According to Highway to Bliss project coordinator Jace Chong, KIM began looking for music producer at the end of 2010. Through Chris Tan, KIM’s photographer and editor who is a music school graduate, KIM became acquainted with music producer Pok Chee Hong.
Having found their producer, the team began fundraising in January 2011, successfully raising their start-up fund in a short time, thanks to interest to see such a project succeed. Their original concept was to have a New Age album incorporating Migtsema (Tsongkhapa’s mantra) and Setrap’s mantra, so that it would to appeal to everyone, even non-Buddhists who could enjoy the music but would not necessarily understand the meaning of the mantras.
Jace said, “We did some research and decided we wanted to come out with our very own music album, an album with Kechara spirit. That means something that is kind of modern and spiritual.”
“We start doing the recording last June. James Long, who is one of the singers on our album, also supervised the recording process to make sure the pronunciation of the mantras were accurate.”
Jace recalls, “On July 2011, we completed the whole recording process and our producer Chee Hong began his hard work in post-production.” A famous music producer and teacher in the entertainment industry, the team were sure that Chee Hong would match up to the material produced under James’ supervision. James Long, a trained classical singer, is one of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche‘s senior students and possesses a deep knowledge of Buddhism.
In mid-July, the album was given the name Highway to Bliss. According to Jace, the album was given this title because “this is not a religious music album; everyone has the right to happiness regardless of their belief and religion. The difference only comes when we use different approach.”
“Many have contributed their time, money, resources and talents to come out with this music album,” Jace shared, “For example, one of KIM’s regular volunteers Howie Loh helped in setting the direction of album cover. Fang, who is the Creative Director of Kechara Media & Publications (KMP) assisted in the design as well.”
“Through Howie, we became acquainted with Wei Lun, who is an artist and designer by profession. Wei Lun designed the album cover for free after coming to know why we were producing it. Wei Lun is not a Buddhist, and does not know much about Buddhism but he said he was helping us because he appreciated KIM’s effort in spreading the Dharma through music,” explained Jace.
Another volunteer crucial to the success of the album was professional photographer Dwayne Foong, using his talent and professional tools to assist in shooting the album cover. Following in the tradition of the album, where the singers were KECHARA members, the cover stars were also KECHARA members…none other than our very own Uncle Lai (father of author David Lai), Karen Chong from Kechara Care and Tony Tan (son of Kevin Tan, the Marketing Manager of the Sunway Group)!
Happiness and peace come from within, as Rinpoche once said; we have to listen to our inner voice to find the diamond of happiness within ourselves. Listen to Highway to Bliss and find yourself on the train to inner peace and happiness.
Well, if you pre-ordered your copy when it was launched last August, and you were one of the 250 albums pre-ordered…be assured, it is on its way and will be with you by mid-October!