Singaporean electronic producer MMXJ (MJ Kuok) has come a long way from when he first started as a singer-songwriter. Back in 2009, Kuok became involved in the industry the way that many budding musicians are–by testing his luck via local singing competitions. For Kuok, he was one of the lucky ones: making his way to the Top 13 of Singapore Idol before dropping out to focus on his studies. But when he finally made his return to the industry a few years ago, it was with a new stage name and a renewed musical focus. MMXJ, Kuok’s EDM pseudonym, allowed him to reinvent himself with flashy colors, bombastic live performances, and worldwide festival appeal. And on his latest single, “Brave”, Kuok continues his streak of producing feel-good, soaring anthems for the wanderlust festival-goer.
“Brave” is a classic EDM festival tune, creating a fervent atmosphere complete with drops, heart-pounding beats, and a lyrical message that would make Sara Bareilles proud. Aided by musical newcomer Acv’s uplifting vocals, it’s motivational and inspiring–a musical pick-me up for people trying to find that extra courage to get through their day. “When everything falls apart / I gotta listen to my heart / Cause I’ve know from the very start / I just wanna be Brave,” Acv sings. However, although “Brave” is a good time, it’s perhaps just too gleefully inoffensive for those outside of the EDM scene to find any enjoyment.
But for those who are looking for a soundtrack to their newest #blessed Instagram adventure, “Brave” works at making you feel absolutely invincible.
“Brave” is released via Oceana Label.
Li-Wei Chu is a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think.
He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.