I’ve often been asked ‘’Why Bossa Nova’’?. It would be conceited of me to claim that Bossa Nova is made for me, I however do feel that my character mirrors the sensibilities of Bossa Nova more than any other genre of music, thus the realization of this album.
Through ‘Bossa Nova’ as a medium, I feel ‘at home’. I do not feel the need or necessity of putting on a persona which I am not comfortable with.
Although the majority of the songs in this album ‘sounds’ Brazilian, my intention was not to record a ‘Bossa Nova’ album. I did however borrowed extensively from Brazilian rhythms as well as the free spirit of improvisations and harmonies from Jazz.
Various attempts had been made to give each of the songs as much variety as possible. You will find songs in a band context, piano and voice, guitar and voice combinations.
As for the ‘message’ of the original songs, suffice it to say that they were all drawn from my past experiences. ‘Life’ being the dominant inspiration. The Brazilian covers are an homage to some of the more influential Brazilian composers less well known outside of Brazil.
I have also often been asked ‘’Where are you from?’’ …. I guess being enigmatic about my background doesn’t help. So, for the curious, I am very much Malaysian – grew up in Ipoh. And yes! I am Chinese, though I’ve been mistaken for many other races.
And yes, I did spend some time in Brazil, for about a year I was in Rio de Janeiro. However I was not there to learn about their music per se, it’s more like going to the beach and not getting a tan. Brazilians are so passionate about their music it just seeps into you.
A few words from Tay Cher Siang, the musical director of the album
Before I had the pleasure to meet Xiong, his reputation precedes him. After seeing his photos in jazz clubs around the city, I said to myself, I want to meet this guy and perform with him! I can still remember the first time I heard him sing and play. It gave me goose bumps and electricity ran through my spine, how fragile and light; but yet how moving and musical. Xiong embodies the art; his music is the extension of his personality (he is the gentlest person I have met in this country).
After having the honor to perform with Xiong, I decided that his music should be documented and shared with the many music lovers out there. Working with Xiong is such a wonderful experience, and I hope you could hear the joy in the music.
(Tay Cher Siang - musical director)
A few words from Producer/Engineer Vong …..
As a musician, we are always in search of moments. Moments that take your breath away, moments that warm your heart, moments that wet your eyes …. Just moments….
Working with Xiong has been such a privilege that it has become one of the ‘moments’ of my time in the music industry. His music transcends language, race or culture. His voice touches the souls and gently leads the heart to a certain sense of calmness.
Capturing all these in this collection of moments together with such wonderful talents in the studio has also been a great pleasure, both to the ears and to the soul. Xiong has brought me to realize a more worldly aspect to music and sometimes listening to his stories of his time in Brazil has brought me to rethink how big this world is, and at the same time so small.
In this potpourri of Xiong’s sincere renditions, you will experience all these and more
Thank you for the moments. Muito Bom!!!