Evan Low probably dreams in memes and occasionally uses Japanese emoticons / kaomoji /โ๏∀๏ใ in a grossly ironic way. The Berklee grad’s currently a Music & Audio Manager at Zendyll and also a Janitor at the Death Star.
We’ve long semi-overlooked Evan’s multiple roles in the local music scene but he’s the one punching buttons to trigger all kinds of tailored sounds, most times self-engineered, on stage alongside iNCH, Tim de Cotta, The Sam Willows, Charlie Lim & The Mothership, Linying, Dru Chen, BittyMacbeth and more.
Photo by Henzy David
His kind of fun is sampling, transcribing and improvising on his trusty Ableton Push 2:
But like the many genres he dabbles in and hats he’s worn within the bracket, he’s far from exclusive with the gear and loves busting out new gizmo to achieve what each member of the ever-growing ever-rising midi controller family is uniquely capable of.
Having done sound design and composed for commercial clients adidas, Lego, MTV, Spotify, Toyota and Changi Airport to name some, he flat out cyber-introduces himself foremost as Music Mercenary before anyone else suggests it.
Going from these polished arrangements to alt-asf glitchy basement sounds on his soundcloud must take a measure of versatility, intuition, grind and focus that’s hardly fathomable. But we try, by having the following conversation with Evan himself.
Okay sob story. But I promise there’s a happy ending.
Long story short, I had a pretty rough breakup a few years back. And well, I managed to get a refund for a ring that I was planning to surprise my then-girlfriend with. So I invested some of that money into the Ableton Push as I believed it could meld both my classical piano training and my session drumming skills together.
So during that period of recovery, I channeled any excess emotions into learning and figuring out the musical possibilities of the Ableton Push that soon enough i found myself having more fun than feeling blue. And it just kinda steamrolled from there!
PW: Mm yesss thank goodness that’s only seemed to go upward for you. Is that how beyond your collabs and between sessioning, your solo project @Evanturetime was born?
Yeah that’s where the evanturetime moniker comes in. The tunes I write under that name is a space for me where I can explore and try out ideas outside of my commercial work. The basic idea is to marry my more commercial musical tendencies with some of my experimental approaches together – such as making a synthesizer out of twigs and leaves. From there I’ll see if the tune might benefit with the help from other fellow musicians/artists and I’ll call them in to see what we can whip up together!
Evan’s Vultures sung by Linying and Charlie Lim recently hit #1 on Spotify’s Singapore Viral 50 List.
PW: Naiiiise. Are you on the road with any of them now?
I’m back at the studio at Zendyll for the time being. The last time I was overseas it was a few months back I believe. I was playing a show with The Sam Willows in Kuala Lumpur, then heading off to Brisbane with iNCH, and back again on a red eye flight to Singapore with the Willows. All in a span of a week and half!
Photo by Aloysius Lim
PW: Anything funny happen on those trips?
I was on tour with the Willows. Adam (Shah) was on drums then while I was on electronics and keyboards. It was an acoustic acappella segment then so we weren’t really needed. So and Adam and I were hiding behind the drums.
Me to Adam: “You think it’d be funny if I whipped out the torchlight from my phone and started waving it around?”
Adam: “Do it.”
Evan on electronics in The Sam Willows‘ mannequin challenge some four months ago, before all this mannequin madness even had a name. Pretty remarkable.
So I jumped back onto my platform and started doing just that. Soon enough the crowd started joining in bit by bit. Jon (Chua) was the first to notice something was afoot when the audience started getting brighter, but it was only at the end of the song when he turned and found out I was the one instigating it that he was trying not to laugh. Lucky for me the Willows are good sports! I might lose my job pulling something as stupid as that with anyone else. (laughs)
PW: I suppose it must be a crazy heartening to witness and grow alongside our local musicians…
I think it has been 8 years playing alongside them now. It’s crazy to see how the industry has blossomed over even such a short period of time. The sheer amount of talent on this little island is insane. I’m just absolutely ecstatic that I’m in on the same journey as the rest of the musos are.
PW: What is the thing you live by now?
Be humble, Be open and treat everything with love. I was a really stubborn child who was at one point of time only playing classical music and at another only metal. It was only when i started to accept different genres and musical ideas did i see the value in learning from everything and anything. It was with that mantra that i was able to work in various musical situations and aid any fellow creative in churning out material that we are proud of.
AND REST. LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY.
Hustling and working your butt off is great but having enough rest is crucial. It gives you that energy and focus to zero in on your task to give the creative work the best that you’ve got. You have no idea how much I love my bed. <3 <3 <3