Music, heartbreak and AL healing

Alan Ling, Music Artist.

In an exclusive interview with Dean ChronicleAlan Ling talks about his latest video single “Remember” and collaboration, creative process and balancing multiple passions.

Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your latest video single “Remember” and how the collaboration with Dave Lopez came about?

“Remember” was a spontaneous creation when I was listening to an instrumental beat written by Edmond Clare, a longtime friend of Dave Lopez and a talented composer in his own right. We were in the rehearsal studio and Dave played some of Ed’s songs and when I started singing and the words came out of my mouth and the song “Remember” was born. I was in a nostalgic but happy place when the lyrics and melody of this song came out. It’s a sad song, no doubt, but it speaks to another aspect of my relationship in the trilogy.

The autobiographical trilogy you created revolves around the themes of heartbreak and healing. How did you decide to choose this story arc, and what message do you hope listeners take away from the trilogy as a whole?

Actually, the trilogy was never planned. The first two songs (“Straight Into the Ocean” and “A Name in your Book”) were written in 2018 right around the time the breakup happened. “Remember” was written in 2023. There was almost a 5 year hiatus. If there is a message, it is to let everyone hear about my experience and that no one is alone in their heartache.

Congratulations on the success of “Remember” in the world music charts. How does it feel to see your work recognized alongside established bands like Foo Fighters, Metallica, Linkin Park and Daughtry?

I was totally stunned and shocked! That said, my team of collaborators are platinum, gram and gold recording artists and creators. So, since I have a team with a track record, my “deck” was already stacked, so to speak, with incredible talent. That’s probably why we hit #1 on two global radio charts, and in fact, on one of them, the song stayed there for 2 weeks or more.

The production on “Remember” has been described as having a timeless quality reminiscent of the late 90s/early 2000s pop-rock era. What drew you to this particular style of music and how do you balance nostalgia with creating something fresh and contemporary?

Dave and Reto Peter, our engineer and mixer, really worked hard to produce and fine-tune the record. Dave poured his heart into the guitar solos and arrangements. Reto selects my vocals and even the work and lyrics. It was truly a team effort.

Your collaborative project features an array of talented artists, including those associated with GunsNRoses and Third Eye Blind. Can you share more about the creative process and the dynamics of working with such a diverse group of musicians?

I’ve worked with “Brain” Bryan Mantia, who is one of the best rock drummers in the world, and Melissa Reese, who now plays keyboards and does background vocals for GunsNRoses on their live tour. Dave introduced me to Arion Salazar, the former bass player of Third Eye Blind. They have all played and arranged several of my songs and therefore what you have in my productions are world class performers and arrangements. I have spared no effort or expense to attract the best artists to create interpretations of my songs.

In addition to your music career, you run a successful physical therapy business and curate comics. How do you balance these different aspects of your work life and do they influence each other in any way?

I have been doing physical therapy as a career for decades. My clinic business took a beating during the pandemic, but my team there is now stable, the clinic profitable and morale high. Healing patients keeps me grounded and fit. The creation and release of the comic happened in 2015, a year after my father’s death. I’ve always loved comics since I was a kid and actually drew comics and was considered a prodigy as a teenager. I also played music in high school and part of college and graduate school, but had to give it all up when I started my PT business. Now that I’m settled and more focused on being able to juggle multiple endeavors, having built the foundations for all of them, I can have a personal and rich creative life at this point in time.

Can you shed some light on your approach to songwriting? How do you usually begin the process and what role do personal experiences play in shaping your lyrics?

My songs usually always have to start with emotion, then the lyrics, then the melody. Sometimes the verses come first and then the hook, but that’s about 40% of the time. In terms of personal experience, this has always been my core for generating songs for my lyrics. It’s almost always a conversation (even just with yourself) that sparks a great chorus idea.

Looking ahead, what can fans expect from you in terms of future projects or collaborations? Are there any particular themes or musical styles you’re looking forward to exploring in your upcoming work?

I switch to hybrid collaborations, some hip-hop with ease and add some humor to my heartbreaking ballads. Of course, I still write love songs, which I enjoy. I am preparing to go on a promotional tour in 2024 and will focus on India and other East Asian countries.

I’m watching ‘I remember’ here.

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