Local label, Rojimusic, helps Singaporean artist gain recognition in the U.S. This piece also appeared in the Spring 2010 issue.
By Noelia de la Cruz
Christian Van Luven first heard The Analog Girl’s mellow voice radiating through the speakers of a bookstore cafe in Osaka, Japan. Almost instantly, he decided to recruit her under Rojimusic, a music label he developed in 2007.
The Analog Girl, or Mei Wong to close family members and friends, is a Singaporean artist who started making music at a young age. Her method of choice is computer technology where she uses four-track analog multi-track records, synthesizers and various musical instruments to create fun pop and electronic music, she says.
“Very often I write with a fashion catwalk in mind,” The Analog Girl said in an e-mail. “It’s got to be punchy, dynamic and cutting edge.”
Her softer tunes are “ultra dreamy and romantic” and are inspired by movie scripts and dialogues — often ones conceived from her own thoughts.
Van Luven, who lives in Syracuse, recognized similarities in The Analog Girl’s music to styles that not only personally interested him, bu tare also played at Roji Tea Lounge, a teahouse he founded in Syracuse with his wife, Tomomi Yoshida, in 2004. The Analog Girl also felt a connection that compelled her to begin a professional relationship with Van Luven and Rojimusic.
“Christian and myself connected on a musical level. We love the same kind of music,” The Analog Girl says. “And I was drawn by Roji Tea Lounge and the inspiring space the husband and wife team has created and designed in Syracuse.”
The space combines traditional Japanese and modern aesthetics, creating a place that evokes a Zen-like atmosphere while also inviting lo-fi, indie and alternative bands to share their music. Previous bands that have performed to small audiences at Roji Tea Lounge include Kissing Party and The Jim Jims.
Rojimusic is not a traditional music label. Instead of managing artists, Van Luven solely works to promote artists by releasing music and organizing shows. As a result, The Analog Girl was not signed to the label as an artist, but her latest EP, Sometime Next Galaxy, was released under Rojimusic in 2007.
The Analog Girl has had increased success since then, she says, and credits Rojimusic for its support.
“Rojimusic gave me creative freedom with my music,” she says.
The Analog Girl is inspired by artists like Charlotte Gainsbourg, Beck and TV On The Radio and hopes to be able to collaborate with Coldplay and Bjork in the future, she says.
Since Sometime Next Galaxy was released, Rojimusic has been going through a transitional period, Van Luven says. It has taken a while for the label to get its feet off the ground, but he plans to book more shows in Syracuse and collaborate with both local and international artists. Van Luven is working extensively with the Red House Arts Center to coordinate a show for The Analog Girl in late Fall 2010. Though The Analog Girl has performed several times in art, music and film festivals in Singapore, New York City and Berlin, it will be her first time visiting and performing in Syracuse.
For more information about The Analog Girl, visit her Web site at http://www.analog-girl.net.