It’s not everyday that I get submissions from Singapore… It’s even less often that I that I am blown away by an artist from Singapore… actually this is a first.
While this may be my first introduction to Charlie Lim, it seems I am already late to the party. Three years ago he released his critically-acclaimed debut album, “TIME/SPACE”, which quickly put him at the top of the charts in Singapore and made him one of the top artists to watch in Southeast Asia. Right out of the gate, the project landed at the #1 spot on the iTunes Singapore chart, was named Best Pop Album of the Year by The Straits Times and was awarded Best Song of the Year by Apple Music Singapore.
The success of the project instantly made Charlie Lim one of the most sought after artists in the region, landing him a number of gigs at top festivals. He’s performed at Summer Sonic (Tokyo), Mosaic Music Festival (Singapore), Clockenflap (Hong Kong), Java Jazz Festival (Indonesia), Singapore International Jazz Festival, Urbanscapes (Kuala Lumpur), Brisbane Festival, Jarasum Jazz Festival (Seoul), OzAsia (Adelaide), Bigsound (Brisbane) and Music Matters Live, alongside international artists such as Kimbra, Sigur Rós, BADBADNOTGOOD, Hiatus Kaiyote, Caribou, Ta-Ku, and Snarky Puppy.
Three years out from his debut, Charlie Lim is now back with his follow up project, “CHECK-HOOK”. Named after the boxing technique whereby the boxer throws a hook while pivoting around an opponent like a matador, ‘CHECK-HOOK’ is a moment of contention for Charlie. About the record, he says, “A lot of the songs are about the relationship with pursuing something that you love doing, and what you do after the inevitable disillusionment when that passion has burned out. I often find myself questioning the idea of one’s purpose and where we get our sense of validation from. I think it’s something we can all relate to, especially in this day and age where we’re constantly trying to find our ‘ikigai’ while FOMO-ing from lack of self-actualisation.”
While I was initially pitched the single, “Zero-Sum”, I quickly made a point of going back to check out the rest of the project… and I’m glad I did. Most impressive about Charlie Lim is his ability to deliver stunning tunes that cross genres. Free from the pressure to try to fit into a mold, Charlie creates from the heart (and soul), using his creative freedom to construct emotional tunes that connect with the masses. While his new project may be his most diverse yet, it also seems to be his most poignant and concise. An absolute gem that is well worth your time. Take my word for it. You’ll thank me.