Siow (pronounced like Meow) represents an emerging trend in the UK’s C-pop movement. Born and raised in Melbourne, Siow is currently living in London recording a repertoire of songs he has written further defining his R&B sound.
Nee Hao talks to Derek Siow about things, his music and what’s to come.
Where are you from originally and when and why did you come to London?
Siow I’m Australian born Malaysian-Chinese, and I came to London to work on my music career.
Can you speak any Chinese? Do you have any Chinese songs?
Like many others, I also went to Saturday Chinese school when I was young so apart from swear words, I do know how to say all the basic stuff. And if the right opportunity came along, I’d love to do some songs in Chinese.
When did you start singing?
I can sing as far back as I can remember. That’s all kids do watching Sesame Street, isn’t it?
What best describes your sound?
Chilled R&B mixed with acoustic and live instruments.
Do you play any instruments and/or write songs?
Yea I play the piano, a bit of guitar and write all my songs.
What are your musical influences?
I dig the 80’s retro love songs, the 90’s R&B like Michael Jackson, Boys II Men, Dru Hill, KC & Jojo and a lot of stuff today like Alicia Keys, John Legend, Cee Lo Green, Nelly
What’s the difference between the Chinese communities (if any) in the UK and Australia?
In Australia we’re called ‘Asians’ and in UK we’re called ‘Orientals’.
You have been described as an Asian/Chinese heart throb, would you agree to that? And what do you do to keep fit?.
I’d love to know who described me as that, can you give me their number? My health is pretty important to me, so I gym everyday, but during winter it’s proving pretty hard so ‘everyday’ has basically become every ‘second’ day. Or ‘third’ day.
Tell us about your latest single and what inspired you to make this song?
Many of my lyrics are based on what I have been through, mostly about romantic stuff but I do write about the non-romantic things in life occasionally. Without saying “We were” is a love song, it’s all about the special times that were shared, and hope that those who listen to it will tap into their memory bank and feel good as well.
What’s in the pipeline? And future plans?
There’s going to be more tracks, more videos and more shows, so keep an eye out for those.
What do you do to relax?
I’m a movie and popcorn kinda guy and like to play Xbox. There’s other things I like to do also, but I think it’s best not to mention these….
What was your last gig?
We were at Soho on Saturday 11 December at Spice of Life on Moor st.
‘We Were’ is available on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/we-were/id402349828