Sunday’s are hard but can be made easier with unexpected delights — so here’s some fluff to get you through it. Inspired by a recent jaunt for dim sum with Miss Yellow in Hong Kong, allow us to present the first of many Yum Cha Chats — which means let’s go eat dim sum and drink tea in Cantonese. The series will dig into the obscure and tasty 'fillings' you never knew about your favourite DJs and have nothing to do with music — every Sunday. Best enjoyed from bed…
Hong Kong-based multihyphenate Shimica spends a lot of time in her studio. There, she sings, writes songs, raps and produces music, collaborating with dance artists like RayRay, Bijou and Lizzy, as well as a wide variety of pop artists from Canto stars Sammi Cheng and Pakho Chau to K-Pop stars like Victoria Song from f(x). She also just signed with New York super-producer Harry Fraud's company for her new EP.
Not only is she Hong Kong's most in-demand topliner, but she also turns out tracks from her cosy home studio at a tremendous rate, churning out everything from dance music to trap to r'n'b ballads. We wanted to get a feel for where the magic happens and asked her for a sneak peek inside her Kowloon-based studio to find out what her favourite gear is and why she loves it.
"I really love my Yamaha HS8 Monitors, my gamer mouse and my Magic TrackPad (I use two mouses…er, mice?). And of course, I can't live without my Shure SM27 Mic. When I'm writing, I'm not just making a song for myself; I'm creating a song for the outside world. For that, you don't need the craziest, most expensive set up to make the best music. People will never hear what you hear in the studio because most likely they don't have the equipment and monitors you have. So, it all comes down to what sounds good on a pair of basic headphones or earphones, because that's how I will ultimately connect with the audience. Simplicity is key."
“Depending on what type of music I'm creating, I use different kinds of gear. If it's a mellow track, then I just use my Novation Launkey61 midi keyboard, with the inputs I find on my Cubase 10.5 Pro, which has fucking amazing quality (excuse my French). If I'm doing some harder stuff, then I will use Serum software.”
“I use iMac 27inch Retina. It’s got great quality, is intuitive and simple, yet highly sophisticated and functional. I also like that it has Airdrop. I can just use my phone to send anything without being disturbed.”
“I use Cubase 10.5 Pro, and I love it because I get it and it gets me. I know it's not the most popular software, but it works for me — especially with vocals because I'm very strict with my harmonies. It also gives me a lot of control, especially with how sensitive the settings are when editing. When you hear my music, my aim is to get you out of your chair, off your couch, or off wherever you are. 'Cinematic' and 'Ambiance' are two terms and settings I always go for in my music, even if it's a hip hop track. It's what I always strive for in my music, and I think that's what makes my sound unique."
The X factor
“If I had to mention any X factor about recording at my place, it might be my LED lights that I can control remotely, because mood is everything when recording — for myself or others. Also, candles to get the vibes right, and finally my complaining neighbours, haha. Hey, it’s Hong Kong, and we live on top of each other, so they are part of the atmosphere.”