a lot of things are happening as we are building up our momentum.
more and more jealousy, bad-mouthing and sour grapes from people in the industry. some of them are very personal and vicious, but mostly it is caused by jealousy and inadequacy (on their parts). we are very cool about it: we just ignore them!
at the same time, more and more enquiries about our artistes and performances. all our artistes are shining brightly as they are given more opportunities to perform and expose themselves.
many people don't understand how we operate and how we could survive in such a harsh and dying market. sorry, we definitely would not reveal our "trade secret".
solianos "pusaka" made it into taiwan - the first ever malay album that breaks into taiwan - with a initial purchase order of 200 copies. isn't that incredible? you may argue that siti nurhaliza or sheila majid could have broken into taiwan years ago but what kind of quantity we are talking about? this is only our first order, with many to come. for 2v1g, taiwan has ordered more than 20 shipments to-date. meanwhile, more repeat orders for 2v1g-1, 2v1g-2, jz8, roger wang "milestones". taiwan, remains our biggest market.
so opportunities are pouring in. we are making ourselves seen in the limelight but we have also prepared ourselves for all the adverse effects of fame and popularity. seriously, we really don't think we have achieved fame and success. we want to remain humble and modest. it is still far far away. the road is still long and winding. what we have are endless stamina and creativity that would make industry people envious and jealous of us. in a way, we inadvertently ruffled some feathers along the way.
we always tell our artistes: nothing is bigger than music itself. music overrides everything and anything.
at the end of the day, we will let our music speak for ourselves and silence the critics, low-ballers and bad-mouthers et tal.
now you can't possibly miss this event: chinese music godfather jonathan li meets with taiwanese famed writer liang wen dao to talk about malaysian chinese pop music.
who has more authority than jonathan li when it comes to chinese pop music? the composer of many mega hits in the 80s and 90s is now in a semi-retirement mood and spends his time minding his guitar making business as well as giving advice to newcomers in the chinese music scene.
i wouldn't miss this golden opportunity to hear him talk about malaysian chinese pop music, would you?
date: Thursday, May 5 time: 7:30pm - 10:30pm venue:
Wisma MCA 3rd Floor,Auditorium Room 163,Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur
3 years in the business, it is high time we do our own self-appraisal....
i thought of writing this post when i witnessed the immense popularity of tay cher siang in his WVC trio performance in NBT last saturday. can you believe a non-mainstream jazz pianist can get 20 nubile young girls screaming in total ecstacy and delirium??? mind you, a jazz pianist, not wang lee hom or jay chou. and don't you think pop pop music has a small part in contributing to the rising fame of maestro tay cher siang and many others like winnie ho and zyan?
the speed of george lam in producing the follow-up to his last audiophile album "lamusique" shows that it really hit the bull's eye and captured a big market share. congrats to lam and his production team!
what does it show? audiophile music sells! and sell by big volumes!
almost with delay, george started his follow-up album using back the same production team led by producer andrew tuason, which includes many malaysian sessionists. but the difference is the recording is done in beijing, at the latest megabuck studio owned by cantopop singer hinz cheung keng hin【張敬軒】(see pix above)
this time george will utilize a chinese orchestra in many songs to achieve a fuller and richer sound.
the album titled "lamusique vintage" is targeted for end of may release. i don't need to tell you that you can get it first-hand from the "famous" cd stall at amcorp mall on sunday....
on the other hand, prudence lau mei kuan 【刘美君】 has released an audiophile album covering mandarin hits.. that should be interesting cos prudence is known to be very unorthodox and bold.
DFP is dewan filharmonik petronas. it is the best concert hall in malaysia that hosts the resident malaysia philharmonic orchestra (MPO) .
the purpose of the meeting is, of course, to discuss the possibility of having our artistes performing at such a prestigious stage.
among our stable of artistes, you can guess who has the best chance. who do you think?
eventho' DFP is reserved mainly for classical music, in recent years, DFP has opened the door for many malaysian artistes. local acts such as double take (roger wang and mia palencia), rachel guerzo, amir yusoff have all graced the stage.
it is a prestige to be able to perform in DFP and we feel that we have a good resume that would put us in good position.
it is back to cd buying time again, after being busy for so long!
seriously, there are hardly any chinese CDs that are worth buying these days. even the young second-hand CD seller at amcorp mall was lamenting: "too much crap nowadays. all the melodies sound the same. all the singers sound the same".
there are not many chinese singers whose albums you would buy without even listening to it. i can count with my five fingers. debbie hsiao 【萧贺硕】 remains my fave singer-songwriter after cheer chen and kay huang.
we did consider bringing debbie to kl for a mini concert we then realized hardly anyone knows her. even radio stations don't play her songs.
still, i would support her every album.
it is a sad state of affairs for chinese pop music. if we don't support the good ones then one day, even they would disappear and we would be left with pure junk.
hong kong version of brasileiro: read the interesting fine print on the left
this is the 5th month since the release of brasileiro, how does it fare?
we are certainly satisfied with sales (over 3,000 copies) and how the princess re-emerged again to establish herself as the chinese bossa princess.
from a shy lass with a sweet voice, she has now transformed into a singer with confidence and a voice of her own. she is, of course, not perfect, but she is improving every second, especially on her live performance. her performance in "my glorious years" was affected by her sickness and considering that it is her maiden concert, she didn't do too badly.
many supporters profess of liking her voice. yes, there is a certain quality in her voice. coupled that with her unique looks, she offers something which is quite different from the mass market. she has a good combination of aural and visual appeal. we haven't told you the kind of suitors she attracts..... now that's for the gossip papers ;-)
it is high time we look at overseas market for future development of her career. taiwan being the top of our list. we dare not say we do very well in malaysia, but at least everyone knows who bossa princess is.
at the same time, we will be bringing "my glorious years" to ipoh and penang. we have been told how "difficult" it is to get ipohans and penangites to pay for concerts but we will see.
we also aim at singapore. a lot of these depend on connections and opportunities.
it is time for aggressive business development. we already have an excellent portfolio.
p/s zyan will be appearing in 988 on monday 10pm-11pm. DJ will be piao ming. please stay tuned!
a word of caution: if you mandarin pop appreciation is not high, apply cautiously.
"time" is a bit high-brow, even 文艺 (literary), and it is not very commercial.
it just happened that we have bee listening to zheng yi‘s classic 【郑怡：小雨来的时候】 for the past weeks, paul wah's "time" arrival is purely coincidental. not that both are similar works but "time" seems to belong to the early 80s era in taiwan.
this album is about a woman in her 40s, who has been through life's ups and downs, who is eager to tell her stories through her music. pianist and musical director, tay cher siang is adopting a totally different approach this time. i wouldn't say this is a pure jazz album as it is a bit classical in its presentation, especially in paul wah's singing technique. she is not pop, but she is excellent in carrying every song. it is about sharing life's experience and nothing, nothing can ever replace a singer's life experience. we can't even imagine a younger singer could possibly achievement this level of maturity and depth.
"time" has 6 original compositions, 4 of which are tay cher siang's compositions. "I am ready for tomorrow" is one them, which is easily one of the best songs in the album and we love it very much! we would definitely ask him to compose more for jz8's sophomore album, which has begun its work. famous local songwriter percy phang 【彭学斌】 contributed "greatest hit" [精选] and what a marvelous song too!
we like the entire album, it is very integrated, it is a piece of story-telling with no gaping holes.
obviously, "time" is a for late-night listening. it is for the mature listeners who have been through life and want to savor the bittersweetness of what it offers.
"time" is about capturing the moment and reflecting on life.
frankly i am caught by surprise by how good this is. not that i don't have confidence with my ex-partner, mr. chow kam leong of musictoxin but this is totally unexpected. it is unlike anything you have heard from chow, or for that matter, anything you have ever heard from a local production.
maestro tay cher siang, the musical director, once again delivers a tour-de-force performance that will have everyone screaming in total agreement. he has reached that exalted level which is untouchable. he is without doubt the best jazz pianist in malaysia; no dispute, period.
【time】 is mellow, sentimental and very artistic. even a bit high-brow if you are not used to it and it is not easy to digest if you don't have a certain level of appreciation. but once you get it, it will tug your heartstrings like nobody's business. you will get hooked forever.
paul wah, the veteran singer-songwriter, who made this comeback album after a lapse of 17 years, is certainly in her elements. her voice has clarity, emotions and plenty of story-telling ability.
this may lack the commercialism of 2v1g and jz8, but it will be remembered for a long, long time.
to me, this is an instant classic. i will buy more copies to give to friends.
it is not out yet in the market yet but you can inquire with su li of musictoxin 017-6586513.
winnie ho is gonna deliver a teresa teng seldom heard
following the success of "my glorious years" last week and despite the various shortcomings, the team is eager to launch the next concert in the pipeline: the decadent sound of teresa teng, with winnie ho as the main singer with backing from some still unknown big names.
the chinese name is 【靡靡之音】, pronounced as "mi mi zhi yin" and not "fei fei zhi yin"!
【靡靡之音】, or decadent sound, is referred to teresa teng's music at that era. the chinese government and culture people seemed to consider teng's music as a kind of poison to the youth's mind because it is all about love and heartbreaks.
it is a challenging project but we are not the kind who are afraid of breaking rules and raising some eyebrows, so this teresa teng is gonna be different, vastly different.
we will soon form a steering committee and brainstorm on the concept, theme and song selections.
the success of "my glorious years" lies on its ability to attract a big group of newcomers, eventhough they are the uncles and aunties but they buy our CDs so much more willingly after listening to our music! so we need to extend beyond our normal crowd and the concert is the best way to reach out.
this time, we would do a promo tour in shopping malls in kl, pj or even other states if budget permits. the fact that we want to do two consecutive nights (saturday and sunday) show you that we are confident of bringing in the crowd, given the right publicity and promotion.
"my glorious years" being our first time organizing concert, we learn quickly from our mistakes, we are confident of delivering a much improved show in august in terms of ticketing, seating allocation and the performance. we are getting the hang of it, so to speak!
btw, why malaysians like to buy tickets in the last minute ah? ;-)
it is no exaggeration to say that pusaka has been (positively) shocking many people because they haven't heard anything like that before. the heat is building up slowly and nicely, we predict pusaka would be a hot seller in the next 12 months. most record shops report healthy sales with many buyers being chinese, which is not surprising at all.
yes, we love the album to bits. almost every song is a classic. but this one, "kasih sayang" by irene and isabella must rank among our top-3 personal faves in the album. we love the way irene flirts with her voice and bella's contrastingly cooler delivery; both divas, each with her own distinctive style yet able to complement each other so well. also, "kasih sayang" is the best track in terms of recording quality.
ador has given a new arrangement to this original by alfonso, very "new york, new york" feel. now let's listen to alfonso soliano's original arrangement and appreciate how great both the old and new arrangement are.
it is never easy to be the first one to introduce a new culture or a new type of music.
"my glorious years" is in many ways, the first commercial concert that combines chinese oldies with jazz/bossa nova. eventho' many have attempted such musical presentation in weddings and functions but we are the first one to actually do ticketed concert.
it is challenging to educated the predominantly conservative malaysian chinese music lovers. that's one reasons why even maestro tay cher siang has agreed to temporarily put aside his "main jazz agenda" and go for something as mainstream as chinese oldies so that people could discover jazz in a more accessible manner.
as they say, the journey to success starts with a small step. we don't mind starting small because we are the pioneer.
we also know that many music lovers (including our supporters) are not the concert-going type. that's ok. that's why we plan to do live recording as well so that we could release live albums.
it is always our intention to educate, influence and convince.
秋夜 【原唱：白光】 (Qiu Ye : Autumnal Night） Original Singer: Bai Guang
魂縈舊夢 【原唱：白光】 (Hun Ying Jiu Meng: Recurring Old Dreams) Original Singer: Bai Guang 永遠的微笑 【原唱：周璇】 (Yong Yuan De Wei Xiao: Forever Smile) Original Singer: Zhou Xuan 花樣年華 【原唱：周璇】 (Hua Yang Nian Hua: My Glorious Years) Original Singer: Zhou Xuan 忘不了的你 (Wang Bu Liao De Ni: Unforgettable You) Original Singer: Unknown 如果沒有你 【原唱：白光】 (Ru Guo Mei You Ni: If I Don't Have You) Original Singer: Bai Guang 桃李爭春 【原唱：白光】 (Tao Li Zheng Chun: Fighting For Attention) Original Singer: Bai Guang 晚風 【原唱：葉倩文】 (Wan Feng: Evening Breeze) Original Singer: Sally Yeh 恰似i你的溫柔 【原唱：蔡琴】 (Qia Shi Ni De Wen Rou: Like Your Tenderness) Original Singer: Cai Qin 不了情+新不了情 【原唱：萬芳】 (Bu Liao Qing + Xin Bu Liao Qing: Endless Love (new and old) Original singer: Unknown/Wan Fang 秋詩篇篇 【原唱：劉家昌】 (Qiu Shi Pian Pian: Autumanl Poetry) Original Singer: Liu Jia Chang 我只在乎你 【原唱：鄧麗君】 （Wo Zhi Zai Hu Ni : I Only Care For You) Original Singer: Teresa Teng 往事只能回味 【原唱：尤雅】 (Wang Shi Zhi Neng Hui Wei: The Past Can Only Be Reminisced) Original Singer: Yu Ya
ideas have been circulating in our minds... of doing the last album, the third, of 2v1g and wrap it up beautifully as a trilogy.
of late, our lives have been topsy turvy due to the amount of work and pressure. it is tense moments like these, we dug out 2v1g both albums and find tranquility and serenity that is so precious. all at once, the music calms our frayed nerves and soothes our souls. isn't this the reason we started this unique trio in the first place? to make pleasant music that's away from the noise and manufactured pop in the market.
now that we have so many different genres and artistes in our catalog: the solianos, jz8, the bossa princess, 2v1g is still in a class of its own. it is unique, it is classy and it is just damn sentimental!
ok. let's end the trilogy with the best album of the lot.
we have tentatively called this last album 【關于愛情】 "all about love"
A very good evening to our honourable guests, Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Jeanne Binti Abdullah, Tan Sri, Tan Sri, Puan Sri, Puan Sri, Dato Dato, Datin Datin, Members of the Soliano family, Distinguished guests, Members of the media, Ladies & gentlemen....
I am overwhelmed by your presence here. This is an auspicious and joyous occasion for me and for the Solianos.
We thank you sincerely for taking your precious time to attend the launch of Pusaka.
We live in turbulent times. Music, above everything else, has the healing, unifying and calming effects on human. When I first heard the Solianos in No Black Tie two years ago, their music strikes me as being very Malaysian and powerfully uplifting. And when I heard their version of “Tanah Pusaka”, I suddenly found reasons to love this country once again. I am not sure if Mr. Kee Tuan Chye is here today but I share his feelings when he said he cries every time his listens to the song, especially the lyrics “Biar Putih Tulang, Jangan Putih Mata”.
I think Soliano’s music has the power and the goodness to make Malaysians see that, despite our differences in race, culture and language, we can share and love the same kind of Music. To me, Pusaka is not a Malay album per se; it Is a Malaysian album for the Malaysians.
Let it be known that this project cost RM150K to make. It is all from my own pocket. Actually my message is loud and clear: Please la, buy more than one copy, if you can afford it! We need 5,000 copies to break even, you know.
Joke aside, it was not that we didn’t seek sponsorship but because not a single soul or corporation wants to sponsor this album! Maybe that’s why Solianos didn’t have an album for the past 30 years because no one believes in them.
They are not the best looking; they are not young and there are just too many of them to pay the salary! (not cheap to pay a family team of 8 members, you know).
But I believe in them. I believe in their music; I believe in their talents; I believe many Malaysians, regardless of race, would like to own this album, and even show it proudly to their overseas friends. In fact, I think Pusaka is a wonderful gift to visiting tourists, embassies and foreign dignatories. Because this is Bona Fide Malaysian music of a very high standard, because this is something every Malaysian should be proud of.
My messagge to the Solianos: No choice la, you guys have to stick to small struggling label like pop pop music! Major labels won’t know what to do with you la!
You know, we are Malaysians, so we want to be the first in everything we do.
We achieve a lot of “Firsts” with this album: • First Vocal Harmony group from a family who sings and plays the instruments • First Malay Jazz Audiophile Album • First Malay album that is mastered by the World’s Best Mastering Guru, Mr. Doug Sax • First album that brings a music label to the brink of bankruptcy (***joke***) Yes, I have no more money left!
All these are meaningless if we don’t do this album with a noble purpose.
The late Alfonso Soliano deserves a legacy made on his name, for all that he did for Malaysian Jazz Music and for all the love, education and teaching he gave to his wonderfully talented children.
Last month was his birthday. We are proud we have something as grand as Pusaka for him, despite being late after so many years. Pusaka will be passed down for many generations for the Soliano family.
I am proud to be the Catalyst and Architect in all these. Perhaps, if luck has it, Pusaka would not be the last album from The Solianos.
Like what Dato Mahadzir Lokman said in his narration, “Pusaka” is only the beginning, IT BEGINS HERE, “Mulanya Disini”.