Sep 01, 2014

In the second of our Meet The Maker series at The Bristol Shop we catch up with rising musical talent Makala Cheung!

Hi Makala please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

I’m a Singer Songwriter Producer, making Bass, Electronic, Pop music with a dash of Oriental!

What inspires your music?

How I’m feeling and the things that I experience and witness in life. Also the idea to add oriental music to what I was creating came out of my love of martial arts films.

Plus in my music videos each concept is different and inspired differently, and they just kind of come to me, or through chats with friends. For example my last video release from the album ‘Caught Up’ was inspired by Asian cinema – The Ring and The Grudge.

What do you feel makes your work unique?

I think maybe my variety and my fusion of music genres and influences. Plus lots of venues comment on how organized I am for a musician LOL!

Is being based in Bristol important to your work?

Oh definitely! I wrote a whole song dedicated to the city called Bristol Beat, it was the official song for Dance Village at Harbourside Festival this year : ) I love the amount of creativity here, the mix of greenery and city, and the people.

If you were to give one of your products as a gift, what would it be and why?

It would be my album River, it’s my first and only product on The Bristol Shop, as it’s my debut album. (I did 3 EPs before that.)

What is the best thing about being a local business?

I love being creative, and being in control! I also love performing, and it’s great now that I am bringing in money from that too. It’s great when you do what you love, and then it starts to bring in some earnings…it’s a good feeling, like you’re doing something right and someone appreciates it.

What products from other makers on The Bristol Shop do you like?

I love the Buggsy album The Great Escape – he is so talented and original and works with great Producers.

Makala Cheung's Album - River
What has been your greatest success as an independent business?

It’s hard to say, as each time I achieve a goal, I set myself another one! Maybe having my Kisses video sponsored by Bristol China Partnership, so I got to hire in Chinese ink painting, and a little animation. I think when I hear really nice things like I inspired someone, or that people like working with me, or that my songs make them happy - it’s nice to know what I do makes a little bit of a difference somewhere.

What aspect of your work do you particularly love?

I love all of these things:

  • Sitting at Piano and writing
  • Sitting in the studio and producing
  • Rehearsing with the live band, especially a new song and then it all comes together!
  • Performing, especially to a really interactive audience!
  • Coming up with music video concepts and cover art ideas. Then seeing those ideas come to life with the great filmers/directors, photographers, and designers I’ve worked with.

But I think the most unexpected thing is all the lush and talented people I have met through gigging, open mics at the start, going out to take in the music scene and get inspired. Most of my best friends now are people I have connected with through music and the arts/media that goes with it. People and experiences that bring you joy…that’s what life is all about right?

Watch the video and play along (!) to "Bristol Beat" from Makala's album - River - hard copy available at The Bristol Shop - HERE, digital copy available on iTunes - HERE

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