We had the good fortune of connecting with Yuhong Ng and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yuhong, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
I’ve always disliked when people say “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I think it’s misleading. I’ve seen musicians give up because they were frustrated with reality. To me, once your hobby becomes your career, that’s work. Everyone has talent. It’s a different game now. That means countless studio hours, working with insufferable egos, crazy schedules, doing songs you don’t like, negative feedback, playing parts, rejections and rewrites, working through chaos, politics, all of that. Embrace the suck, it’s part of the deal. I think it’s pompous to expect every day to be roses just because we’re musicians. I enjoy the grind though. Being a working musician is an incredible life. And because my job is music, the worst day as a musician is much better than my days wearing a suit working 9-to-6 in Singapore. If you love being a musician, you take all of it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
2021 is starting out great. Our team D-Jin Music has a fun start so far. First we released “My Little Happiness”, for which I was production lead, composer, and co-music editor. Then we had song placements on both the #1 and #2 box office movies “Detective Chinatown 3” and “A Writer’s Odyssey”. Our music was on “Dear Missy” and “My Heroic Husband”, both TV dramas. Our latest epic drama series “The Sword and the Brocade” is topping ratings in China as well.

Working in an international team where everyone is remote is exciting and challenging. We write pretty diverse music – epic period dramas, romantic comedies, idol dramas, 90’s themed retro show, etc. We are split across 5 time zones, someone is always working. We are used to hectic schedules by now. Music is ubiquitous – even when I’m not writing, I hear lines and chords moving everywhere. I’m grateful for the work. Our team is great. We have a lot of room to grow. We want to make each show better than the last. Musically I still need to improve so much. I feel my brain is still way ahead of my chops. So until I can produce everything I hear in my head, it’s back to the lab, more practice, writing, recording, mixing, the whole nine yards.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you’re staying with me, you aren’t getting breakfast. Probably lunch at Shinsengumi in Little Tokyo, stop by Staples Center, then a drive to Huntington Beach. Go to Walt Disney Concert Hall, or Hollywood Bowl for summer season. Dinner in Koreatown, either Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong or Moodaepo II. Catch a band in Thai Town, beers at Dara Bar. In-N-Out for supper. Disneyland the next day, followed by a tour of Musicians Institute. Stop by Guitar Center. A quick bite at Bossa Nova. Go to Old Town Pasadena. Shancheng Lameizi in SGV for hotpot. Milk tea at 8090. Jazz fusion band at The Baked Potato or Hotel Cafe. BCD Tofu House after. Drew League. Universal Studios. Venice Beach. Dodger Stadium. Farmer’s Market. Eastwest Studios. UCLA. Best week of your life.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family is my rock, sticking with me through my best and worst moments. I am the sum of all my experiences, so a big shoutout to every person along my musical journey. Every musician I met in Singapore, all the instructors and classmates at MI and UCLA, and every single musician, crew, producer, bandleader, client I’ve met since. Working as a musician, it’s the best job in the world.

Instagram: instagram.com/bigfatgump

Facebook: facebook.com/djinmusic

Image Credits
Vavio Studios, Momenttumd

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.