In the inaugural Asia Music Festival, although there various artist and musicians from Asian countries, the event itself too featuring local talent artist and musician. I noticed singers and bands from Malaysia in this year line up are all Sarawakians who had albums of their own such as Bob Yusof, Melissa Francis, Hevance Band and not forgetting Miri own talented and versataile local band such as The Starlet Band and The Mountain Wind Band.
Thank you to Sarawak Tourism Board for such line up! Bravo!
Concerts Day 1
The Starlets Band, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
The Starlets Band was giving the honor to kick start the Day 1 concert. The band started as group with their first gig at Piasau Boat Club back in year 2005 and from there onward, the band keeps evolving albeit some of the original singers stop singing due to career commitment or tending to their young children at home.
Hevance, Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Formed in year 2011, the band is an independent Iban rock band. What increases their popularity was when their second single entitled ‘Aku Nemu’ was released to the public. Since then, the band won several award in Iban artist competition and when they were nominated in Anugerah Carta Borneo ERA 2010/2011 organised by ERA FM, the local Iban music was accepted in a Malay award. The success is considered a break through in Iban music industry as the band brought the Iban music to a higher level which has never been attempted before.
For someone who don’t speak Iban or never heard of Iban language, one will think that they are listening to a Malay rock song but in actual fact, their lyrics are all in Iban language. For a local like myself, I know it’s an Iban song just by listening to the music without even looking at the performers’ coz Iban music has this particular distinctive standard ryhtm. But with Hevance Band, it was a jaw drop moment!
Bob Yusof, Limbang, Sarawak, Malaysia
Born from a reality tv program: Akademi Fantasia, Bob has performed in many prestigous events in Asia. A very versatile performer that has soulful voice sings in other genre apart from what he normally do such as pop and RnB. He sang pretty well in Malaysian traditional song genre too.
I fondly known Bob with his famous tag line: Mesraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Not only I get to see him performed live but I can get to take picture with him too. Proud of him!
Soesah Tidoer, Indonesia
In English, Soesah Tidoer means insomnia. This group was establishing in year 1999 by Wien Dwi Laksono who is a sculptor. The 8 members of Soesah Tidoes come from many background such as sculptor, academic musician, interior designer, buskers and many more. By combining 3 genre; dangdut, keroncong and rock, they have a unique musical colour.
Tritha started training in North Indian classical music at the age of 5 and never stopped. As a woman, she has suffered share of harrassment and discrimination in her country. As such she embedded these experiences into her songs in her own unique inclusive sound and has gained critical and popular acclaims. For the past 4 years, Tritha had toured in Europe.
Tritha and the other member arrived in Miri on the same day of their performances. Despite the jet lag and exhaustion due to the long hours of journey, they performed to their best and it was beyond their expectation upon seeing the crowd response. I personally enjoyed their performances albeit most of the songs were sound like ‘humming birds’ but it was pleasant to the ear.
Bembol Rockers, Philippines
The band was formed out of vision they all shared for the music industry. The band members really researched about the way bands performed in the 50s and incorporated it into their performance. They noted that there has been band that tried to do jazz and tried to do rocakabilly but never tried a synthesis of the two.
They swooned, swaggered and even waxed their hair in pompadours that Elvis would be proud of. I feel like I’ve been transported to Elvis era while enjoying their music.
V. Star is an emerging young South Korea group who were finalist in Korea’s Got Talent 2012. In the inaugural Asia Music Festival, the group featured a prominent Middle Eastern artist Kamal Musallam. V. Star style is popularly known as traditional Korean fusion; they played their music using traditional Korean musicl instruments whether in original compositions or through new arrangement of famous Korean and Western covers.
I have to say the performance line up by having V. Star to close the performance of the day was a great choice. It was entertaining from the moment their first music till the last music. I cant’ get enough of it. To be able to play the traditional musical instrument at the same do some dance moves on the stage is not an easy task. They are indeed talented artist.
Coming right up in my next post, The Concert Day 2. 😉