California-based Allen Ling's video for Straight Into The Ocean – like most of his music videos – was never released publicly in the past. Yet it managed to win big at several international and Indian film festivals such as the Paris Film Festival and Canada Independent Film Festival. It was officially released earlier this year as part of Ling's formal debut as a musician. He has teamed up with Dave Lopez, the fellow San Francisco-based guitarist and producer from the popular rock band Flipsyde.
Ling was humming Disney tunes as a toddler, and by the time he hit the teens, he wasn't just doodling superheroes in the margins of his math homework, but also strumming out tunes on his guitar like he was born with it in his hands. Fast forward a few years, and this American kid, with roots stretching to China, had notched up a song list of over 200 tracks.
However, he decided to hang up his guitar and pick up medical equipment instead. Ling went headfirst into the world of healthcare and went on to become the CEO of a physical therapy business in the US, and the creator/ publisher for GenSeven Comics. Talk about a plot twist.
As fate would have it, a healthcare hiccup of his own sent him reeling back into the arms of his first love: music. “The strongest force of creation is grief. I used that to comfort myself. The better the song, the worse I feel when I am writing it. I am really trying hard to write music when I'm not unhappy,” Ling quipped in a Zoom call with FPJ where his collaborator Dave Lopez joined us.
Together, they've been cooking up a storm, starting with a trilogy of video singles that's all about heartbreak and healing. The first single, Straight Into The Ocean, is based on his own heartbreak story and made a splash much before its release. This isn't just your run-of-the-mill music video; it's a festival darling, scooping up awards like they're going out of style. And guess who's in it? Aramis Knight aka the Red Dagger from Ms. Marvel.
Watch the video for 'Straight Into The Ocean':
Allen's music is like a time machine, whisking us back to the days of Duran Duran and The Cure, but with a modern twist. It's like if the '80s and '90s had a baby, and that baby grew up to be a rock star. The EP is a journey through Allen's life, with each song peeling back another layer of his story. A Name In Your Book is the prequel to Straight Into The Ocean, because who doesn't love a good backstory? And the latest release Remember is like the cherry on top of this nostalgic sundae. It's a song that'll have you digging through your old yearbooks and wondering, 'What if?'
Check out the music video for 'Remember':
With Dave Lopez by his side, it's like they're the dynamic duo of throwback tunes. Said Lopez, “Most artists tend to overthink their lyrics. Allen came over, and not only did he help me finish writing the verses, he also came up with some of the chords and the bridge. That's how it started. The trilogy is like the Star Wars, there are three to begin with and then the story continues. There are many more beautiful and happy love songs we have worked on.” Ling added, “We are planning to take these songs on the road to the US and Asia.”