Benjamin Man is the lead singer of the local rock band Asyndeton; while Dixie Lynne is an acoustic singer known for her earnest, emotive vocals. Their musical styles could not be more different – but what they do have in common is mutual respect and a tireless commitment to their crafts.
They’ve been working together ever since they first met at the Lion Rock festival – a charity music festival hosted by international school King George V. According to 17-year-old Dixie, she and Benjamin were bound to meet because they’ve “been on the same track”.
Dixie doesn’t see their contrasting styles as a bad thing. “If anything, it adds to [our friendship],” she says. “We can contribute to each other’s musical abilities.” As for 19-year-old Benjamin, he is always happy to make friends with fellow musicians.
“If I get scared, or have stage fright, they give me advice and moral support, “ he says.
Both believe making friends and networking is necessary for success in the music industry. “We definitely need to put ourselves out there; that’s the only way we’re going to get anywhere,” Dixie says. “A lot of the gigs I have got are through connections. It’s a really necessary component of being in any entertainment industry.”
They both face the difficulty of balancing their music careers with academia, too. Benjamin is studying geology at the University of Hong Kong, while Dixie is entering her final year at Hong Kong International School. “I’ve been focusing more on academics, I’ll be completely honest,” says Benjamin. “But I try to make time. I’ve still been doing covers, I’ve still been recording in my bedroom. It’s tough. University has been a lot of work.”
“It’s been a bit of a struggle,” says Dixie, who had to sacrifice her last week of school to go on a tour with World Unplugged, a Hong Kong-based events promotion company.
Benjamin says it’s difficult to get noticed as a student musician. “People think less of you,” he explains. “They expect you to mess up.”
Dixie even goes so far as to keep her musical endeavours and her school life completely separate. “It’s kind of like a secret life,” she says. “Sometimes, I just of want to hide.”
On the bright side, this shared struggle ultimately helped Benjamin and Dixie form a tighter bond. “It’s these common experiences bring student musicians together,” Dixie says.
Nowadays, the duo has been finding more success, as both performed in front of sold-out crowds at Clockenflap – the city’s most prominent music festival that takes place in November. Dixie has performed in Ho Chi Min City in Vietnam, Singapore, and Bangkok in Thailand; while Benjamin’s band is planning to release an album in mid-August.
Both Benjamin and Dixie had some advice for aspiring musicians.
“Be yourself, and be bold,” Dixie says. “Share your passions with people. When you’re passionate about something, people respect that.”
“Don’t listen to anyone who tries to stop you; take it as constructive criticism,” Benjamin adds.
As for the future, the two aren’t opposed to bigger projects together. Towards the end of the interview – Benjamin turned to Dixie, smiled and said: “We should collaborate more. We should hang out.”
Edited by Ben Young