A brother-and-sister team had their dream of a music career realised when they released their first EP, My Inner Universe, during a private event at Expressions Music Academy on Saturday.
The six-track EP of brother-and-sister team – 19-year-old Eden and 17-year-old Evan – is a chronicle of 18 months of self-reflection on the changes in their lives.
The event, which was also live-streamed on YouTube, saw the duo belting out their favourite numbers from the EP before dozens of friends and families who have been supportive throughout their journey.
Filled with a catchy melody and powerful lyrics, each song provides a relatable theme.
The EP is meant to be experienced alongside a short video series on their YouTube channel, The Chiams Channel, the duo said.
The duo worked symbiotically on all songs and their accompanying videos, while their older sister, Shian Li Chiam, offered support in administration and creativity.
The Chiams have been passionate about music since they were young. Raised in a musical family, attending a music academy prompted them to pursue a music career.
The siblings perform regularly at recitals, concerts, festivals and competitions, with Eden taking particular interest in performing arts such as singing, dancing and acting, while Evan favouring the sharpening of skills in piano, violin, singing and acting.
Through an inspirational one-week enrichment programme at the school, the siblings were introduced to the creative skills of song writing and music production, which set them on the path to composition.
To Evan, the journey of putting an EP together was a memorable and meaningful one.
“Despite travelling to represent Brunei in competitions in the United States (US), Malaysia and Hong Kong, we haven’t the desire to move abroad,” he said.
He added that “this album is a home-grown, locally-bred product”.
He explained that My Inner Universe is about changing confronting stereotypes and mindsets, and using emotions to create opportunities for oneself as well as for personal growth and finding a purpose in life.
The Chiams said while recording the EP, they had the opportunity to work with award-winning sound engineers from the US.
Balancing studying, teaching and carrying out community work while pursuing a music career requires a great amount of discipline, and the siblings believe their drive to be role models for the local youth pushed them to persevere.