Before stepping out for his 10-year anniversary celebration concert this month, Manasawin Nanthasane or “Tik Shiro” explains why he takes his artist status seriously.

Growing up with music made me have big dreams about it. I always imagined elevating Thai music to an international level when I saw the success of Sukiyaki from Japan.

I used kitchenware like chopsticks, pots, boxes and basins as my homemade drum set. I was happy playing music alone.

I was lucky to grow up in an era that had various kinds of music and where the artists were real artists. They produced their own music and were unforgettable, like Elvis, Elton John, Queen, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.

People might not know that I also listen to classical music.

My first instrument was a B300 guitar that I bought by saving up my pocket money.

In others countries, many heroes of society are artists and actors but in Thailand, we label them as odd jobs. No one thinks that music, arts, culture and sports are indicators of the human qualities of a country.

I chose the alias “Tik Shiro” after I worked as a DJ at a club with a Japanese guy named Yoshi. I thought it would be nice if I had an alias similar to his name. Shiro means white.

I put my music skills to the test by forming a band with friends at school. We went to any contest and gig to show our talent. My big break came when I was invited to be the drummer of Ploy band. When they broke up, I was signed to Nitithat Production.

I always take myself seriously at work even though I’m usually quite fun and easy-going.

My life has passed through a lot of storms that caused me to fail. I used to have an import business that collapsed in the 1997 financial crisis.

The teachings of Buddhism have helped me cope. No matter how badly you fail, don’t cling to things. Find a way to solve the problem. Fix things at the root.

After failing in business, I went to study a mini-MBA to learn how to run a business. Then I got a Master’s degree in political science and now I’m working towards a Ph.D. in political science.

I believe that as we grow old, we shouldn’t only be aging. Our qualities should be growing as well. Other people know things better than us, so why not learn from them?

I don’t like to let time go by. I always manage my time so I can do everything I want to do. Now I’m writing a pocket book and I’m often working as a lecturer at various universities. I’m also a painter and used to go aboard to exhibit my paintings.

I predicted 10 years ago that the music industry would be in a bad state and today it’s true. It will sink further because we’re still fixing the problem by chasing it, instead of trying to prevent it.

Technology makes things change. The era of producing an album with hundreds of thousands of baht is gone. An artist can produce his work with only a few thousand.

Concerts are a way to survive in this business.

One drawback of this era is quality screening by both artist and listener. The audience is now getting used to downloading songs, which devalues the work of the artist, while the artist produces work too quickly and easily without stopping to think.

I think the 60s, 70s and 80s were the peak of the music industry. Everyone knew who the artists and the songs were. Today people don’t even know whose song they are listening to.

In these times, it’s hard to create legends. Many people keep asking me, “Are we going to have the next Michael Jackson?” I say it’s difficult to find a person who is willing to sacrifice themselves for music.

New artists shouldn’t be worried about whether or not their music will become legendary. If you’re born to be an artist, you will find your own way of making it.

I always give love to my family. I hug my children everyday. They’re my rewards in life.

The way to be successful has to go together with morality. Then you will find great success. Interview by Monruedee Jansuttipan


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