Singapore’s electro-pop duo take another step up
BY KEVIN MATHEWS
PUBLISHED: APRIL 10, 4:12 AM
SINGAPORE — Things are definitely looking up for Cosmic Armchair, the Singaporean electro-pop husband-and-wife duo.
The pair, who go by the stage monikers Cosmic Jane (singer/songwriter) and Cosmic Ben (producer/arranger), has been active in the local indie scene since 2008, releasing a couple of well-received EPs and playing at various venues around the island.
But the best evidence of how well their music has been received is probably the fact that Cosmic Armchair recently inked a recording deal with Belgian EDM (electronic dance music) label Alfa Matrix.
“We first made contact with Alfa Matrix a year ago, when we sent our song Conversation to them, and they selected it for their Absolute Grrrls Manifesto compilation box series. It was a good boost for us, and we were the only Asian band in that collection of female-fronted bands from the international alternative/underground music scene,” said Ben.
“Later in the year, Sebastien Dolimont (the Artist Manager at Alfa Matrix) asked us if we would like to remix a song by one of their new bands, the Spanish electro act Mondtraume,” he added. “It was an artistic challenge … but we liked the song and it was a good opportunity to get more international exposure. We finally created a club remix of their song Life Is Short — and they liked it!”
That led to another Alfa Matrix artist (Simon Carter from the UK) asking them to remix one of his songs, and the next thing they knew, Cosmic Armchair became a remix sensation. “We had barely completed our remix of Carter’s Reasons when more Alfa Matrix artists started emailing us from Europe,” said Ben.
When Alfa Matrix offered to sign on Cosmic Armchair as one of its artists earlier this year, Ben said they didn’t just jump in with both feet. “It wasn’t a quick decision, because we had to consider very carefully if we would sacrifice our independence,” he explained. “But the team at Alfa Matrix were frank about the business, and reassured us that they placed a high priority on building trust and communication, so that artists can focus on making music.”
An album is slated for release in mid-2014, but the duo already has a teaser out: The perky new single, I Don’t Belong Here. Fans can look forward to a music video, too, and possible overseas tours as well. But first up, Cosmic Armchair celebrates this milestone in their career with two sets at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre tomorrow as part of the weekend’s Electric Avenue event. Said Ben: “It’s an outdoor show, so you can bring your friends, your family, a picnic … and we hope you’ll say ‘hi’ after the show.”
Electric Avenue happens April 11 to 13. Cosmic Armchair performs at 7.30pm and 10pm on Friday.