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Caitlin Min Fa: ‘It’s Important to Drive the Awareness that All Walks of People Can Succeed in This Music Industry’

By Eric Althoff

Singer-songwriter Caitlin Min Fa has led a life constantly influenced by music.  Even from a young age, the native of Melbourne, Australia, had a dream to not only be heard, but to ensure that the music she wrote could be shared around the world. And thanks to the internet, that’s exactly what she has done.

Of course, the pandemic didn’t help her tour scheduling, but with Australia at long last lessening its entry and exit requirements, it’s a sure bet that you will be able to see and hear Min Fa live—and soon.

In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Min Fa spoke with us about her inspirations, how she comes up with her unique music, and what we can expect of her with the world once again opening up. This conversation, conducted via email (that time difference is a doozy!), has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Caitlin Min Fa

Who are some of your musical influences, and what did you learn from them as you were finding your own sound?

As a young singer, Jordin Sparks was definitely one of my biggest influences with the belting and ballad styles. As I developed my artistry over the years, my musical inspirations altered to artists such as Little Mix, Tori Kelly, and Anne-Marie.

How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a specific process that you continually return to?

It’s a bit of a mixture. Sometimes, if I’m writing on my own, I either find a track off YouTube and write on top of that, or I [write] on the piano. Sometimes I write from scratch with my producer Rob Amoruso. I tell him my vision for the song and he creates the music part. [Then] we write the lyrics and create the melodies on top of that together. Also sometimes I collaborate with other artists and we just jam out. 

[My method] changes all the time [because] every song is different.

Your sound seems to be a meld of pop and dance. How did you go about constructing what you wanted your musical style to be?

I’ve been taking singing lessons since I was 11 years old, so going on 15 years now, and that really helped shaped me [into] the artist I am today. [I started writing] a lot of ballads, transitioned into pop—being influenced a bit by gospel—and then incorporated dance into a more upbeat pop feel.

It was all a journey of finding what felt good for me at the time, and also figuring who I wanted to be as an artist and finding confidence in that. This was probably my favorite part of becoming a music artist: discovering myself.

Caitlin Min Fa

Is “I Need U” about anyone in particular that you care to share? If not, what was the genesis like for that song?

“I Need U” is a song about gratitude. It’s not necessarily about anyone in particular, just being grateful for the people around you who always pick you up in times of need.  We forget to appreciate how life is better with them in it.

How has the music scene in Melbourne changed during and since the pandemic? 

It’s changed drastically since COVID-19. Everything shutting down because of the pandemic made it difficult for singers and artists to express their talents and earn an income from live music. However, we are on the mend, and because of this, I’ve been given more opportunities and learned how to adapt to change.

During lockdown, how did you pivot in your career with live music essentially shut down? Additionally, how have things changed for you in your musical career now?

It was definitely difficult. Not being able to perform live really sucked because it’s my favorite thing to do as an artist. But at the same time, because everything went virtually, I guess lockdown forced me to try new things. I did my first ever Facebook and Instagram live, just singing and connecting with my audience in a new way. I really loved the experience, and it’s something that I’ve continued to do.

To be honest, lockdown and the whole season of COVID was kind of a blessing in disguise for me. It was the most perfect time to create. I had more time to work on myself personally, and found that my creativity flowed a lot more naturally. I was able to pump out newly written songs every week and really dig deep on the artist I wanted to be.

Finally getting my own stuff out for the world to hear was also huge for me! My debut single “Younger Self” came out October 2020, and I had only started writing one year prior. Since then I’ve released four singles, one remix, have two new projects/tracks ready for release, and I’ll be back in the studio in just a few weeks to work on the next.

So I feel like it all allowed me to grow heaps as both an artist and as a person finding my confidence.

Caitlin Min Fa Performance

Alchemical Records is recognizing Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month throughout the month of May. Why do you feel it’s important to continue to commemorate such celebrations as this?

It’s important to drive the awareness that all walks of people can succeed in this music industry. And the people in this culture that we celebrate this month matter and deserve to be recognized for their talents.

Tell us about some of your upcoming performances. Where can people see you, either live or virtually?

I’m currently doing a lot of private functions, but in the meantime, you can catch me on my socials.

What are your hopes for your career say in the next six months or so?

I am already planning my releases for the next 12 months. I’ve got two tracks that will be released in the next six months and I’ll be back in the studio next month to work on my first release for 2023. I’m so excited!

I’ll be continuing to gig and perform as much as I can, as well as building my vocal coaching business, as I love inspiring others.

Is there anything else you’d care to share about yourself, your music, or your hopes?

I appreciate your time, and thanks again for having me! I’m just so, so grateful to everyone who has supported me with my music over the last 18 months—from listening, sharing, adding me to your playlists, to the kind words, messages and seeing people smile. It all truly means the world. I can’t wait to share what’s coming next!

Eric Althoff

A native of New Jersey, Eric Althoff has published articles in “The Washington Post,” “Los Angeles Times,” “Napa Valley Register,” “Black Belt,” DCist, ScreenComment.com and Luxe Getaways. He produced the Emmy-winning documentary, “The Town That Disappeared Overnight,” and has covered the Oscars live at the Dolby Theater. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his wife, Victoria.

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