The 8th annual edition of Skecher’s Sundown Festival took obvious nods to inclusivity and the local music scene. The annual event celebrates Asian music and bridges the diversity of Asian countries within the music industry.
Doors opened at 4pm, but it was only later in the evening that I met with Jean, who goes by the stage name Jean Seizure. I was in the waiting area when she ambled in with her two band members, Joy and Desiree. In a fleeting look, Jean hadn’t looked all that different from her days as a child actress – a CHIJ uniform-clad student along with the personification of various characters on TV shows for teenyboppers alike in the early 2000s. Perhaps this was the reason she looked strikingly familiar even clad in an oversized muscle beater, jeans and a red-floored flannel tied around her waist (think unsubtle cues from John Rambo if he had traversed in time to the era of post-punk).
And perhaps apart from their headbands and beater tank tops, in the strangest of ways they weren’t a far cry from one another. Jean had the tenacity and passion to pursue music as a career in Singapore, a place where the stigma of deviation from the sciences would be as good as picking your nose and eating it. However, coming from a creative background (her parents were both singers from the 70’s), the fact that their daughter is following in their footsteps seems innate.
“Whenever my dad puts a camera in front of me, I’d go ‘hey, my name’s jean’ as a kid, so they enrolled me in drama classes and everything just happened from then on …” she muses.
As for how the band was formed, Desiree, the drummer, messaged Sam Rui’s fellow guitarist, Joy, and the rest is history. Regardless, the show felt like they’re seasoned musicians who’ve been at it for ages, and the mood transcended into one that was comical and gut-busting within the confines of the holding room. An oversized Cobain white-framed sunnies sat on the bridge of Desiree’s nose as the trio bicker over their seating arrangements.
“Oh my god … the chairs! They’re all covered in red!!”
“No way, it’s like Chinese New Year in here.”
Were amongst some of the conversations that darted to and fro as we settled down in a circle. Joy had insisted that Jean sits in the centre just because I quote, “she’s Jean Seizure.” Consequently, it’s perplexing to find out that it’s their first time playing together as a band on stage.
As we eased into the subject of the future, apart from being 1/7 of Singapore’s up-and-coming acappella group, The Apex Project, Jean hints at a possible musical in the coming year that’s said to show in Edinburgh (we’ve got our fingers crossed!) and to hopefully be able to build a career in music and acting on top of producing a single by the end of 2017.
With all that’s going on, of course, I was curious to know how Jean is able to build a full time career in music and juggle between other responsibilities. After a long hesitation, she half-jokingly admits, “I don’t haha. But in all seriousness, Apex and I are trying very hard to make this into a career that’s able to support us (financially). So we’re putting in a lot of time and effort into honing our skills and getting gigs. So, at this point in my life, it’s all been hectic.”