Saturday, August 14, 2010
King David of Riga (that's the capital of Latvia)
Toldja one of the contestants lived in Latvia - meet 25-year old David Lin, he's lived and busked there. In fact, he's the singer-songwriter who's from all over the place, who's now come home to work in a funeral parlour - wth?
Featured heavily in the trailers leading up to the premiere, many already spotted David's boyish appeal. But can he deliver? The judges seem to think so and even before he left the stage, seemed to have put him through to Episode 2, demanding to hear an original composition the next time he comes on stage.
David is originally from Taiwan. He moved to Singapore when he was 12, with his parents and younger brother. After high school (at an international school here), he went to college in Dallas, Texas. After that, he moved to Paris for 2 years, and then Sweden and then Latvia, and then a quick stopover in London and back to Singapore. How's that for well-travelled?
You were in Dallas, why didn't you try out for American Idol?
I wasn't really confident about my singing back then. I was writing songs in high school, but it was a way of expressing myself. I'm an emotional person and in an international school, every year people would leave, it was difficult for me, so I wrote about it. When I got to college, I continued to write and do music.
So why'd you move to Paris?
*he smiles sheepishly at me*
I fell in love with a girl and followed her there, ....and then she dumped me....
But it was in Paris that I watched this Indie Irish movie called 'Once'. It was about a street musician. His girlfriend had just dumped him so he's busking on the streets and a girl asks him to try out music professionally. I realised then that I was always afraid to commit to music, because I guess I was afraid I'd fail. So I decided to just do it, to make music, and so in 2007, I went to Sweden to record an EP.
Sweden? Why Sweden?
A friend of mine had a recording studio there. That's what happens when you go to international school, you get friends all over the place!
So where's that EP?
I didn't release it. I started a myspace page and put it there. Last summer, I moved to Latvia and started busking there, I made so much $$$ and people started to ask me to perform at bars and events.
Wait, Latvia? Why Latvia? And who are these people asking you to perform? (this interview totally has taken a life of its own!)
Oh, my old room mate from college was from Latvia, and he asked me to go visit him, so I did. The people who asked me to perform were like local musicians, so I just joined in their gigs with them. They really liked me, they even crowned me 'King David' in Riga. (Again, Riga is the capital of Latvia.)
I was even invited to sing at a wedding, two weddings actually. I didn't even know them, they heard me sing and just asked me to sing at their wedding. I don't even speak Latvian/Russian!
So if things were goin' so good, why'd you leave Latvia?
My visa ran out. So I flew to London. And when I got there, I was denied entry, because I was on a one-way ticket. That was a stupid move. I got hauled into a room and they started interrogating me, 'what do you do?', 'how long do you plan to stay?', 'who will you be staying with?'. I was like, 'um, I'm a busker, and I'll be staying with friends...'
In the end they sent me back to Latvia. By then I had run out of money, and as I mentioned before, my visa had expired, so I had to call my parents to buy me a ticket back to Singapore. They're PRs here.
What were you heading to London for?
I had planned on going to London to record the full album. I had some friends there who had a studio, and I was trying to find musicians and put a band together. I had a great time out there for 5 years, and when I was forced to come back at the end of last year, I totally crashed and just didn't want to do anything.
What do you do for money now?
I've been playing at bars, but over here it doesn't earn much. By day I work at a funeral home. I'm a Funeral Director's Assistant. Basically I talk to the family, show them what we have and arrange for the funeral.
So why'd you join OMG!? (gosh, took us ages to get to this question!)
I really want to win the prize money so that I can record my own album. And of course it would be financial freedom. Plus the show would be good exposure for me.
So if you get challenged, what will you sing on Episode 2?
The judges said they want an original, so I'll be singing an original song titled "To The Woods". The story behind the song is this; in Latvia my friends and I went to the forest to pick mushrooms, and it was like, once you're in the forest, its just you and nature and your friends. Its a great place to be to enjoy each other's company. Its like you're in paradise with the people you care about and this song tries to bring everyone into that place.
OMG! airs every Wednesday, 8pm, only on Channel 5!
Think YOU've got talent that can blow us away? Producers want you! Email email@example.com today and YOU could be the one walking away with $50,000 at the end of the season!