Monday, July 22, 2024
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A teacher who wears many hats

Adib Noor

With a song in his heart and a message to share, Joel Moncherry, a Seychelles citizen living in the Sultanate, is hoping that his new single will motivate listeners to overcome any obstacles that may come their way.

With a first degree in biology and environmental science from Luton University in the United Kingdom (UK) and a PhD in Biology from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Joel, who currently works as a teacher, is highly involved in education and agriculture.

Asked if his recent song release was his first venture into music, the man of many talents said, “Since my school days, I have been studying music. I went to the Seychelles Conservatory of Music and I learnt how to play the violin. I also played and sang in a band in high school and performed in different locations in Seychelles and I am also a songwriter.”

Elaborating on his music, Joel said he listens to a wide range of genres from classical music to jazz, modern pop and even Malay songs.

The message behind Joel’s recent single, I Am A Dragon, came from his own life experience.

“In life, everybody goes through ups and downs, successes and failures. So I wrote this song as a motivation, to say that when things do not go the way you want, it’s important to never give up. Keep trying until things works out. In life, you must have a goal and work hard to achieve that goal,” said the father of five, who has been living in Brunei since 2000.

Swanz and Joel Moncherry in the studio. PHOTO: JOEL MONCHERRY

Asked about the reason behind the use of ‘dragon’ in his song, he said he was born in the year of the dragon, according to the Chinese calendar.

“Why not use dragon?” he said, “I feel it doesn’t matter what metaphor we use, as long as we are able to find motivation within ourselves to achieve what we want to achieve in life for the benefits of others.”

The singer-songwriter admitted to taking quite some time to record the song, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was only when some restrictions were eased that I was able to start recording at local studios Beats and Caffeine, and worked with (local music producer) Swanz, who helped with the arrangement and overall production of the track,” Joel said.

He added, “Swanz is now a good friend. He has done a great job in arranging the song. He really knows his stuff and I am impressed.”

He approached the project in a very professional way. So, I’m looking forward to working with him again in the near future.”

Having lived in the country for 22 years, Joel is no stranger to the local music scene.

“Bruneian artists are very talented. Their creativity and dedication are amazing. With more exposure for their art, they will be able to achieve greater heights,” he said. “I am looking forward to collaboration and making a fusion of local and Seychelles music.”

I Am A Dragon was released in March and can be found on popular streaming platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and Deezer.

“I have many students in Brunei, who have contacted me and congratulated me on the song,” said Joel. “However, what I did not expect were people from all over the world sending me messages and calling me, telling me that the song has been an inspiration for them and has helped them to see things from a different perspective.”

Asked about what is next for the family man, scientist and singer-songwriter, he said that he has a catalogue of songs yet to be recorded.

“My goal is to release them as singles while writing songs for other performing artistes; and of course I would like my music to reach a wider audience, ideally all over the world.”

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