POPCulture Online’s Kenneth Wong headed down to Shuffle after a busy work day to catch up with 3BlindMice members Siling, Ashton and Erick on the importance of Mandarin and how music is a great tool in encouraging young people to get interested in the language.
Finding a nice spot at the corner of Shuffle, I couldn’t help but notice that the place was rather crowded for a Wednesday night. I was also tempted by the smell of food to order a quick snack but the arrival of the band quickly knocked that idea out of my mind as I chatted with the 3 very cheerful musicians.
What made you decide to be part of this initiative by the Speak Mandarin Campaign?
Chinese music and television programmes, and drama serials have always played an influential role in our lives since young. Chinese music is the reason why we are performers today and through Chinese music, we find the passion in expressing our thoughts and emotions. This Speak Mandarin Campaign is very meaningful to us as it provides us with another platform to share our passion for the Chinese language and music with more people. We also hope to inspire others to pursue their dreams in music and to not be afraid to express themselves.
Outside of using mandarin in your performances as a band, how is the language important to you in your daily lives?
Besides playing music and performing, we use Mandarin in the personal and working aspects of our lives. These include song-composing, teaching and event-hosting. We also know that if we want our music to reach music lovers in other countries like Taiwan or China, it is important to have a strong command of Mandarin.
Many young people lose touch of the language especially after they leave school. Would you recommend using music to encourage these young people, like me, who are not fluent in the language to be inspired to learn and use Mandarin again?
Yes, I hope they can pick up the language again. One suggestion is for them to start learning and understanding the lyrics of Chinese songs that they like. We know a lot of musicians who are not fluent in Mandarin but ended up touring with Asian Chinese Pop Artistes because they love what they hear. It is also about hanging out with people who are fluent in the language and gradually picking it up again.
Thanking Siling, Ashton and Erick, I headed back to my corner with friends to order food and fill our hungry stomachs. As a special surprise to everyone at Shuffle, Y.E.S. 93.3FM DJ Peifen was on hand to introduce the band as well as the initiative by the station and Speak Mandarin Campaign.
The night of entertainment went on with good food, good company and of course, good music. In between songs, 3BlindMice and Peifen shared fun snippets about Mandarin that tied in perfectly with the lively mood created by the band’s catchy song choices.
Another interesting part of the set was the audience interaction where Peifen would play simple games about Mandarin, and in Mandarin, with the audience. From Taboo to a special “sabo” session where a rather embarrassed but sporting guy was taught how to tell his other half that she was the most beautiful girl in his eyes, Peifen really know how to get the crowd going.
Overall it was good fun going down to Shuffle and a great way to end the busy work day off. Not only was the food good (I would recommend the pizza which is great for sharing with friends), having 3BlindMice perform live was definitely the cherry on top. Oh and if you were wondering, yes, the entire interview was conducted in English (very fluently I must add) and to see them perform in Mandarin with ease really makes them great role models for us as well as the Speak Mandarin Campaign.
For those interested to check this out, do head down to Hood at Bugis+ next Thursday (7 August 2014) for the third session on the 21st of August for the fourth one.
Shuffle Bistro Bar is open from 6pm to 12am Mondays to Thursdays and 6pm to 3am Fridays & Saturdays.
You can catch 3BlindMice play at Shuffle on Wednesdays from 8pm onwards.
Local Originals is an initiative by YES933 and the Speak Mandarin Campaign.
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