By Serenat Kivilcim
Pleasantry is a 5 piece indie pop group that has been lighting up the local music scene in Singapore since 2010. They released their debut album “synapses” in August 2014, which incorporates an eclectic mix of styles that will keep you interested, from soft and dreamy “Channels” to electrifying and loud “Nothing’s There”. “False Realities” is a personal favorite, accompanied by an up–beat ukulele. So, find time to squeeze some “Pleasantry” into your day and let Samantha, Isa, Ahmad, Daniaal, and Haziq take you on a wonderful ride.
Could you give us the lowdown on Pleasantry? Is there any significance behind the name?
Daniaal Adam: We are a group of 5 friends who came together to form the band around 5 years ago. Prior to the formation of Pleasantry, we were all playing in different bands. The music community in Singapore is very small and almost everyone who plays or listens to local music know each other. So generally, that’s how the whole band got together. In the beginning, we were finding it quite tough to come up with a name we all liked. We eventually decided on ‘Pleasantry’ based on our description on the kind of music we play.
What kind of musical background do you guys have?
Daniaal Adam: Some of us are also playing in other shoegaze/post-rock/experimental bands. To break it down: Isa Ong also plays for Sub: Shaman, Ahmad Ariff also plays for Paris In The Making and Haziq Hussain also plays for ANECHOIS. I used to play for post-rock band Lunar Node.
Is Pleasantry a full time endeavor for you?
Daniaal Adam: Most of us are working full time and some of us are still full time students. I don’t think we’ve come to a point where playing music can sustain us financially in Singapore. But hopefully that time will come soon!
You released your debut album Synapses in August 2014. What inspired the album? Do you have any fun stories from the recording or writing process of the album?
Daniaal Adam: We’re really happy with the album! To be honest, we’re so glad it’s all out there now. The 10 songs from the album were written over the course of 3 years. Those were ‘critical years’ for us then. All the heartaches, celebrations and memories we shared became the inspiration for ‘Synapses’.
Do you each have a different ‘role’ in the creative process?
Daniaal Adam: We don’t usually designate roles, we’re free to work with what each of us come up with. The songwriting process is quite organic. We usually get in the studio, throw in a bunch of ideas and start writing collectively.
You guys played overseas at the Canadian Music Week on May 8 for your first ever international gig. How was the experience?
Daniaal Adam: The whole experience was fantastic. Touring as a band for the first time, and playing in a new setting to a whole bunch of new people was refreshing for us. The crowd was great as well and we had so much fun.
What are some of your favorite artists from Singapore that you would recommend?
Daniaal Adam: There are so many, but some that we recommend are: Charlie Lim, ANECHOIS, Sub: Shaman, Gentle Bones, and .Gif.
What’s on the horizon for 2015?
Daniaal Adam: We’re hoping to do more tours, maybe one in Europe, and we’d also absolutely love to come back to Canada and America.
Photo by Ash