Local independent music bands get a night to remember, writes Subhadra Devan
THE Kuala Lumpur Indie Music Festival offers new talents a needed major public performance platform, says Karyawan president Datuk Freddie Fernandez.
“There are lots of young, upcoming musicians who seldom get an opportunity to perform in public, especially at a major concert such as this. At the same time, the more established artistes get a chance to showcase their new material,” he adds.
Despite budget and time constraints, Fernandez sees the festival as "a great sign that the government values the contributions and ideas from the younger generation.”
The KL Indie Music Festival is part of the Kuala Lumpur Festival 2012, organised by the Information Communication and Culture Ministry, through the National Arts and Culture Department. The indie festival, held in cooperation with music portal 2crack.com, starts at 3pm on Sunday. You don’t get just performances but also album sales and an exhibition of musical instruments.
Indie artistes set to rock the stage include Monoloque, OAG, Republic Of Brickfields, Subculture, Phunk Mob, Tashya’s Ink, An Honest Mistake, Azure For Janne, Silvergun Superman, Angie Lym & Crew, HWC, BobTheSausage, Bliz, Johny Comes Lately and Instake.
“Some of these guys are extremely creative and many of them infuse local elements into their music to try and create a distinctive Malaysian sound.”
So is there a Malaysian sound out there? “Yes, certainly. But we cannot force and make it happen. It has to be a natural process of evolution whereby a certain style will emerge that will eventually become a distinctive sound of Malaysia.”
Fernandez is all praises for the upcoming five-day Asean traditional music camp, which will see four musicians from 10 countries offering workshops, lectures, demonstrations and performances at Matic (Malaysian Tourist Information Centre, Jalan Ampang) from July 11.
“I think it’s always good to learn about each others’ cultural and music heritage and how they have evolved over time,” he says of the music camp for traditional artistes.
Open to the public, participants are from Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
BEST COPYRIGHT ACT
Karyawan, the Malaysian Artistes Association, was set up in 2000 to look after the rights, interests and welfare of local artistes. On further Karyawan festivals, Fernandez says: “We are planning a series of Love Music programmes, where top local music experts will impart their knowledge and give youngsters tips on how to become better musicians through a series of workshops held at selected locations.”
On efforts to curb piracy, Fernandez says “all the hard work and efforts on the part of the government are finally paying off”.
“We’ve been taken off the US's copyright watch list, and we have one of the best Copyright Acts in the world. Many people may not like some of the actions taken, because they are deprived of free access to copyrighted works, but they have to realise that musicians have to live too. And with the online pay models, it only costs a pittance to buy a song,” he says.
“So please, support your local bands and give them a hand so they can continue making music.”
Fernandez has been in the music industry since his varsity days as a member of the band The Revolvers. In the early 1980s, he worked as a composer, arranger and producer with his own company, Betarecs. Soon enough, he earned the title King Of Jingles. In 1989, he founded the Music Author’s Copyright Protection (MACP) to protect composers and lyricists and collect royalties on their behalf. In 1993, he also founded the local version of the Grammy’s, called the Anugerah Industri Muzik, which has gone on to become the main awards event for the music industry.
Asked if he ever misses being with a band these days, he says, “sometimes”. “But just like the way footballers graduate to be managers, I too enjoy the management side of making music rather than the act of making it myself,” he says.
“I love working on projects that will assist in the development of new talents and help chart a course for the future of the industry. Let the young guys make the music. I want to be there to help them in whatever way possible, using the experience and knowledge I have gained over the years.”
Kuala Lumpur Indie Music Festival
Where: Laman Santai, Istana Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak, KL
When: Sunday (3pm),