Dreaming big with first musical album

Izah Azahari

Talented siblings, 19-year-old Eden and 17-year-old Evan, are set to debut their first studio Extended Play (EP) album titled My Inner Universe. Filled with ear-catching beats and powerful lyrics, each song provides empowering, yet relatable message.

A sub-unit of their main group, The Chiams, Eden and Evan have been passionate about music since they were young.

Being raised in a musical family, and attended music academy, has inspired them to pursue their dream.

They performed regularly for recitals, shows, concerts, festivals and competitions. Eden took interest in the performing arts (singing, dancing and acting) while Evan sharpened his skills in classical piano, classical violin, vocals as well as acting. Through an inspirational one-week enrichment programme at school, Eden and Evan were introduced to the creative skills of song-writing and music production. This kick-started their passion for composing.

Their six-track EP is a culmination of 18 months of reflection on their lives and the coming to terms with the changes.

Eden (R) and Evan Chiam give a brief performance during the media preview of their upcoming EP album ‘My Inner Universe’. PHOTO: IZAH AZAHARI

The EP will be released on September 26, digitally on all streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, and TIDAL.

The album is to be experienced alongside a four-episode short video series on their YouTube channel, The Chiams Channel.

The musical duo worked symbiotically on all the lyrics, music production and the accompanying mini-video series. Their older sister, Shian Li Chiam, assisted them administratively and creatively.

A recent media preview of the album showed that each song gave an insight to their growth and maturity. According to Evan, the journey to create the album has been inspiring. “Despite travelling to represent Brunei in music competitions in the United States (US), Malaysia and Hong Kong, we never moved abroad. We’re still here today. So this EP is a home-grown, local-bred product,” said Eden.

Evan said that My Inner Universe is about changing stereotypes and mind sets, and using emotions to create opportunities for oneself, as well as for personal growth and having a purpose in life.

“Our message is about change. We created this EP as a musical experience so you will find that the song order is important in telling the story. The story is then conveyed through episodes that are released before the album,” said Eden.

From the first track, the journey begins by saying Goodbye to the past, creating a new Identity for yourself, to Fly when you finally feel free, confidently declaring I said I, am young, will overcome and then telling the rest of the world Who are You while Remember(ing) your roots and why you began; a glimpse of a sort of awakening and transition to a new chapter of their lives.

The duo said that their opportunity to work with award-winning sound engineers from the US to create this album was a blessing and an honour for them.

As they balanced studying, teaching and carrying out community service while producing the album, the duo believes that the need to inspire Brunei’s youth was their main drive.

“The common excuse for young people to not dream big is because they think the environment they’re in is unsuccessful. That’s why this EP’s message is special because it’s about changing your mind,” said Eden.

She said that it’s not about where an individual is, but more about how much they value themselves. “If you know you are special, you will know that you are unique, and you are capable no matter what age you are. It doesn’t matter what school you go to, what grades you get. It’s knowing who you are,” she said.

Eden and Evan hope their audience will see the best version of themselves after listening to the album. They extended their heartfelt gratitude to their parents, Lily and Tun Boon Chiam, Shian Li, Nahuel Bronzini, Raelynn Jackie and Piper Payne, Infrasonic Sound, Roo Pigott, teachers and students at Expression Music Academy, teachers and students at Jerudong International School, as well as their extended family and friends for their immeasurable support.

“Our universe is brighter, better and more beautiful because of all of you. We thank you.”