GUEST POST: The Story So Far. By Chris Pereira

Flanegan Bainon .Independent Photographer
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Currently in Tokyo, Japan.
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IT’S BEEN ELEVEN YEARS since I 1st stepped into the studios in KK to record my demos. You read right, DEMOS. Being a new guy into the “scene” back then, I forked out full rates to do my recordings, which hopefully no one will ever listen to. Back then; the rates were already at RM90 – RM100, which was for Moe’s Music & RAM Production. Being a solo act and also during the period of ’99 – 2000, I was still based in Labuan. So please. Don’t try to tell me how expensive it is to record. Yawn. Been there done that.

But I did it, I tracked a total of 6 to 10 songs at these 2 studios, got to know both the owners, appeared on some of their artist remixes and as a feature, at that time I did it for free cause yeah, I thought it was cool, and ended up working at one and now running my own Eyes & Ears Production out of that same one. I’m sure you all know which one it is. Tabik hormat to Jr. and Mr. Wang for giving me my first solid foothold in the “industry”

So here’s a quick sum up of what I did between then and now:

  • Established Decipher as a rapper
  • As Decipher, 4 songs airplayed
  • Established Mozart’s Ghost as a rapcore band (we were offered an album deal just as we disbanded)
  • As Mozart’s Ghost we opened up for Love Me Butch
  • The production half of Jazz The Chemical / Digital Licks
  • As Jazz The Chemical we produced 4 songs (non of which were Decipher’s) that got airplay
  • With Digital Licks we have 1 song that won a national songwriting competition and got radio airplay and is still in rotation
  • Assistant Engineer at RAM Production
  • Head Engineer at iMotion Production
  • Now Proud Slave to Eyes & Ears Production
  • As engineer at RAM & iMotion, well that’s just too many acts to list out. Hehehehe…

Now. Let’s cut out the pleasantries and just jump head on into this.

The frustration.

11 long years of seeing the potentials and helping these potentials and we’re still here.
11 years and it’s like we, when I say we, I mean the KK music Scene, have moved like only 2-3 years in front. What happened to the other 8 – 9 years? Sure it took me up to 2007 to be sure of what I was doing with the indie bands, but what about the rest? Why have we not jumped into the forefront of Malaysia’s media eyesight? Simple:

We said we COULDN’T before we even entertained the notion that we COULD.

I blame it on a generation of upbringing, where we used the excuse of being oppressed. Everything we blamed on our lacking was on others and not us. Everything that went wrong was not our responsibility but someone else’s. Where art was a hobby never a passion and never was it a way of possibly making a living.

In my opinion the state of where we are now goes back to this:

THE LACK OF RESPECT FOR OUR ART AND IN ESSENCE, RESPECTING OURSELVES.

Now you may ask, what has respecting our art has anything to do with progress? Get this right, liking your self and respecting yourself are 2 different things.

Respecting is, believing in your talent, your music, your work. Putting your self a 100% behind them regardless what others opinion are of them. That being said, it doesn’t mean you think you’re the bomb and your word is God. Please.

It means you stand up for your art and are willing to learn and progress with it. Holding on to the essence of what makes your art your identity and being childish and saying I like it that way because its mine, is a fine line that needs a very good balancing act on a tightrope.

Which I think, and this is purely MY view, a lot of us never get to the point of getting on that tightrope. We so eagerly seek acceptance, that any form of creative criticism, is not taken with a pinch of salt, but looked upon as blasphemy, hearsay, and any form of flattery, be it on point or just being polite, is shined up, put in a glass frame and displayed on a pedestal.

Yes.

Exaggerating much am I, but am I really? Mind you I’m talking about this from the bands side of the music scene in Kota Kinabalu. If you’re not in it and you have a pedestal. We are in trouble. Hey, take it easy. I’m not here to break you down or kill you’re dream. On the contrary, if your band has a name, a logo, a FB page, a Twitter account, you have x,xxx followers, who am I to say you are wrong. Shame on me. But kindly help me with this simple task. Go thru your list, whichever social media is up to you. Ok? Now, take away from that list family members, next, friends, then, acquaintances. Now, see that number you have left?

Give your self a pat on the back. You actually have fans.

Ok. So I’m being a big round behind and painting black on what could be as possible colorful as Barney and Co. and as cheerful as those pajama wearing bananas. Really.

We’re on the verge of greatness. Everything musical in Kota Kinabalu is fresh and new, everything is experimental.

In other words, it’s fun.

Rules are still being discovered and eagerly broken, at least we’re not in a factory state such as our bigger musical counterparts are! Where the musical standard has been set, where there is only 1 way into the music business and the same way to maintain in it. Here ideology and practical practice are put to the test and the real crash and burn test are all but banished.

We are still learning. We are still young. Mistakes will be made, lessons learnt the hard way, and as in life it only makes us stronger.

But.

As usual a but, listen to those who have travelled the rough and gravel road that you, the new generation are going thru. Listen and learn, take the good and pay heed to the bad, that’s a shortcut to success in the palm of your hands.

Chris Pereira | eyesandears.kk@gmail.com

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