[EXCLUSIVE] Pastel Lite On Their City Pop Indie Rock Sound | Malaysian Band Spotlight
Keep up with Pastel Lite on Instagram.
A twist of fate by the Internet gods, Pastel Lite is an electronic synth-pop two-piece band consisting of Eff Hakim and Faliq Mohd. The band came about when Eff posted her demos on the Internet and Faliq discovered them.
When they met, they found out that they liked the same music and had an immediate jam session. The duo didn’t want to waste their newfound chemistry and formed a band.
what’s the story behind the name?
The name Pastel Lite came about last minute, after we wrote their first song “Heart Drum”. We decided to go with a name that would go well with the vibe of our first demo, which was both electronic and romantic.
What kickstarted the journey into music?
Probably our first major show which was Baybeats Music Festival in Singapore (2012), which pretty much kickstarted our music career. Due to the fact that we started getting more serious shows, that was when we decided to get more serious with our music. That – and audio school.
How would you describe your music style?
We’ve always told people that we’re experimental – but for now, we feel more at home with synth-pop and indie pop when it comes to describing our musical style.
Where do you get your inspiration for your music?
From everywhere! No seriously, we get inspired by the most random things. For our upcoming album, we’ve been really inspired by ’80s Japan citypop sounds, ’80s Malay pop music (Francissca Peter!), and the whole indie wave that washed over KL in the early 2000s.
Are there any artists you look up to that inspire your music/style?
There are many – but if we were to pick some off the bat, it would be Toro Y Moi, Air, Francissca Peter, Noh Salleh, The Times, Stereolab, Abba, The Carpenters, Yuna, Uji Rashid, Sharifah Aini, Electric Light Orchestra, Tame Impala, Phoenix and plenty more.
What is the song writing process like? Melody or lyrics first?
Our writing process differs from time to time. It truly depends on who’s feeling ultra inspired that day. It normally is just a process of going back and forth between each other through WhatsApp or email, exchanging a certain melody line or riff, and a lot of discussion about what to do with them.
Do you think people can relate to your music?
We like to think that they do, because if they don’t then we pretty much fail as musicians. (Haha.) But in all seriousness, even though we strive to do what we think sounds good, we do care about our listeners and we do think about them a lot when we are making our music. So yeah, we truly hope we are relatable.
Do you have a song that means a lot to you?
Eff Hakim: I still think “Sunny” was the saddest song I’ve written when going through the passing of my late father. But I can’t really choose between any of my songs. They each means a lot to me.
Faliq Mohd: I love “Trust It” a lot. The song was about friendship and ongoing arguments we have as a band. Lol.
What are your views on the Malaysian music industry?
We think there is still a lot of hope . We’ve only been in the indie band music industry so we can’t say much about the entire music industry. But from what we’ve seen so far, evolution are abundance and the youth are very brave in trying out new and unconventional ways in expressing themselves.
Any changes you’d like to see in the industry?
More platforms. More venues. More publications. More events. And more support from everyone.
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What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
We’ve faced many obstacles throughout our entire career… but a life-changing one would have to be having to play overseas, when our loved ones were in dire need of our assistance. We’ve learned a lot through the experience, and we probably don’t want to go through it again.
What are the future plans for Pastel Lite?
We are planning to release a new album by this year hopefully, and play more local and international shows. The usual.
If you could describe Pastel Lite in one word, what would it be?