Just so you know, I use the name “Chris” when I DJ and “X’Ho” when I perform.
I come from a broken family. My relationship with my mother was very difficult. She was adopted and abused as child as well. My grandmother raised me. When my mother returned, they battled for my affections.
I left home because I couldn’t take the fighting anymore. I was so upset and angry that I told everyone I’d disowned my mother. I needed to free myself from that protective, conservative household and discover myself, which I did.
Like every kid, I listened to the radio but I think my first initiation into music was in art class in junior college. My classmates and I were singing Carole King or The Carpenters, and my tutor asked, “Why are you singing that crap?” So, I asked what his definition of good music was and he said, “Tim Buckley”. I’d never heard of him. Then, one day, I found this Tim Buckley album in a music store. It was a gatefold sleeve LP that was on sale for five bucks. I bought it, listened to it and… hated it.
I put the LP aside and when I went into the army, there wasn’t a Rediffusion set in camp. So, I had to listen to the LPs I had. That’s when I fell in love with Tim Buckley. That was the first major step in understanding the spirit of rock and roll.
Is there such a thing as bad music? It’s all relative. Some people think “Gangnam Style” is bad but I totally dig it.
Music is the food of the soul. It enriches my life and defines me.
As a Buddhist, I believe we come into this world because we chose our parents. My lot in life is helping my mother. Our relationship has improved tremendously. It’s been a lifelong journey and I guess I’m a lot older and more mature.
I can’t remember when I got my first tattoo but I’m guessing it was during my university years. It was a small heart that grew from there.
I just wanted to have a tattoo at the time. It’s only natural to rebel against conservative parents.
It’s not about the beauty of tattoos; it’s the idea of getting scarred that’s important to me.
I’ve always maintained that I’m not a political creature. I don’t care about politics. The only reason I voice my opinions and appear very critical is because of the net results of the populace around me.
Singaporeans are horrible, defensive, kiasu, selfish… I’d be fine with them if they were a happy lot; I’ve no beef with happy people. But Singaporeans are utterly repressed and repression is bad.
We like to say, “Oh, it’s because they’re kiasu” but where does the kiasu-ism come from?
Whenever I’m overseas and I hear Singaporean voices behind me, it conjures up the whole baggage of what the Singaporean is like. My heart sinks to the floor and I want to disappear.
You could say I’m allergic to Singaporeans.
I am Singaporean—but I’m not your average Singaporean. I’m in a unique position where I’ve led a bohemian lifestyle and had time to reflect. I can’t reach out to anyone who doesn’t want to listen. I’ve always been branded as “preaching to the converted”.
But Singapore will improve because of the Internet. The Internet is great. It empowers the individual. It’s a great cure for repression.
I believe in karma. You are your own Buddha. Go ahead, do something good or bad but know that it will come round to you eventually. You take responsibility for your own actions. In that, it’s similar to Satanism. That’s why I’ve embraced both (Satanism and Buddhism). Satanism [stands for individuality] only because of Singapore, nothing else. It’s ego ideology is at odds with Buddhism’s [teachings] But for me; but that’s ok when we’re talking about Singapore. Double standards is very Singapore, hence very me, the unique Singaporean.
If you read Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible, you’d be surprised by how sensible it is. It’s a pity they used the Christian icon as a reference. I understand why people would get the wrong idea and I wouldn’t proclaim loudly that I’m a Satanist but Satanism helps me deal with Singapore very well.
I hope to die in Thailand because it’s diametrically opposite to Singapore. Their national catchphrase is “never mind” (“mai pen rai”). Our national catchphrase is “kiasu”.
I said I wanted Peggy Lee to be played at my funeral but I’ve so many favourite artistes, so let’s put down Peggy Lee, Dusty Springfield, Joni Mitchell, Tim Buckley, Rickie Lee Jones and Emmylou Harris.
Do I want to be remembered when I’m gone? I hope so. I don’t want to be here in Singapore for nothing.
This article was first published in the January issue of 2013.