We interviewed Simple Plan, RRILEY, QUEST, Teddy Adhitya and Lil J and asked them about their experience working with one another on the “new” ‘Summer Paradise’, what music projects they’ve been up to of late and how they feel about the paradigm shift in the music industry and how music and gigs are now being delivered to the fans.

Earlier this month, Canadian rock band Simple Plan joined leading artists from Singapore and around the region for the first episode of the new season of Music Matters Live From Home.

See also: Have a ‘Summer Paradise’ with Simple Plan and friends on Music Matters Live From Home!

The first episode saw the guys collaborate with RRILEY, QUEST, Lil J, Teddy Adhitya and Sheppard on their 2011 smash hit ‘Summer Paradise’. The band will also be donating their artist fee back to artists who are taking part in this collaboration.

Launched by Branded Ltd and Singapore Tourism Board, supported by Simple Plan, and produced by the team behind the annual All That Matters conference, the new season of the Music Matters Live from Home series features leading Singaporean artists such as RRILEY, Sezairi, iNCH, Aisyah Aziz, Narelle, as they perform (from their homes) alongside regional and global music artists like Sheppard (AU), QUEST (PH), Lil J (MY), Teddy Adhitya (ID) and, of course, Simple Plan (CA).

Galvanised by COVID-19 quarantines around the world, Music Matters Live from Home is an online space for artists to connect, share music and interact with each other and their fans. The six-episode series is live-streamed every Wednesday on Music Matters Live Facebook and YouTube channels as well as Visit Singapore’s Facebook page.

The second season which premiered on June 3, is currently into its third episode, which will next see Sezairi (SG) and Teddy Adhitya (ID) perform together.

We interviewed the artists of episode 1 and asked them what they thought of their collaboration experience of ‘Summer Paradise’, what they’ve been up to (creative-wise) during this global lockdown, and how they feel about the way music and gigs are now being delivered in these uncertain times.

ASL365: Hi guys! Vanessa here from AsiaLive365. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions. The new version of ‘Summer Paradise’ saw Simple Plan from (CA) working with music artists from across the Asia-Pacific region such as Lil J (MY), QUEST (PH), RRILEY (SG), Sheppard (AU) and Teddy Adhitya (ID). What was it like collaborating with everyone on this Music Matters project and releasing this version of ‘Summer Paradise’?

Sébastien Lefebvre (Simple Plan): It seems that this song is perfect for collaborations. All the voices mix really well, and everyone brings their own flavor to this song. These are strange times we live in, and that gives us a unique version of the song.

RRILEY: UNREAL. It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to do a collaboration with not only THE Simple Plan, but with Sheppard along with the three other super talented musicians (Lil J, Teddy Adhitya & The Quest) across the region. Doing a collaboration to a Simple Plan song is one thing but doing a collaboration of a Simple Plan song WITH Simple Plan themselves is just insane.

QUEST: It’s quite surreal since I grew up listening to Simple Plan and it’s an added blessing to share this project with the best of the best in Asia and Australia. Now I have new talented friends.

Lil J: It was such an honour to be a part of this project. Simple Plan was my biggest childhood band, and me getting to work with them and all the talented artists around Asia really touched me.

Teddy Adhitya: It was an amazing experience. I was growing up around Simple Plan’s music so it really means alot to me to get the opportunity to do a collaboration with them. And it’s also very cool to meet some talented musicians from the region.

ASL365: (to Simple Plan) ‘Summer Paradise’ is nearly a decade old. How do you feel the song has or has not changed over the years and if you could tell your younger self about the potential of the song being used in such a wonderful project such as Music Matters Live From Home, what would you say?

Sébastien: It’s an amazing thing for a band to have a song touch so many people, in so many places around the world. This song was a bit of a different sound for Simple Plan, and we were amazed at the positive reaction when we first released it. To have it do so well 10 years after its initial release is simply incredible.

ASL365: (to RRILEY, QUEST, Lil J, Teddy Adhitya) What is your earliest memory or favourite song from Simple Plan?

RRILEY: Oh, ‘Perfect’ ‘Addicted’ & ‘Welcome To My Life’ are songs that were such a big part of my childhood – like if it came on, you had to stop whatever you were doing and sing it LOUD. You just had to.

QUEST: My Simple Plan classic favorites are ‘Perfect’, ‘Crazy’, and ‘Welcome To My Life’. It’s a staple in hangouts at my friends house. For the Newer ones I like ‘Jet Lag’ and of course ‘Summer Paradise’.

Lil J: My first memory of Simple Plan was on my school bus. Hearing a song that they released at that time which was ‘Perfect’.

Teddy Adhitya: ‘Perfect’ is my favorite!

ASL365: (to Simple Plan) Music Matters Live From Home is a wonderful opportunity to give young music artists a chance to perform again, get involved, and be part of a community of like-minded creatives, as well as interact with fans in these very strange times. What has the experience been like so far and as a pioneer in the music industry, how do you feel about the current situation and how it has affected fellow artists from around the world? For instance, how do you reckon the paradigm has changed in the way artists now released music videos (we’re seeing a lot of lockdown-shot videos out there), how they released new songs (some written under quarantine), or even how they interact with fans now?

Sébastien: Artists love to create, and most artists welcome new ways to communicate and showcase their music. We are currently working on finishing our album, and obviously, the current situation has slowed down that process. We are eager to have new music and to release it.

ASL365: (to RRILEY, QUEST, Lil J, Teddy Adhitya) How about you guys? What are your thoughts on this paradigm shift?

RRILEY: The irony is that we have to be more creative with less but I’m loving it to be honest. I think people get to see the more personal sides of artists without the big stages and lights now, though I do miss seeing and connecting with my fans in real life.

QUEST: A lot of creatives are taking advantage of the internet. Some of them are expanding their brand and venturing into other things and that’s good. But I am still hopeful that we will return to live shows.

Lil J: This pandemic has affected the whole world. But I think we as artists have power to send a message to the world and we should use this time to keep people entertained from home, and also take their minds off all the stress by writing songs, which would make the day more positive for every day.

Teddy Adhitya: I think that the industry has grown so much. Lots of musicians are doing collabs, digitally. And it shows that there’s always a way to get your message out there in this situation. I miss playing gigs, though! For me there’s no better way than that.

ASL365: What’s life like where you are right now? Besides Music Matters Live From Home, what other projects, music or lockdown creativity have you been up to?

Sébastien (Simple Plan): Most of us in the band are currently working on creative ways to take care of our kids. It’s a full-time job.

RRILEY: Aside from picking up new skills and hobbies, I am finishing up my debut EP at home that’s due to drop in JULY!

QUEST: Right now my entire lockdown is all about music and health. Making new music and transforming into my best version ever (currently down 30lbs as I type this). FInished 2 EP’s and a bunch of other songs.

Lil J: Well apart from Music Matters Live, I have been using this lockdown time to perfect my art and work on my music more. I have done so many songs. I’m just waiting to put them out for everyone to listen.

Teddy Adhitya: It’s been very digital. Lol. Besides MML From Home, currently I’m working on producing some music for several Indonesian artists.

ASL365: (to Simple Plan) The explosion of #imjustakid challenge on Tik Tok has been absolutely amazing! The moments are so endearing and wonderful to see, especially in these times. Any idea how that trend blew up and what has it been like for you guys seeing a song from 2002 explode into such a heartwarming global trend today? Oh! And we love your version of the challenge too!

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If you’re not following us on @tiktok , this is the kind of content you’re missing out on. 🤷🏻‍♂️🤩🤓 Official TikTok: @simpleplan A few days ago, « I’m Just A Kid », a song that was released more than 18 years ago, was officially certified Platinum in the USA. This is absolutely insane and incredibly special to us. Thank you to everyone who turned it into a viral phenomenon and gave our little song a second life over the last few months. We are so grateful. Whether you’ve discovered us last week on TikTok or 18 years ago when our first album came out, we’re so happy that you’re choosing to spend time listening to our music. Thank you all for supporting us. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 We can’t wait for you to hear our new songs. 🤘🏻⚡️🤘🏻 #imjustakid #tiktok

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Sébastien: We are grateful that a song that’s almost 20 years old can still bring people together. It was really fun for us to take part in the challenge. 

ASL365: (to RRILEY, QUEST, Lil J, Teddy Adhitya) And you? Have you seen the #ImJustAKid challenge on Tik Tok? What do you think of it?

RRILEY: I have!! It’s awesome. I’ve been wanting to do it too but haven’t found a time to bring my family together for the picture because we all live apart, haha.

QUEST: That shows longevity and relevance. That song was released around 2002-2003 and it’s still relevant now. That speaks volumes on their craft.

Lil J: I have seen the challenge and I think it’s really cute how everyone comes together and re-enact old memories. It’s such a sweet thing.

Teddy Adhitya: Yes! And it’s hilarious.

ASL365: (to Simple Plan) You guys were last in Singapore in 2016, and previously in 2012, and before that in 2008. I’m seeing a pattern here. Any chance of a tour to Asia once this is all over?

Sébastien: It is always our plan, that as soon as we have new music, we go back everywhere around the world, including Singapore. And hopefully, that will be sooner than later.

ASL365: What song are you most excited to play once you’re back on the road again?

Sébastien: It must be one of the new songs. We are excited for everyone to hear the new material we’ve been working on, and most excited to get back out there and see all our fans.

RRILEY: I am gonna be greedy and say all 6 songs on my EP, of which 3 of them will be brand new so I can’t wait to play them in real life.

QUEST: I love playing Nothing Like and Better Days and most of the songs in my DREAM AWAKE album.

Lil J: As soon as I hit the road first song I’m gonna be playing is #LAUT.

Teddy Adhitya: ‘In Your Wonderland’ and ‘Just You’! 

ASL365: Any advice or shoutout to your fans and/or fellow (young) music artists from around the world, in this time of lockdown?

Sébastien: If you are in the right mindset, it’s a great opportunity to create and to work on something that will improve your art. It doesn’t have to feel like homework. Go at your own pace, do what you feel is right. It’s a great time to grow as an artist.

RRILEY: What a perfect time to work on your craft! I say just go for it, we tend to have a lot of self-doubts because we’re too critical of our work but I say just go for it and put it out there for the world to see/hear. Also, stay safe and stay sane!!

QUEST: Keep creating. This is the best time to squeeze out all your creative juices. Always be in creative mode in and out of season. The next global hit might be waiting to be written by you.

Lil J: Definitely. I would love to tell everyone this is just dust in the air. It will pass and we won’t even realise it. I wanna ask them to stay strong and always keep their eyes on the prize. “Focus”

Teddy Adhitya: Don’t stop creating! Don’t stop loving! The world needs it!

ASL365: Thanks again guys! Keep safe and hope to see everyone live on stage very soon!

Be sure to catch the next episode of Music Matters Live From Home on Facebook here.

For more music from all the artists, follow their socials at: Simple Plan, RRILEY, QUEST, Teddy Adhitya, Lil J, Sheppard, SEZAIRI, iNCH, Aisyah Aziz, and Narelle.

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