Hing Zhe Lee
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the young songwriter Hing Zhe Lee has been representing southeast Asia collaborating with big names in the music industry. Hing has been working on his craft from adolescence but his major achievements began when he first captivated the attention of Reshma Martin, a famous Malaysian singer-songwriter. Since then, has worked with her as a guitarist and as a songwriter.
He moved to Los Angeles to enhance his skillset and connect with industry members through the famous College of Music, LACM. At just 19 years old, studying in Los Angeles Hing has made it an easy transition to working with some biggest names in the industry. He has written with Marko DeSantis (guitarist of Sugarcult), Brett Perry (composer for that 90’s show) and Lisa Harriton (Grammy Award nominated songwriter) and more. This has led to Hing connecting with the world renown songwriter, Kasia Livingston (Songwriter for Britney Spears, Pussycat Dolls, Jessie J, etc.). Hing and Kasia have been working together closely for over 4 years writing the songs “Heaven”, “Hate”, “Stand Up” and many more making up Hing Zhe Lee’s upcoming debut album “Love, Death + Destruction”. When Hing crafts a song, the legendary songwriter, Kasia, will sharpen it up. The duo works great together and we are highly anticipating their future releases.
Another two big and rising artists in the industry Hing has work with are Joe Ryan III (songwriter/producer who has worked with The Jacksons, Leela James etc.) and Velia Kalypso (Latin American singer-songwriter who has performed with La Sonora Dinamita). The trio wrote the ear catching song “Go Go” that is soon to be released but has been played live at venues around LA like Gengis Cohen, Old Towne Pub, Memorial Park, etc. Velia Kalypso performed a song written with Hing name “Hombres De Sudor” during an opening act with La Sonora Dinamita at the Levitt Pavilion.
Hing Zhe Lee has proven himself time and time again as an extraordinary and prolific musician, we are excited to hear his upcoming music specifically his upcoming album that’ll be released in 2021! This artist is showing promising signs in his career so far and we look forward to his future as a part of the music industry.
Malaysian songwriting sensation is growing at a rapid pace, connecting with world-famous songwriters and co-writing for multiple upcoming projects. He has gained attraction whilst being here in the united states. His talents have caught the eyes of some of the biggest names in the music industry like Kasia Livingston who has been accredited for working on songs with the Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears.
Hing has worked on many songs in his lifetime as a songwriter, but the preview for his upcoming song “Heaven” is the most moving piece I’ve heard in his catalog. The song was ignited by the death of his best friend Marcus Choo. The talented songwriter, Lee Hing Zhe, worked closely with the legendary songwriter Kasia to craft the song to honor his friend. Hing wrote the heart-felt lyrics alongside Kasia, together creating an ear catching melody. The release of this beautiful sentiment is scheduled for December, the month Marcus took his own life; a tribute to his friend.
Hing has also worked closely with Reshma Martin an esteemed Malaysian singer songwriter. He performed with her as a guitarist at venues: Merdekarya, The Bee, and Jefferey Cheah Hall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As a songwriter, he was accredited with the creation of the song “Peace” and “Our Last Words” with Reshma Martin, which will be released early next year with both Reshma and Hing on vocals.
Another rising artist he is working with is Velia Kalypso, a latin pop & rock artist who has opened and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. When Velia opened for the world renown band, La Sonora Dinamita, at The Levitt Pavillion, she performed the song “Hombres De Sudor” which was written by both Velia and Hing. Velia wrote the Spanish lyrics to the song while Hing wrote the English lyrics, creating a bilingual work of art. Alongside Velia Kalypso, he has worked with Joe Ryan III, who is a famous songwriter/musician that has been placed in movies like “BEATS” for his song “I Need You”. Joe Ryan III has also worked with Leela James, Kristen Bell and many other stars; giving Hing the mentorship needed to rise in the industry. Joe Ryan III also wrote the song “All I Want Is You” the song for Teen Titans Go! Which generated over a million views on youtube. Together, Hing, Velia, and Joe Ryan III collaborated in making the upcoming smash song “Go Go” which will be sung by Velia but instrumentally arranged by Hing. The song will be released next year January.
When did you start singing?
I started singing when I was 7, my grandmother used to request songs from me and I would sing to her. When I was 10, I was in a school choir, and then I picked up the guitar when I was 14 because I was researching on Youtube about bands when I came across Metallica and thought wow, that’s cool. I want to be like that. There is when my passion towards music started like creating guitar parts and lyrics and all that kind of stuff.
How did you start singing?
I had an office job before but I did not enjoy it. I had a long hard thought about it and discussed it with my parents. I told them I did not want to do this. I can’t and I don’t like it. That is when I decided that music is for me. It has been a part of me, and it is something that I love and have passion for: writing music, playing the guitar. That’s when I decided to leave everything I had in Malaysia to come here to pursue my musical career and I went to school here for music.
Has your family supported your dream of being an artist?
My mom used to play violin then she stopped. My dad will once in a while pull out the harmonica and play it. They have always been supportive because their son has something that he is passionate about which is music and not bad stuff.
What did they think when you told them you wanted to move to Los Angeles?
The timing was a little odd. The day that my parents decided I should pursue music is the day when my grandmother passed away. My father was skeptical of me going to the US to do music because of the stigma. The day that my grandmother passed away, I was devastated as I was really close to my Grandma. So, I felt the need to write something. I wanted to write a tribute to my Grandma that says I love and misses her. My dad heard the song piece and was impressed with it. He said it was pretty good. He said he was not going to pretend that he understands it, but it is good and was the right decision to let me go to the US to do music.
Who are your music influences?
Two of my biggest influences would be Metallica because they are the reason I picked up the guitar and I have always wanted to play in a rock band, in a huge stadium, it’s like “THE DREAM”. The second would be the Taiwanese singer, Wang Lee Hom. That was my musical inspiration when I was a little kid before I picked up the guitar. I wanted to be like that, like an artist.
What is your main focus right now?
Right now, I am mostly a songwriter. I write music to pitch to movies and series, I write with other local artists. Sometimes a producer needs a session singer, or a guitar player, I can do that.
How has Covid affected your career?
I cannot personally go out and my band cannot meet up so now I am doing a little bit of everything. Pitching, mostly song writing, composing, and proposing it to movies and series.
What projects do you have on development?
As of now, I’m working on four folk indie songs to be pitched for an upcoming comedy movie about two brothers. I’m also working on my personal music with the help of a producer friend that will be releasing a song within next month.
What inspires you to write a song?
By anything that inspires me. I can play a video game about samurais and get inspired from there. In fact, I have written about four-five songs from a video game. Just driving down the freeway here in the US with my girlfriend, something as simple as that. Literally anything can inspire me to write a song.
What do you want to present to the world?
I like to show my roots through my music. I am not afraid to incorporate Chinese melodies, Indian rhythms and even the sound of Malay Kompang into my music. I like to blend something percussive and aggressive, traditional yet modern. That’s what I feel is different compared to other artists in the US. Ever since I came to the US, I have always wanted to incorporate these sounds. When I create music, I want to show people a little piece of me that you can’t see. I want to introduce the people here where I am from. I want to show all this different culture that I grew up with such as the Malay and Indian culture to blend it all together to show who I am.
Tell us about your band
They are all based in LA. They are not from Malaysia and from all over the world. Our differences are big from culture and sound. My guitarist Sebastian Jimenez is from Mexico. The way he plays is tasteful with a Mexican vibe. My bassist, Austin Ching on the other hand is from Hong Kong, he is trained in Jazz that adds a different element into my music. The drummer is Max Bryman is American. Stylistically I think he and I are the most similar because we are both “metal” guys. He understands the rhythm and he is really good. Very versatile and that’s how our band is.
The best moment in your career
Being so close and working with so many big names in the industry that has written for Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Flo Rida, Cheryl Cole. With all these opportunities and these people, I have worked with is something that I could only dream of doing back then before I came here.
What do you think about the Malaysian music scene as compared to the US?
The music scene in Malaysia feels like home. It feels like we are all in this together as though we are a unison. We create music together then we write and it is very like home whereas here it is very industrialized. The music here of course is seen as creative art, but it is focused on business since it is one of the biggest industries in the US.
A song in Malaysia might be something close to your heart because you are passionate about some person whereas here it is just numbers.
Best advice was given to you?
From one of my teachers in the US, “nothing is impossible because every barrier is just a hurdle. If you fall down, stand up and come back stronger. There is a point that you cannot give up and that you have to keep pushing forward. If you push hard enough, you might find something at the place you want to go. It really resonates to me. I push my boundaries to make myself relevant in such an impossible industry because music is hard. It’s coming out of nothing. Today I may not have a song that will make you cry, but tomorrow I might come out with a song that touches you. It’s such an impossible thing with music. It is literally making something out of nothing.
We look forward to all the upcoming releases from this incredible Malaysian songwriter, Hing Zhe Lee!