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Josh Kua


Pulling heartstrings

Article from the Sun daily by Jessica Chua (posted on 4 Nov 2015)

ONE of Josh Kua's earliest memories in violin training involves the Suzuki method – which has nothing to do with the famed motorcycle company, if you're wondering.

"It is a learning method to practise good posture, how to listen and play by ear. I started with an empty cereal box with a ruler taped to it, and a wooden spoon for the bow, to master holding a violin," explained Kua, who grew up in Australia and started training at the age of four.

Most people may assume that trained instrumentalists would further their education in music, but in fear of losing his passion during the studying process, Kua decided against the popular belief. Instead, he obtained double degrees in law and commerce.

His career path took a huge turn when he went on his first mini tour in the Philippines during his third year in university. Since then, his music has gone on to reach audiences around Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and currently, China.

Speaking of his personal style, the 26-year-old shared that "less is more. I like lyrical music. It is like my singing voice, except I don't sing. I gravitate towards acoustic music, acoustic pop or alternative rock because that is the kind of music I grew up with."

Have you always been confident about your musical talents?

I didn't foresee a career coming out of it. It was something that I did just for fun, but I guess I knew that I was better than average. One of my strengths is improvisation. I usually have a rough plan of what I'm going to do when I perform, but no two performances are ever the same.

Does being a musician give you a different outlook on life?

I would say I'm extremely lucky to be able to travel for my work. It has changed my way of thinking because I've been exposed to different cultures and environments. I think when you are stuck in one place your whole life, your mind gets used to thinking in a certain way. So I've been very lucky to travel and work, and open my mind to different ways of life and thinking.

How would you define music?

Music is definitely a universal language which I experienced while travelling to different countries. It is a way for me to express to the world and for us to understand each other. I find it very fulfilling when I perform and people get touched by the sentiment that I was conveying through my music. It doesn't matter if they interpreted it differently, in fact it makes it better because I have spoken to them in a way that I never thought I would.

What do you want people to hear or see through your music?

I want them to see me. It is important for me to be authentic in my performances; maybe that's why I am more inclined towards stripped-down kind of music.I never like to focus too much on image and I don't like gimmicks. So I like to show who I am – less is more.

If you could impart one lesson to your peers, what would you say?

Practice makes perfect. Whether or not you were born with a gift, anything can be earned as long as you put in effort and work hard for it. Nothing comes easy. So if you're discouraged and you feel like you're not getting anywhere with whatever it may be, just put in work and be smart. Get to know the right people, make them believe in you, and just do your best.

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