In Broadcast - March 2018 - 19
www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 8 - Issue 3 | March 2018
Interview With Ricky Ho
Singapore's renowned Music Producer and Senior Music Arranger Ricky Ho talks
with Audio-Technica about the industry and his role...
icky Ho has worked with many
outstanding singers in the Chinese
music industry to create best-selling
popular music albums such as Aaron
Kok, Andy Lau, Anita Mui, George Lam,
Jimmy Lin, Sally Yeh and many more.
In addition to music arranger creation,
he also produced many soundtrack
works, including: Just Call Me Nobody,
A Chinese Ghost Story: The Tsui Hark
Animation, 12 Lotus and many more.
Finalist of three Golden Horse Best
Soundtrack, and Dragon Lance won
the 2008 West Hollywood International
Film Festival best original film music
award. In 2011, he won the 48th Taiwan
Golden Horse Awards for Best Original
Film Music Awards with Taiwan movie
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.
First of all, we would like to know
a bit of your background story. How
did you get involved in the music
Ricky Ho: Oh, it went a long way
back. I started learning the piano
when I was 5 years old. At that time,
I wasn't interested at all as I was too
young. But it all began when I was 12
years old, I started playing some pop
music and picked up the electone
organ. At that time, I took part in
some competitions and received some
awards. This is also how I received
my scholarship from the Yamaha
School. However, when I turned 14, I
decided to be a film composer instead
after hearing some great film scores
that touched my heart. If you ask me
now, I would position myself as a film
composer- This is what I do, I write
music for films.
What did you do to embark on
your journey after you decided to
be a film composer at the age of 14?
RH: Work hard like an apprentice!
I continued my learning in Yamaha
at that time with the goal to study
music in America. I started working
and studying at the same time as a
professional pianist when I was 17.
Then one day, I was introduced and
offered to work for Polygram records
in Singapore and thus this kick-started
my journey in the music industry.
At that time, I met with the late
Teresa Teng when she was living in
Singapore and had the opportunity to
work alongside her. Music is all about
opportunities and grabbing them. I
was fortunate and my hard work has
What made you want to continue
this as a career?
RH: I was offered a job at 18 to be
a full-time Musician. I worked with
one of the top bands in Singapore,
playing with top musicians, like
Richard Ortega, Tony Zee, Patrick Seet,
Horus Wee etc. I was still working at
Polygram Records at that time while
serving my National Service. I then
joined the Music and Drama Company
and got the opportunity to do music
arrangements for their Big Band. After
I finished my NS, I decided to form a
Jazz Fusion Band, and in 1983 I went to
Los Angeles and took up a Composing
and Arranging Full time Program and
in the end, majoring in Film Scoring.
It is the passion and inspiration that
I had when I was young that pushes
me on. I also had many opportunities
to continue my passion. To be
honest with you, I actually wanted
to be an architect but there were no
opportunities for me then. There were
no chances for me to take up drawing
and design courses. I loved drawing
buildings when I was young. Therefore,
it is God's will to provide me with all
the chances to become the "architect"
for music. Henceforth, with God's
blessings, my music path has been
What are some of your more
RH: Hmm apart from those '80s
pop songs that you grew up listening
to, I must say it has to be those movie
projects which I had done. After years
of experience, I started doing bigger
projects. Counting my blessings, I got
to do one of Taiwan's biggest films
- Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq
Bale. I also did some international
television commercials like VISA, SIA,
Capital Land, Eva Air etc. Apart from
all this, I also composed the music
for this documentary film- "Beyond
Beauty: Taiwan from Above". This
documentary film broke the Taiwan
box office records for the largest
opening during the weekend and the
highest total gross box tickets for a
Taiwan documentary. To add to its
achievement, it also won the best
documentary award at the 50th Golden
Horse Awards and the 47th Houston
International Film Festival Gold Remy
Awards for being the best original
What is the greatest challenge in
RH: The greatest challenge for me is
choosing what genre of music I want
to do or I want to specialise in. When
I first started, I was doing pop music.
It is a job that I didn't choose but was
making a living.
It is the time when you had to follow
your passion and for me, it is film
scoring and that was the challenge.
There wasn't any film industry in
Singapore at that time.