PRS for Music Foundation: What impact do you think your involvement in New Music 20×12 will have on your work?
Andy Leung: I guess this is history in the making (haha)!
Liz Liew: Hopefully to raise our profiles, open doors for us and allow a wider audience to hear our music. It’s an amazing opportunity for us and we’re really excited to be involved in this.
PRSF: Tell us the story of how and why you joined forces with the performers you are working with on this project.
AL: Liz and I were actually selected through an open submission with Chinatown Arts Space beforehand and the judges felt that we would complement each other well. So we met up and found that we had really similar ideas, but at the same time, completely contrasting styles. That’s how it all started. There is a lot to learn from Liz and it’s been great fun so far. We’ve mixed a lot of world music and electronica, actually we may have invented a whole new genre called ‘Worldtronica’, but don’t quote me on that though!
LL: Yes, it’s been great working with Andy on this – our first collaboration and I’m enjoying the compositional process.
PRSF: How are you going to approach creating your new work? What kinds of creative input will the performers and community you are working with have on your work?
AL: There isn’t any special approach really, just do what I love doing. I’ve been blessed with some amazing musicians, eg. Mike the drummer, he plays tighter than my drum machine! And watch out for Bernie and his incredible junk orchestra, that’s going to be dope (as the kidz would say!)
LL: We’ve already started the compositional process and I guess our aim is to write great music and create an exciting musical battle – male versus female, human versus machine, traditional instruments versus electronica etc. We’re looking forward to working with Bernie Gardner and his orchestra of junk percussionists – 20 young people gleaned from all over London from different ethnic backgrounds. It’s going to add a fresh new sound to our track!
PRSF: Who do you hope to reach through the creation and performance of this work and what do you hope they’ll take away with them?
AL: I’d like to say ‘the world’, but nah, anyone who likes music and is up for something different and new, hopefully it may inspire a new generation of music makers.
LL: We’d like our track to be accessible to everyone from young to old(er)! Hopefully they’ll leave with a spring in their step and a song in their heart(!)
PRSF: Where do you draw your inspiration and influences? Which creator – musical or otherwise – do you most admire?
AL: Everything that’s good really, I grew up learning classical music, while listening to my parents’ old Chinese records, and a lot of Michael Jackson! So many people inspire me: JS Bach, Jay-Z, Jay Chou, Quincy Jones, Queen, Dr Dre, Timbaland, Jimi Hendrix, even Kanye West to Charles Westley, the list goes on forever. The Dubstep movement is crazy as well, I’m still learning, I’ve been really digging Burial and Skrillex’s stuff recently.
LL: I think everything I listen to contributes to my musical inspiration. Right now, I’m on a pop vibe as I’m on tour with a pop/electronic musician. Music that reminds me of home includes Sigur Ros, The Killers, Gnarls Barkley and Rokysopp. I’ve also been listening to a bit of traditional Beijing Opera recently – I love the clashing gongs/cymbals and amazing vocal-tronics.
PRSF: Which Olympic and/or Paralympic Games will you be seeing in 2012? What was your best/favourite sport when you were growing up?
AL: Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards Parade! Whoever came up with that idea is a genius. I used to play table tennis a lot growing up and was pretty good at it, probably because I’ve got these Chinese genes! Is Matthew Syed still around? I remember he was like the hero in the club I used to play in. I can’t wait for those table tennis matches.
LL: I’m afraid I’m totally un-sporty – I can’t even swim very well! I played lacrosse at school (yeah, a posh sport!) but was spectacularly bad at it! Having said that, I think it’s amazing to watch gymnasts and synchronised swimming. It’s incredible how much control they have over their body.