Hi everyone and happy Sunday!!!
Hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s entries “New discovery with MBC” and “Smooth Tunes With MBC” as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you all!!!
A week has gone by already for the 1st week of February and it is the last month of summer in Oz. Bring on Autumn and Winter!!!
Recently, I got in touch with Sydney Australian singer/songwriter and cover artist Dion Lee to do an exclusive one on one interview. And he was happy to be a part of Artist of the Week special.
This artist has so much soul and harmony that needs to be shared!!!
His falsetto is on point, you must listen to believe.
Here he is singing John Legend’s “Ordinary People”.
Dion Lee – If You’re Not The One (Daniel Bedingfield cover)
Dion Lee ft. Adeff – Jealous (Labrinth cover)
This duet is just out of this world. How cool that these two artists’ were in the opposite sides of the world and recorded this amazing duet.
By the way this is Dion’s latest release on YouTube :)
I have made you guys wait long enough, please welcome the amazingly talented Dion Lee!!!
Please tell the readers, who is Dion Lee and where you’re from?
Dion: My name is Dion Lee from Sydney and I am a finance professional turned singer who loves singing cover songs. I am not a professional singer, but I've always been passionate about singing since I was a little kid.
I consider myself as an R&B/Pop/Soul singer, I think I do best when singing love/romantic songs, with acoustic Piano or Guitar.
When I sing, I will always try to tell the story to the audience about the song and ensure that they're entertained with my performance.
Originally, I was born and raised by a humble family in Jakarta Indonesia, and I migrated to Sydney (Australia) when I was 15 years old to pursue a higher education here (It was actually the first time I went overseas ever outside Indonesia).
After University, I spent a few years working in one of the large financial institutions in Singapore and Sydney until now.
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a singer?
D: I've always wanted to be a singer ever since I could talk hehe... Actually, I started to wonder if I could be a singer (or just to be able to sing a note) when I was in junior high school. I was a shy and nerdy student and focused too much on getting excellent grades. I joined the choir and school band, but I was always in the background.
I kept telling myself that I could sing better than those lead singers in the choir, but I never got the guts to do it.
Until one day, I signed up for a fun singing contest for a radio station, where I had to sing Live via phone call and for cover songs on the radio and sing Boyz II Men's “It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.”
It was a very memorable time as I won second place and the show was aired LIVE across the whole city. That moment, I knew I wanted to be a singer and keep entertaining people.
As an artist, who has been your inspiration? And who has been an influence in your life?
D: As an artist, I have influences from various singers actually, but some of my biggest influences are Boyz II Men, Michael Buble, John Legend, Josh Groban, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera and Boyce Avenue.
They really have such amazing vocals and statesmanship. If you listen to their singing, each of them has their own unique vocal. Those unique vocal styles have shaped and helped me find my own vocal character and singing style.
My biggest influence in life are my parents, especially my mom. They have brought me to work hard, be optimistic, keep trying and never give up while still keeping my head down.
They worked so hard to support me financially for my education in Australia. They are not millionaires but they do very well in money management and have a positive attitude towards life, which is something that always inspires me.
Before becoming a singer you were a financial professional? Tell us how did it all come about in changing professions?
D: This is a very good question Hanan.
Well here's the story; my parents never really wanted me to become a singer as it’s very competitive out there and only a few could make it to the top. So they strongly advised me to pursue a full time corporate career and take singing as a hobby or side business.
Being an obedient son, I did what they advised me and I chose Finance /Accounting degree.
At university, I was active in musical and formed a duet group with my Aussie friend, Chris, whom I met at the Australian Idol audition.
We worked really well together, our vocals blend perfectly. We won few competitions, performed at smaller gigs here and there and we were close to being managed by an entertainment agent.
However, life got in to our ways and we pursued our own careers separately.That's when I started working in financial services in Singapore and Sydney all the way till now.
Years have passed and I feel like there's something missing in my life that I really should do. As you know, the answer is... Yes Singing.
I just started about 3 months ago, planned to sing cover songs and see if people enjoy and appreciate what I do. Luckily, I got some experience in social media marketing through Facebook and Instagram while I was involved in a joint venture of a boutique healthy juice bar in Surry Hills.
With the help and support from my friends and family, I am now starting to build a fan base on Instagram and Facebook globally. I am still exploring how I should proceed further in my singing career now while I am still employed full time as a finance professional.
It's kinda still a semi-secret and I haven't monetised anything yet... I simply just love singing and making people happy now... but who knows I might be the next YouTube sensation like Charice or Boyce Avenue in the future.. hehe :)
The bottom line is that I'd like to pass on a message to everyone that even life takes us to a different path, we should still pursue our dream and passion and become a person of influence in whatever we do :)
As a cover artist, what has been the most challenging and the most rewarding when performing on stage?
D: As cover artist, there are some rewarding and challenging experiences for sure when I perform either online or on stage live.
The challenges are; there are so many people doing the same cover songs, and you will always be compared to the top cover singers or the original artists. That's the hardest part especially if you're up performing Boyz II Men's or Adam Lambert's song.
A split second mistake when singing it may not be compromised by their fans and you just lose the moment to impress them. Also, cover artists have to be careful in singing cover songs when it comes to royalty and distribution license, especially when they monetise their cover works in online medias like YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, etc.
On the flip side, there are of course some rewarding moments - especially if you just hit the notes right and the audience is impressed. One thing I like to do though, is to become myself as a singer and try not to sing exactly the same as the original artists. Give your own flavour and twist here and there and show people your originality.
They will appreciate your work even they may not like what you do to the song. Singing cover songs to me is a good way to build my fan base, so that they know who I am as an artist, how I sing the song, and what genre and singing style I do, etc. Once they like me, the chance for them to like my original songs is certainly higher in the future. So yeah... I love cover songs ;)
Which cover has been a favourite of yours to perform?
D: Another good question!For me, I will try to sing cover songs my own way and I will do my best in singing the song. As long as I can see that the audience is entertained and satisfied, that's when I enjoy singing the song even more.
However, my thing has always been big vocals -- kind of like Boyz II Men, Guy Sebastian, Josh Groban, Beyoncé, Whitney etc.
Any song that gives me an opportunity to belt my singing out and challenge myself in hitting the big high notes or low deep notes right, will certainly get me excited to perform it out loud.
Will you be releasing any new material soon?
D: Hopefully, within 6 months I will be able to know how I want to go further. E.g. cover songs, band, focus on digital Vs performing on stage, etc.
But you probably will see me publishing new cover songs on YouTube or SoundCloud, and of course I will be active in Instagram cover artists’ community. Soon, I will participate in a virtual choir project that Dene Menzel is running on her "Get Signified" page.
I will also publish a collaboration song I am working on now with my good friend in Jakarta - He's a labelled singer down in Jakarta and we'll be singing one of Labrinth's song - Jealous. Stay tuned for that in Feb 2016.
What should the fans expect from you in the coming months?
D: I will keep as an open dialogue with my fans. I certainly will encourage them to give me feedback and requests on what song I should cover next. I'd be more than happy to do some of those for them.
What advice would you give to someone starting in the music industry?
D: Music industry is certainly a touch beast to beat. It's very competitive and it can be damn harsh sometimes. But don't let them stop you from writing your music or singing covers like myself.
My tips: Know your niche market inside out and engage with your customers (fans), work hard and be creative and open minded in trying new things that could potentially make you become the next rising star.
And lastly, what would you like to say to your new and current fans?
D: To all my current and new fans, I'd like to say thank you so much for your support so far in liking my music and following me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Feel free to reach out to me if you have some requests, feedback (good and bad ... yes I take them all) or some projects you want me to collaborate with you. You'll hear more of me in the coming months and please tell your friends & family about me and my music, because Dion Lee is here to entertain all of you guys :)
Thank you so much Dion for doing this one on one interview with Music Beats Central. Wishing all the best with your music career and your future endeavours!!!
Hope you all enjoyed this exclusive interview :)
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Much love and ciao for now!