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Really Jing: From a useless boy to Forest Boy

B-Side Asia’s latest release is underground Hip Hop

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 17 Mar 2024

Over the past weekend, Really Jing had an EP release party at B-Box in Phnom Penh, the hottest underground spot in the country. Before the show, LiFTED got to ask Really Jing a few questions about his history and how his album, Forest Boy, came about.

Really Jing. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Give LiFTED readers a bit of your background.

Hello, everyone. My name is Mon Lameng and my stage name is Really Jing. I’ve always thought of myself as a useless boy because I dropped out of 10th grade to earn a living so I could financially support my family and myself.

How did you get started doing music?

I've always been passionate about music. It's my dream. But sadly, I had nobody to consult with. Noone was there to guide me. Even so, I never gave up on my dream. I spent most of my free time learning and perfecting myself when it came to music. Unfortunately, due to the lack of electronic devices - a phone, for example - I couldn’t make any music. I usually stole my uncle's phone to listen to music.

At the same time, I was looking for inspiration, checking out lyrics, and then I started writing lyrics down in a book. I remember one day I had to walk home from school, and it started raining cats and dogs. I was so broke that I couldn't even afford a raincoat, so I tried to find a way to cover myself from the rain with the other shirt I had, but I was still soaking wet. Eventually, I used the lyric book as a cover from the rain and everything just vanished from the book. I was devastated.

Did you give up?

I was so mad and upset that I ended up throwing away the book and I shouted, “I’m tired of this sh*t. I don’t want this anymore. All my life, I’ve always been a disappointment and anything I’ve ever wanted I’ve never achieved.” Soon after, I only focused on work and I had forgotten all about the songs. I ended up looking for a job and found one. I worked extremely hard every day to the point where the idea of making music didn’t exist in my head anymore.

Three years later, I thought I would try making music again, but at that time I did not know where to start, so I talked to my high school friend named Sam Sambut. I told him my story and he told me he knew someone who might be able to help me. Then he took me to meet that person - 2MDIE. I told him that I loved music and that I wanted to fulfill my dream. He said alright, showed me what to do, taught me things, and helped me choose what needed to be changed and whatnot. Then he tested me out.

How was it in the beginning?

To be honest, I did not do a great job at all at the beginning. 2MDIE really pushed me when writing my lyrics. He told me over and over, “Even though you did not do well today, you can always do better tomorrow." It took me three months, but I finally made my own song and I showed it to him.He gave me feedback and said it was good. One cannot imagine how happy I was! A few days later, he had a show so I went with him. I stood in front of the stage, watching the whole performance, and I asked myself, "When will all this happen to me?"

How did you go from useless boy to Forest Boy?

Not long after, he introduced me to producer Scotty Darkness. I was a bit frightened by Scotty and barely talked to him. A year later Scotty finally saw my potential and asked me to work on a project together. Everything went well and even though I was anxious, I was happy and proud at the same time. We finished the project in only one night. The song was called ‘B-SIDE RULES.’

Three months later, I signed a contract with B-Side. The idea of my album is about a boy in the forest who does not know anything, does not understand anything, and does not know how to get to know people. The forest boy lives in a different world in a way. Like someone who came out of the forest and wandered into the city. I am the boy from the forest and my album’s title is Forest Boy. I can’t wait for people to hear it.

Check out Really Jing’s Forest Boy below.