Audio Producer Jason Jaydos Chong graduated from JMC Academy at the end of 2013 and has since set up his own business Ammobox Productions – an idea that was incubated while studying at JMC. He shares some great advice for a career in the entertainment industry.
1. What have you been doing since you graduated from JMC?
I moved back to my home country Singapore in 2014 and found a job at a television news station, working as a studio crew member for live news broadcasts and interviews. I worked there for almost a year then moved to an audio-post production facility where I was the main engineer and audio producer for various projects: TV and radio commercials, short films and documentaries and music composition for TVCs and advertisements. Then in 2016 I decided to start my own company, Ammobox Productions and have since been heavily involved in regional songwriting and arrangement projects.
Here is a Sony Playstation TVC I did music and sound production for:
I have also travelled to various countries to attend songwriting camps organised by Warner Chappell Music and have worked with various songwriters and producers across the Asia-Pacific region.
2. Tell us about your company, Ammobox Productions
Ammobox Productions was incubated and materialised at the start of 2012 while I was still studying at JMC Academy. I got together with an Australian music industry veteran who felt that I could be part of something bigger and wo with a few other songwriters and singers we formed a music production and songwriting collective and started to produce commercial pop music.
After moving back to Singapore I decided to focus on my audio career while building up Ammobox Productions on the side. I was signed to a local music publisher as a songwriter and producer and over a period of time sold a couple of songs to various artists in the Asia-Pacific region. When the time was right I decided to go into music full-time and relaunched Ammobox Productions in Singapore.
Ammobox Productions focuses primarily on music production and arrangement for artists locally and around the region. My strengths are in commercial EDM, R&B, Hip-hop and pop music. Here are some of my published works in the recent years:
DJ Tinc - Cut: arranged, recorded mixed and mastered by Jason.
Derrick Hoh - Shine On: a track co-written for a Chinese-language television drama theme song. Arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered by Jason.
3. What’s your favourite thing about your career so far?
Doing what I truly love; making music. Even though I graduated with a Bachelor in Sound Production and Audio Engineering from JMC, music has been a huge part of my life since i was young. I love audio engineering as much as I love music; I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to audio gear and I could spend hours trawling the internet for information on audio equipment and audio engineering.
I never expected to be involved in the songwriting aspect of the music industry but I was presented an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse and that lead on to other things in my career.
4. What advice would you give JMC students who want a career in the entertainment industry?
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. I think people try to do too many things at one time and overstretch their abilities. It’s not wrong to jump at every opportunity just to get your foot in the door but at the end of the day I think it’s important to know what you are good at and what you are not. Work on your strengths and use that as a selling point for your services. Complement your weaknesses by finding people who can do what you can’t do. This brings me to my next point: networking.
- It’s important to network within the industry. The trick with networking isn’t to just throw stuff on the wall and see what sticks but to expose yourself to the right people. Identify your direction and focus your energy on things that take you in that direction. Don’t lose focus. Working with the right people will in turn provide opportunities along the way. Don’t see your peers as competition but rather people whom you can work with to have a sustainable career. Ask yourself, what can I do that the other person can’t, then work alongside the person to complement each other. You may end up sharing your networks with each other and you could make some great friends along the way.
- Learn how to manage people. Some people are nice to work with, but some are unreasonable at times. In an industry where there are limited opportunities, it’s very important to never burn bridges with people who potentially could provide you with work, income and a sustainable career. I separate my personal emotions from business. For me, those are two separate things altogether and should never cross paths.
- Lastly, always remember that it’s a journey, not a race. It might be tough in the beginning but once things are in place, that’s when everything else finds its way into your career like a jigsaw puzzle. Keep working on your craft and never get complacent with your achievements. Always strive to be a better version of yourself the next day, next month or next year.