They found love on the first season of reality singing competition The Final One despite being an unlikely match at first glance. She was 18, he was 28. They came from different religious backgrounds, and one sang graceful acoustic tunes while the other was a metalhead.
Yet, an unexpected romance brewed when the two turned to each other for comfort while competing on the show. Their differences initially drew scepticism from friends and family, but they decided to take the leap of faith and pursue what they had started. That was to mark the beginning of a turbulent journey for the musical couple Marc and Hashy, but their story is one that proves love truly conquers all.
Marc and Hashy have had their share of ups and downs in the five years they have been together, but their downs were more arduous than that of most young couples. Their relationship was stricken with health problems, and times were especially trying when in 2016 Hashy discovered a benign tumour in her spinal cord (astrocytoma) that could potentially cause pain and paralysis. She underwent surgery to have it removed, but that affected her ability to feel in her lower body.
Her road to recovery was not an easy one – just earlier this year, the couple discovered that Hashy's tumour has recurred – but she has had Marc’s unparalleled support throughout which gave her the strength to fight on. Last month, Marc and Hashy spoke to Hear65 about the heartwarming video for their new single ‘Take Me Home’, which traces the story of their tumultuous relationship. Read the full interview below:
How did the both of you find love while competing on The Final One back in 2013?
Marc: Well, Hashy totally hit on me. It was very competitive when we met, and I think we were both in very different places in our lives - I was 28 at that point of time and she was 18 turning 19. But, we found comfort in one another.
Hashy: I was new to the music scene and Marc was guiding and helping me because he had so much experience with it. He was teaching me a lot and fortunately a nice person.
What were your music careers like prior to joining The Final One, and how has the experience changed the way you guys think about music?
Marc: I’ve been doing music since I was 15. I’m 34 this year. For Hashy, she had already been doing music for about two-and-a-half years when she joined Final One.
Hashy: I was doing covers here and there on YouTube and Soundcloud but never really commercially.
Marc: And for myself, I was more involved in heavier music, like the metal and hardcore scenes. I used to do a lot of bar gigs where I did Top 40s and rock, old-school stuff but when it came to originals it was mostly in the heavier scene.
For me, competing on the show had a very large impact because I never really dabbled with the more commercial side of music. It was always about the heavier stuff I was geared towards, but it opened my eyes. There were a lot of talents at this competition, Hashy being one of them of course. And there was a whole bunch of other talented singers that I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know better and everyone’s style was very different. It gave me a sense of appreciation when it came to the lighter styles of music – indie, country, pop and R&B. When I was much younger, I was involved with the hip-hop scene with a crew I used to work with. When it came to today’s generation of music, I was 28 and the other competitors were generally around 18, 19 – the stuff they listened to were stuff I maybe hadn’t even heard of! So it opened my eyes quite a bit.
Hashy: It opened doors for me, and the show really encouraged us to use social media so I was teaching Marc to use social media while learning musicality from him!
Marc: I was learning to use Instagram. I never had Instagram and Mediacorp productions was telling us we had to have Instagram. I was like, “What in heaven’s name is that, do I have to take photos!? How do I edit photos?!" So I tried to take photos, sent them to Hashy and she would edit them for me.
Hashy: Now he’s Insta-husband lah.
Tell us about your new single ‘Take Me Home’.
Hashy: 'Take Me Home' was written with our wedding/matrimony in mind. It was a collaboration with a wedding photography/videography company, AndroidsinBoots and a recording studio, GRYD.
Just weeks before we had the opportunity to work with AndroidsinBoots and GRYD, Marc and I were going through a difficult phase. We heard from my doctor that I had a relapse of the astrocytoma. I felt like my world was crashing again but Marc was – and is still – my pillar. And I wrote the lyrics, with our relationship in mind, from the start till now, the uncertainties and obstacles that we had to face, and how I felt about him and us.
The song transitions from me being uncertain and afraid of the journey because we had to go through so much, be it personal matters or my health. When Marc comes in to sing his parts, it’s him reassuring me that everything will be okay. My favourite part of the song is the ending where I sing, “Settle down, in a quiet world, made for two, for you, with you” – which was perfect. Perfect for whatever Marc x Hashy is. I married my best friend. Home is not always just a place. To me, home is wherever Marc is.
Marc: 'Take Me Home' was, I suppose, a representation of a new chapter for us. We have been through so much over the past five years that this was a major milestone, symbolised in a song for us. Be it societal norms, parental uncertainties, health issues or anything that we had to go through, it all led to this. To finally be one, not just emotionally, but in matrimony.
You guys also released ‘Photographs’ last year, a track you recorded together in early 2014 that’s about always appreciating what you have before it is too late and the importance of living with passion. You embed a lot of motivational messages in your songs. Do you have a specific audience in mind when you write songs?
Hash: We don’t quite have a specific audience. We write what we feel, what we love, what we experience, what we observe. And we just want to share it with the people around us. I’ve listened to many songs that spoke to me and got me going through difficult times and I hope maybe one day our song will have that power to help others too, even if it’s just one person.
Marc: I think every song is an expression of a chapter in our lives. For us, we hope our music helps heal the soul of whoever that needs it. We have both been there before, where something as simple as a song can keep you going and we hope we can do that. Even if the track helps one and only one person, It was absolutely worth it. When anyone thanks us for our music, we honestly thank them, cause that in return keeps us going. We understand the demons in life, and think United we are strong.
You have done mostly covers as a Marc x Hashy, and have now put out ‘Take Me Home’. Will we be hearing more originals from you soon? What can we expect in the upcoming months?
Hashy: We are in the midst of writing! We just moved in together ever since the wedding so we do get more time to jam and write. I write best when I’m sad. Recently I’ve been very happy, so… It’s been harder and also, Netflix. NETFLIX IS EVIL!
Marc: Yes, you definitely can. We had intended to from the beginning after ‘Battles’, but had gotten caught up with health issues. We have been actively writing. Of course now that we are living together, and it should be easier, but Netflix is the devil!