Reuben Ch’ng is the co-founder of Cat Studio, Audio Mentor and Jar Creations. He have produced recorded media for companies like History Channel, Sony Malaysia, Campap and more.
My name is Reuben Ch’ng and I call myself a music producer, entrepreneur and hustler. My passion is into doing creative work and that brought me into producing music
I was born on August 29, 1990 on an island, Penang. Growing up, I was a curious little boy, curious about how many things work and why they did. This brought me to do a lot of childish exploration such as opening up digital devices like calculators to see how they work before not knowing how to put them back together.
I had musicianship and entrepreneurship in my blood from the beginning. My mom was a piano teacher, so when I was 7, I was ‘forced’ to learn playing the violin and piano. My mom made me practice the piano everyday and I hated it. My dad on the other hand was a business man. He ran a collector’s antique store which was going great until the recession hit, around 2009. I used to help my dad out in his shop and that taught me a lot about entrepreneurship and how tough striving in the ‘real world’ can be.
I finished my music grades early on but I was never really interested in playing the piano and violin. However, I did start to teach some small music classes to mostly kids at the age of 16. My dad’s business wasn’t doing so well through the years as there were less demand for antique collections, so there I was making my own pocket money. While teaching in that music centre, I noticed the owner of the school doing some music arrangements on his keyboard and computer. A little touch here, a knob twist over there and a click on the computer. Suddenly, a whole orchestra starts playing out of lines on his screen. I was hooked.
Soon after, I took up some music production classes under a local studio. Because I had such a strong interest for music production, I wanted to work at the studio so I could learn. To my dismay, the studio owner didn’t want to recruit me. I was advised to teach the violin instead, because that is the position they needed more at that time.
Entrepreneurship & Running My First Studio
I flunked my final high school examinations and decided that I’d be a music producer. I eventually enrolled for business management study in a local college. I was teaching music and produce music as a freelancer to pay the college fees. After 3 months being in college, I felt that I was wasting my hard earned money only learning theory, so I quit college.
Together with my sister and mom, we then started Cat Studio. We built a few class rooms around home and started giving private music lessons. I also started my own recording studio without any prior knowledge, but I was naive. That was when I learnt how to fly before I could walk. The music school we built grew slowly as we went. I had no idea on how to promote the music school, so I photocopied hundreds of ad flyers, cut them by myself and went to take a long walk in the near neighborhood, pushing a flyer down every postbox I could find. It was then I learnt how to hustle.
With the flyer distributions and some not-so-legal hanging of banners around the area, we started getting more student enrollments. However our school was situated quite deep in the housing area, so we didn’t get much eyes.
Looking for ways to market the school and studio, I explored ways to market the studio. I joined business organizations such such as BNI, went for many networking events and did many public performances. It wasn’t long before I discovered internet marketing, which I found I had a very strong passion for. The first website I built was for the music school and with some help of a friend, I started implementing lots of search engine optimization techniques to grow the website. With the help of internet marketing, the music school began to grow tremendously.
I also started to get more opportunities to work in bigger production projects. Initially when the studio was built, recording bands and artists was what I thought I’d do most often. However, I found myself working on commercial projects, producing music and mixing for advertisements, jingles and even TV.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish
Being the curious type of person, I couldn’t stay doing the same thing for long. I wanted to try even more. With my experience in music production and internet marketing, I started looking at inspiring and giving online tutoring. That was when I started Audio Mentor. I started a brand together with a website to share music production ideas and industry lessons I’ve learnt through experience struggling in my production career. Audio Mentor is still running active now, despite some hiccups and roadbumps.
By this time, I was running most of my businesses & startups with very little man power. I found myself doing everything myself. It was then I realized that nobody will be able to rise up alone and I’ll need to partner up with someone for my next endeavors.
In 2014, I partnered with a friend and together we started a branding company on impulse. We had a little chat one fine evening and laid out our strengths and weaknesses. We found that we complimented each other. I had my strengths on the work I do and he had his strengths on customer relationship and sales, which were my weaknesses. Being an impulse company, we had many ups and downs just within a year of starting up. We quickly learnt the cost of running a business and finding enough sales to cover for the month.
That company is Jar Creations and despite the crazy little things we explored and went through, it is growing steadily today.
Now & The Future
I currently spend my time on all my business and startups, still wanting to be the guy that does everything. I know I won’t be able to do everything myself and have to leave some work to the people around me.
Fortunate enough, I’ve been learning to delegate work and put faith into my colleagues to complete work. I wish I know what holds in the future for me, but life is a journey filled with ups and downs. I’m still enjoying that ride, prepared to take on any hardships that may come.
I wouldn’t know the future, but I see myself starting a few more startups in time. I’m a believer of the go-giver philosophy in life and business, so everything I do will usually fall back into adding value to people. In everything I do, from producing music to building online sales funnels, I look to see ways I can creatively help people, artists, bands, business, corporates and non-profits.
I wish you all the best in your music or entrepreneurial career. Leave me a comment if you have any questions.
SERVICES I CAN PROVIDE
From music composing, mixing to mastering. I’ve worked for many different projects and companies, commercial and even for leisure
I also run a branding & advertising firm together with some very awesome people. That awesome firm is Jar Creations
Besides music, I have a strong passion for digital marketing. From building websites that works to running marketing campaigns, I’d love to help.
Speaking & Events
I speak about business and entrepreneurship at events. Invite me to yours and I’ll be happy to see how I can contribute.