Christian Palencia

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Sleepless songs

Article from the Sun daily by Joyce Ang (posted on 24th Nov 2015)

IF there was music coming out of a window from the wee small hours to the break of dawn, it would most likely be Christian Palencia's, who's now known (aptly) as The Last One Awake.

Previously going by the stage name ChristianBPalencia, the 21-year-old has been leaving his footprints in the local music scene, having performed at numerous public and intimate venues, including the 2013 TedxYouth@KL event.

Apart from his presence in the Malaysian scene, Palencia has also been spending a substantial amount of time in Tasmania, Australia. In fact, in recent months, he has been working on a new album there for the next phase of his musical career, which is going to sound different from his previous works.

"The Last One Awake's songs are folk-like, but the lyrics don't exactly go along with new-age folk, so I call it 'storytelling music', but people have also been calling my music 'midnight music'. I have no idea why, but I thought that it's quite cool and catchy, so I guess the genre would be storyteller midnight music," Palencia explained.

Why do you go by The Last One Awake now?

I tested the waters with The Last One Awake as my photography handle for about a year, and thought that I would really like to be known by that name for the rest of my career.

Musically, I want to provide clarity and happiness to people, specifically to people feeling like they're the last ones awake at the tender hours of midnight. I want to portray that person. Also, because there are a lot of people who feel that way, I want to use The Last One Awake's music as a way to reach out to them and form a community – so they know that they are not alone –, slowly changing the world one smile at a time.

Tell us about your upcoming album.

The album is structured in a way that it is sort of like a rite of passage for late teens and young adults. It goes from searching for home in a person and when the person leaves, you search for home in places, but ultimately, you realise that home has always been in yourself. At the end of the album, it is about how after all these, you have to go back to the place where you started to fulfill the rite of passage, so the whole process is a bit of a loop.

I've also written about how reality is not what you perceive; how lying to children is the worst thing you can ever do; and about people that usually go unnoticed.

When and how did music become part of your life?

My first performance was when I was four: in front of 150 people at a concert, and I sang Backstreet Boys' Everybody (Backstreet's Back); it was very nervewracking. I performed and everybody loved it, so I thought "Okay, I want to do this for the rest of my life."

Were there times when you wanted to give up on that dream?

No, I decided when I was 17 that this is it. I've studied and worked on a bunch of things, including graphic design, production and writing. I did almost everything that I wanted to try, but I always knew that music is what I wanted to do and I'm not going to throw it away.

What would you like to achieve before you turn 30?

I want to be the best singer-songwriter in the world! I would also like to do a video with Ed Sheeran or Passenger, and be featured on The Mahogany Sessions.

In a parallel world, what do you think you'd be?

I would want to be a WWE wrestler, but unfortunately I'm too small and scrawny for that. Oh well, music it is – best singersongwriter in the world!




 

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