Hong Kong born, Cork-based artist Po Ki Ching is an amalgamation of the music of his past; both an exploration, and a soulful outpouring of his constituent parts. Currently studying at UCC, Ching performs as ‘My Twisted Heart’ part of Cork’s Outsider collective, in a style that fuses emo rock and quirky pop styles.
“The music scene in Hong Kong is pretty much pop oriented, where most tunes consist of melancholy/hopeless romantic themes,” he says. “I grew up consuming lots of “sad-love songs” which has had a huge influence on my lyrics and the type of music I make. As for my time in Ireland, I have gone to different gigs and shows and come across music from so many different genres like Electronic, Hip-Hop and Jazz etc. This has broadened my horizon and allows me to experiment with different styles.”
Part of that has been in collaboration, such as in new single ‘Heartbreaker’, where another local artist laid down the beats that Ching works on. “The beat for ‘Heartbreaker’, which is composed by Fantom, is the absolute soul of the track,” he says. “I felt so excited when I came across this amazing beat. The beat is so lively and energetic, which also gives me an anime theme song vibe, it just clicks with me right away. The lyrics for ‘Heartbreaker’ are very simplistic, as I didn’t want to overshadow the beat with too much of my vocals.”
The emotional side expands into My Twisted Heart’s forthcoming EP, entitled ‘Heart Leak’. “The concept of ‘Heart Leak’ is about these unwanted emotions we try to suppress deep down, but eventually it’s simply too much for us to keep bottled up,” he says. “The sadness, the fear, the uncertainties slowly leaking out, making us more and more vulnerable. ‘Heart Leak’ has songs about leaving someone or something behind, fear of uncertainty, and the fear of letting go. Ultimately, the project is about turning pain into beautiful songs.”
“I think every artist’s name has to represent a part of themselves,” he continues. “I think ‘My Twisted Heart’ gives the audiences a good idea of my character – a rather gloomy and pessimistic individual, always longing for love to fill up my void, but at the same time so scared of getting hurt in relationships. I wouldn’t say all my songs and lyrics directly reflect my life experiences but the emotions and thoughts that I put into each of my tracks are genuine.”
“The ‘Outsiders’ Collective has been the one and only reason why ‘My Twisted Heart’ exists. I am truly grateful to have met all these wonderful and talented people, together we formed the Outsiders Collective supporting each other and making progress as a group and as individuals. I felt alone and vulnerable when I first arrived in Ireland, I would always doubt myself until I became a member of the ‘Outsiders’ collective. Since, I know I can always count on the Outsiders if I ever needed a push or some advice. Shout out to Outsider YP, Kestine, Sai, Olympio, Fionnuala, DJ Safari, Iamacosmonaut and all the other outsiders out there.”
“When I was living in Hong Kong, I don’t think I spent much time working on music. I was spending a lot of time with my family and friends, going places and on lots of extracurricular activities. Whereas being in Ireland and now in the UK, I am spending more time on myself and my music. I have also realised that having slowed down the pace of my daily life has allowed me to pay more attention to the small but important people and things around me.”