Chris P, Jade Sis, Donatello, Bring Back The Arcade, collaboration happening…

Sabah rapper and sound engineer Chris Pereira in recording studio

I think this post will be updated a few times before it’s complete. But here’s the initial idea. Chris Pereira, that imaginative man with energy, enthusiasm and passion all thrown in, invited me to Eyes & Ears, because several musicians are getting together to make a song, as part of a compilation album.

So I get to Damai. A bunch of them have clearly been there for a while, and they seem kind of happy and a bit relieved and worn out….

“Sorry,” said Chris. “We’re a bit hyped up. We just finished the lyrics to the song!”

Oh yeah? So the name of the song is….?

“No name yet.”

OK. So how does creative writing happen these days? Do you guys sit together in the studio, sharing ideas, work out chords on a guitar, while humming and scribbling on manuscript…

Chris: “I did my part on my Blackberry.”
Joan [Jade Sisters]: “I wrote mine on my iPhone.”
Angel [Bring Back The Arcade]: “I did mine on my iPad.”

“Saving the trees, bah!” shrugged Chris. Yeah, right Chris! Next time I’m gonna get these kids to show me how they hold a pen. Chris said he wrote his lyrics, and he put his hands in front of him and waggled his thumbs :D.

“Actually, this might be the fastest song I’ve ever worked on,” Chris mused. “The musicians came in. We talked about what the song should be about…”

Which is?

“Youth Empowerment. Positive thinking. Don’t give up on your dreams, lah!”


“So,” he continued, “After we talked about the song, we had a jamming session. Then Angel basically worked out the verse and the bridge. Today we did the lyrics. Now we’ve just got to wait for Donatello to do their part.”

Mitch [Bring Back the Arcade] said that since Donatello is such an upbeat and energetic band, they are thinking that Donatello can take the song to its crescendo in the middle. Nice.

Elsewhere, videographer Jason Bullah was sorting out stuff on his laptop, getting ready to document the session visually. [He looked so familiar but I couldn’t remember meeting him . Later, when I got home, I realised I had seen his picture in one of the earliest Bandwidth editions. The magazine had interviewed him – could have even been Issue 1 or 2.]

I asked him if he could help me with a few stills from his video, and he very kindly emailed me the ones posted here. Thanks Jason.

He’s worked with Chris three or four times, and he’s got some interesting projects coming up. One is with Jon Paradise, and another with RapSoul in a few weeks. Jason’s from Tambunan too – that place has all these talented people – as well as a permanently dry golf course. [My husband and his mates are always going there when every golf course in Sabah is waterlogged, except Tambunan, ‘cos it’s very high up].

Well, if you haven’t seen RapSoul on video, here’s a beautiful piece of work. RapSoul’s cover of ‘Nobody’. Like I said, there’s a lot of talent in Tambunan.

Chris was remembering how Jade Sisters said they never imagined they would work with other bands, and here they are in a collaboration already!

Angel said, “Chris is making dreams come true,” then promptly regretted making such a gooey comment. Actually Bring Back The Arcade is also a pretty new band, they started up a year ago, when Angel and the other band members Mitch and Awang were still at Multimedia College.

I asked the Jade girls how they came up with their lyrics for this song. In their previous interview with SabahSongs, they said there’s no point writing about things which haven’t happened to you – lyrics should be drawn from real experiences, to capture truth in your songs.

In response to my question, Joan said, “First we had to liaise with Angel and Chris and know what they are writing about, and make sure we synchronise with them. This time, the lyrics are not so personal like in our own songs, but still it has to come from the heart.”

It was approaching 5pm, and I was starting to think about cooking the family dinner… time for me to go. I would miss Donatello this time round, but no doubt I’ll get to hear them in this song later.

As I was packing up, lead guitarist [for BBTA I think] Syazwan walked in the door. The backing track was playing in the background. Mitch said, on the backing track, Angel is on keyboards, and Clare did some things with the piano.

“Who’s Clare?” I asked. I didn’t recall seeing another gal.

“Clair – Innocentclair [Malim], from Donatello.”

Ah, I see…

So, more updates to come, plus a review of the song, soon!

Sabah sound engineer and rapper Chris Pereira in recording studio


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