Featured Student: Philip Chenjia Chuah

"I started playing the bass because my brother had previously owned one and it was just lying around the house. I had played flute since fifth grade and I had a decent knowledge of music theory, so I thought why not pick up the bass? At the time, I was listening to a lot of Blink-182, so I figured the bass parts wouldn't be too hard to start with. About two months after I picked up the bass, my church wanted me to record on a live album as well as travel to Taiwan to record. I would say that isn't such a bad first gig! Soon after, I joined my high school's jazz band, as well as started forming jazz groups outside of just the school's class with other students from other schools in the area as well."

"For the year after I graduated high school, I decided to take a gap year and take up a part-time job and focus on my instrument and gigging. At a gig around Christmas time, I was playing with a Berklee alumni guitar player that suggested that I audition for Berklee. I felt like it was completely out of my range, but I auditioned anyways and got in! This was the moment my parents agreed to support my musical pursuit, because they actually knew the name of Berklee and recognized that it was a world-renowned school."

"In my time at Berklee, I want to play with as many people as I possibly can and learn from as many teachers as well as students as I can. To me, the most rewarding experience of being at Berklee is the countless hours spent in rehearsal, recording sessions, private lessons, gigging, and just jamming. Every single one of these things puts me in a position to play, to learn, to make music, but most of all, fall flat on my face and fail. If I know what sounds bad, it gives me a better impression of what sounds good and what to strive for."

"Similar to my rather international background, I love all styles of music, and whenever I hear music I want to participate in it. That being said, as a musician, I can see myself playing pop, jazz, R&B, fusion, electronic, and so on. One day I'd play on a tour with a pop singer, the next day do a bar gig with some jazz and fusion, and that night go home and record a bass part for a producer on the other side of the world. I want to be a bass player that anyone can feel comfortable calling for any kind of gig."

Watch Chua perform along to a remix of "No Sleep" by Janet Jackson: