If you check out the album charts on iTunes Store (SG) today (and possibly for some time to come), perched proudly at #01, beating Adele and Hebe Tien (田馥甄) to pole position, is the album 2024 (read as ‘twenty twenty four’) by our local singer-songwriter duo Scarlet Avenue!
Chords Haven is privileged to catch Scarlet Avenue in the midst of their hectic schedule following the album launch for a tête-à-tête about music, guitars and their debut album.
How did you both first get acquainted with music and at what age?
Adam was 10, Amos was 14. We were always music lovers, and it all started when Amos wanted to pick up the guitar, Adam followed.
Do you think you inherited any musical genes?
No, we don’t think so. But it could be due to our dad who kept singing cradle songs to us when we were young.
You guys have charming voices and can play a mean guitar. Did you take any lessons or just plain talents?
It was all hard work. We took a few lessons at the start, but it was only once a week. When we got home, we continued to play through the day and night.
Adam and I were both tone deaf before.
What is the most played song on your iPod/ music player?
Adam: Riot – Scarlet Avenue (Haha..)
Amos: History – One Direction
Which singer/band/songwriter is your greatest music influence?
I don’t think we have any single greatest music influence of all time, because there are simply too many talented artistes out there to learn from.
Those who influenced us include: Guns n’ Roses, Bon Jovi, Green Day, Sum 41, Scorpions, Eagles, John Mayer, One Direction.
Every single one of them played an enormous role in influencing us.
And how did he/she/they shape your musical style?
A lot of songs we listen to have catchy melodies and riffs, lyrics that are played with words, yet simple in meaning. These kind of songs shape how we write and compose.
How many guitars do you both currently own? Which one is your favorite (brand+model) and why?
We own 3 to 4 each of various brands. But my (Amos) favorite brand is Gibson. The reason is because we like the sound of it and many classic rock bands were using it.
This is a long-standing debate between me and the missus. Which is more important for a song: melody or lyrics?
From our perspective it is the melody. The melody is the first thing that catches our attention. However, what keeps our attention is the lyrics.
In the writing of songs, do one of you write the melody and the other write the lyrics or do each of you would write your own lyrics and melody to better reflect your thoughts/ personality?
Well, we work both ways. If we happen to write a song each, we would always come together and share and change accordingly to how each of us feel. That is when we learn to compromise with one another.
There are also times when we sit down and brainstorm on what to write.
How would you describe your music to someone who maybe hasn’t heard it before? (genre/ music style)
Our music currently belongs to the Pop Rock genre. But we also enjoy exploring other genres such as Indie, Folk, Alternatives.
‘Love’ features prominently in the songs that you have written. So here's the big question: how do you define Love?
Love is a choice. Because you choose to love someone despite his or her imperfections.
Tell us more about 2024. Any songs with a saucy story behind it e.g. The Girl Next Door?
One of the songs in 2024 is The Breakup Song. The story behind this is when Adam went though a rough patch in his life. He was sitting opposite me while I was having dinner at home. He sang the first few lines from this song and broke down. I immediately told him, please record that and write it down now.
What's in the pipeline following the release of 2024?
We will be doing more school tours and café pop ins. We are looking forward to tour other countries too.
You guys are 20/24, signed to a recording company, released an EP and now a full album. That, by any standards, is a remarkable achievement. What advice would you give to aspiring local singer/songwriters?
You never know who you will meet, or where you will be in life. The only way is to stand on what you love, and see yourself at where you want to be and pursue it step by step, little by little.
I read that you guys are not particularly fond of Mandarin lessons back in France, so here’s a toughie for you:
Let’s say a mega-rich China recording company is smitten by your music and decides to sign you. For that, you have to come up with a Chinese name for your band.
By the way, there's a Taiwanese group in the early 90s' called 红孩儿 (Red Hot Boys) so that name’s taken. Although I highly doubt you guys were going for that.
I guess we would call ourselves 红路, hahaha.
Wish you both all the best in your music journey, from all of us at Chords Haven, which essentially is just me, the missus and baby Coven.