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Now Hear This: Addy Cradle

The electric guitarist shares his sources of inspiration and music recommendations.


Published: 29 Jun 2018

Time taken : ~10mins

Addy Cradle is a Singapore electric guitarist whose mastery of the instrument has forged new musical territory in the performance of rock music. His latest album, Transcendence – Legend of Ryu Wuri, pairs story writing with instrumental soundscapes to evoke gripping narratives peopled by mythical and historical characters in archipelagic Southeast Asia. We catch up with the artist to learn more about his influences and music recommendations.

As a child, you picked up the guitar by hanging out with friends who taught you how to play the instrument. What is one of the first songs that you learnt on it?

Addy Cradle: My friend, Akie, from the band West Side drew for me a diagram of little square boxes with dots and numbers—this was my first time looking at a chord chart. If I’m not mistaken, it was for either La Bamba by Ritchie Valens or Twist and Shout by The Beatles.

Growing up in Singapore in the late 1980s and early 1990s, what song did you listen to on repeat?

There are too many to choose from! But this particular song really made an impact on me. The guitarist, vocalist and arrangement all blew my mind! It’s The Whole World is Gonna Know by Mr Big.

What is your favourite song by a musician you would consider a role model?

Richie Kotzen was one of my biggest influences when I was growing up as a teenager. He had it all—his looks, style, voice, and of course guitar-playing and songwriting skills are to die for! Here’s Until You Suffer Some, a song that he co-wrote with the band Poison.

Instrumental rock music can be very powerful in telling stories and expressing emotions. Which song illustrates this best for you?

For the Love of God by Steve Vai, I remember listening to it on my Sony Walkman just after I bought his album, Passion and Warfare (1990). It gave me goosebumps and made me cry!

What song would you recommend to people interested in finding out more about the Malay rock scene in Singapore?

There are so many good bands, but if I must choose one, it would be Lovehunters. They’ve been active since the early 1980s!

Based on your travels in 2009 to film a documentary on Indonesian artists and bands, what is one song that best showcases what their music scene is like?

Indonesia’s music scene is so colourful and diverse that you can’t really say what song represents it best. To me, dangdut [a genre of traditional Indonesian music] is their voice and culture, but the band Dewa 19 best showcases their music scene (I think!).

What song from your earlier albums would you consider re-recording today?

I would love to re-record Longing for Eve from my album Divine (2008)! I get all emotional when I’m playing it! It definitely deserves a better arrangement.

Which song from your entire discography best describes what you do?

That would be Purnama from my album Transcendence – Legend of Ryu Wuri. I remember looking for my own sound and style way back in 2005. Then, I rediscovered traditional and ethnic instruments such as the gamelan, tabla, sitar, and so on—I would say that my music reflects my experience growing up in a multicultural environment.

Addy Cradle collaborated with visual artists Muhammad Izdi and video artist Wu Jun Han in a multidisciplinary staging of Transcendence – The Legend of Ryu Wuri at Pesta Raya – Malay Festival of Arts on 15 Jul 2018, Sun.

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