Influenced by motherhood

WRITE what you know.

Corrinne May took that to heart for her fifth and latest album, Crooked Lines, which was written and recorded in California, where she is now based with husband Kavin Hoo and daughter Claire, who turns three this year.

The last time the 39-year-old Singapore singer-songwriter released an album, Beautiful Seed in 2007, she wasn't a mummy yet.

But her life since then has been filled with the experiences of a new mother and it shows in Crooked Lines.

The opening song, In My Arms, was born out of the quiet times she spent with little Claire soon after she was born, nursing her into the wee hours of the morning.

An iPad book, a favourite of Claire's, called When I Close My Eyes, inspired another song with the same title.

Back home in Singapore for a few months to get her house here renovated and to launch Crooked Lines two weeks ago, May met up with LOUD to discuss motherhood and did an acoustic version of a song from Crooked Lines called Just What I Was Looking For. (Watch the video online at

May and her husband have been married for almost a decade, but decided to have children only a few years ago.

"The calling to be a parent was very strong," said May.

But when Claire was born, her songwriting was put on hold for almost a year.

It was only after Claire was about nine months old that May wrote her first song, the National Day 2010 theme song, Song For Singapore.

She then started getting more ideas for her next album, but it was only in the last year that she began to flesh them out for Crooked Lines.

She got input from the friends she worked with for the album, her musician husband (he does music for TV and films) and even little Claire, who reacts to songs she likes by trying to sing along, or play along on her tiny toy piano.

Now, the greater part of May's days are spent with Claire, though she takes time off in the morning or the afternoon to sit at her favourite coffee shop in Los Angeles to write songs.

Her Malaysian hubby is the key to her pursuing both dreams of being a singer-songwriter and a mum.

"The give and take is very important," she said. "I wouldn't be able to do it without his support."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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