Song: Cold, Conned & Conquered by Inch Chua from the album Wallflower (2010). Visitors can listen to the Featured Song by clicking the play button above.
Inch Chua Yun Juan (born 22 December 1988) is a Singaporean singer-songwriter, musician, producer and multi-instrumentalist currently based in Los Angeles. Chua is also the host and creator of Gear Gawk, an Internet TV series profiling musicians’ working gear and how it helps achieve their sound. After rising to fame in Singapore’s nascent indie scene as lead singer of the rock band Allura, Chua began to record on her own, blending acoustic folk with alternative rock, electronic music, jazz and pop influence. Inch Chua is backed live by her band, The Metric System.
Chua grew up playing piano, but she became involved in the rock scene during a period of transition in Singapore, when eclectic artists were beginning to rise from the margins to challenge the conservative status quo. The history of rock n roll in the country dates back to the 1960s era of “pop yeh yeh”, but for many decades the local scene was known for its lack of hard edges. Even in the 2000s, the mainstream was still dominated by western and Asian pop imports with local musicians pushed mostly to the underground. Chua became addicted, however, to this small alternative scene. Attending gigs from the age of 14, she wanted to get involved. Inch Chua’s first band was made up of musicians who exchanged their first words in cyberspace. Responding to a request for a singer, Chua found herself fronting Auburn’s Epiphany at the age of 16.
Late in 2011, Chua decided to move to US temporarily. She sought to challenge herself with a new environment beyond Singapore’s cozy indie music scene, where touring was more of a challenge. In December 2012, she was invited to perform at global TEDxWomen Conference in Washington D.C. Chua had also recently gone through a romantic break-up, and she began writing rawer songs, with a harsher rock sound than the softer style that marked her solo debut.
Chua wrote many of the songs for her second studio album, Bumfuzzle, during her time away from home, living in Los Angeles and playing small gigs throughout North America. Another DIY project, her second album was professionally recorded in Singapore and mixed and mastered in the US, but it was initially crowd-funded through the Indiegogo service by her fans. This allowed Chua, who had embraced digital distribution from the start, to also release CD and vinyl copies of her work for the first time and to also feature her visual artwork in the physical copies. The album was released on 26 August 2013. It was preceded by a single, “The Artful Dodger,” on 5 March.