Sabahan alternative rock band Jon Paradise EP cover

We say Sabah is growing, in terms of size and complexity, both as a society and as an economy. “Progress” brings ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ for sure, but the music that Jon Paradise is making must surely be an indication that there are many ‘pros’ ahead.

Jon Paradise is a Sabahan alternative rock band. They write original songs in Malay and English.

The members of Jon Paradise write songs with a purpose: their lyrics are thought-provoking, their melodies travel to new directions and are refreshingly NOT predictable. They stretch themselves and reach high for beauty in their lines, their harmonies, their musicianship: they push their skills, there is detail in their arrangements. They really want to make beautiful music which you will listen to; you can hear their desire and their heart in their work.

I saw them perform at D Junction, launching the EP. Their faces radiated a genuine love to make music. For them, it’s not about a band image, or posing for cameras, or wearing particular types of clothes. First and foremost, they are a collection of people who have come together because they want to express their love for humanity through their songs, and making those songs makes them infinitely happy.

They are managed by Jonathan Tse, a singer/songwriter himself and a significant personality in the music industry here. Jon owns Purpose Records recording studios off Jalan Bundusan, and Refuge Academy music school in City Mall. The names of those businesses reflect what he’s about, aside from the commercial aspects of making music.

Jon has said previously that he wants his places of business to be more than just that. “I want people to come and study music at the Academy, but if they are a bit lost or confused, and want to talk about their issues, the Academy is a place for that too.”

On the EP sleeve, Jon Paradise said: “We love the vibe [at Refuge Studio] that’s happening in the live room and all the crazy moments we share while getting this album done. What an awesome place to chill and get work done.”

Jon Paradise – the band members:

  • Cyril – Vox/Acoustic Guitar
  • Boly – Electric Guitar
  • Elyna – Keyboard/Piano
  • Patrick – Drums/Percussion
  • Innocentclair – Electric Bass

These guys are all good musicians. Some of them are exceptional musicians. I really hope Jon Paradise makes a mark on the musical landscape of Sabah and the region. If our music is growing up, Jon Paradise must surely be a reflection of that.


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