Chin Hui Wen speaks with Djohan Johari, who does guitar work, effects and keys for instrumental collective, I Am David Sparkle. He shares the band’s influences, outlook on the local scene and why they see practice sessions as hang out time and tours as holidays.

Who has influenced your music?
Personally, I like Gustavo Santaolalla. The Verve and Doves have also been driving influences. We played a show with Knellt and seeing them live has definitely shaped how we write our material.

How has the local music scene changed since you first started?
There are more YouTube artists now.

Do you think there’s enough support for young musicians starting out?
There’s definitely growing support. But I also think musicians should empower themselves by creating their own platforms to perform and showcase their music.

How has your music changed since you first started out?
We will always have a soft spot for sweet melodies but at the same time, we're also trying to quench our thirst for a heavier regime.

What was the best gig you’ve ever played?
ZoukOut had the best sound check. For actual gigs themselves, the turnout for our launch show at the Esplanade was fantastic.

Have you ever had any embarrassing moments on stage?
We’ve had shows where everything didn't work for us—sound, equipment and other technical difficulties. Fortunately, that hasn’t affected us too negatively. It just makes us want to do better.

Being in a band can be tiring, what keeps you going?
The band is our escape from the daily grind. It's a time when we meet and have a good laugh, a nice supper and just bask in each other's company. I see our practice sessions as hang out time and tours as holidays. It's nice to share new experiences with your loved ones.

What’s next for you?
We're hitting the studio soon to record new releases—either split releases with friends, or just on our own. We’re going for a heavier sound and will be adding more substance to our material.



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