Category Archives: Artists

Story Behind The Song – Love U More by DANI

Love U More was written at my first writing session with my now best friend Omar Khan. We literally had the song finished within an hour.


Usually when you write a song one of two things will happen; you will either sit there for hours banging your head against the wall trying to come up with ideas, or things flow naturally. Gratefully, on this particular day, it was one of those easy sessions that just flowed naturally.  I realize there is this deep dark place inside me when i’m writing songs.


I always feel like I’m doing well in life or like I’m okay, but as soon as these songs come out, they are so emotional and full of pain; I start to question my mental state. LOL.  It’s like I’ve got this sadness about me I can’t really describe.


I’ve had people ask me to write more “upbeat” and “happy” songs but the more I come into my own and figure out who I am as an artist, I more I realize the “happy go lucky” songwriter is just not me.


My songs are emotional and have a sense of loneliness in them because i suppose I like singing about the pain. When I listen to other artists I’m also drawn to low tempo emotional music.



Some of my favourite artists are BANKS, Spooky Black and James Blake.  I love artists who draw from experience and I love it to reflect the music.




Saltillo – The Darker Side of Trip Hop

Trip hop first emerged during the early 1990’s in the United Kingdom. Initially used to describe an experimental variant of breakbeat containing elements of funk, jazz and soul, trip hop has evolved, fusing several styles and genres: ambient music, hip hop drum beats, and acid jazz among others. As such, the genre is highly experimental in nature, and Saltillo is the perfect example of such experimentation.

Behind Saltillo is American artist Menton J. Matthews III, also known as Menton3 or Sunday Munich. Menton/Saltillo is a wearer of many hats: painter, illustrator, comic book artist, and multi-instrumentalist – equally at ease with the piano, cello, viola, violin, guitar, bass, and drums as well as electronic music-making.

Drawing on his diverse artistic skill set, Saltillo has crafted two albums, ‘Ganglion’ and ‘Monocyte’, which push the envelope by being at once dark and moody, heart-achingly melodious, and individualistic through its classical music elements while remaining catchy. Industrial drum beats are given depth through the low, solemn notes of cellos, or uplifted by layers of violins and ethereal female vocals, contributed by Menton’s wife, Sarah Matthews (the other half of Sunday Munich).


Saltillo’s unique musical style invites listeners to join the artist in exploring his lifelong interest in the relationship between symbols, signs and images and the human psyche.


Ganglion’s themes feel mostly introspective as such. Notable tracks from Ganglion:




  • A Hair on the Head of John the Baptist’: Pure Shakespearean sublimity here. Two soulful voices narrate excerpts from ‘Hamlet’, interspersed with a narrative of the story of John the Baptist. Prepare to be swept into a rich tapestry of sound and fantasy.
  •  ‘The Opening’: A multi-layered string piece that fully exploits the different tonal qualities of its instruments.
  • Grafting’: Featuring violinist Paul Mercer, this song is characterized by dark cello riffs and vocals in Urdu (a language used mostly in Pakistan). Haunting and soulful, my pick for driving solo.


Monocyte is a concept album released in conjunction with a comic of the same name.

While ‘Ganglion’ was inward-looking, ‘Monocyte’ is more industrial, jittery, and gritty. Strings and electronic drum beats work in sync to create tension and anticipation. Top picks:


  • Forced Vision’: This piece continues Saltillo’s fascination with the human psyche and the concept of reality and emotion.
  • Hollow’: As its title indicates, this is a minimalistic piece and a welcome contrast with the overarching mood of the album.



Check out these spaces for more Saltillo:



Lullabies – Yuna

[audio:|titles=Lullabies – Yuna]

Every now and again, a local artist stands out and makes me proud to be Malaysian. Debuting as a solo MySpace singer, Yuna’s career has since grown to include several albums in both Malaysia and the United States.

I’ve been a huge fan of Yuna since 2008, after hearing her song Dan Sebenarnya. Her depth of emotion caught me by surprise, expressed through her graceful, effortless style of singing.

Over the years, she has expanded her horizons to include edgier and more upbeat songs, all without losing the honesty in her voice which made her music so beautiful to listen to in the first place.

Among some of my favourite songs from Yuna are:

  • Lullabies
  • Dan Sebenarnya
  • Come As You Are (Nirvana cover)
  • Here Comes The Sun (Beatles cover)

Check out her official site here: