Dubbed as one of the “5 Music Acts to Watch” in 2008 by TIME Magazine, The Analog Girl aka Mei Wong, an electronic-industrial musician from Singapore, is continually catching the ears and the eyes of people from all the over world. Tying one more achievement under her belt, Mei is now collaborating with artists from Portugal for the T(h)ree music series – an effort to put musicians from three countries, namely Singapore, the Philippines and Portugal, working in one compilation album. Her track “Starlight,” which features Portuguese band Stealing Orchestra and rapper Maze, is the album’s carrier single. Before she hops off the plane to attend the release party in Lisboa on March 30th, we caught up with Mei and talked to her about her experience collaborating for the album.
Hi, Mei! We hear that you’re off to Lisboa for T(h)ree Vol. 2’s release party. We were wondering how this project has reached you and how you were involved with it.
Portuguese music producer David Valentim spearheads the project and approached me to collaborate with Stealing Orchestra and Maze on the track Starlight. T(h)ree Vol. 2 is the second album in this series and for every song, a Portuguese band or musician is joined by musicians from an Asian country – this year being Philippines and Singapore.
Stealing Orchestra claims to be an experimental band from Portugal. What was the experience like working with an artist in this genre?
It was definitely a new experience for me – not only because I usually work solo, but also that particular music track that was sent to me from Stealing Orchestra sounded very different from what I normally do and from tracks that have been sent to me by collaborators for other projects. When I first listened to it, I had no idea how I was going to approach this collaboration so I let it sit for a few weeks and came back to it with fresh ideas. Stealing Orchestra was really cool, gave me free reign to write the vocal parts and embellish it with some Analog Girl beats. They made it easy to work with and I am glad I had the chance to work with their awesome music.
How was the track “Starlight” shaped during the process of your collaboration then?
I was sent the instrumental track from Stealing Orchestra and it inspired my vocal parts. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I could write a vocal for a track that is a lot more cheery and upbeat than the tracks I write on my own, but when I am in the right headspace, the parts just flow and I found my voice in the song. I am glad that I was given this challenge to write on a song that is not in my comfort zone, as I think, and we all feel, that something magical came out of such a collaboration. After the initial track was written, our producer David suggested to invite Maze to rap on the track, and when I saw his music videos on YouTube, I was immediately sold. Maze wrote and rapped his parts in Portuguese and added yet another style and dimension to the track Starlight. I think he gave it a star quality. I am so happy with the way the track turned out, and also it’s been picked as the first single off the album.
Now that you’ve worked with these two artists, what are your insights on collaborating with artists from different parts of the world?
We are so unique yet similar at the same time. Music, as people call it, is universal. But at the same time, it is diverse in terms of genre and culture. So putting musicians from different musical backgrounds and different countries and cultures together would somehow spark off music that takes you beyond this universe. The songs that come out of these collaborations are definitely bigger than the sum of three.
Lastly, what are you most excited about the release of this album?
Proceeds from the sales of this album T(h)ree Vol. 2 on Cobra Discos go to Make A Wish Foundation. Also, many of our friends came forward to help produce and star in the music video for Starlight, both doing their part for charity and love of the art. The official music video will star Asian stars Oli Pettigrew, Linda Black and Sophie Wee and that is due for release soon. Another highlight would be the chance to perform at the album release party on March 30th at Museu Do Oriente in Lisbon, Portugal, kindly sponsored by Fundação Oriente and the National Arts Council of Singapore. It’s going to be amazing.
T(h)ree Vol. 2 features more artists from Portugal, Singapore, and the Philippines:
1 – Pop Dell’ Arte (pt) + The Dorques (ph) – Cupidines / Love no substitute
2 – Os Golpes (pt) + Elektone (sg) – Prazer em conhecer
3 – Stealing Orchestra (pt) + Maze (pt) + The Analog Girl (sg) – Starlight
4 – Micro Audio Waves (pt) + Morphy (sg) – Morning dizziness
5 – Lula Pena (pt) + Eduardo Raon (pt) + sonicbrat (sg) – Estas ruas tem gente
6 – Carlos Zíngaro (pt) + Life Without Dreams (sg) – Continents
7 – Blasted Mechanism (pt) + Toi (ph) – Dayuhan
8 – Gnu (pt) + Lunarin (sg) – Drive
9 – Melo D (pt) + Arigato, Hato! (ph) – Heart speak
10 – Dreams (pt) + Sleepwalk Circus (ph) – Fade
11 – Rita Braga (pt) + Randolf Arriola (sg) – Charleston
Watch the teaser video for the album which features The Analog Girl, Stealing Orchestra, and Maze’s track, “Starlight”: