We are proud to present Sunny Cheah, our Spinnup Introducing star of December!
The pop singer-songwriter from Ipoh, Malaysia has released 2 wonderful albums and singles with Spinnup, most notably his “Red Checkered Flannel” and “Blue Checkered Flannel” EPs and more recently his singles “Runaway” and “Remember Me (Reimagined)”. Sunny Cheah wears his heart on his sleeve; his tracks are filled with personal stories and emotions on love and life.
Read on and get to know Sunny Cheah as he shares all about his journey and inspirations in music, and much more.
Hey Sunny! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you into music.
Hello! I’m Sunny and I’m a singer-songwriter from Ipoh. I’ve always loved singing, I think I started singing around 5. Surprisingly, it was after me watching High School Musical that got me wanting to do music for a living. You know when Troy said, “Screw it, I’m gonna go sing Breaking Free with Gabriella.” The feels, man.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?
My biggest music influence is Ed Sheeran, and also Lewis Capaldi, Lauv, Glades, BAYNK and Gracie Abrams! I just love how they write, produce their tracks and perform in person. I wish I could be half as talented as them or even a quarter.
With your releases like Red Checkered Flannel and Blue Checkered Flannel, there is a theme and character that revolves around them. It really tells the story of each release and brings everything together. Take us through the creative process of your visuals and how they go together with your music releases.
Well, Red Checkered Flannel EP was the first time I released my music properly. I was trying to dive into a few different genres to find my sound and when I did, I knew where to go from there.
My Blue Checkered Flannel EP is dedicated to my ex-lover who left for a better place. It’s a very personal EP for me. Long story short, the 2nd EP is about me missing her, my regret for not doing enough for her, my depression, acceptance, and moving on.
As for the name of the EPs, I came up with it while I was taking a shower. It was so random but it just popped into my head and I instantly knew that I was going to name my EPs that.
Check out “Blue Checkered Flanel”:
Take us through your latest single, “Runaway”. What’s the story behind it?
Runaway was the first song I’ve ever written back in 2013. It was about my first breakup. She said she would stay with me for the rest of my life but she left me a sad boi.
One day, I was revisiting some of the old songs that I’ve written and then I found this, and I was like, “Hey I kinda wanna hear how this would sound if I got this made today.” So I sent this to my producer and he made a dope version of this and here we are today.
Sing along to the lyric video for “Runaway”:
What are some challenges with writing and producing your own music?
Writing and producing is definitely a challenge especially when you don’t really have the right words that you wanna convey in the song and also the right sound to go with it. That is why I always work closely with my producer. We often throw ideas at each other to see how it goes.
Congratulations on being a finalist at Malaysia’s Anugerah Lagu Indie, what an achievement! What was that experience like for you?
It was surreal and nerve-wracking! At first, I didn’t know what to feel because this was my first time being nominated for anything. I honestly didn’t care if I won or lost, I’m just really grateful to be a part of it.
I never got nominated for anything in my life so that’s great! Although I didn’t win anything, I’m glad I got to share the stage with so many talented musicians in Malaysia and I’m so proud of us!
And also a special shout out to Malaysian radios for playing our songs on the radio. It really helps us small independent artists that is starting out a lot, so thank you guys!
Watch Sunny Cheah’s performance at Anugerah Lagu Indie 2021:
What message do you hope to send out with your music?
I just hope that you can relate to the songs I put out and feel what I felt when I wrote it.
You’ve also collaborated with a lot of talented artists. Which artist would be your dream collab?
Ed Sheeran, for sure! He’s the biggest music inspiration for me in my music career. This would never happen but a man can dream, right?
I would also like to collab with Gracie Abrams, Glades and Olivia Rodrigo!
What’s next for you?
You’ll find out in 2022 – all I can say is the music is going to be more stripped down than what I usually make.