3 things you should know about The Sam Willows’ silent member, Jon Chua
February 2, 2016
Who’s that silent member? We always have that one friend who slightly a little bit more reserved, a little bit more mysterious and just a little bit more different compared to the rest. Still with this being said, is able to get along with everyone else in the group because of their interest and compatibility, or maybe we just always need that one person to set crazy people straight – that’s Jon Chua for you! Check out an interview by Today Online to see what the other members from The Sam Willows have to say about their silent mysterious one.
SINGAPORE — Everybody knows The Sam Willows, right? They’re currently one of Singapore’s hottest bands — and brands, if you think about it. Which is a big deal considering that a mere five years ago, they were just one of a number of groups trying to make their mark.
Well, made it The Sam Willows have: They’ve become one of the most recognisable names in the music scene here and have taken their music around the world. And today, they drop their first full-length album with a major label.
Yet, how much do we really know about them? When we talk about The Sam Willows, we think of the dapper, genetically-blessed singer/guitarist Benjamin Kheng, his equally beautiful sister and bassist Narelle Kheng, the sporty and sexy percussionist Sandra Riley Tang, and, well, the other guy. You know, the one with the man-bun.
Can you really blame us? Outside of the Willows, Benjamin has appeared in plays, on television (with sister Narelle) and in the pages of several mags (as has Tang). But, Jonathan (or Jon) Chua has pretty much been under the radar where the media circus is concerned. He turns up for photo shoots, and just about all we know about him are his contributions in interviews. I mean, he posts more photos of his dogs than selfies on Instagram. (Well, he likes dogs, we know that much.)
Of course, every music group needs a quiet, mysterious member whom no one seems to know much about. Beatles had George Harrison, Queen had John Deacon, Blur had Dave Rowntree, Super Junior had that big guy. For The Sam Willows, it’s Jon Chua.
That was why, earlier this month, we visited the band at a studio in MacPherson, where they were rehearsing for the launch of their debut full-length release Take Heart, to find out more about Chua — from his bandmates.
Here, then, are the three coolest things his fellow Willows had to say about him.
1. HE HAS CRAZY FANS. LIKE, REALLY CRAZY ONES.
Benjamin, Narelle and Tang may have many more followers on Instagram, compared to Chua. But according to the band, his fans are much more, erm, enthusiastic.
Benjamin: My fans or followers or the people who say hi to me – they are really nice and respectful. He has crazy fans.
Sandra: They want to do disgusting things to him!
B: Like, “I want to be his guitar”.
S: Or “I want to be his mic”.
Narelle: Jon has his fair share of fans, but they are different because of who he is. They are the more intense, very-quiet-but-love-very-deeply type of fans.
B: They probably have built a shrine. A Jon Shrine.
S: There was once my yoga friends came to watch one of our shows and they were, like, “Jon, he’s so mysterious! I love him, he’s so sexy ... Ben is very handsome, but Jon! He’s so mysterious!”
Jonathan’s response: I have no response. I think they (the girls) get it worse. I don’t get sexually harassed!
2. HE’S THE GUY WHO WILL GET THINGS DONE.
He may look like he’s spacing out all the time — his band mates don’t know why — but if there is one person in The Sam Willows who gets anything done, it’s Chua.
B: Ever since we started, Jon has been the engine, he’s always the guy who has been pushing us to do stuff. We wouldn’t be doing anything if he weren’t around, we’d just be sitting on our a**es.
N: He’s very collected. He’s the kind of guy who is on top of everything, so he always knows exactly what is going on at every point in time.
B: You need that kind of guy in the band. In life, you need The Guy. The one who goes, “I know a guy who knows a guy…”, Jon is The Guy.
S: When we have a problem, we’d be, like, “Jon, what do we do?” And he’d be, like, “Okay, don’t worry, we’ll do this.”
N: Or he would be, like, “Nevermind, I take, I take.”
S: Even if you’re, like, “Jon, why is the sky blue?”, he’ll go Wiki it and tell you the answer.
B: He knows how to delegate, but he (also) knows how to take it upon himself to do something. He’s very selfless in that regard. He knows when he has to crack that whip, so to speak. We are all friends but he knows this is a big thing, and there is massive importance to what we do, so he makes sure that we get stuff done.
Jonathan’s response: It’s innately what I like to do. The girls like to do their hair and make-up, and my thing is I like to boss people around. (And when I zone out) I’m usually thinking, “Aiyah, we are behind time”. That is what I think about most of the time. I am always the earliest.
3. ... BUT IT COMES AT A PRICE.
S: He is very naggy.
N: Yes, he is very naggy.
S: It is very good, because we need to be nagged at. But, oh my God! He’s very naggy. You can totally imagine what he will be like when he is 60 years old. He will be the same.
N: He’s so organised that he will tell us, okay, the gig is at this time, you all must turn up at this time. And he will tell us to come half an hour early, because he knows we are going to be late. (He says things like) “If you drive this road, you must then take this other road, because this road will have a jam. Are you taking a cab or driving? If you drive, then you park here. I checked already! It’s the cheapest. You park here and walk, it’s only half an hour.”
B: He loves it, whereas none of us love this kind of stuff.
Jonathan’s response: I am a 50-year-old trapped in a 25-year-old’s body. I find joy in chasing people and it’s true! I used to hate myself for doing it, but now I have grown to enjoy it.