Being Singapore's OG alternative musician: The Observatory's Vivian Wang

Being Singapore's OG alternative musician: The Observatory's Vivian Wang

Path less travelled

Text: Kimberly Kiong

Image: Philipp Aldrup

Vivian Wang will be playing her experimental synth escapades at No Man's Land, the fifth instalment of Playfreely

Keyboardist, synth player and one of the founding members of Singaporean avant rock outfit The Observatory, Vivian Wang boasts a 16-year presence in our homegrown music scene. Helmed as one of the pioneers in Singapore's aural sphere, she’s part of The Observatory's brooding creations from the start. 

In The Obs: A Singapore Story, she reveals her life as a musician as no walk in the park. Unstable job prospects and low income were the reality, despite having travelled far and wide to places like Norway and Japan to share their music. Government clampdowns in the early years and fickle public support were not promising, but she still worked her way through to gain a foothold in the industry. With a background as a classically trained pianist as well, there is no denying that music is what she loves and will continue to pursue. Since 2008, she became a full-time artiste, focusing solely on music, performance and interdisciplinary work. 

As a music maverick, her sonic identity is not limited to one dimension. Prizing individualism over everything else, this veteran's words of advice to aspiring musicians are to "Focus on the voice within you. Don't be afraid of sounding 'local', don't ape a foreign band in current vogue. Be obstinate about following your own path."

Alongside nine other artistes, Vivian Wang will be playing at No Man's Land on 13 and 14 December 2017, 7.30pm till 9.30pm at The Projector.