Written by Melissa Robert
Originally adapted from Sound The City
‘When people like your music, that feeling is priceless. Not even a million dollars can buy it.’
Jarvis is a busker from Singapore, but he walked through his very own journey to have gotten to where he is today. It’s a known fact, that there’s only 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. As time is of a constraint, priorities shifted and music wasn’t in his life for moments. But when he felt that everything in his life was falling apart, he picked up his guitar and started making music again.
‘In the end, you always drift back to the things that you really really love. So i went back to music.’
According to Jarvis, busking is not all about the attention and fame, but more so about the genuity and rawness of the performance. With these ingredients, it does not matter where you are performing. No boundaries and no limitations: The streets are the lowest level of entertainment that you can start with. That just made sense to Jarvis. And so he started busking.
To practice, Jarvis started out singing in the park. And to his surprise, Singapore is filled with some of the nicest people. He recalls a moment when he met an Uncle that touched his heart deeply at his initial stage of busking. The uncle sang Hokkien songs in the park and eventually became one of his first supporters through words of encouragement. He even offered Jarvis his pre-loved equipment to start out with. From a stranger to a significant impact on Jarvis’ life, what little things that refresh this world. Jarvis then decided to take his busking career further by hitting the streets of Orchard, singing his own renditions of covers.
‘But there’s something in me. I always reflect on whether i’m getting too comfortable, and if there is anything else i can do. What i should be doing is creating my own music, so I started taking writing seriously. ’
Writing and performing your own music is a vulnerable thing to do. It’s simply is. When asked about his writing process, he replied with:
‘You can’t be putting out an image that is not you. I want to let people know who i am. I try to make sure that i stay true to whatever i have. It’s difficult for sure. To strike a balance between being honest and true to yourself and having people like my song. But that’s my goal, and i’m still trying to get there.’
Though Jarvis does have beautiful original mandarin love songs written, his songs are not necessarily about love. They are generally about people, or anything and everything he sees. One of the songs he wrote is called ‘people come, people go’.
Inspiration for this song came to him while he was busking. Over the span of the few hours, he would see people come and go. The immediate reaction when people stop by to listen to him is one that gives a huge warm to his heart. On the contrary, when people leave, it’s not difficult to have the thought of ‘why’? Second guesses are almost inevitably formed. But overtime, he learnt that music should be the ultimate focus and not the people.
He then related this to everyday life: Along life’s journey, you generally meet a lot of faces. You make friends. You also lose friends. New people come into your life and old ones leave, making meaningful impacts or none at all. Although it may be a hard fact to accept, temporary is part and parcel of this world. It’s a natural process and we should not harp on it. Instead, we should accept it and be okay with it. But one thing’s for sure, let’s make sure to do what we love to keep us alive.
Find out more about Jarvis and his music on his instagram @heytherejarvis .