Grok Magazine sits down with Roem Kong, a second-year Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Hospitality and Tourism.
We learn more about his position as the Vice President of Curtin Singers, his origins and aspirations for the future in both singing and academics.
We ask Roem when he first gained an interest in singing.
“Singing has always been a big part of my life growing up. I can recall late night karaoke sessions with my family at parties and gatherings stretching on for hours.”
He further explains that he never undertook singing lessons as a child, which allowed him to develop his skills solely through the fun and supportive environment his family provided him with.
When asked about his career, he reveals that he would prefer not to pursue music above the level of a side-hustle, despite the thought often crossing his mind.
“[…] there seems to be a line between doing it for fun and feeling a sense of obligation.”
We ask Roem about the genres he usually listens to, and what music he has on repeat now.
“I find it hard to answer a question like this, since the genre I listen to can oftentimes change at the drop of a hat and according to my mood,” he admits.
“Generally, I’ve been enjoying listening to Punk/Metal/Pop-Rock/Synthwave and some J-Rock and K-Pop sprinkled in for good measure. I have the new Paramore album ‘This is Why’ and Polyphia’s new album ‘Remember That You Will Die’, and anything Good Charlotte on repeat.”
We then move onto his personal inspirations within the music industry.
“I have always been a huge Linkin Park fan. Chester Bennington’s vocal-range and history have always been an inspiration to me, […]. When it comes down to music production, Tim Henson and Polyphia have been innovating very well with their instrumentals.”
Wanting to learn more about his role as Vice President of Curtin Singers, we ask him about the responsibilities he’s expected to undertake, and how he manages to balance his club duties with his assignments.
“One of my primary responsibilities involves keeping up with engagement across our social media platforms and trying to foster a more welcoming environment for any new or prospective members. I also make sure to promote the club and our events as much as possible.”
Roem clarifies how planning things out accordingly, while preparing for potential issues to arise, has helped him significantly in managing his extra-curricular activities and his academics.
It’s no secret that the music industry is a difficult industry to navigate, especially for those who are just starting out, and we ask Roem his thoughts on the issue.
“As with any other creative industries, there’s bound to be a darker side associated with it. The pressures that some artists have can often be fairly immense, especially when it comes to releasing material and seeing what the general response is, and this pressure only grows from there for them to do even better in the future,” he observes.
“But I feel as long as that passion still subsists and they have a healthy support system, that should hopefully be sufficient enough.”
We ask Roem about what he plans on doing after he finishes his degree.
“I’d like to do some travelling and to perhaps try my hand at teaching some English in Japan for a short period of time,” he says.
“My more long-term goal would be to find an engaging position in the Hospitality and Tourism sector.”
Finally, we ask Roem if he has any advice for Curtin University students who are either interested in joining Curtin Singers, or who are striving to have a career in the music industry.
“If you’re debating whether or not to take the leap, we’re happy to accommodate you. Curtin Singers is an inclusive social choir that seeks to get everyone out of their shell and meet like-minded people with an emphasis on learning fun and engaging classical and pop songs. We meet from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Tuesday nights at the Tim Winton Lecture Theatre, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel this is something you’d be interested in.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Curtin Singers, keep an eye out on their Facebook and Instagram pages for their upcoming events. You can also contact them directly via email (email@example.com) for inquiries.