Onward Singapore

Overcoming Adversity with the Power of Music

By Tin Box The Live House, Relyne Ban
For someone who visits her close-knitted family in her Johor Bahru hometown weekly, adapting to circuit breaker measure in Singapore was an emotionally and mentally draining feat. Tin Box The Live House full-time resident singer, Relyne Ban, speaks of her time spent in Singapore during the pandemic. In this interview, she reveals her coping strategies and other skills she has garnered despite the current limitations.

“The first two weeks of the lockdown was the most unbearable especially since the apartment I stay in is only 70 square feet small. Given that I work outside most of the time, living in a small space like this has always been manageable. I used it as mainly a space to sleep in. However, since the lock down and restrictions were set in place for circuit breaker, being confined alone could become very lonely and dejecting. Coupled with being homesick, I was emotionally fragile despite my friends checking up on me during the first two weeks.”

When asked whether getting herself out of rut was a gradual and natural process, she replied cheerfully, “Nope! I made a conscious effort to remind myself that I should take this time to improve on things that I lack in, or have put on hold before going to work at Tin Box The Live House. It was also helpful that the band members were tasked with constantly producing content for social media, and it managed to take my mind off things when I was practising and recording.” As a live performer, most of Relyne’s work revolves around practising and turning up for work to perform in front of an audience. Learning to set up recording equipment, lighting and getting a hang of camera angles were all skills she picked up while shooting for Tin Box The Live House. “I’m extremely thankful for having the resident band’s support throughout this trying time too,” she says. “Our band leader, Jia Rong, holds a video conference with all of us weekly and is always coming up with different games for us to play online. We’ve grown to embrace each other not only professionally, but as friends. There was one recording I had to produce and my computer programme was not working that day. Our bassist, Clement, suggested I send the file to him and he very kindly edited everything for me. With support like this, I genuinely feel like I’m not alone.” Relyne looks forward to the day Live Music can resume at Tin Box The Live House. “I can’t wait to return to the stage and perform our new repertoire! I hope to see you there!.”