“The truth is that the nature of our work is very romanticised. The creative profession (not just music production) in general, requires us who are in it to put in more time than what is traditionally ‘worth’. And most of us don’t get to see the fruits of our labours till several years later, if we played our cards right,” quips award-winning music producer Evan Low, who goes by the alias evanturetime.
Poised to be the next contender in remixing local rapper icon Yung Raja’s sophomore single “Mad Blessings” for the REM!X initiative organised by SGMUSO and Popspoken, Evanturetime has garnered a long list of accolades and credits. Doubling as a music director, he has worked with the likes of local heavyweights such as The Sam Willows, iNCH, Linying, Charlie Lim to engineering for international superstars like David Foster and Nathan East to collaborating with visual artist Sam Lo (SKL0) and urban dance crew O School. As an artist, his more popular repertoire includes Sober, Vultures and You, all collaborations with popular local artists like Nathan Hartono, Tim De Cotta and Vandetta.
It is safe to say the music producer has successfully forged a career in music and education, all while remaining humble and true to his quirky identity.
Evanturetime has kept up with the times even after securing major stints co-arranging and co-producing the National Day Parade theme songs over the past two years. It was through the experience that he met and worked with his mentor figure musical director Dr Sydney Tan in which Evan observed had the ‘vision to see the bigger picture while remaining sensitive to the nuances of song narrative in managing a music project on a national scale’. On an international level, Evanturetime looks up to pop luminaries like Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco and Max Martin who has produced most of the global top-charting hits since the 2000s and English producer Brian Eno and American composer Steve Reich.
Birthed in the millennial generation, it would seem that the music producer is in touch with his comedic musings and internet meme culture, candidly showcasing his idiosyncratic personality online. Even as you scroll through his Instagram profile or Youtube channel, it is clear that the producer exhibits the ‘work hard, play hard’ motto by which he exhibits, all while maintaining a high level of passion and fun. He has teamed up with local musicians on comedic memes and video content relevant to the highly dynamic digital climate of our times. Even then, what sets Evanturetime apart is his highly collaborative spirit, attention to detail and willingness to divulge his production tricks and secrets; all while showcasing his unmistakably distinct persona.
Even after all the success he has achieved, Evanturetime believes misconstrued perceptions of the public towards full-time music producers or musicians still exist. He acknowledges that he is blessed to have been granted the opportunity to pursue music full-time but admonishes that the reality of a music career is created not based on mere luck or ample free time but of pure love, the reality that that the job is not a constant joy ride. He voices his opinion on raising public awareness of the plausibility of a Singaporean pursuing a music career:
But as forward thinking as we are as a society, the stigma or the stereotype of a music profession still remains. We shouldn’t just push the blame squarely on society’s shoulders though, we should work to create more awareness about our work.
On his process of working with artists, he accentuates that unlocking the motivating factor behind artistry is the key to creating artists that have longevity and more than merely one-hit wonders. His broad-minded approach to music production sets the tone for diverse approaches to genres, sounds and concepts in music making and through that process has forged organic lasting friendships.
It is easy to create something palatable or catchy. But to create something memorable, not only do you need to understand the artist’s strengths and tendencies, you’ve got to understand what’s driving them,” shares Evanturetime on his process of working with artists.
On advice for aspiring music producers, Evanturetime suggests watching this video by English record producer Warren Huart for guidance and tips he wished he had access to when he first started out:
He further shares his love for breaking down iconic drum grooves and drawing from different influences in music production, an aspect of his work that he loves and is succinctly captured in an instructional video by Jeff Porcaro, American drummer from the rock band Toto:
Moving forward in the current Co-vid 19 climate, he acknowledges the irreplaceable experience of chemistry building in a physical writing room that is inaccessible due to the current restriction implementations. However, he stresses the importance of remaining sensitive and tactful in approaching communication via text and technology when corresponding digitally with artists. He concludes that consumers either consume content for escapism or expression, something any content creator should be aware of when embarking on creating a piece of work.
As a producer, it is important that I am tactful about the topics of the content that I’m trying to push out because you’ll never know when your song might help a listener at a crucial moment in life.
Watch the live stream of the third edition of REM!X featuring Evanturetime remixing Mad Blessings by Yung Raja this coming Saturday (25 July) from 9.00pm to 10.30pm.