AN ENTERPRISING ARTIST BRANCHE OUT
Having established himself as a prominent local and international artist, as well as performed alongside some of the biggest names in the local and international scene, Dennis Lau has hit all the high notes in his life thus far. But there’s more to Dennis than his talent on the strings.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED PLAYING THE VIOLIN?
I’ve been playing music since I was three years old. My mom was a piano teacher, but she sent me for violin lessons when I was seven. That’s how it all began, and I have never stopped learning and playing since.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM PLAYING CLASSICAL MUSIC TO A MORE MODERN STYLE? AND WHY?
The violin is an instrument where you have to be trained classically. And pop music and mainstream music has a different style altogether – it’s not easy to make that transition. But in my opinion, if you want to earn a living in the music arena, you have to play pop music; passion aside, we’ve got bills to pay as well.
When it comes to a classical musician playing in a philharmonic hall for instance, they get a very quiet audience and the musician can’t afford to make a mistake. But when it comes to pop music, you can make a mistake and cover it up really quickly. But this is not exactly the reason why I made that transition; I just love pop music. I like to write my own music and I’m very much influenced by pop culture every day. So when it came to my own music, I decided to add my signature style into my compositions.
BESIDES MUSIC, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT YOU’RE WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
For starters, I’ve got a restaurant that serves Hong Kong cuisine at Uptown Damansara and it’s been around for eight months now. This came about because I love food!
But, going back to the entertainment industry, I launched my very own entertainment company called Mosaic Music Entertainment before I went solo. We provide bands for events, musical acts and sound systems for shows. It’s still up and running till today. We also provide some of the best talents around the region based on what kind of event it is.
I’m the one who does the consultation with clients because I can suggest what’s best for the event – I usually find out whether they need a singer, a band or an orchestra and what’s their budget like so that I can get the talents to truly give an impact. So, I will construct the act according to the client’s requirements.
AS WELL AS PROVIDING TALENT FOR EVENTS, WHAT ELSE ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?
Glad you asked. I also have a production house where we shoot videos. The reason why I came up with a production house is because I initially started out in the wedding scene. I used to perform at weddings; this was eight years ago when I first started out. And, I thought that it would be good to amalgamate my music and emotions together. And it’s also good for my music videos if I have a team of people who are dedicated to shoot the production that I want; my music videos, my short films, my live acts, event videography’s, launches or anything else. We also edit videos and we do the pre and post productions.
ARE YOU CONTENT WITH YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR?
You see, I’m not easy to satisfy. I’ve won the VIMA Awards two years back. I aced my music exams at Trinity College of London. I’ve got a hundred thousand “Likes” on my YouTube videos, but it has reached a point where I’m like “Okay…what now?”
These achievements are motivations that set my target for tomorrow, on what I want to do and what else can I achieve. Without all this, I’m going to be waking tomorrow thinking, “What else do I have to offer the world?”
YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY NOW. ANY PEARLS OF WISDOM ALONG THE JOURNEY?
Well, definitely no matter how far you go, how big or fast you grow, I have learnt to remain humble and be willing to share. It has also taught me to be wiser when making decisions. I used to be more aggressive when I do things. But of course, it’s been 8 years and I guess I’ve learnt my lessons along the way. There have been ups and downs. But I always told myself that when I’m down, I always take it as blessing in disguise. I have always believed that it’s a chance for you to bounce back and come back bigger and better. I’ve also learnt that when I face a problem, I always have to take moment to think before I make a decision.