Music entrepreneur Yuri Wong tells Zuhaila Sedek about trusting one’s gut feeling and taking that leap of faith
NEVER doubt your gut feeling. Yuri Wong didn’t for a second when he left his stable job for something he loves doing the most — making music.
“I had a strong gut feeling about it and took a leap of faith,” recalls the 33-year-old.
The move, he reckons, is one of the best decisions he has ever made and now is as happy as anyone can be. He runs his own audio production studio called The Factory Music Studio.
NO GUTS, NO GLORY
Before he made the switch in career, he was a management consultant for a solid six years.
“It was a good job, but for some reason I didn’t enjoy it. My heart is, and will always be, with music,” he says.
One of the biggest issues he had with working in the corporate world was having to say “yes” to things that he didn’t agree with. “In that working environment, we tend to overpromise, and this will put pressure on anyone,” he explains.
“I’ve since learnt to embrace the unknown rather than fear it. The way to do that is to understand as much as you can about what you don’t know and have faith in your abilities,” says the once lead guitarist for the band Frequency Cannon.
Wong has been into music since young. He learnt the piano in primary school and later, the guitar from his dad.
“Growing up, I was always creating little tunes on the piano and later, on the guitar. The first ‘real song’ I recall writing is Freefalling,” he says, adding that the song later became a track on Frequency Cannon’s debut album.
The soft-spoken Malacca-born Wong has a degree in science and a degree in electrical engineering, two disciplines which he still leverages on in his music business.
“I’m good with Mathematics. This skill is put to good use when I’m composing songs, when writing the notes and beats.”
TECHNOLOGY AND MUSIC
The Factory Music Studio is a result of Wong’s vision to combine technology and music. The idea is to incorporate concepts, visuals and music into online media works for use by artistes, brands or non-profit institutions to reach a wider audience in more innovative ways.
“I went with my gut feeling, that online media is the way forward,” says Wong.
His interest was heightened after seeing the huge impact from videos that had gone viral on YouTube such as Kony 2012, a short film created by the non-profit organisation Invisible Children in an effort to stop the recruitment of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel wars in Africa.
“Kony 2012 highlights the amazing ability of online media to reach out (to the masses), especially if the message is crafted in a compelling manner,” says Wong.
For his work, he doesn’t limit the possibilities in reaching out to people through online media.
“I’ve never used anything that exists as a benchmark, but more for general reference. Why limit ourselves when our call is to create? We’re doing things that a regular music studio doesn’t do — creating visual media, optimising online engagement, becoming idea-based creators, and that’s why it’s exciting.
“So I don’t look at whether people have done it or not, but more what we can do to create remarkable work.”
LOVE OF HIS LIFE
Wong is happily married to radio DJ and television personality Xandria Ooi. “She surprises me all the time and I’m always impressed by that,” says the proud husband.
“She works hard and we respect each other’s work,” he adds.
When the lovebirds return home from work, they would discuss what happened at work and exchange tips. Wong says: “My wife is good with people, so sometimes she suggests what I could practise on.”
Despite their busy schedules, they make time for each other. The couple has been married for 1½ years.
Any plans to start a family soon? “We’re enjoying life the way it is now. If it happens, it happens,” says Wong.