Step into the enchanting world of Kaiwyn, a passionate musician whose roots extend from the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur to the vibrant music scene of Australia’s Central Coast.
Growing up with an unwavering love for music, Kaiwyn seamlessly pursued his medical degree while nurturing his musical talents. Amidst his bustling life as an Emergency Department doctor, he finds solace and inspiration in the thriving local music scene.
Up-and-coming artists in the area, such as The Moving Stills, KESMAR, BOY SODA, and Lucille Two, captivate his attention. Notably, even his retired ex-boss from the Emergency Department has formed a band, Two Tone Pony, demonstrating the strong connection between music and the medical profession.
When asked about his typical day, Kaiwyn’s dedication and routine shine through. He cherishes morning walks, a nourishing breakfast, and the camaraderie of his colleagues. During downtime, he channels his creativity into organizing his music and engaging with social media. And at the end of each day, he indulges in self-care, finding moments of social connection beyond the demands of work.
As we delve into Kaiwyn’s world, we witness a musician whose passion knows no bounds. With his introspective lyrics and captivating arrangements, he seeks to capture the essence of human connection and personal growth. Kaiwyn’s journey as an artist is just beginning, and we eagerly await the surprises he has in store for us.
Happy: What are you up to today?
Kaiwyn: I am having my coffee, chatting with Happy Mag then gearing up to return to work in the Emergency Department.
Happy: Where’s home, and what’s the current music scene like in your neck of the woods?
Kaiwyn: I think I am comfortably settled in the Central Coast and the music scene is popping with lots of up-and-coming local artists doing their magic!
(Shout out to some of the Coasties: The Moving Stills, KESMAR, BOY SODA, Lucille Two and more) Even my ex-boss who retired from the local Emergency Department is coming out with his band (Two Tone Pony)! Another one for the medics!
Happy: Tell us about your average day.
Kaiwyn: I usually wake up early even though I do shift work. Routine is important for me, so I go for my morning walks, good breakfast and coffee then check into work ready to provide for the community.
Whenever there is down time, I would tend to organise my music and social media.
Nurses and colleagues see me humming into my phone at times during break, and they would give some constructive feedback about the melodies.
Then at the end of the day, I wind down with some good old self care routine and occasionally have a social connection outside!
Happy: What about your ultimate day?
Kaiwyn: I try to make it a daily goal to appreciate every day as my ultimate day, taking in every positive aspect of the day.
But to my current state of mind, my ultimate serotonin boosting day would be heading into recording studios after a nice day of validating medical work to produce more tracks!
Would be wilder if I could gather my colleagues after work to do a live gig just across the hospital, imagine that.
Happy: Tell us about your creative community, who are some artists or bands that have inspired you?
Kaiwyn: Despite the long hours at work, us young doctors have been able to mingle and work towards band performances for work events!
So, it has been fun to see everyone bringing in their favourite music to make it into the setlist.
So far, we would agree that music from the 90s and early naughts are the mainstay for us.
But personally, I adore singer-songwriters who put their heart out in their lyrics and song arrangements.
My go to artists or bands are usually the likes of The Wreckers, Simple Plan, Travis, Jack Johnson and more.
Somehow, I also have a soft spot for the 60s-80s music too!
Happy: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a musician and how have you overcome them?
Kaiwyn: I am still quite new and fresh as a “formal musician” but the biggest challenges so far would probably be the tolerance and patience that I have put up with since teenage years of eagerly wanting to pursue a formal music career.
It took me years to gradually accept that it is okay to start later and try to be rational in my decision-making process as I have always been so impulsive in my younger days.
To overcome this agitation has been rough and even now, I am still trying to tame this, but being more aware of it allows me to be more strategic and insightful for sure!
Happy: Given the current shift towards personal and spiritual growth and awareness, is there anything that you have read or watched lately that opened your eyes and mind to a new perspective?
Kaiwyn: Books and media these days sure carry a big role in enlightening people with their own development, especially with the exponential growth of the Internet.
I do read from time to time but usually they’re more scientific based for my clinical practice.
Although I must say that I am quite fortunate that I can allow my emotive reflections within my work in psychiatry and remain evidence-based in medicine.
I go by the philosophy that we can learn something from every person we cross paths with, be it a patient and or co-worker, everyone has their ideology and principles.
Having the openness really allows your mind to stay curious and flexible, looking for the ideal matrix to set in for your own personalised comfort in the different stages in our lives.
I would recommend “Atomic Habits by James Clear” and “Ikigai by Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles” to shape a better frustration tolerance and endurance in the long run.
Happy: What inspired you to create ‘The Cut After The First’ and how does it differ from previous work?
Kaiwyn: “The Cut After The First” is one of the earliest songs that I have penned immediately to process my shattered vision of ideal companionship.
At that time, I naively believed that as long as I commit and persist, I could achieve the perfect connection.
It’s different from the previous singles as “Dedicated To You” and “You’re My Kind” are more of an all-out confession while “The Cut After The First” is more about reflection and realisation.
An extreme spectrum between the efforts of chasing your desired intimacy and then to gradually appreciating the isolation time to reflect or hypothetically “lick your own wounds”
Happy: Can you tell a bit about the recording process for ‘The Cut After The First’?
Kaiwyn: Oh geez, get ready for some serious time travelling!
It all started with a voice memo in my old phone (flip phone) that got carried over into multiple backup hard drives and I also shot a video of a scuffed version doing an Acapella of the song.
(You might find it, if you look deep enough in the Dark Web!) Then one decade or more later (impersonating the SpongeBob voice), took it to Lakehouse Audio producer, Simon who was amazed that the arrangement was already complete!
So then started with recording vocals on acoustic guitar, then gradually added more instrumentals as we go!
Happy: Can you discuss the production choices in ‘The Cut After The First’ and how they enhance the overall emotional impact of the song?
Kaiwyn: We talked about keeping the authenticity of the song as it was in its teenage form, so we wanted the instrumentals to be a bit different compared to the previous released tracks to highlight the beauty of storytelling, hence we decided to incorporate essences of string instruments such as mandolin and banjo while keeping the pop rock appeals of electric and bass guitar!
I sneakily also added some extra sound effects of scissors snipping away, kind of like an ASMR to underline the theme of the song as well- relief and grief!
I am sure my 17-year-old self would be proud of the production if he heard it! *chuckles*
Happy: What current vibes and philosophical themes are present in your music?
Kaiwyn: Given that I am re-exploring my earlier works from teenage years and early adulthood, it’s hard not to be immersed into nostalgia but not wistful.
I want to highlight that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel even if the inspiration was sourced from a bitter part of my past.
With this process, it would frequently end up with that warm pop rock aesthetic in my music but I am still experimenting with a lot of different elements, so keep an eye out for the surprises!
Happy: Do you have any gear that you can’t live without?
Kaiwyn: I feel if I say this people might think I am an old fart, but I love the massage gun!
It’s so therapeutic after a long day to just aim it right into those fatigued muscles and plough away!
You feel so relaxed after. Even my cat Tangy comes to me when I turn the massage gun on.
Obviously, consult your own local GP if it is safe for you to use it and as there are some areas you want to avoid using these percussion massage guns on.
Happy: What makes you happy?
Kaiwyn: Being in a state of balance, receiving and giving doses of gratitude and appreciation. Happiness is simple and does not need to be multi-layered!