Last month, I was lucky to be flown over to Miri for Sarawak very first installment of Asia Music Festival that took place in Eastwood Valley Golf &Country Club. This would be my official second time to East Malaysia as for this year I went to Mount Kinabalu for my hike there and here am I again at another state.
To me, Sarawak is not only known for their rich resources and habitats as to me its always about food as I do know that Kuching do have amazing street food which I will surely be there soon. Not only that, they also do have another great event that have been a trademark to the state which is the award winning Rainforest World Music Festival with Sarawak’s traditional Sape, along with Borneo Jazz festival.
Then now, with their latest project in the pipe line, they are presenting 1st Asia Music Festival that bring talents from around Asian regions to perform at one stage. As for this round, artist from India, Korea, Indonesia, Brunei Philippines and Malaysia are all flown in for this 2 days event.
Of course the main driving people behind this event is by Sarawak Tourism Board.
Right after we reach, we then check in at this resort,and when I saw their sign mention they are one of the top 10 golf courses in Malaysia, surely expectation is slightly different.
Its a resort in the greens . .
We got a share bedroom and Henry is my room mate for this trip. This room looks like it really need refurbishment. Definately have the old room wood smell. .
Basic items are provided with water, coffee and tea along with a electric kettle.
Toilet is huge but the drainage they build is very weird as the water do not flow to the exit point as it clock on the other end. Right after bathing, it would cause like flood there.
Then all our meals for the next 3 days are taken care off at their Lake View Cafe & Restaurant.
Then all of us are brought to this huge golfing area for tree replanting as to officiate the event.
Then I got myself to plan a tree too . .:D
and of course the main one is for all of us. . .
With the rest of the Air Asia bloggers community.
Taking picture with Dato, he is friendly and easy to be approach . .
Right after that, we attended first day press conference with the artist that will be performing through the event.
Also manage to take some pictures with the artist, on left Melissa, top right – V.Star Band from Korea and our very own local talent Bob.
Venue of the performance is something different as it feels like we are in a huge floating platform . .
On the day itself, the place is getting merrier with crowds start to pour in from evening onwards. Guest can do a little shopping here as the locals do showcase their hand made items ranging from clothes, baskets, bracelets and many more items. .
Then there is a showcase of superbikes also from the local group in Miri. .
Lets kick start with some artist that had perform on the first day . .
With very first band to kick off at 4pm is The Starlets Band.
The Starlets Band got together as a group with their first 6-song gig at the Piasau Boat Club, Miri, way back in April 2005. Three of them were sisters – Monalisa Ibrahim (vocal), Hawa Ibrahim (keyboard) and Rahmah Ibrahim @Norol (guitar); niece Nono made four. Their audience were 4 Caucasian males. It was a Father’s Day gig. Since that performance, their band took off and played till today. As for the locals, they are no stranger to alot of corporate and government companies.
We are all amazed with their energy level that they have, with genre from locals, dangdut, malay, classic and latest top 40 hits.
Right after that performance – Hevance is next to perform. One of the band that I am looking forward right after the press con is because they are Independent IBAN Rock Band. Little did I know that Iban have their own music style.
I am really impress with them as I did not know that we do have a good local bands. Their style of music to me is something like Linkin Park with LMF crossover. A good mix yet its not too noisy yet their music reflect back to our local culture.
The band was formed since 2001, then they started to gain their popularity with their first single Semampai Ngenang in the year 2008 and Aku Nemu. Since then, their track record begins by some of their songs topping in the charts in most of the local radio station in Sarawak which later was nominated for 3 categories in Anugerah Carta Borneo ERA 2010/11 organized by ERA FM. To be the only Iban band nominated in the event, HEVANCE break the boundaries of local iban music to be accepted in a Malay Award.
In the press con, Bob is pretty well known to many of the media as he is surely one local Sarawakian Artist with a great voice. I got to know that his popularity begins when he won one of a TV reality singing contest show. On that day, he sings a few local songs which is new to me, as he do mention that since back to his homeground, he would want to do songs that reflect back here as he had his challenges as an artist to penetrate in. Another great local artist.
Next we have international artist to perform – Soesah Tidoer. WhenI first heard their name, why do they called themselves that as in English with direct translation it means hard to sleep. Its a band with 8 people that comes from different background such as sculptor, academic musician, interior designer, buskers, and many more.
Then they have their own audience as they combine 3 genre dangdut, keroncong and rock. Its another type of music which is new to me.
The crowd here sure do know them . .
Hail all the way from India which is Tritha.
Tritha is an ardent supporter of women’s rights and includes her ideas in her songs with “Lyrics that deal with women’s liberation, social oppression and sexual exploitation” (Hindustan Times) In June 2012, she was featured on a full page in Marie Claire India as one amongst the ten most interesting young Indian women, and also that same month, in Tehelka Magazine. Tritha’s picture has been traveling all over the world in 2011 and 2012 with the exhibition Women Changing India, organized by the Magnum Photo Agency and BNP Paribas.
Her genre of music is very very unique. Its something like for the goddest. Then only then I realise that I should record some songs for you readers to understand further as Pictures is nice but could not tell how actually is their music. Here you go as below for her songs.
next performer is from Bembol Rockers from Philippines.
One of the band that gets the crowd excited with a unique mish-mash of kundiman (Traditional Filipino Serenade), jazz, swing, rockabilly, jump blues. They turn the whole scene back to 40’s and 50’s as the crowd just dance like there is no tomorrow. .
Since South Korea had turn the whole Asia into massive K-POP fever, V.Star Band is included as one of the performer that many people looking forward for. V.STAR is an emerging young South Korean female group who were finalist in KOREA’S GOT TALENT of 2012. They are slightly different compare to many of the groups you seen out there as they are more towards traditional Korean Fusion Music as as they play their music using traditional Korean music instruments. V.STAR has collaborated with some of the most famous Korean Pop and Traditional Gugak artists, whether in original compositions or through new arrangements of famous Korean and Western covers.
When they start playing their music, I do not know why the first group that I associate with is The Corrs. They just give me that thought.
V.STAR has been formed by the amazing Gwan Jihye, playing the traditional Gayageum (Korean zither, modified into twelve strings), joined by the very talented percussionist Kan Keun Hwa, playing Janggu (double headed drum with a narrow waist in the middle), the delicate Heejin Park playing the Daegeum (Korean flute), and the beautiful Ellie Kim singing Pansori (Korean dramatic melodies), Ellie also plays a second Gayageum and the keyboards in some shows.
On the next day, we have artist from Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia and India of course not to miss out our local talent.
get a chance to know this cool dude Fakrul Razi, that I did not realize that he was an artist and we talk abit during 1st day tree planting ceremony .
with the crazy girls – Foxy Girls from Indonesia
Born locally as this group The Mountain Wind Band band are formed in Miri, Sarawak in 2010 by four kelabits from Bario Highlands namely Lian Ballang (lead singer/rhythm guitar), Frankie Kapong (bass/ guitar), Herman Pasang (lead guitar/vocal) and Freddy Kang (drummer/vocal).
Their style of music are pretty much Country, Rock n Roll, Oldies, Pop
Our another local talent is Melissa Francis is a Director of the Company Platinum WorldNetwork Sdn. So far she have gotten out 2 albums in the market already. Songs such as Hairee & Angels ft,Melissa Francis ‘Agi Agi idup Ngelaban’ and the album itselfMelissa Francis album ‘Rain Perening’.
Boy Thai first burst onto the Thai music scene in 1995, the band was dubbed by the media as “Commandos of traditional Thai music in the Globalisation Age.” because of their bold and refreshing way of reinterpretating classical Thai music.
Within a very short period of time, this group of young musicians from a vast different background succeeded in changing the common perception that traditional Thai music was conservative, boring, outdated. Their music became a sensation with younger Thais and praised by critics, one of whom remarked that Boy Thai music “was the most innovative thing to have hit the Thai music scene.”
Under the guidance of Mrs.Amporn Chakkaphak Managing Director of Pisces Music, a well known music critic with extensive experience in promoting international artists, Boy Thai worked to develop a “modernized” Thai sound, by blending western rhythms with the color and temperament of classical Thai music. Their music showcased prominently ancient Thai instruments such as the Thai xylophone(ranad), flute and Thai percussion but played with a very upbeat manner, fusing influences ranging from samba, bossanova and modern jazz.
Boy Thai has released three albums: Siamese Samba(1995), Andaman Sun (1998) and Spicy Brazil(2000). Songs from these albums have been used on numerous occasions to epitomize “modern thainess” in tourism campaigns, cultural activities and contemporary arts events, both in Thailand and worldwide.
Their success was followed by invitation to perform at many international music events in Japan, Italy, U.S.A., China, Taiwan , Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand. In addition two of Boy Thai’s original members have become leading lights in Thailand’s music scene :Sekpol Unsamran (aka Koh Mr.Saxman) has become one of Thailand’s most accomplished artists; and Narongrit Tosa-nga (aka Khun In) from the movie The Overture”, was instrumental in the dramatic growth of interest in traditional Thai music among young people.
This band is the superstar among the rest of the performer is Boy Thai Band or more like a overnight super star among the crowd.. They were on stage as many people do not have a clue about them like many other groups till they play their music.
They are a bunch of energetic young people that turn the crowd go wild.
If you say he is Kenny-G? He might have the potential as he was so good that those girls standing behind me already shouting and screaming for him.
Once he lay his foot into the public crowd, all the young girls went crazy and took pictures with him. Even some girls say omgggg. I got his picture with me, I am like in heaven. That puzzled some of us. . 😀
Then the meet and greet fans section, all the young girls storm over to them including David and me. . wakakka . .
I must say among so many performance, they top into my list with a great mixture of Thai Traditional instruments with modern beat.
Anthony Daasan’s Folk Ensemble -”Antoney Yenn Party” brings Tamil folk songs out of their rural moorings and presents them to urban audiences.
Fronted by Anthony Daasan – a Thirty seven-year-old folk artiste from Reddypalayam, a small town in Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, sings,dances on stage, acts, juggles, does acrobatics and even plays a few instruments – call him the performer, instead.
Anthony Daasan had been a folk artiste ever since he could walk, it was in his family. There are so many artistes who have made it big, but for him, it’s the art form that’s the winner. The way he performs in International festivals all over the world is same as he performs in villages-its the way he performs everywhere.
Anthony Daasan and a throng of traditionally-dressed performers conjure up images of the flowing Vaigai and Poigai rivers and of rich rice harvests brought into the granaries in carts.
Samuel Gunasekar on the drums and Sajith satya on the bass guitar — symbolically, in the background – give the distinctively Tamil sounds a new depth without threatening to overpower them.
More than a band, “Anthony In Party” is a platform for folk music that is continuously exploring indigenous and traditional forms of art.
Foxy Girls is not an ordinary girlsband. They consist of beautiful models who used to walk on the runaway. Foxy Girls officially established on 12 September 2011. “Initial process was on 12th Sept 2011 from the first auditions around 600 models in the audition, and until finally only the four of us that survived, well over 6months, and we finally found the pretty girls. Surely we all love to sing. Basically we are model, but other than that we could also sing,”said Alea explained. the uniqueness owned by Foxy Girls girl band is the genre of music they choose. Unlike other girl groups are towards K-Pop, Foxy Girls chose music genre blend of RnB, Pop and Malay.
The girls sure do know how to hype up the crowd by asking public to play game and dance with them. We all had a great laughter with both crowd and singer are so spontaneous.
Even thought they are pretty new group which is only 2-3 years old and the locals here sure do know her songs as even this kid sing along most of their songs.
At the end of the day, all of us went back with new blogger friends from Philipines, Thai and Indonesia. Best of all to me is that, I get to learn and see a very unique kind of music that I have never heard before and its very interesting. A whole new thing to me. I am sure that ASIA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2014 is gonna be bigger and more artist coming in.
If you are keen on a unique genre of music then this is the event to be. I have to apologize on my camera audio, just realise there is a problem in it. 🙂
Not to forget, special thanks to Air Asia for flying us into this event and Ash for taking care all of us.