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Singer-songwriter KisH strikes out on his own

SINGAPORE — Singaporean singer-songwriter KisH (real name Prem Kishan) was only an 18-year-old polytechnic student when he was inspired by a performance from The Eagles.

SINGAPORE — Singaporean singer-songwriter KisH (real name Prem Kishan) was only an 18-year-old polytechnic student when he was inspired by a performance from The Eagles.

“After watching the live acoustic version of Hotel California by The Eagles, I was very impressed by the guitar playing. It inspired me so much, I decided to learn the guitar, and Hotel California was the first song I ever played,” he told TODAY. “Soon, I got keen on creating my own songs. Performing, being on stage and entertaining became euphoric for me. This feeling has kept me going all these years, as nothing else quite compares to it.”

These days, the 35-year-old, who is also the leader of rock quintet Angel Wine (currently a side project as he focuses on being a solo artist), gets inspiration from different situations in his life for his songwriting. “I find it to be therapeutic as well, as it’s an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. I want to get my music out there, to the masses.”

KisH’s plans are under way. His new single, I Pray — a song that combines arena rock aesthetics with electronic bluster — dropped on July 30, and he said it is especially close to his heart as it reflects a different direction he is taking as a solo artist. “I’m experimenting with a different style in music production. My first solo single, I Pray, is the first step in my journey as a solo artist,” he shared.

Q: Would you consider Singapore a difficult place to make music in?

A: Music as a profession here would be tough, but not impossible. When I first started writing original songs, I wrote it with my band Angel Wine. Even though we got our EP on iTunes, it was hard getting our songs on radio due to the airtime allowed for local music, which has its limitations.

Q: What recent developments in the music scene have encouraged you?

A: Many young and new musicians are emerging, who dare to experiment with different sounds and styles. Also, we have more venues, open mics and events that give local music a platform to play, regardless of the genre. We have ample resources here, like music schools and great recording studios for EP productions. There are studios that also do artist management with labels to back them up.

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge that Singapore musicians face?

A: Based on my experience, the lack of exposure. I feel that although the performance and gig scenes are picking up, the audience strength is usually weak.

Q: What do you hope to achieve with the single?

A: I hope to get a positive response — to see more people enjoying my music, knowing the lyrics to my song and looking forward to more of my songs. I hope my song touches a chord and connects with those who listen to it.

Q: Any plans to go beyond Singapore with your music? How?

A: Yes for sure. I intend to get my songs heard globally. I’m planning to establish myself as a travelling musician as I love travelling. For example, I’m heading to Perth next month, and I’ll be playing and making a video there. I hope to make such videos wherever I travel and connect with people from all walks of life and introduce them to my music.

KisH’s single I Pray is available on iTunes for download and Spotify for streaming.

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