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Spotlight: Kun, Raphael & Shaun Jansen

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

Kicking off our TravelClef series called Spotlight, we speak to 3 of our instructors who have recently released their own Singles.

朋友 (which means friends in Chinese) is a song written by our Chief Instructor Kun back in 2019, when he was reflecting on how natural it is for friends to grow more distant from each other as other commitments like work or starting a family make it more difficult to maintain friendships.

Interviewer: What is this song all about?

Kun: “朋友” is about friends that we lost contact with, suddenly contacting us out of the blue, and we're wondering if they're ok, and the suspicions that Singaporeans are prone to have. Initially, I was writing to reflect how as we grow older, our circle of friends get smaller, and it will also be hard to meet the ones that we're closest to, because of life and other commitments. I added the twist after to keep it light-hearted, and in hopes that we can all still reach out to one another without motives other than just to catch up.

Interviewer: Ahhh, I totally understand what you mean by that. It's not easy to call someone you've not met for many years to meet up. It can get a little awkward! Which came first, the lyrics or the tune?

Kun: If I recall correctly, the tune came first then I filled in the lyrics.

Interviewer: What was one of the challenges you faced while producing this single, “朋友”?

Kun: The Music Video on Youtube was done entirely by a mouse! It was an honestly frustrating but eye-opening, learning process. I learned a lot about myself!

(click above image to view the music video on youtube)

Interviewer: I understand that this is not your first single written. Could you tell us more about your previous singles?

Kun: I wrote another 2 love songs for my wife, "This Feeling" and "All Yours". The instrumental versions are on Spotify, and the sung versions are on another site.

Interviewer: Is there a message you would like to give to people listening to this song?

Kun: Yes! I hope that everyone who listens to the song will have their day brightened, and understandably in our Singapore context, there will be at least a couple of our long-lost friends who are in the line of sales. Even if we are unable to support, be it insurance or finance, I hope that the friendships can still be kept and nurtured!

Click here to support and listen to Kun's latest Single, “朋友”. You have been warned! The catchy tune may stay in your head for the entire day!


Catalyst is a song written by TravelClef's new instructor, Raphael when he was going through a tough time emotionally because of various negative experiences that happened in 2019.

Interviewer: What inspired you to write this song?

Raphael: During the period that I was going through a difficult time, I started asking myself, "why are people like that?" and I told myself i had to be better! It also made me realise that if I want to see change, I must start by being the change. So this song is all about being a Catalyst of change.

Interviewer: Can you remember where were you and what were you doing when you first started writing the lyrics to this song?

Raphael: I was in my room and it was sometime in the evening, and I just had so much dis-satisfaction and so much frustration, and the words started flowing out. I revised the lyrics quite a few times because I wanted to make sure that even if it was a negative experience, my response to it will be positive. I don't believe in karma, but I believe in how the words I speak have the power to mould my future.

Interviewer: What is your favourite line in the lyrics of your song?

Raphael: “Will you be the catalyst of change”. I see it as a call to action, and at the same time the use of the “the” in that line was intentional, because sometimes we feel like we’re insignificant. But when I say “the” here, I’m referring to you as being not just “a” catalyst amongst many, but “the” catalyst as a pioneer and the one that starts off the chain reaction.

Interviewer: What is the message you would like to give to people listening to this song?

Raphael: I hope that people listening to this song will feel challenged and encouraged to be a positive influence in their circles because sometimes it's easy to see the problems. But at the end of the day, change will only happen when we choose to be the change that happens.

Interviewer: So what's next? Have you started writing a new song yet?

Raphael: I'm looking to explore instrumental music with a sense of randomness, but aside from that I'm also in the midst of putting together more songs and releasing some of my older songs after editing them. In the meantime, you can look out for another single coming out in a few months time! I've got a friend singing for me on that one, so it's gonna be big/epic!

Click here to support and listen to Raphael's latest Single, “Catalyst” and if you're keen to listen to other works that he has produced, click here.


Silhouette, written by Shaun Jansen, is a song about losing someone dear to you and trying to find meaning and refuge amidst all that sadness and grief. This is Shaun's first single released to date.

Interviewer: Could you tell us more about what inspired you to write this song?

Shaun: When my grandmother passed away, there were a lot of feelings I had at the time that I couldn’t quite explain in words, and also things I wanted to say to her which I couldn't anymore. That made me want to tell them in a song instead, and use musical elements like harmonies and sounds to help me convey those feelings. I’m glad that in the end, I was able to create a tangible memory of her.

Interviewer: I understand that you wrote the melody and chords to the song first before you added in the lyrics. Which process did you find more challenging?

Shaun: For Silhouette, it took me longer to get the melody out because I started that from a blank sheet, which I tweaked later to fit the words. But the words came to me quickly because by that point, I already had an initial idea of what I wanted to say.

Interviewer: What is your favourite line in the lyrics of your song?

Shaun: I like the second verse best especially the last line… ‘You were always polished to the nines’. It was something that I remember my grandmother saying. It reminds me of her and even more when I later found out that it was an idiom that meant ‘to perfection’. Coincidentally she too was a prim and proper person which is one of things that I feel was distinctly endearing about her.

Interviewer: What is the message you would like to give to people listening to this song?

Shaun: Although Silhouette is a sad song, I built it upon the concept of hope and finding peace. Like how silhouettes are created from the light behind them, I wanted this song to be a reminder to find that light in spite of whatever darkness you may be facing in your life.

Interviewer: Moving forward, what other kinds of songs are you exploring to write?

Shaun: With Silhouette I wanted to start off with a stripped-down emotional track, and so for the next songs, I will be adding a little more instruments like drums and guitar, a little at a time!

Shaun has written more songs and will be recording and releasing them later this year so do stay tuned for that! In the meantime, click here to listen to Silhouette and if you would like to watch the music video, click here.


TravelClef is a music school that specialises in teaching complete beginners how to play music in just 2-3 hours. Our workshops are designed for corporate team building as well as for individuals. Companies love our programmes because music bonds everybody together. Individuals enjoy our music workshops because we teach music in a fun, engaging and easy-to-understand way. Come experience what we do here at:

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