DC Collard and his debut album, On A Mission, in his own words: 

I was born in Malaysia and grew up there with my younger sister and English parents. My father, ex-army and an ordained minister, and my mother, a nurse in the Red Cross, met for the first time in the Far East, having both joined the OMF as missionaries. 

We lived in several villages on those tropical plains; and later, when I turned 4, moved up into the cooler air of the mountains to a mission school called Chefoo. We were surrounded by jungle, the oldest rainforest in the world—and that’s where Part One of my album, On A Mission, begins . . . 

As kids, we often looked up in the morning to see mist creeping down from the mountains and would cry out, “Look, the White Witch, the White Witch is coming!”

Photo by Andrew Dyer - andrewdyerphotography on FB 

Life in a jungle school was intense and exciting, but—especially at night—also lonely and scary for young children. Aged 5-12 and away from parents for 4 months at a time, most children as adults now look back on their time at Chefoo School with fear and love in equal measure. 

(I lived at the school year round as my parents administered the property until I was 8, at which time they relocated to a town called Tapah.) 

At age 9, I was sent away to a foreign country called England to attend MCS boarding school—a culture shock of biblical proportions. 

Many years later I’m riding my motorcycle from Chicago to Kansas City when my mind drifts back in time, inadvertently starting the process that becomes this album. It’s a journey that will reconnect me with my past, some once very young old friends, and also my deeply suppressed emotions, numbed and buried since childhood. 

To quote my song A Silent Scream: 

“To facilitate this need in me 
I must return to where I'm from 
And there unearth the buried truth 
That I've ignored for far too long 

Have you ever yearned (have you ever yearned for) 
Have you ever cried (have you ever cried out) 
Can I forgive? Can I forget? 
Can I accept? Or just deflect 
This smoldering flame year after year 
This numbing pain I hold so dear 

A silent scream crawls up my throat . . .” 

. . . as I return to the country of my birth and prepare to face the consequences! 

Part Two of the album, On A Mission, focuses on my experience revisiting Malaysia after 40 years, that sense of coming home, feeling truly alive again, but also the fear of some potential aftermath— 

I hope this brief history gives you some insight and helps connect you to the words and music as you take your own trip with me—allowing for a little artistic license here and there—across the ever-changing emotional landscape of this record—DC xx

A jungle ruin that became Chefoo School