Just a Show – inspiration

The lyrics for “Just a Show” are here.

I love being a performer; I love playing music for a living. I love that every day my job is different to the day before: no two gigs are ever the same. The venue will be different, the audience will be different, the weather and mood will be different. I love being able to share a bit of my soul with everyone through the medium of music. I love the kick that I get when I see people smiling, singing along, tapping a toe, nodding to the beat, dancing, or even tearing up. I love being able to touch and reach people in that magical way that only music can. I love performing with amazing musicians, and I love it when we push each other onstage to create never-again-to-be-experienced moments that are unique to the art of live music. I love, love, love my job.

But MAN, there are parts of my job that stink. Read more

Just a Show – lyrics

Columns and posters of glamour
Bright neon lights from the fast food chain
Glittering eyelids, luxurious lashes
Here we go again
High heels precariously perching
Ripped off with relief when the night is done
The feathers, the finery, fantastic fiasco
The battle’s lost and won

It’s just a show
Give them what they came for
Make them all smile and send them all home
Where they’ll sit in the TV glow
Right now they will never know
It’s just a show

Read more

Pass It On – inspiration

The lyrics for “Pass It On” are here.

My uncle King Toh was the initial catalyst behind this song. He very generously donated to a crowdfunding campaign for my last album, and his reward was for me to write a song on his topic of choice. Several other people were also recipients of this same reward; most of them got me to write a love song for their partner/ spouse, or a jingle for their business. But Uncle Toh asked me to write a song about the concept of “pay it forward”: doing something good without any thought of reward. This really sparked my imagination, as service to the community is a big part of my life, and I’m a firm believer in the concept that you can only become a better and nicer person if you reach out and give of yourself generously to others. I’m also a firm believer that the world is not too far gone: the smallest actions that we make do make a difference, and the betterment of the world can be achieved through the sincere and good deeds of everyday people. What’s more, I believe that it doesn’t matter how talented (or not talented), how smart (or not smart), how strong (or weak) or rich (or poor) you are: everybody on this earth has something that they can offer that will be of benefit to someone else. The most important thing I think is the motivation for our actions, which is what “pay it forward” is all about: we don’t do a good thing because it will in any way come back and benefit us. We just do it because it’s a good thing to do.

Read more

Pass It On – lyrics

You have a smile, you have a minute, you have a dollar
That someone else may need
Could you
Just take a while, reach out and give it, no thought for honour?
‘cause you might plant a seed
And one day we may see
The seed become a tree

Can you pass it on? Can you spread your light?
Can you ignite another fire from your flame?
Can you pass it on; let it out of sight?
Can you ignite another fire from your flame?
Can you set the world ablaze?

Read more

Moderation – inspiration

The lyrics for “Moderation” are here.

We live in a world of extremes. There is no shortage of groups of people in the world who oppose each other. Everyone has an opinion, which they’re entitled to, but so many people are holding onto their opinion so tightly that this clouds their vision and prevents them from considering objectively another point of view, and being willing to revise their opinion in light of new information obtained. What’s more, because this is the case, increasingly people pre-judge and box others who may be inclined to a different ideology or occupation or even fashion sense to themselves, and assume that others are “against” them. You’re either “for us” or “against us”. You have to be either anti- something or pro- the same thing. And if you are pro the thing that I am anti, then we can’t get along, and vice versa.

Read more

Moderation – lyrics

There’s religion versus science, creationism, atheism
Say it’s black and white, who is right? My ism not your ism
We are prisoners of each extreme
Each one believing that they are supreme
Working class against the wealthy, capitalism, communism
Left against the right, all the shades divided by the prism
We are prisoners of each extreme
Each one indoctrinating their own scheme

Don’t wanna swing the pendulum
Why can’t we find moderation, that is moderation?
Don’t wanna swing the pendulum
Why can’t we find moderation, that is moderation?

Read more

I Love You, But – inspiration

The lyrics for “I Love You, But” are here.

This song is the latest in a string of songs that I wrote about one life experience – from “Disappointed” to “Impostor” to “Give Me a Reason“. I guess there are good things that come out of every hardship that you go through: you become stronger as a person, and you become very prolific at writing tragic songs. So basically there was a person in my life who I was super close to and really looked up to, and they did something that was really out of character and that really hurt and shocked me and many other people. I almost feel like these songs represent different stages of grief that I went through, because that’s what it was: I lost the person. They are still here, and they are still in my life, but something was broken and I’m not sure if it can ever go back to being the way it was before. In “Give Me a Reason” and this song, you might pick up that I’m at a stage where in my heart, I’ve forgiven this person, but I’m not convinced that I can ever trust them again. I think it’s possible to love someone with all your heart, but to really dislike a lot of things about their behaviour at the same time. In fact, part of my ongoing spiritual journey is learning how to love people who might do terrible things, because we are all human beings and have the potential for good within us, even if we our actions say otherwise. It’s something I’m still working on, and I think I’ll be working on it for the rest of my life.

I Love You, But – lyrics

We were much more than friends
A higher connection
You were my love, my trust, my blood

But then a shadow crept across your face
You chose the way that led to your disgrace

So tied up, don’t know what to do ‘cause I
I love you, but I really don’t like you
Said sorry, but you know it’s true that I
I love you, but I really don’t like you
I love you, but I really don’t like you
I love you, but I really don’t like you
I love you, but I really don’t like you
I love you, but I really don’t

Read more

“Give Me A Reason” lyric video

I made this lyric video with beautiful black and white photos donated by some awesome people who responded to a call out on my Facebook  page! “Give Me A Reason” is a heartfelt, very personal song on my new album, The Second City. Thank you to Clem Bailey, Hiro Ugaya, Todd Wilkinson and Sophie Brown for the use of your photos, you rock!

Why “The Second City”?

One pet question that I get whenever I’m doing an interview for a radio station, blog, streetpress or magazine is, “So, where does the title of your album The Second City come from?” So many people ask that question that I thought it would probably make for a good blog article, and that way I could take my sweet time explaining it, and not feel the need to rush to keep time available for other interview questions, haha.

So there’s a song on the album called “Chill in The Fire”. You can read in detail about the meaning of the lyrics in “Chill in The Fire” here, but the point is that it’s inspired by a Persian mystical work by Bahá’u’lláh called The Seven Valleys. The Seven Valleys is a highly poetic book describing the journey of the soul, using the imagery of travelling through seven valleys to explain ones spiritual journey. In the opening section it reads, “The stages that mark the wayfarer’s journey from the abode of dust to the heavenly homeland are said to be seven. Some have called these Seven Valleys, and others, Seven Cities. And they say that until the wayfarer taketh leave of self, and traverseth these stages, he shall never reach to the ocean of nearness and union, nor drink of the peerless wine.”

[pe2-image src=”” href=”″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”_MG_1978-Edit.jpg” ]

The lyrics of “Chill in The Fire” are inspired by the second of these seven valleys, or seven cities, which is called The Valley of Love. I’m particularly enchanted by the imagery and language of that chapter in the book. So, since that song is inspired by the second valley/ city, and because this is my second album, I thought “The Second City” would make an apt title for the album. My second choice for the album title would have been “Beautiful Soul” (the title of the first track on the album), but I like the mystery behind “The Second City” more. Plus it gave me the excuse to have the album photoshoot with the skyline of my beautiful hometown, Perth city, in the background.

You can check out a lyric video that I made for “Chill in The Fire”, using photos from The Second City photoshoot, here. The album is available for purchase on iTunes or BandCamp.