I’ve always had a strong belief that local music needs to be celebrated in today’s time. Some people can spend hundreds (or thousand) of money just to see their favourite international artist sing their hearts out. Well, NEWS FLASH! There are many local bands out there who put in the same passion and effort as the artist you listen on the radio too. The best part is you don’t even have to break the bank to see a local artist perform. Heck, even Merdekarya charges RM20 for the entrance fee and you’re in for a great night of local music/talent and amazing company. Which Malaysian don’t love cheap stuff?
We need to bring back the glory days of our local music to it’s Too Phat, OAG, One Buck Short, and Dragon Red era. Reminiscing on how my love started for local music begins when I was a young kid looking at my elder brother as a music model. He would crank Pop Shuvit, and Poetic Ammo music to the point where I started singing to their song and gain so much of my respect for local music ever since then.
Since I joined in as a writer for 2Cents, I made it my mission to interview musicians and bring awareness of local music as how it was glorified massively back then. To be honest, the quality and music back then and now is similar if not better. You can see more creative music and showmanship that put Malaysian English music to its centre of attention in the present day. Sadly, there are not many people who are as passionate towards our music now and some just turn the other cheek when it comes to local music.
My advice: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Here are some of the local English bands you should be listening and definitely will change your mind to love your local music scene more!
If you’re a lover of all chilled out, and Indie type of music, Jumero Music is pretty much one of the local music you need to be keeping an eye for. From landing gigs in places like Korea, Japan, China and Indonesia, Jumero has proved that our local music can be brought international too.
They recently dropped their new single called Growing Cold. It deals with our natural human tendency to want to hide or take the easy road out. The positive message in this song shows lights that we all can overcome fear and not let it mould us. Listen to their other songs on Spotify today: Jumero.
This is not your ordinary band but a head-banging experience! That’s right, f**king Rock & Roll. Opened for Slash twice while they were in Malaysia and now you can see them still rocking people’s hearts at festival/ events. Their story on starting with five boys (brothers and cousins) jamming to Blind By Korn instantly drove a person who saw them jamming, in advising them to start their own band. The rest is history. Read all about it here: Blister’s Story.
If you have no plans for Christmas week, head on over to the Straits Music Festival where Blister will be performing alongside Goldfish + Blink, Joe Flizzow, Sonaone, and Kyoto Protocol. It’ll be happening on the 22nd of December 2018 at Padang Pahlawan, Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall. It’s a FREE ENTRY too!
If you hear this “we are known as KAYA, one love”, you’ll know some reggae, funk-a-licious music about to stir the whole place up. With much of the success of their first album, ‘On Toast’ and having performed along with Malaysian singer-songwriter, Yuna, they are definitely taking one step higher towards producing brilliant music. You can see them performing places like Le Noir, Trec too. Keep a lookout for them tomorrow for Riuh In The City event where they’ll be performing at 2 pm in the Gasket Alley, PJ. To read more on KAYA story , click on the link.
With their two new singles ‘Party All Night’ and ‘Go It Alone’, releasing next year, definitely got people grooving in their preview in Rojak Sessions. Watch it here.
Skies Are Red
Formed in 2011, Skies Are Red is certainly painting its name to be an upcoming rock band to be the bridge on sending a message via the universal medium of music. They explore important elements such as love, spirituality and freedom. Made up of four people in the band namely, Danielle Desiree (vocals), Dervin Frank (lead guitar), Chloe Doyou (bass) and Malcolm Ambrose (Drums/Percussion).
You can see them rocking their tunes in Merdekarya, PJ. Stay tuned to their upcoming highlighted show called The Pecah Show at The Bee, Publika, December 14th, 2018 that features many other talented local musicians as well.
Passionate, and versatile are some of the words to describe rapper and songwriter, Ashtin. He freestyles his way to win the Red Bull Cypher Award and now he is signed to Keep It Local Entertainment. His persona and talents earned him an album by the name Chindian the album which features local renowned rappers like Balan Kashmir and Altimet. Listen to it all here: Chindian the Album.
When he is not in the studio producing music, you can see Ashtin around and about emceeing at one of the most happening clubs in TREC KL.
Ever heard of a fusion of music that combines indie music with pop? Ambient pop is what Selesta delivers. Bringing nothing but freshness, originality and uniqueness of their music to the market. From singles like ‘Say Yes’, and ‘Stay’ that features a relatable music genre, now they are back with their newest single, ‘Other Side’. Listen to all of it here: Other Side.
If you want to know more about them, you can check this link out; Selesta.
Billie Blue and The Nowhere Men
These psychedelic folk-rock musicians certainly know how to make funk a great comeback with a twist! With influences from Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin and Jefferson Airplane, the band delivers rhythms, a colourful melodic line to their song. Link here: Billie Blue & The Nowhere Men to find out the inspiration on where they got such a cute name to their band too!
BBTNM produced their first album debut called ‘Find Gold’ and albums are still up for grabs for those of you who are a big fan of this genre of music. Listen to Emperor now.
There you have it, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many talented and diverse local music we have here in our beautiful country of Malaysia. How about spending some time this weekend and watch your favourite local band perform for a change? #supportyourlocalmusicscene