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Stronger in 2013, and beyond. Reflecting back on 2013.

Let me start off by saying Happy New Year to you. Now, for this post I will be reflective on what 2013 has been like for me. It ain’t going to be long, but for those readers, if there are any, here is what my 2013 was for me, and I will sum them up in 3 topical areas of my life.

Health

Most of you guys who follow me on FB and twitter or know me in person, would know that I was on a journey of weight lost. In 2013, it has slowly has been less of running and focus on this, due to my busy schedule with a lot of things that was happening in my life. I have not gave up entirely, but finished off the few marathons that I’ve managed to complete.

To be blunt about it. I have definitely lost interest in running. It has became more of a chore and something that I really disliked doing. I guess it was also cause for the runs that I have committed, I’ve not placed in the time to train and work towards them.

Health is definitely something that I am looking forward to working on, perhaps another alternative. From experience, and my time in 2013, I have not actually been over eating or eating very unhealthily, but cause almost a whole day during the weekday and weekend, I’ve been so busy on other things, that most of the time I would be sitting down working, writing music, and communicating, rather than having the time for a workout. I realize from all this, I become tired and running makes me feel even more lethargic, definitely the same passion and drive is gone from 2012, when I was so gungho to run and results did came in. Alternatives would definitely need to be in place.

Hopefully 2014 will be a year of change and a new perspective for me.

Serving in music for God

You could say that I was living a peaceful life in terms of buying and GASSING (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) for new pedals and music related equipment. Since leaving my previous band, I have been busy recording and working on a couple of shows for the release of my band, Reach For The Skies EP release : Aviaries  for early 2014 and I was happy with the gear I was having, till my style and sound has altered more.

I have always been the ambient filler kind of electric guitarists and using a lot of effects to create the mood of the songs. Over time, I have grown to play cleaner, less saturated and less effects and enjoyed more tone off the guitar and amps. Thus, my existing board of pedals do not cater to some of my current style of playing. I was definitely blessed to have advise from friends and met new people who were able to shed some light into gear.

From swapping in and out of different gears and what I see, gear is something personal and something that one would adjust to custom the wielder’s own sound, there are a lot of marketing involved that hypes up trendy pedals. Yes they are good, but in the end, do not secum to those, you may regret if it does not fit your music. I even find some of the older stuff better too!

I also find myself serving more in Church in the sense, of “more” meaning, really delving into worshipping God. Perhaps through my times of trial through out 2013, this has definitely something that desired to do. To focus on God, to play more meaningfully to the service and congregation, as the worship team’s place is to usher God’s presence and lead in praise and worship. And I find myself lost in His presence at most of this time in 2013, ever in my life, not just through my band, Church, but also in my personal life. I needed the focus and I went through it with God. It was awesome.

Hopefully to even more time spent on serving God with writing and serving in music for God.

Career 

Its been a busy year, rolling from 2012 to 2013, from various challenges that I faced, that kept me busy around the clock in the office till I felt that there has to be more to life than just work. I guess there were various factors coming in, but it got me overwhelmed at one point that life meant more than just work, coming home at a late hour till I only get to see my family on a Sunday night for dinner and the rest of the week, I would come home when the lights were out and the last to leave home for work on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I love advertising, I carry that passion since college, to work and till today, no regrets and am thankful for every learning experience, up and the downs as they have made me stronger and better. I am definitely doing that at my new work place that I thank God for, and awesome new learning opportunities that I am undertaking, and I pray for more growth.

To more days of joy, happiness, growth, opportunities, Godly decisions and wisdom with friends, family and God in 2014, I pray.

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Life, Music

Azure for Janne releases new single “The Finisher”.

Posted about their previous song ‘Thrones’ in a post before, which I had the privilege to sing in (click here).

My brothers from Azure for Janne, just released a new single “The Finisher” a week ago. They grow better musically all the time, Check out the lyrics video below!

Great guys making great music. Do share this video on FB and twitter!

Dream big and stay gold, reach for the sky.

Azure for Janne’s A Common State of Liberty Coming soon!

For daily updates from the band:

Follow them on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/azureforjanneband

Follow them on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/azureforjanne

RFTS,

Danny

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Life, Music

A totally different journey all together. Nike+ Playlist updated.

Actually.

I had multiple playlists that I’ve made since I started running. Mixed them up a little so that I could still run without being routine and also keeping some of the key songs that would “power” and keep me running.

Till today, I find music a great distraction and something to focus on while running in continuous circles like a race car in a NASCAR circuit, the lyrics, the driving guitar riffs, the beating of the drums. Helps me in my imagination when I run, either a train, a horse, running away from zombies etc, and also to keep my head on the carrot in front of me,  thinking of more ideas in writing songs or just purely music in general to keep my momentum during the run.

Without music I think the run will be a totally different journey all together.

The playlists that I usually create has a mixture of genres, tones, speed, and feel. Thus, to make my run more dynamic. This playlist however, is more consistent with just one or two genres. Usually this happens when I’m stressed out and I need some harder music do my runs and workouts to quicken  my pace to work harder.

Nike+ workout playlist | 16 June’12 :

  1. Gimme nothing – Kyoto Protocol
  2. Forfeiture – House vs. Hurricane
  3. Cast the first stone – We Came As Romans
  4. I keep my secrets safe – Saosin
  5. Surrogates – I,Revival
  6. Blessed with a curse – Bring Me The Horizon
  7. My life for hire – A Day To Remember
  8. Dreams – We Came As Romans
  9. These wolves are made of wool – Azure for Janne
  10. The eleventh hour – August Burns Red
  11. Moment – Rosevelt
  12. I can’t make your decisions for you – We Came As Romans
  13. If you can’t hang – Sleeping with Sirens
  14. Comforting our thoughts in a continuous blue – House vs. Hurricane
  15. A war inside – We Came As Romans
  16. Crossroads – I, Revival
  17. Meddler – August Burns Red
  18. Youngbloods – The Amity Affliction
  19. Thrones – Azure for Janne
  20. We are rockstars – Does If Offend You, Yeah?
  21. Stay alive – I, Revival
  22. Warrior (Southern Arrowwood) – Secret and Whisper
  23. H.M.A.S Lookback – The Amity Affliction
  24. 2nd sucks  – A Day To Remember
  25. Catch myself catching myself – Underoath
  26. Sing it rock & roll – Oh Chentaku
  27. With a heavy heart (I regret to inform you) – Does It Offend You, Yeah?
  28. The only virtue – House vs. Hurricane

Ending this post which I’ve had the privilege to sing in the bridge of the song. Check out Azure for Janne (here).

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New Playlist for Nike+ run.

After the food trip in Melacca on Sunday, I knew that I needed the determination to run on Sunday, and it was definitely hard! So I made a 3rd playlist of the 3 bands I listened to the most growing up in Highschool, something which had a harder groove, lyrics about one’s self determination to push me today. Well… thank God! Cause I think I wouldn’t have been able to. 

  1. Dirt off your shoulder – Jay-Z
  2. My Way – Limp Bizkit
  3. Papercut – Linkin Park
  4. Megalomaniac – Incubus
  5. Eat you alive – Limp Bizkit 
  6. Stellar – Incubus
  7. Numb – Linkin Park
  8. Make yourself – Incubus
  9. Coming undone – Korn
  10. Anna Molly – Incubus
  11. Lying from you – Linkin Park
  12. Privilege – Incubus
  13. Crawling – Linkin Park
  14. Hit the floor – Linkin Park
  15. Boiler – Limp Bizkit
  16. Somewhere I belong-  Linkin Park
  17. One Step Closer – Linkin Park
  18. Talk shows on mute – Incubus 
  19. My Generation – Limp Bizkit
  20. High Voltage – Linkin Park
  21. The Warmth – Incubus
  22. My December – Linkin Park
  23. Circles – Incubus
  24. In the end – Linkin Park
  25. Faint – Linkin Park

 

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Health, Life, Music

Playlist for my Nike+ run tonight

Ah I have more songs in the playlist case I do more… but tonight it went up to song 13.
  1. Be Yourself – Audioslave
  2. The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle – A Day To Remeber
  3. Blessed With A Curse – Bring Me The Horizon
  4. Meant To Live – Switchfoot
  5. If It Means A Lot To You – A Day To Remember
  6. Writing on the walls – Underoath
  7. With your friends (Long Drive) – Skrillex
  8. Thrones – Azure For Janne
  9. H.M.A.S Lookback – The Amity Affliction
  10. Sticks & Bricks – A Day To Remember 
  11. We Are Rockstars – Does It Offend You, Yeah?
  12. Pull Out My Insides – Does It Offend You, Yeah? 
  13. Head First In The River – Envy On The Coast
Total: 13 songs out of 26, 55:43 total time play.
Tomorrow gotta put in some Red Hot Chilli Pepper! Probably some Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park too. Reliving early high school tomorrow!
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Nike + Run day 2

“Nike+ | 5.03k in 38.5mins, pushed a slightly relaxed workout to 7k, finished in 54:40 mins, burned 651 calories Yay! #rfts @nikerunning”

Health, Life, Uncategorized

Nike + Run day 2

Nike + Run day 2

“Nike+ | 5.03k in 38.5mins, pushed a slightly relaxed workout to 7k, finished in 54:40 mins, burned 651 calories Yay! #rfts @nikerunning”

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Portraying yourself in a world of assumption.

In my line of work, I guess we have a stereotype of where each person belongs to. We meet new people all the time and automatically place a job label according to how you dress, your outlook appearance and where you are positioned in the office.

When I first joined the Black Pencil. I came in dressed as how a Brand Executive or “Suit” should do. Buttoned down tucked in shirt, slacks, a nice tie fitting for any moment where you have to meet a client. 

We would do that as a fresh newbie who joined in the mix of a new atmosphere, feeling the vibe of the people, the environment around you. And you would see that you stood out like a fillet of salmon in a salad bowl full of greens, and everyone will know that you are that new guy in the office. 

So I spent time observing how everyone dresses, designers, copywriters, veneculars, GMs, ADs, Production, Studio, Brand teams.

So from that day of observation, I see how the creatives are themselves, in how they dress, but in a neat and presentable and artsy way, being themselves mainly cause they don’t usually meet clients, which was cool, cause it’s them being comfortable and themselves in an environment that bring heaps of demands to the table on a daily basis. For me, the days where I will be in the office, my colleagues who knows me would call me the rogue BE (Brand Executive), for me to wear jeans, flannel shirts, or even a t-shirt, would be unacceptable in the eyes of the client servicing personnel. 

The Brands would usually be the ones suited up. But still a touch of semi-formal neatly ironed button down shirts untucked over a pair of jeans (not faded), with clients in their black and whites, with the “yeah they are a creative agency, that’s how they dress up.” deemed acceptable in the eyes of clients during a meet. While for me I will always have a set of formal apparels and black shoes in my drawer in case of an impromptu meet, or when a black tie event comes around. 

But it comes to a point where people would guess wrongly nowadays on their appearance vs. their job titles. Just yesterday a group of us headed out for lunch when one of the guys (Arc AD) introduced himself to us, and he would guess our job title during our salutations. 

“Ah you must be a designer.”

 

“Nice to meet you, you’re an AD (Art Director)?”

 

“Ah so you are in servicing?”

Funny thing is how it is so true that most of us would all be dressed our parts in each department of the Agency. My fellow Brand Executives would be wearing their blouses, lady suits, cocktail dresses, or for the guys the slacks and the jackets with the buttoned down shirts and complimentary ties. Now that yesterday I was wearing a folded sleeves checkered shirt (which is now really beggy and loose, from my fitness regime that I’ve been doing), with my faded charcoal jeans and Nike sneakers. 

Arc AD: “Nice to meet you Danny. So are you a writer?” 

 

Me: “Nice to meet you too man. No I’m a Brand Executive.” 

 

Arc AD, with a confused and surprised look: “Really? Well, you dress more like a writer, definitely do not look like an AE! I mean she looks like

an AE (pointing at my Brand executive colleague) but not you!”

Then we went on with the rest of the group on how each of us look, and came to a conclusion that now it’s different. From the early days of Advertising where everyone wears suits including creatives to today where now we are segment stereo typically by the image we fashion ourselves to the norm in the eyes of each beholder. Though sometimes it would be nice to dress like Don Draper at points.

Dress like how we ourselves would like to be seen in our roles through our actions, fashions and confabulations. That brings out our individuality, the rogue, solitary atmosphere and vibe you give. 

Though I know at some point in the near future, where I will grow to appreciate words and its expressive language and music. 

 

 

 

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