During my time in Thailand I try to get to know as many different people as possible. It’s always interesting to say the least. This time however it’s far more. In order to show more of the talented people that call Bangkok (or Thailand) their home I added the music & arts section to my-thai.org. My current interview guest is a very talented young singer. I came across her youtube channel and immediately subscribed. I hope and I am sure you will feel similar after hearing more about her. So, Ladies and Gentlemen please give it up for: Sita – JaaeSayHi.
Before we start with the questions in detail let’s introduce yourself to our readers.
Can you introduce yourself briefly?
My name is Sita but in Social Media my nickname is JaaeSayHi. It’s a nickname I got some time ago when a friend invited me to join Youtube. I didn’t know what kind of nickname I should give myself. So when he said “Jaae say hi’ I sticked to this name.
Do you have another job? Or is music your main job?
I have a ‘real’ job. I organize shows and events. Some kind of event supply management. Singing used to be my hobby but now it’s becoming bigger and more and more people are inviting / hiring me to sing at their events. Right now it’s more or less almost every weekend.
At what kind of events do you play most these days?
Motorshows, several kinds of events but these days mostly at wedding receptions.
Oh so you’re singing lots of romantic songs then?
(laughs) Yes, you could say that.
Before we get more into what you are doing now – when did you start singing?
I started singing when I was around 8 years old. At first all by myself of course. Like this little girl imagining be on stage but actually standing in front of the mirror. I turned on the fan , used the powder bottle as a microphone and sang and performed there.
Luckily my parents love music though and my dad used to be a DJ. We even manage a radio station at home. So ever since I remember music has been around me.
So it’s a very musical family?
Yes exactly. My mom even sent me to piano lessons when I was six years old.
Hey you play instruments also?
Yeah but not very well. I cried all the time when I took lessons. I didn’t have any friends there since everybody there was older. So at one point I stopped learning more instruments.
However I still loved singing and and continued with that. Even later when I went as an exchange student to the United States I took singing classes in Highschool. When I came back I then joined my friends’ band at University. The Music Society.
Sounds cool. And we’ll talk about that more in a minute. However before we go into detail about that again a question about your background. How long did you stay in the states?
I went there during junior Highschool when I was 16. I went to Oregon State and stayed there for one year. And the cool thing was that my host family also was a ‘music family’. My host dad played guitar and accordion.
Wow that’s a cool coincidence :-) So before going to the states, you grew up in Bangkok? Born and raised here?
Well actually I was born in Udon Thani.
Ha so that’s cool! I’m always happy to meet people from Udon since I worked there for such a long time.
No, really? Cool. Yes I was born in Udon Thani and studied at Khon Kaen University, KKU, and later went to Bangkok for my Master’s degree which I did at Bangkok University.
What did you study?
At KKU I studied English. My mom thought it would be a good idea to study English after returning from USA. At Bangkok Uni I then studied Communication Arts.
Why did you choose to come to Bangkok eventually?
Hm. Well I first worked with my family for a while but we usually fought about our business. All the time. Since my mom always thought it would be a good idea for me to study further I then decided to take on a Master’s course in Communication Arts in Bangkok.
The initial plan then was to go back after graduating. However that did not work out so far since I now have my life and job here in Bangkok.
I hope your parents aren’t missing you to much then ;-)
Oh no. I still go back to Udon Thani many times :-)
Alright before we start with music questions: Do you like Bangkok?
That’s a tough question. In terms of work it’s awesome. You find lots of jobs, connections, people. That’s great! In terms of traffic it is, of course, quite bad. There’s no clean environment, no fresh air which is a bit disappointing. Furthermore there are more selfish or self-centered people living in Bangkok compared to Udon Thani. However the thing I miss the most here in Bangkok is some quiet time.
So where do you go in order to get some quiet time?
Back home. Udon Thani. There’s nothing so it’s perfect to enjoy quiet time and be alone.
If you could choose a place to live. Where would that be?
I love the mountains. Phetchabun is a little like Kao Yai but with less people. So it’s more quiet while it still has a big national park.
Alright. Nice. But you pick a place in Thailand?
Yes. I would like to stay in Thailand. I mean I like to travel. I would like to go to Japan for example but I like to live in Thailand.
Oh I forgot. Since we talked about Udon. Do you know the concert that’s going to happen there? By MTV Exit?
Oh I haven’t heard about that but I guess my brother, who is more involved in Udon, knows more about that :-)
Do you generally go to concerts more often?
Yes sure. The best concert I saw so far was David Foster live on Bangkok. That was really good and inspiring. This year I was about to see Bruno Mars – if he really comes and doesn’t cancel like Eric Clapton.
Who is your favorite singer then?
Beyonce! I love her style. The singing and performing. That is incredibly difficult and she does it so well. It’s amazing. I try to learn from her of course but it is really amazing to see how she is doing it. She is very beautiful, super strong, a great singer. Perfect. I really loved her Super Bowl performance. That was fantastic.
So you like to be on stage and perform?
I really love that. Usually I’m quite nervous when I’m backstage but as soon as I’m on the stage everything is fine. Love it.
Do you usually perform a lot during your shows?
Most people would remember me doing easy listening songs. Or maybe some pop or bossanova songs. That’s what I do a lot. However I also love rock music. Back then in Khon Kaen my friends used to have a rock band and we played a lot of rock songs. These days however, as we’re getting older ;-), I prefer playing some easy listening. Might be easier for the people to relax and enjoy this kind of music. I like people to feel happy when they listen to me.
Do you actually have a location / venue where you play regularly?
Not really regularly. I do a lot of events or weddings as mentioned in the beginning. You can see a lot of those things on my second youtube channel: We are music connection.
What was your favorite event so far? What was your personal ‘super bowl’ performance? :-)
It was the anniversary of an engineering company here in Bangkok. The theme was ‘retro’ so I had to wear a very old school Thai dress and I had to sing very old classical Thai songs. That was quite difficult and my first time to sing on a really big stage. It was quite hard to practice for the event and to actually make it work.
Talking about classical music. Do you sing Mor Lum or Luk Thung?
Luk Thung is something I can do but Mor Lum is way to difficult for me since I don’t speak the right kind of ‘slang’. I learned a very clear way of speaking Thai which doesn’t really fit the Mor Lum style.
How does your future look like? Any musical plans?
Sure! We are planning on not only doing covers we are planning on releasing our own songs. We are writing and composing our songs. We even have a producer already and are now organizing everything and are waiting for the right timing.
Wow that’s cool! How is the song writing process going?
Wow that’s really difficult for me – not for my friend (Noom) here! (he laughs). I have to write it down when it comes to my mind. So I type it down when I’m chatting with my friend or when I’m about to go to bed or whenever. I want to sing about what is on my mind so I always need to be open for thoughts. Very often songs are about things I couldn’t say out loud in public so I put it in a song.
Are those more happy or more sad songs then?
Actually I try to sing more happy songs. Even though the lyrics might not be happy I still try to have a happy arrangement around it so people like to listen to it.
When will be able to hear your songs?
According to our own personal plan, if everything goes well, in 2015! :-)
How difficult is it to get your name out in the Thai music scene / industry?
That’s a tough question again. In Thailand people are easy to remember something but also very easy to forget. So me and my friend we started way back in 2009 with our first youtube channel. That was even before most of the current youtube singers started. However we just did it as a hobby. So when we wanted to sing, we sang. If we didn’t want to, we didn’t have to. Therefore you don’t see a lot of my songs in social media or the news these days since I focus a lot on my job and our upcoming project – which is to write our own songs.
However I met a few very nice people via Social Media. You talk, get to know each other, stay connected and then help each other or just become friends.
That’s nice to know! Before I forget to ask though: Who is your favorite Thai musician?
(points at her friend Noom) :-)
Actually I do like Aof Pongsak. He is kind of a Thai soul singer. But it is not only his singing, it is everything. He has a great show, great performance, lyrics, voice. It’s just great to watch him. I always have a great time seeing him. The way he sings is really difficult. R’N’B style. Super difficult and therefore very impressive.
We already talked about it briefly. Just to wrap it up: Your plans for the future?
Well besides music I have lots of ideas about own businesses. Maybe a nice cafe or maybe doing something in the travel industry for my home Udon Thani. Showing tourists better places there. Since I studied English and Tourism I would love to do something in this area.
Musical wise I would, of course, want to be more recognized for my work. Right now people know me as backup singer – but I would love to do my own things and entertain people on my own. That would be also my biggest dream right now. Having a concert by myself. It doesn’t need to be super big but people coming just to see and hear me. That would be great.
Famous last words :-)
Don’t worry, be happy :-)
That’s it with the interview. Thank you very much Jaae for joining. I had a real good time talking and am very much looking forward to hearing more from you soon!
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