Since first meeting them for our pioneer Baybeats Edition series in 2016, Tell Lie Vision has been up to many endeavours after their stint with the Baybeats Budding Bands programme. They have performed overseas such as in the Philippines and are in the process of making new music. Actively making the efforts to stay visible as social media platforms are altering their platforms’ algorithms, the band takes the time to engage in some vlogging over on their YouTube channel.
What we are curious about is this 10-part series on BEARDZOOKA – a pomade brand with a logo that resembles their band member Vikkash Suruchand to-a-t.
“The reason behind this company is because we as a band are trying to go far. And when everyone is working (a full-time job), it is very hard for anyone to man the band. So I said, okay. I will do it,” Vikkash explained the beginnings of this pomade line to avoid typical office hour days while trying to keep financially afloat. Along with this new venture, he left his own business of running courier services because it was starting to take up too much time as well. He went on: “It was too tiring and time consuming. The money is there, but I had to stop everything (to prioritise the band).”
Due to a lack of funds, engaging an external person to help manage the band does not seem like a viable option at this point in time either. Not earning any money from music and with the “exposure culture” still dominant in Singapore, this is not a problem faced only by them but by most local bands. Even if the occasional earnings do come in, Tell Lie Vision takes that money to further make their music like recording.
“We are planning to do everything ourselves for our up-coming album,” Vikkash shared further about the band’s determination to keep hustling and to stretch every dollar as much as possible. A part of the funds from BEARDZOOKA will be going back to the band as well to be more self-sufficient as a whole, which will prove very useful when going on tours overseas.
To my surprise, as Vikkash shared openly, touring overseas is almost a luxury and complete privilege for plenty of bands in Singapore. Though the pursuit of wider markets and the adrenaline of performing overseas may be tempting, the financial ability to pursue these things is a completely separate matter. Apparently, visiting a country to perform for the first time might not gain you any fees at all and the band will need to fork out every dollar by themselves.
And with the National Arts Council funding being a russian roulette of sorts and not enough mainstream support locally, making music and touring still seems like an unreachable goal.
However, Tell Lie Vision is determined to keep hustling towards it – and for that, I admire their passion and their drive.
So why pomade?
“Because our target audience are youths, and I see pomade brands coming up. So I decided to focus on pomade instead of any other products. In terms of packaging, it also helps to promote Tell Lie Vision as well,” Vikkash said as he showed the social media handles printed at the back of the pomade can. As the conversation went on, it is evident that many decisions are made with placing the band at the forefront in mind.
He will also be collaborating with other brands started by fellow musicians such as FALLING FEATHERS and friends’ The Moonshade Co, as well as other companies. Vikkash’s parting words left an impression on me: “We are all musicians so by working together, we can help each other and bring each other up.”
At the end of the conversation, Vikkash and I parted ways, with me wishing him all the best with this endeavour.
Their 10-part series will be posted on every alternate week, so do look out for their YouTube channel or Facebook page for more information. To support Tell Lie Vision and BEARDZOOKA, get a pomade here.