Aussie musician Gabriel Lynch shares inspiring music success story in Asia

AUSTRALIAN musician Gabriel Lynch turned his passion for music into a successful career by taking his talent to Southeast Asia. Daniel Driscoll chats to the singer-songwriter who reveals his inspiring story of success.

Image Provided

Image courtesy of Gabriel Lynch.

Singer-songwriter Gabriel Lynch has been entrenched in the Melbourne music scene ever since he was a teenager but it was only after he performed at a couple of shows in Singapore in 2011 and toured Southeast Asia where he noticed that there was an audience for his music.

“I met a lot of musicians, and I found these great pockets of support from local musicians and discovered I had a humble, but very loyal following in a number of cities over here,” Lynch said.

In 2013, Lynch made the bold decision to move to Asia to further his career in music. The move signaled a new beginning for Lynch and a new lease on life. When it came to telling his friends and family, their reaction was mixed.

“I already had a brother in Singapore by the time I was preparing to move to Bangkok in 2013… and I suppose the family was all accustomed to seeing its members come and go,” he said.

“[In] the end it was for the purpose of pursuing a career in music that, for a number of reasons, just didn’t seem to exist for me in Melbourne in a sustainable sense.”

“I had some very close friends who were quite sad to see me go, but in the end it was for the purpose of pursuing a career in music that, for a number of reasons, just didn’t seem to exist for me in Melbourne in a sustainable sense.”

And since moving, he has fortunately been able to turn his passion into a profitable career. Currently, Lynch is employed as a full time composer at an audio house and studio in Kuala Lumpur.

“It’s my full time job, and that means finding as many avenues to generate income out of it. The good news is, those opportunities do exist over here,” Lynch says.

“Whether I’m performing my own music and selling my CDs, writing a song for a television advertisement [or] singing with a jazz quartet in a hotel lobby, there’s music everywhere and in every aspect of my life.”

Gabriel Lynch's new album all of us. Image Provided

Gabriel Lynch’s new album, all of us. Image courtesy of Gabriel Lynch.

Lynch still finds time to create his own material on top his full time job, evidenced by the recent release of his fifth album, all of us — an album partly crowdfunded by fans with songs inspired by their title and theme suggestions.

“I wanted to give something genuine and unique back to those people who pledged money. And what can I give to somebody that’s more unique than just a CD or a poster? How about a song? I let them choose the titles and topics. It was wonderful because I also had the experience of writing some 30+ songs that weren’t about me and my own experiences.”

“It really pushed me outside of my creative comfort zone and made me approach songwriting in a very different way. It was fantastic. And, I am proud to say, the people I wrote for were all generally very happy with their special songs. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

“There is a love for acoustic music over here, and as a person who wields an acoustic guitar as comfortably as I sing in front of a band, that means there are vast opportunities to play.”

Indeed the reception to Lynch’s acoustic balladeer work in Asia has been very positive.

“There is a love for acoustic music over here, and as a person who wields an acoustic guitar as comfortably as I sing in front of a band, that means there are vast opportunities to play.”

Lynch adds audiences in Asia are genuinely enthusiastic to hear what overseas musicians have to offer, especially as “there are audiences [in the region] who simply aren’t able to get their fill of music”.

“One thing I’m noticing is a real growth in interest for independent music in this corner of the globe. There are lots of young people who are starting on their musical journey and original unsigned artists are becoming a mainstay of the night life in cities like Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.”

The Gabriel Lynch Band. Image Provided

The Gabriel Lynch Band. Image courtesy of Gabriel Lynch.

This only spells good news for Aussies and other foreigners looking to transport their talents to Asia capitalise on its thirst for music.

“Whatever genre or style you perform, there are people over here thirsty for music. And, honestly, they’re not as spoiled as we are in a city like Melbourne. There isn’t an indie gig on every night of the week.”

And with a surge in Australian musicians flocking to the region in recent years, Lynch feels this trend will only to continue to grow.

“There are a surprising number of Aussie musicians doing their thing in Southeast Asia. Some do it as a hobby on the side of their day jobs — a lot of Australians, in a wide variety of fields, are drawn here for work — while there are some who pursue it professionally.”

“Whatever genre or style you perform, there are people over here thirsty for music.”

As for the Asian locals, Lynch says the Asian music scene is getting bigger but differs from Melbourne’s, in the sense that there are less musicians performing and far fewer music venues to play in.

“Melbourne has a ginormous amount of music to offer and that makes it an amazing place to refine your skills and cut your teeth. It’s still a growing indie scene over here, which makes it more challenging to find shows, but also means there’s less people vying for the same work and attention.”

Nevertheless, the love and need for good music persists amongst locals and as a foreigner, Lynch has welcomed the opportunity to grow the music scene in these countries and, in the process, become part of a global community.

“As a musician, wherever you go, you have a built in family. You become part of a circle that exists in every city on the planet and that means you get to experience that city and its people in a very unique way.”

Image Provided.

Aussie singer-songwriter Gabriel Lynch has enjoyed a successful career so far cutting his teeth in Southeast Asian regions. Image courtesy of Gabriel Lynch.

Besides the new food and cultural experiences he’s enjoyed, Lynch says playing and touring in Asia means you’ll get to experience the live music culture of these countries which in essence means musicians ought to expect the unexpected.

“It’s a valuable lesson in how to adapt your own performance to [meet] wildly different expectations and environments. In some parts of Southeast Asia, you can expect things won’t run like clockwork. Your travel arrangements may be delayed or cancelled. It’s not unlikely you’ll get stranded from time to time if you are touring,” Lynch reveals.

“But if you’re like me and you don’t mind the adventure and the stories that often come out of such experiences, then you know it’s worth it in the end. It’s a part of the world to get lost in. And you will also be blown away by the music you hear from the locals. It’s an inspiring region, to say the least.”

“[You’ll] always know deep down if you’re betraying yourself. That’s the worst betrayal of all.”

Asked if he had any advice for students on pursuing what they want to do versus what their parents would prefer them to do, Lynch said there was no simple answer.

“I would just encourage anyone in that predicament to stop and ask themselves, ‘Am I living my life for me? Or am I living it for my parents and family?’. Everyone’s family expects different things of them, and I’ve been blessed because all mine ever expected of me was that I was doing all I could in my life to be happy.”

He also adds that it’s worth remembering that we’re the only ones who can truly know what we want in this life. Our parents aren’t always able to see things from our perspective but we should listen nevertheless and take heed of their guidance and advice.

“They’re usually just looking out for your well-being. Some are worried about your future and money. Well, take it from me, if you don’t have money, you can’t worry about it. Sometimes that’s a good thing. But you’ll always know deep down if you’re betraying yourself. That’s the worst betrayal of all.”

To find out more about Gabriel Lynch or sample his new album, all of us, visit his official website.

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message

Meld Magazine – Melbourne's international student news website © 2017 All Rights Reserved