Crossover turns 17 this year, and to celebrate our anniversary,
we sat down with creative anarchist all across Malaysia to hear their side of the story.
They've overturned opinions and toppled down walls to chase their dreams.
Starting off, we sat down with local music producer Khai Zhen (@khaizhenn) to
learn more about music producing and how it’s like to be an audio engineer in
Malaysia. We spoke about his life ambitions and his inspirations as well as
some genuine challenges he's faced throughout his career
A SUBVERT STORY
KHAI ZHEN, ARTIST
Q1: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Khai Zhen and I’m a music producer, audio engineer and artist. I produce and engineer for music artists locally andinternationally while also releasing and performing music of my own. Most of my music works (produced and performed) go by the genre of Alternative Pop, Hip-Hop and R&B.
Q2: We have a glossary of items related to music production these days. To the uninitiated, can you help us understand the role of a music producer?
The process of making a song is split into 3 parts -songwriting (lyrics+melody), full production, and engineering (post-production). What music production does is turn a songwriting idea/draft into a completed version, similar to what you may hear in radios or streaming platforms today.
It is the process of curating and composing with the instruments played, involving music arrangements, vocal performances, groove—these are the main tasks of a music producer in order to complete a track.
Q4: What is the creative process like behind music production?
How do you best describe your music?
My music is inspired by a combination of what I’ve seen and experienced and also what I love. I tend to get mixed feelings very often because life taught me so much—from living overseas to going through different phases of life—all these combined greatly affect the creative process while inspiring me to shape my music creation. I’m no storyteller so I go with the vibe and feelings, trying my best to express it through a song. I call it a ‘runaway music’, ‘melancholic’ with ‘late night drives’ mood. I aspire to not just make music, but music that tickles the senses and evokes feeling people could relate to.
Q5: What music do you plan on making in the near future?
I’ve been producing mainly Pop/Hip-Hop/R&B tracks since I started and I’m absolutely loving the versatility of these three genres. I plan to work on more innovative Pop Music in the near future as I noticed the rise of subgenres in pop culture today such as Grime, Drill, Garage etc.
Getting influences from subgenres of music would bring a fresh perspective to themodern pop scene and I find great potential in their cultural impact and their role in shaping sounds of the future. I’d love to see myself experimenting more in music production and being open minded about it, that’s what I will be doing.
Q6: Crossover is turning 17 this year. Part of what drives the brand
forward is music culture and it has certainly influenced us
throughout the years. How pivotal is music as a language that
bridges culture and identity?
Music has no barriers and I really believe in that. As humans we could feel the vibe of a song and understand the message it's trying to express without translation despite being in a language we don’t understand.
Music culture is also pivotal in bringing other aspects into the mix such as fashion, food, jargons and slangs, among others. To say it is key for subcultures going mainstream is an understatement.
Q7: Impart some words of wisdom to all young aspiring musicians and
producers out there who are starting out fresh.
Stay persistent, be consistent in making your craft and releasing them. Quit expecting overnight success and don’t let your ego get in the way as I find it crucial to be humble, but in the meantime be careful not to lose your confidence while being part of the music industry. Imagine yourself as a sponge, absorbing and learning every dos and don’ts.
Be stringent in every decision-making because one small mistake could affect your future in a way that leaves a sour aftertaste. Once you understand the game things will be easier for you and you’ll make good gains
This collection features t-shirts, shorts, hoodies, jackets, and accessories for a price ranging from
RM149.90 - RM349.90. The highlights of the collection are the Subvert and leopard print collection,
which are also showcased in other segments
C - 2022. CROSSOVER CONCEPT STORE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.