Hong-Kong based instrumental heavyweight, Jason Kui, has traveled the world and made a prominent impact playing his guitars in a expressive way that is dynamic and abounding with compelling melodies. Jumping out of his comfort zone and taking a ride to the solo side to showcase the art of heavy-guitar shredding, Jason Kui has just begun captivating listeners. I caught up with the man to discuss the recent release of his debut album, ‘Absence Of Words’, working alongside a variety of prestigious musicians, tattoos and more.
Your debut album, ‘Absence Of Words’, was an absolute hit and truly a glance of artistry that is out of the ordinary. Tell us about the creative process behind bringing the album to life.
I had the ideas for the album for quite awhile, I wrote the songs over a period of time, going back two or three years, some of them are very recent and some of them are two-three years old. Most of the writing occurred when I was traveling. So, they captured the environment and my mood, my feeling at that moment.
You have played alongside a variety of prestigious artists and musicians. What is your trick for keeping up with all these musicians material and ensuring to maintain your individuality?
That is interesting, yeah, I grew up learning from my favorite guitarists, not personally, but by learning their songs and techniques through CDs or instructional videos. Maybe all the things I have learned are in my blood, and it became natural inside me. But I think I write songs based on my experience and mood, it’s quite personally, so maybe that’s how it keeps my individuality.
What are your must-have and go-to pieces of equipment/guitars while in the studio? Are you sponsored at the moment?
Yes, I am endorsed by Mesa Boogie Amps and the artist of Tom Anderson Guitars. They are like my soul, my sound, gotta have them no matter where I go.
Any upcoming tour or festival appearance plans that you can fill us in about?!
Currently, I am on tour with a local singer as a side man, so I can’t do much about my solo performance at the moment. I do have a couple local music shows and festivals to play when I return. MY manager is working hard on the tour stuff for the next year – I am looking forward to it.
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the tattoo artists that you worked with to bring the pieces to life.
I love every single one I have! On my right forearm, I have one with the theme of the movie, ‘UP’. Instead of lifting up the house, I got a vintage guitar amp being lifted up by the balloons, so it’s very interesting. The tattoo artist, Aric Taylor at Black Anchor Collective, nailed the balloons and I am so impressed by his work of the details on the sun setting sky.
If you could get anything that you desire tattooed budget-free by any tattoo artist in the world, what would you get done and which artist would you choose?
I love Aric, so I think I will ask Aric to work on that. And I am a big fan of scenery and landscape of the desert, and I would like a piece dedicated to that tattooed on the upper chest down to my hip. Aric is so good at coloring and layering. I am sure it is gonna look fantastic, so that’s what I would get.
If any of our readers have never visited Hong Kong, tell us about some of the highlights throughout the city that are a must-see and experience while in town.
Hong Kong is one of the busiest cities in the world, you may want to experience how crowded the street is! There are so many great restaurants, any kind of cuisine, if you like food, you will be very happy. If you like outing, there are quite a lot of islands around Hong Kong, you may like to take a boat trip to one of the islands and spend a day there, great environment. And of course, we have one of the best landscapes in the world.
What has been your absolute favorite country/crowd to play for throughout your career and what makes that experience such a potent memory?
It was Montreal, I played there two years ago with a local singer, the venue, Bell Centre, was so nice. The crowd was so crazy. And of course, Montreal is so lovely. That is the place I want to go back and play!
Photo Credit: Andy NG Photography
If you could share any words of wisdom with your younger self, what would you say?!
“Think before speaking” or “always be honest to yourself”. I think they are pretty important socially. Well, in this industry, everything is about socializing.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
I just want to thank you all for the support. I get messages in Facebook and Instagram everyday, I really appreciate all the kind words and support from the fans. Making instrumental music is not easy, but I am trying my best. I really hope to see you all on the road!
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