Inch Chua slams lack of support for local musicians

Profiling local bands & musicians

Inch Chua is "heartbroken" over what she believes is a lack of support for local musicians in Singapore. (Yahoo! photo/ Ewen Boey)

Local musician Inch Chua is "heartbroken" over the lack of support for local music in Singapore, and has made the tough decision to leave her homeland to further her music career.

The 22-year-old singer-songwriter aired her frustration over the support -- or rather lack of support -- for local music in a note on Facebook earlier this week.

"I've always been one that's hopeful about things here, and I've been very positive. But after much much thinking and sitting on it for months, I decided it was the best decision to make if I wanted to grow as an artist," the pint-sized artiste told Yahoo! Singapore.

Chua is still in the midst of firming up the details of moving away, but it is understood that she will be heading to Los Angeles, which, according to her, has a more progressive environment for the arts.

Regarding her note on the social networking site, the singer of local band Allura said that it was initially private and not suppose to be circulated, but a couple of her musician friends wanted to post it so she made it public.

Despite packing her bags for greener pastures, the powerful siren insisted that there is still hope for Singapore music. She believes that there is only so much artistes can do, and indicated in her note that more support is needed from both the government and the people.

Chua declined to elaborate on what led to her online outburst and decision to leave her homeland, but revealed that the last straw was with regards to an un-named huge arts event.

"I'm not leaving permanently. Just for a season in my life to grow. There are many personal factors that led to my decision," she said.

"Just for the record, I've never once given up or will give up on Singapore," added the Chua.

Here is what she wrote in her note on Facebook:

This letter is probably not directed to any of my friends on facebook, the very kind people on my facebook fanpage and anyone who has ever (legally) downloaded or supported my music or of any other local artist.

But this is a letter, a letter from a very heartbroken Singaporean artist to the general mass of people who just don't care or are just too close-minded to see the big picture. Yes, you.

Its sad, because i don't think i could have tried any harder with you, Singapore. When it comes to you, it has always been an uphill battle, where i'm swimming against the currents. Time to time, i'd always catch you make comments like, "i don't like this band, they don't play any songs i know" or "oh, this band is good, they don't sound local".

Why? why are we possibly the only country where "local" has so much negative connotations tagged with it. why are we the only country where you're only considered a GOOD, COMPETENT musician when you can play covers. why are we the only bloody country where the press and media will have to INTENTIONALLY highlight that a local musician plays an "original compostition".

Why?!

Why am i not accepted in your working society? On a day to day basis i have to deal with a hefty amount of people judging me; assuming i've made some majorly bad decisions in my life to wind up a musician. Why can't i be musician? i don't need your definition of success to be placed upon me. i don't need your approval to do what i know i should be doing. i don't need you to tell me that there is no future in Singapore Music, i don't need you to tell me that what i'm doing is a lost cause.

Why?! Why do i have to try so hard to prove my worth about my contributions to society? why is it that our independent music community has minimal government support? why don't i have someone to count on?

So on this note, i'd like to annou(n)ce that i've decided to move to another country to pursue my career. i'm not giving up on you Singapore, but rather its due to the fact that its the only choice i have, thanks to your pathetic need of validation from elsewhere before you see things clearly for yourself.

i'm hurt and you know why. i'm angry because i've been hurt for a long time now.
But no matter how heartbroken i am, i'm now more ready than ever to get out of the boat and walk on water.

Yours Truly,
A 100% A HOME-GROWN SINGAPOREAN ARTIST & PROUD OF IT.