Before Thunder Rock School's drums instructor Deon Toh kicks off his debut album as a singer-songwriter, we speak to him about the album, performing and his future plans. Antiphobic's album launch "Going Home" will be held at 29b Keong Saik Road, better known as the former Snakeweed Studios.
Congratulations on the debut album, Antiphobic. Can you tell us more about it?
Antiphobic was inspired by stories happening around me in the past 4 years. As a songwriter, I emote through writing about stories or people that touch me. The word Antiphobic represents a symbolic metaphor about the healing process that is triggered through listening and writing the songs. There is also a subtle message to encourage listeners to not live in fear.
You've been performing and writing in the scene for the last 4 years. How have you grown as a musician and a songwriter?
The way I write has not changed dramatically, I still pen down whatever I feel at a certain point, no holds barred. The lyrics are simple, if not direct. And the arrangements are pretty straight forward. I must say, I have been listening to a lot of Icelandic artistes since last year. Bands like Sigur Rós, Ásgeir, múm, Ólafur Arnalds, Rökkurró, Emiliana Torrini, Lay Low, and For a Minor Reflection.
In that sense, my act has taken a different direction to arrangement, so I can promise that the music we are creating live now is vastly different. I believe I’ve grown as a musician over the years. I know more of what I want for my music now, and will demand of it during practice or in the studios.
Tell us more about the first single you've released - Take My Heart With You.
Take My Heart With You was the very first song I wrote, ever. I thought it would be apt to release it as the first single as well. It is about heart break and moving on, and how the other will always be a part of you. The initial idea was to have a full band arrangement, but producer Mark John and I decided to keep it simple and just have guitars accompany the song.
My team recently launched a music video for it. It contains sights of Iceland that we captured during our trip there. Coincedentally, both Lim Jie (Video Producer/Guitarist) and I were recovering from recent heartbreaks on the trip. This whole process has been healing for us.
What is the concept for your upcoming album launch this 8th June?
The best shows I've done so far are the intimate ones. Last year at Canadian Music Week 2013, my band and I did a show at Free Times Cafe - The interaction with the audience was so amazing I just wanted to relive that night over and over again. Leonard Soosay (Producer), Jie and I stumbled upon the old legendary Snakeweed Studios at Keong Saik Road one day and decided that we had to hold the album launch there. My band and I are bringing Leonard back to his old grounds where a decade of local music was made, hence I titled it "Going Home". I can promise the audiences that it will be an extremely intimate performance and everyone will go home with an experience to remember.
We understand that you've just performed at Canadian Music Week 2014 and International Pop Overthrow 2014 (UK). What's next for you?
Besides the album launch, I will be performing at Baybeats 2014 and hopefully more festivals this year. Other than that, I'm looking to jump back into the studios to record more music.
To find out more about DEON, do visit:
Thunder Rock School
227A Upper Thomson Road, S574359
T: 6456 8722
43 East Coast Road, 2nd Floor, S428764
T: 6348 7203