THEY may come from different backgrounds but their passion for music has brought them together. For members of local pop group 5 Tones, it started with a chance meeting at a church session.
The group comprises Jovi Theng (lead), Wen Wen, Shawn Wai, Ariel Han and Emily Kong.
“I’ve never thought about becoming a singer,” says Kong who has an accounting background. “But when I met Jovi, things changed. I am thankful for the experience of being in a band and being able to share my music.”
Singer, songwriter and actor Theng says he formed the group “to give budding singers a platform to perform to a larger audience”.
“I want to give them the opportunity to be on stage and be actively involved in music,” says Theng who wrote and composed all the songs in 5 Tones’ debut album, I Can Fly, including Love Malaysia.
“People have been asking me if Love Malaysia is one of those ‘sensitive’ songs,” he says, laughing. “There’s nothing sensitive about it. It’s just my way of showing how I feel about my country.”
He had spent a couple of years working abroad and says he especially misses the food when he is away.
“We want to spread hope and love. We also want to tell our audience that it’s OK to dream. We had to work really hard to achieve our dream.”
Theng, who taught himself to play the guitar and keyboard, says he once harboured hopes of becoming a singer in Taiwan. He will appear in Teng Bee’s latest film, Kepong Gangster (to be released on Sept 13). It also stars Melvin Sia and Henley Hii.
The group spent an entire month to record the songs but an incident nearly wiped out their efforts. “One day, Jovi sent me a message saying that all the files and songs that we had recorded were gone. We panicked. We didn’t have any back-up. But we managed to get an expert to help us retrieve all our files,” says Kong.
The group will be spending the next three months promoting the album. “We are lucky to be invited to Singapore as a guest performer for an event there. We hope the exposure will help us break into the international market.” says Theng.