Aldrich Tjahjadi can sing—but did you know he can write songs too? City News talks to the first runner-up for original compositions at Impresario 2010.
Contributed by Jamie Koh
|CN PHOTOS: Michael Chan|
You would have seen Aldrich Tjahjadi on stage, leading worship at City Harvest Church’s weekend services. Adi, as he is known to his friends, also pens songs that win competitions. For his song “Ai De Mo Li”, he was named First Runner-Up (Original Composition Category) at the nationwide competition Impresario 2010, organized by Nanyang Technological University.
CN: What made you take part in this competition?
AT : I wanted to gain more experience as a musician, and to learn from the process. This competition opened the door to many opportunities—I had the opportunity to work with singer Hong Junyang, who gave me pointers on my composition and its presentation. This competition has given me the opportunity for a radio interview with 93.3, sing live on air and live in the Grand finals.
What was your biggest challenge in the competition?
I am Indonesian Chinese and grew up studying Bahasa Indonesia in school. I only got to learn Chinese through tuition and through conversing with friends. Doing the radio interview was quite a challenge for me!
What was your biggest takeaway from this?
I learned that as a composer, you not only have to think about your composition from your own perspective, but also from the listener’s perspective. It’s always good to push yourself beyond your own limits and do something you never thought you could do.
Your winning piece was “Ai De Mo Li (The Magic of Love)”. What was your inspiration?
I wrote this song for two of my good friends, Brandon and June who got married two years ago. This song was presented to them on their wedding day. The song starts with a pretty picture about an ideal love relationship—the excitement and happiness everybody wants. But the chorus says that love is more than that: True love is from God. The pretty parts and happy feelings will fade, but true love exists when there is commitment, when you can love someone without expecting anything in return. Although the name of God is not mentioned in the song, God is the true expression of love.
Who are your major music influences?
I like soft rock and R&B tunes. I like Chris Brown, Chris Daughtry, Usher, David Tao and Wang Lee Hom. Usually, a tune comes to me when I am listening to music, or just playing my guitar.
How did you discover music?
Music has been part of my life since I was very young. I started learning to play the organ at 5, piano at 10 and I picked up the guitar at 11. My passion for music is my motivation. Through my music, I express my different thoughts and emotions—sadness, comfort, happiness, love or a sense of hope.
How did you become a worship leader?
I started serving in the choir at the age of 14. Then I joined the Back-up Vocalist ministry at 16 and started songleading at the age of 19.
So what’s ahead for you musically?
I hope to continue writing songs and participating in competitions. At the moment, I am taking part in the People’s Association Songwriting Competition. Also, I hope to form a group of people to collaborate with and to help them in composing songs. The people who come together in this group need not be experienced songwriters. This will culminate in a mini performance or competition for them to showcase their compositions.