Don’t expect the first thing we singer-songwriters do is to compose songs and write lyrics, most of the time I need to deal with work that isn’t about music. Being a musician in Hong Kong, a big chunk of time may not be spent on creating music. Although composing has always been my favourite part, I have many strings to my bow. Among my other roles, I am a consultant for performance venues, event curator, executive producer, artist manager etcetera.
An average day for me is busy - my body clock wakes me at about 7, which is more accurate than my bedside alarm, I take a shower and do my ablutions, and by 8 I have sent my son to school. After that, I grab a cup of coffee, turn on my laptop, and check out social media, I read my emails, write my to-do list for the day, then I start replying to WhatsApp messages from my colleagues. Without knowing it, I am already in a lunch meeting with clients to discuss their project progress, followed by a brainstorming tea session with my partners. Afterwards, I go back to the studio to attend a meeting or sign some papers and it is already past 6 pm! Then I’m heading off to the next round, which might be a product promotional event or a launch party for an artist friend. Just like that, it is already 8:30 pm!
At this point, I feel tired, hungry and empty, and all I want is to find a place to sit down and chill. But when I think of all those emails to be sent, WhatsApp messages to be replied to, I can only drag my feet like they don’t belong to me to a nearby cha chan teng and order a takeaway of assorted roast meat with rice, trying to find some comfort with this food therapy. I arrange the salty egg, roast goose, barbecued pork and rice delicately on the plate, and pour myself a glass before the weekend comes. An exquisite half-bottle of dry, full-bodied red wine with firm tannin can elevate this simple meal of roast meat and rice to the level of pseudo-new school fusion.
Why is it so hard to char siu and chill? Like the best of us, I need to make ends meet while pursuing my dream. After a long, busy day, a steaming plate of high-class roast meat and a beautiful glass of red wine should be able to fix me.