Persistence to learn
Mega Boogie Sound & Lighting is SabahSongs’ corporate sponsor. Richard Heng is Mega Boogie’s Lighting Engineer. Born in Kota Kinabalu, Richard has been working with lighting equipment since around 2006, and full time with Mega Boogie for around two years.
“I went to local schools: SRJK Chung Hwa, Likas for primary, and Sekolah Menengah All Saints for secondary. That’s the same secondary school as Lazman [Mega Boogie MD Lazman Atiqi Ibrahim] and Kevin Chang [Mega Boogie sound technician].
“When I finished my SPM, I joined my dad who had this kedai kopi [local style coffee shop] business, and I was learning about cooking, everything about that.
“Later I tried sales and other kinds of work, and started working part-time for Wilti-Jos Music Production. In those days it was one of the biggest sound and lighting companies in KK. They needed part-timers to just clear up after shows, things like that. I didn’t know anything about their equipment at that time, I didn’t even know what extension cables were, nothing!”
But Richard saw what went on in that business, and it caught his interest.
“Something about lighting… I just liked it! So it all started from there, lah. Eventually I worked as a full-timer at Wilti-Jos. During that time it was challenging; I had to learn all new stuff, everything.”
After getting a taste of the industry, Richard moved on. He found it was difficult to find people to learn from, and ended up going online to look for courses.
“I wanted to learn as much as I could, but in Sabah at that time, there was no-one to ask how to use the equipment.I studied a lot myself, and in 2006 I paid for an online course.
“The basic lighting console we have is Avolites. It’s manufactured in the UK, so I went to their website, and looked for someone to email and ask about training courses to use the equipment. Someone from the company emailed me a contact, and that contact sent me a video, which was in Q&A format. It was just about the basic stuff, and cost USD 85. They also sent me a private link on their website, to source information. I went on like this until the courses were getting to advanced level, then I stopped and just carried on myself, learning off the board itself.”
Mega Boogie started operations about five years ago, while Richard was working with a company called AVS.
“Mega Boogie’s first function was in Magellan [Sutera Harbour Resort], I believe. At that time they only had a few speakers, and a few lights. I thought: Lazman’s my friend, I’ll go and help him.
“At the time, one of the Par Cans was not working, something like that, so I helped him fix it. The show went ok, no problem.”
AVS rented equipment from Mega Boogie and other companies, and Richard ran into Lazman a lot during that time. Later Richard freelanced for several lighting companies, including his previous employers, and also Mega Boogie.
“Almost two years ago I started to work with Mega Boogie regularly. I saw that this company has branded, premium quality equipment, good things you can really learn from. From then on, I stopped working with other companies. I really put all my effort into Mega Boogie, to help Lazman build up this company, lah. Lazman is my friend, and also his father is my father’s friend.”
Richard intends to keep on learning with Mega Boogie, as their business develops.
“Mega Boogie’s lighting has reach one level already, you know in other places like America and the UK, the trend is now to use LED screens as a backdrop, and you can create on it, like it’s a visual.”
Looks like crew member Richard Heng’s going to have plenty more to learn about going forward, and he’ll be loving it all the way.
Quotes about Richard:
- “He’s keen: I met him a few weeks ago, and he was asking me if I knew people in lighting in Sabah, so he could exchange ideas. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone!” [Stephen Lim, sound engineer.]
- “He stayed up all night working on the lights, and came to sleep just as the rest of us were all waking up!” [Nasier Lee, photographer.] The crew slept on the barge stage for a week before the Ronan Keating Bunga Raya resort concert.
- “Richard has great passion for this profession and has often talked about the possibilty of going further for studies should the opportunity arise.” [Friend]
|SabahSongs writes about people working in music – other than performers. Richard is a Lighting Engineer. We have stories about:|