Stay tuned to them

Barry C Chung

Two schoolmates who have formed a band are just releasing their first album for the public

Barry C Chung |

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Samantha Leung Chi-woon (left) and Tiffany Vicky Chan are members of Stay Tuned
Tiffany Vicky Chan stands at a mere 150cm or so. But what she lacks in physical stature, the Form 6 student makes up for in enthusiasm and charisma. Her friend and schoolmate Samantha Leung Chi-woon, who's one year above her at school, is almost a full head taller, and the more studious looking of the pair.

Standing side by side, the two friends are as different as night and day.

Or are they? The two girls are united by a common passion: playing, producing and composing music, which they hope to share with everyone.

"Keep listening to us," urges Samantha, 18. "Keep following us." In other words: Stay Tuned!

That is what they also happen to call themselves.

"For our [band's] name, we wanted to find words or phrases with S [for Samantha] and T [for Tiffany] in them," says 17-year-old Tiffany, the more vocal of the gifted pair. "We looked around in a [slang] dictionary and found the expression 'stay tuned.' We liked the meaning, too."

The duo formed Stay Tuned shortly after completing a school project in Holy Trinity College.

"At times I felt inspired and would write a song and record it," Tiffany recalls. "After some time, I had plenty of songs and suggested to the school that we make an album to give to graduates as a gift."

It was the first time the school had decided on such a unique graduation present. Tiffany wrote all the lyrics and composed all the songs for Tag, an acronym for "To All Graduates." But she needed help in recording them and required vocalists and musicians to play instruments. That's where Samantha came in.

"In our school, studying is very important," Tiffany notes. "Music - playing it or composing it- is not the norm. So it's very special that we could make an album together."

After completing Tag last June, the pair knew their efforts would be better served as a band- and so Stay Tuned was born. Since then, they've written, composed and recorded a full-length, 10-track album.

"My piano teacher knew Ricky Lam," Tiffany says of the Exclusive Songwriter for East Asian Publishing Limited and CEO of Jumping Notes, a music education and production company, "and introduced us to him. He gave us lessons on writing, arranging and mixing songs - all the stuff of production."

The girls are about to release their new album URealife; the "U" and "R" in the title reflect the heavy urban influence in their sound.

But the duo does not shy away from their pop roots, either, even as they aim to deliver a strong message. "The idea of the album is that we want everyone to discover their own interests, find your dream and go for it," Samantha says.

"We want to encourage people to find real meaning in their lives," Samantha adds.

Their first single Stay Trust, written by Tiffany, is already available on YouTube with a homemade music video. It's an R&B track featuring Tiffany rapping in Mandarin and the duo singing the chorus.

"It talks about [when] you want to do something, but others will think you can't," Tiffany says, explaining the song's message. "But you should trust yourself first and you will have the power to pursue that dream."

They're certainly doing just that.

URealife will be on sale at CD Warehouse later this month.

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