We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Yau and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
For a music composer, if I were to give up, I should have done that before I started. To be honest, I don’t think I will ever be certain when it is time to give up. If I had drawn a clear line where I said its time for me to stop then maybe this line of work isn’t for me. For me, it really comes down to whether you appreciate what you gained rather than what you could’ve gained. At the current point of my career, I have made countless mistakes and regrets. But if I dwell on those things then I am sure I wouldn’t be able to mentally keep going. When in a pinch, I try to remind myself to look at the bigger picture; the mistakes I made are things that I can fix, and through this, I am already better than my previous self from a moment ago. In contrast, there are moments where I just love my job, especially when clients, or higher ups appreciate my work. In addition, to listen to my music played publicly are also things that motivate me to keep writing and continue in this line of work. Despite the pay, despite feeling like you are free falling in life, and despite the doubts, it is that freedom to write that gives me joy. So no, where I am right now, I don’t know when to give up. All I can do now is keep looking forward and have faith in the path that is laid down for me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think in this industry it is about being a businessman/ businesswoman rather than only a composer. There are times you will need to know how to communicate with clients and work things through efficiently.
I wouldn’t say there are moments I am proud of yet. I am still at an early stage while, looking for my voice in the field. From my experience. I try to not get too attached to my work. We have a saying called “kill your babies”, as a term to remind ourselves that an artist in this industry shouldn’t get too attached to our works because of the amount of rewrites we have to do.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My employers, my friends, my contemporaries, my mentors and my family.
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