful melodies and lyrics. I feel that there are no lousy songs in this world. It's just maybe we weren't able to relate to it as much as we can for a hit song.

A hit song, in my own opinion, contains a strong message which listeners can easily relate to and feel something about it because of its catchy lyrics and melody.

I also find it amazing how a song and story can enhance each other vice versa:

First you have a story to tell.
You manage to enhance it with a song.
Then, the song is used to enhance the story (like in a movie/drama).

Amazing isn't it?
As one of their enrolled students in the WDA Music Career Programme by Ocean Butterflies - Song Writing Course, I am required to write and produce NEW songs or/and original music compositions as often as once to thrice a week.

WDA ocean butterflies music career program
Find out more about the course here.

Like my most passionate and superhero instructor, Lee Hua Chang always says, "Just keep writing and writing. Someday you'll be able to write a hit song!"

Hua Chang is a very down-to-earth and a likeable person. He would share his past compositions (even the worst) and snippets of his music journey to encourage his students. I'd say Hua Chang is very REAL. Finding 'real people' in the music industry is like finding a needle in a haystack. He treats all his students like friends, always help us in need (give us free sunday tutorials), prepare all our lecture notes to the best he can, someone who doesn't claim credits and acknowledgements for things he did/can do. Hua Chang is always up for passion.

 Deep down, I'm very blessed to have him as my instructor who is gracious to share and impart his life skills to us. (except he speaks too fast sometimes. :p).

His avatar is damn cute, looks just like him!

Lee Hua Chang
Image taken from:

The melody of this song is composed by Lee Hua Chang:

Show 羅志祥 - 愛入非非
Show Luo Zhi Xiang - Ai Ru Fei Fei

I'm so touched by one of his originals, Be Yourself.
It's exactly what he always encourage us to be and to do.
*tears welling up in my eyes*

Especially to those friends who are on the verge of breaking down, it's time to be inspired.
Click and play it:

What were we before I was talking about Hua Chang?
Oh yah, song writing assignments.

 More than half of my assignments are still left untouched.

This is very scary.
I have a lot of emotions welled up inside me but nothing to write about.
I played on the keyboard for hours but I cannot churn up with any tunes at all.

I'm feeling pretty lousy recently that my inspirations are completely drained and that I can't submit my work on time. I've never been exposed to such in-depth music terms and skills, therefore I needed more time to source reference and tutorials from the internet before I can do and complete them. I've been spamming on twitter to release this frustration.

Allow me to vent a little more here.

I wish I have more time.
There is so much I want to accomplish before I reach 30.

Which explains why as I'm listening to Hua Chang's Original song Be Yourself, I started tearing.
Press on, Mint. 
Believe in yourself.


I realise most of my original songs were written during my younger days.

I was exposed to new stories everyday inspired by context found in my textbooks and TV shows. It was also during school days where I learnt most new words and vocabulary; I had to pass those papers.  WE HAVE TO.

Inspiration seems to come lesser as I grow up: less fantasies, more reality.  It was even more so after work life began: routined work, skills-focus, lack of reading time, lack of watching TV and dramas….

Lack of stories and lack of listening to stories is causing a massive inspiration-block for me.

I want to read.
I want to watch some shows.
I need to expose myself to more stories around me to get inspired,

Above all, 
I need time. 

Nevertheless work and study is burning me out.

I only have 24 hours a day to juggle between work, assignments, research, rest and spend time with my loved ones. Due to lack of rest I've been falling sick: 2 days of MC last week for gastric and headache, missed class today for menstrual cramp and PMS.

Even on rest days I wasn't really resting.

My classmate, Zhi Hao (a J-pop lover), suggested that I go learn this classic japanese song: Ai No Uta and do a Youtube cover with him. I took my resting to familiarise the song. It's the theme song for a Japanese drama titled Skies Of Love.

I remembered I watched Skies of Love years ago. During the 2 days when I was sick and resting at home, I thought that I could watch the drama again to get the feel of the song when I do the cover with Zhi Hao.

However,  there was this other Japanese drama which caught my attention:
1 litre of tears.

I litre of tears
Image source from Google.

Friends had told me to watch this heart-wrenching drama but I never had the time. Soon, I forgot all about it. The link of the trailer for 1 litre of tears popped up and for the first time after more than 5 years, I hit the play button.

Blurry vision; heart soured.
As the title suggests, one can easily cry 1 litre of tears watching this show.

1 Litre Of Tears is inspired by a true story of a 15 year old Japanese girl, Kaito Aya, who was diagnosed with an incurable disease known as Spinocerebellar Ataxia.

The nervous disorder causes a person to lose control over their body but the person can retain all mental ability.  In the story of 1 litre of tears, Aya's dad owns a traditional tofu stall and her mum is a health consultant. Aya was a bright girl who was just enrolled into a reputable high school. Not only was she intelligent, she played basketball really well!

The story tells about how this disease has affected her life, including her family members' and friends'.

 After 10 years of family, medical examinations, rehabilitations and challenges, Aya finally succumbed to the disease and passed on at the age of 26.

Kaito Aya's diary, titled 1 Litre Of Tears, was published after her death with the help of her mother. I've found the translation of her diary online here if you'd like to read it.

I want a copy of this book!

The other thing about this trailer is the legitimate song:
Only Human by K,

I've heard the chinese version of the song titled Duo Bu Guo sang by a Malaysian singer, Daniel Lee Jie Han. I've been trying to find this MP3 for years but no avail. It's not even on Youtube! The closest video I could find is this LIVE but low quality upload of Daniel Lee performing this song during of his promotion activities.

Anyone knows this song and where to get it?


Kaito Aya 1 litre of tears
Image Source from Google.

Rest In Peace

Aya Kito
July 1962 - May 23, 1988

Go Watch 1 Litre Of Tears and listen to the song titled Only Human By K.

Time and tide waits for no man.
Live your life to the fullest.
Do your best and have faith in yourself.
Be yourself.

I have a sudden urge to write songs again.
Thank you for the inspiration, good people.

What's your story?

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