Wednesday, August 31, 2011

海蝶的故事 [an inspiring success story]

The Singapore Butterfly effect
By Favian Ng

Ocean Butterflies in June organised the "These Are Our Songs" - Ocean Butterflies Music 25th Anniversary Concert to mark the significant milestone  
25 years ago, five friends set up a production house to preserve a piece of Singapore culture. Today, Ocean Butterflies is a major influence on the Mandarin pop industry.

"We just wanted to sing our songs," Mr Billy Koh said of what eventually led to Ocean Butterflies.

Koh and his four friends pioneered Xinyao – Singapore Mandarin folk – back in the eighties when they were still pursuing their studies at Singapore Polytechnic.

"At that age, we do not want to go through the hassle... We just wanted to be happy."

And being happy was singing songs like 'Chasing Clouds', 'Where Are Our Songs' they composed.

"To be frank, we didn’t know what we were doing then. Looking back, it was a process of looking for self-identity. We were doing it more for fun," said Mr Billy Koh, one of the co-founders of Ocean Butterflies and currently the Artistic and Repertoire Director in the company.

This search for self-identity led to the emergence of Xinyao, which became a cultural-pop phenomenon across junior colleges and polytechnics where tertiary students were caught in a fever of composing and performing Singapore Mandarin folk songs.

The turning point came in September 1985 when Koh was selected to be part of a Singapore contingent to perform in Taiwan. It served as an eye-opener and inspiration.

"We heard from their producers and composers stories on how the Taiwan campus movement started in the late 1970s. We were very encouraged. What was happening in the late 1970s was very similar to what we were then," said Koh.

The five friends who shared a common passion for music had been toying with the idea of setting up a production house to preserve this unique culture that had taken Singapore by storm.

The trip helped them realise that more should be done to promote Xinyao in Singapore.

"What we saw then in Taiwan may be our future," said Koh of the eye-opener. "But if no one was going to start doing Xinyao seriously, then maybe Xinyao will just stop... You need someone to start a music business and really push it full-time."

The friends were wary as few were in the music business in Singapore back in the eighties, especially in the Chinese music industry.

But the sense of duty to protect the legacy of Xinyao proved too strong.

In 1986, after some deliberation, Ocean Butterflies Productions was set up.

Koh, along with Colin Goh, Sunkist Ng, Koh Nam Seng and Teo Kay Kiong pitched in S$2,000 each in capital and never looked back.

Today, the home-grown company, known as Ocean Butterflies International Pte Ltd, is a leading independent music power in Asia with operations in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Changing music tracks

Over the last 25 years, Ocean Butterflies has ventured into a gamut of music-related business genres, from productions to commercial jingles, and launching new acts.

Later, the business came to also become a leading content provider for mobile and digital platforms.

It was an evolution from revolution and the reason was simple - to keep up with a rapidly evolving industry.

The CD which was once THE music format which eased out cassette tapes and records have now also gone down the road of redundancy.

Sales have eroded as much as 30 per cent with the emergence of new platforms while distribution networks that were exclusive to major recording companies are now a thing of the past.

"In the past, the big companies acquired the small companies, accumulated catalogues, built up a distribution network and became very big. But because of technology, the invention of MP3, mobile phones and internet has changed the carrier of music.

"Overnight, you realize that the infrastructure of major distributor network has lost their forte. Their strength is now their burden. People don't buy CD anymore," said Koh of the digital shift in music consumption.

With the emergence of new platforms, recording companies especially those in Asia, must start looking at new business models to generate revenue, Koh stressed.

"We are now at a junction, transiting from the old system to a future system... For the first time, Asians will be involved in the negotiations of the new business model. This is an interesting era."

In a 2010 report carried out by research firm, the Asia Pacific region appears headed to be the largest regional mobile phone market, with 3.9 billion subscriptions in 2020, up from 2.4 billion in 2010.

China will continue to see the world's largest number of mobile phone subscriptions, with 1.3 billion subscribers in 2010 alone.

The anticipated boom is in tempo with Ocean Butterflies' plans, which saw the group in a tie-up with venture capitalists IDG, Accel Partners and Susquehanna International Group some five years ago.

The arrangement inked in 2006 and 2007 yielded a US$16 million investment for the Singapore firm that allowed them to focus on the online and mobile entertainment platform.

"They (venture capitalists) have been already around for more than 10 years and invested mostly in IT companies. We are the first music production company they invested to provide content. They saw China, in due time, was going to expand and after acquiring so many platform, they needed content and someone to continuously create good content. This is the reason they invested in us."

In 2010, Ocean Butterflies recorded a turnover of 18 million euros (S$36 million) of which 50 per cent came from ringback tone services. Still, that is small change for the Singapore company in terms of royalties.

"In most countries, it will be 50-50 split among the telco and the content provider. Now, the telco is only paying us five per cent. Could you imagine the upside?" pointed out Koh.

The skewed distribution is primarily due to China's lack of emphasis towards intellectual property, but as manufacturing continues to dominate China's economic growth, Koh is convinced that the next five years will see a transformation in the world's second largest economy.

"China economy will not stay like this forever. They will move on. The challenge now for China, is to move towards a better position and eventually towards intellectual exports."

In April 2011, China's Culture Ministry took punitive action against 14 websites that provided illegal music downloads. In the same month, major Chinese portal, Baidu announced that it will begin paying royalties for every piece of music downloaded.

But that may not be enough for some.

Still, Koh remains confident.

"Every nation has its pace to build their economy.

"There will come a time where the China government will have to enforce the copyright to protect their own product. When the day comes, the music industry will also be affected."

When these changes start to take place, Koh believes that the rules and details of copyright will also shift towards mobile platforms and digital music.

When that time comes, Ocean Butterflies will be in a good position having operations and deals already in place in China with some major players to receive royalties based on the advertising revenues of the internet portal.

"Internet has become more like a media in China. It is not the ultimate ideal way to paying royalties but at least we have to start somewhere," said Koh.

While Ocean Butterflies builds up its presence in the virtual world, over in the real world its portfolio has grown from a bunch of Xinyao singers to regional chart-toppers.
Home – the secret to success

In the late 1980s, due to financial constraints, Ocean Butterflies operated solely as a production house.

Its business strategy was simple, to attract labels that would invest in their artistic talent list while the company put its focus only on music production.

In time, Ocean Butterflies emerged as a popular choice among music labels and began working even with overseas artistes.

But it was home that gave Ocean Butterflies its first breakthrough.

In 1989, Koh was asked to produce the Sing Singapore album and one of the requests was to re-make national song 'Count on Me Singapore with a female vocalist.

Liang Wern Fook, Billy Koh and Kit Chan at the "These Are Our Songs" - Ocean Butterflies Music 25th Anniversary Concert

The job went to Singapore singer Kit Chan, who went on to become the country's first successful export into the Mandarin pop industry in 1994.

"Kit's success is significant because she is the first Singaporean artiste who has a Singaporean team to back her up, the entire production," said Koh.

"After her success, Ocean Butterflies was very encouraged. We felt that we have the know-how to make a star".

And what a star she became, with albums, concerts and fans in Taiwan and across the region.

Inspired by Kit's success, Ocean Butterflies began to make concrete plans to unearth the next generation of Singapore stars. It also opened a new chapter for the music house.

1996 kicked off with courses to groom professional artistes with the first batch of Shirley Yee, Joi Chua and Two Girls going on to be signed on by Sony, Warner and EMI.

The future looked promising. But 12 months down the road, the picture changed.
Being brave and ingenious

Ocean Butterflies went into a downward spiral in 1997 with the Asian financial crisis and a major restructure in the Taiwan music industry.

"We had endless meeting and we kept changing songs after songs," Koh recalled.

"When the album is complete, a new team comes in and changes everything again. If the album does not get released, we will not get any royalties."

They were caught in a dilemma, with dwindling funds with the market downturn and the need to spend a lot of money on productions without any guarantee of returns.

"We don't believe that music will end here and there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, we do not know where the light is," said Koh of the difficult period.

Again, it was home that provided the flicker of light that grew to dazzle. Singapore stars A-Du and JJ Lin appeared on the door step of Ocean Butterflies when it held a second professional singing course in 1998.

Today, both are considered household names in the Chinese music industry.

"When we tried to market A-Du, nobody believed us. Everybody thought, 'this guy is almost 30. He can't dance, or do R&B. Are you sure he can make it?' "recalled Koh of the period when companies preferred teen idols like Jolin Tsai and F4.

After much persuasion, A-Du was signed on by a small company label which was bought over by Sony in 2001.

But when Sony hesitated over A-Du's debut album, Koh and his partners made an unprecedented move despite their precarious financial situation - they bought A-Du's contract and went on to release his debut album.

"We were forced to become a record company because nobody wanted to release his album. It turned out to be blessing in disguise. The company just take off and grow from there," said Koh of the sudden move that saw Ocean Butterflies becoming a recording company in 2002.

Still faced with limited funds, the company decided on a novel approach to promote and sell A-Du's album.

A major Taiwan CD retail chain store was convinced to play songs from the album at their stores instead of buying airplay.

Within a month, A-Du's album climbed to No. 1 in Taiwan, and six months later, it sold more than two million copies across Asia.

The discovery of A-Du and JJ Lin helped Ocean Butterflies to recover from the double crisis in the late 90s

The success encouraged Koh to shift his focus to JJ Lin.

"Almost everything (earned) from Ah Du was pumped into JJ's promotion campaign" said Koh of the plans which were hit by another unexpected turn of events.

Two weeks after JJ Lin’s debut album was released in Taiwan, the SARS epidemic broke out.

"All the money which we pumped into promotion went down the drain. Nobody went to CD shops; nobody bought CDs. Nobody was listening to music at that time. By August 2003 when SARS was over, JJ was also over."

The disappointment forced a re-look at the company’s business strategies and eyes turned to China.

The move not only re-launched JJ Lin's career but also allowed Ocean Butterflies to establish a stronghold in the China market.

Currently, Ocean Butterflies has at least 15 regional artistes in their stable and with plans to carry on talent-spotting to groom the next stars of Asia, a training arm - Music Forest, was established in 2003.

It is now one of Ocean Butterflies' core businesses but the Koh maintains a pragmatic outlook on maintaining the company’s biggest assets.

As he sagely muses, "artistes come and go. It is only natural that they come and go. We have to keep on grooming artistes. Now, we also work with not so established artistes and give them a second life."
Life is a one-way traffic

Today, Ocean Butterflies sports an Orchard Road address with offices, studios and classrooms that are spread over two floors, a far cry from its first office 25 years ago, in a small corner of the Jalan Sultan Complex.

Looking back, Koh counts each crisis as being instrumental in shaping Ocean Butterflies' business strategies.

"Life is a one way traffic. One thing leads to another and sometimes you don't have much choice. You just have to face it and solve the problem with your wisdom.

"Whenever we had a downturn, we always looked for solution. Along the way, it is not a smooth path. There were a lot of ups and downs, a lot of challenges."

Looking ahead, Koh said there are plans for Ocean Butterflies to go public in two to three years, to reward the staff who shared the founders' dream to continuously produce good music.

"To me, Ocean Butterflies is no longer a company of five shareholders. The company doesn't belong to any individual anymore. It more like belongs to a family of 150 staff.

"For those who worked so hard and believe in this dream, I felt that I have the responsibility to bring them to a state whereby all the staff will benefit. Eventually, I want all my staff to be a shareholder."

What was your worst business decision?
Hiring the wrong CEO. "We hired a guy which we thought was a good CEO. We gave him a lot of trust. He overspent a lot of money and the financial state was in the big mess," recalls Koh. After cleaning up the mess, the company discovered a few corruptions and 90 per cent of the China staff were changed.
Who or what serves as your inspiration to success?
Steve Jobs. The Apple founder's dedication to constantly deliver innovative products and top-notch consumer experience has been a crucial influence in Koh's creativity direction for Ocean Butterflies.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Koh pointed out that success is more than just adopting a tried and tested formula but rather understanding the concepts behind each successful story.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

绝对好听 [absolutely enchanting]

look no further, this is our best album this year so far.

after we produced solianos pusaka, we realized that are many chinese music lovers (especially audiophiles) who can't bring themselves to listen to malay jazz music. why is that so? isn't music supposed to be a universal music? why let racial factors affect your musical diet? if we can listen to brazilian and portugese music without even understanding the lyrics, why not malay?

we don't believe music has language or racial barriers. it transcends everything. as music lovers, we embrace music in all its greatness and beauty.
some malay pop music is gorgeous (much more so that the current chinese pop), indonesian pop is even more so.  let us be blunt, indonesian musicians are the best in this region. yes, absolutely the best. far ahead of malaysian. eventho' we promote malaysian talents, we still think the overall standards is higher in indonesia, especially when it comes to pop music. 

without prejudice and bias, we introduce you to lucky octavian, quite possible our candidate for "the album of the year"! 

lucky octavian, an indonesian crooner and a likely michael buble of indonesia, impresses us like no other with his groovy brand of R&B, smooth jazz and pop tunes...

review to come tonight!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

她是谁?[who is SHE?]

tell me if you are not impressed. true authentic bossa nova with bona fide brazilian guitarist....

who is SHE?

where does she come from?

the answer will be revealed if you come to the bossa nova party @NBT in october/november!

爱。芭莎 [love.bossa]

we are in the process of scheming (wow, scheming) a fun night at NBT with chinese bossa nova as a main theme... it is gonna be called  【爱。芭莎】 or "love.bossa" in english.

there will be four female vocalists to share the wonderful stage of NBT...

timeline would be the last week of october...

we would be using the same stellar sound system from bose compact L1, the same as the last 2v1g gig last year...

at the same time, we would be introducing a new, brilliant chinese bossa nova album ... 
tell us if you would like to come ;-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

季小薇现象 [the zee avi phenomenon]

zee avi's sophomore album "ghostbird" (translated from "burung hantu") is out and it is good!

we are not here to review the album but to talk about how the zee avi phenomenon comes about...

the young and immensely talented singer-songwriter once known by her nick of "kookokaina" was already a famous name in certain inner circles in KL indie gig scene. some likened her to a younger version of billy holiday and doris day, certainly a heavy title to carry for the young lass.

she started making videos of her own singing, with most of them not showing her face. it was an overnight hit in youtube. many were caught surprised by her honeyed voice that belies her obviously young age.

ok. stop here. with such a prodigious talent, would any major music label sign her up? do know that kookokaina is not the prettiest of singer. she is short and she is ordinary looking. or put it this way, even if the major labels were impressed by her voice, they just don't know how to develop or market this kind of voice and music.

kookokaina's music is quite unique; it is a combination of old-school jazz and indie-pop. this genre is, by market demand, not very saleable in malaysia. 

it didn't take long before jack johnson (the singer-songwriter) got wind of her presence in youtube. his record label, brushfire records, immediately signed her up and changed her name to a more internationally appealing "zee avi".

the rest, as you know, is history.

zee avi went on to sell cds by the truckloads and started touring the world, including a home-coming, full-house 3,000-capacity crowd in life centre.

what's amazing is, under a the machinery of brushfire, a capable agency and PR company, zee avi succcssfully operates under the american style of music making: cut an album and tour the whole of america! her tour dates are packed and  soon she started appearing in radio interviews and appearing in magazines. in fact, zee avi spends her last two years outside of malaysia.

another amazing achievement of zee is she actually makes indie-pop mainstream! never before indie-pop records sell like this. it completely boggled the minds of those accountants in major labels!

so the moral of the story is, all it takes is a popular and immensely talented singer, managed by an excellent and resourceful music label who knows the music business in and out, and she could change the world. she could defy categorization and pigeon-holing. that's the beauty of indie label + internet + borderless music.

ok. that's the end about zee avi's instant shot to fame.

let's ask ourselves three interesting questions:

1) if brushfire records didn't sign kookokaina, where will she be today?

2) how much do you think brushfire spent on A&P for zee avi?

2) can zee avi return to malaysia and make a decent living?

we would like to hear your answers to these questions!

深愛陳百強 [tribute to danny chan]

important notice: this album will out out next month, exclusively licensed to pop pop music.

we blogged about this last year.

since then we have been looking for a worthy interpreter of danny chan's songs. we know it is hard to find a local singer who can sing cantonese convincingly. fact is, we didn't find one locally.

but we found one in hong kong. her name is bonnie lam 【林小寶】. she is an artiste signed under our distributor-cum-partner in hk, rock in music.

this is gonna be the first joint-production between pop pop and rock in music, isn't that exciting?

it is a dream realized because we love danny chan's music so much!

p./s we use this color because of danny chan ;-) 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

慢慢来 [biding our time]

long awaited: check the right panel for mp3 playlist of lynn lee yun ling's "jazz light year" exclusively licensed to pop pop music!

two recent phenomenon are raising our eyebrows:

1) the much sought-after concert tickets of jacky cheung and faye wong
2) the final days of retail cd sales (as shown in our monthly sales report, no less)

what does this tell us? people are more willing to pay RM500 to watch faye wong than to buy her CDs!

live music can never be replaced hence its eternal value. live experience can never be captured fully in a CD. the electricity, the impromptu response, the crowd's reaction, the flaws and imperfections, the intensity of the is so much more rewarding watching eason chan sing live or even our own winnie ho sing live than listening to their CDs!

fortunately, our "jazzy sounds of teresa teng" has become a product that can travel widely. already melaka has booked us for a concert in april 2012. we expect many more to come as we open more doors.

so we are sitting back, relaxed and collected. certain things are timeless, you can't hurry music, you can't hurry love for music, you can't hurry love (as phil collins sings) ;-)

we are preparing world-class proposals and videos, to be sent to many international agents. we are advertising in regional papers looking for event partners. business development takes time.

many businesses are suffering in today's climate, due to bad economy and onslaught of all-encompassing gadgets like iphone and ipad. hifi business being one, cd business being another.

we are glad we have temporarily shelved cd production and gone full-force in developing our live concert business. for sure, we won't think of going into pop arena and hire international artistes.

we still, ultimately, believe in grooming the best of malaysian talents.

怎样利用媒体 [media convergence or divergence?]

we need input from you readers!

in this age of iphone and facebook, what is the best means to promote an event like ours?

we find that this is the age of media confusion as no one media stands out as the ultimate. we need a combination of media to work for us.

a lot of people have been talking about media convergence, that online media is the way to go. but do you know that the success rate for our kind of event (such as the jazzy sounds of teresa teng) is very low in facebook?  that's because our target group is not the FB generation.

traditional media like newspapers is still the one that works for us but getting newspaper editors, especially the big boys, to write about us is very tough if you don't have the connection and muscle. we have tried hiring a PR but it still didn't work very well.

so, in the end, we still resort to:
1) certain chinese newspapers whose editor appreciates our music (we have no presence in the english media)
2) blogs (malaysia finance blog helps us tremendously!)
3) word of mouth
4) email marketing (bentley music helps us a lot on this!)
5) facebook (facebook ad is very cool but success rate is low)
6) hifi forums (very low hit rate, any other forums you can suggest?)

do you have other suggestions so that our music and event can be heard? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

新海报! [new poster!]

for the repeat of the jazzy sounds of teresa teng concert on october 14th, we have designed a new poster to give a fresh feel to it!

this time we have appointed iLasso as our ticketing agent so it will be easier for you and easier for us!

Ticket Point-of-Sales
iLasso Office:  A606, Block A, Phileo Damansara II, Petaling Jaya  Tel: 603-7957 6088 

Rock Corner outlets: 1Utama, The Curve, Subang Parade, Mid Valley, KLCC

tickets start selling on 1st september 2011!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

廉价好爵士 [crazy and affordable jazz]

now before we go for a short business holiday, here's something to entice your CD buying desire....

well before tay cher siang comes along, malaysia has richard yun, a veteran pianist, now probably in his 60s. richard is still active in the gig/concert scene.  a small-size man with an unassuming looks, he will only impress you when he strikes the ivory with his ten fingers.

richard has done quite a few things ahead of his time in the 70s, by playing jazz when most people were still wondering what jazz was. his playing is good, although in the old-school sense.

this 2-volume bargain-basement price shanghai jazz piano instrumental albums (4 CD altogether for less than Rm30!!!!) are screaming for our attention. it is really entertaining and perfect for chill-out moments.

the song selection is all-encompassing, you won't want more in terms of shanghai jazz oldies.

but one caveat: the 2nd CD of both volume is played by another not-so-great pianist. so essentially richard yun only plays in the first CD of both volumes.

for this kind of crazy price, you should rush to CDRAMA ikano power centre!  

p/s in case you haven't heard in the grapevine, we are producing a "roger wang plays teresa teng" instrumental album by the end of the year!  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

好影响?[copycat or good influence?]

since we boldly championed the chinese oldies revival (CORE) concert series, it has raised a lot of eyebrows due to the good response and good publicity. one sinchew's senior editor purposely came to attend our teresa teng concert, and not the eason chan concert, and wrote a great report on it!

you know, seldom you see pop or semi-pop artistes (like winnie ho and zyan) hosting ticketed concerts. fact is, in the local chinese pop culture, encouraged by the deeply-rooted "ming ge" cafe culture, music is very much free. you buy a drink and you can listen to the singer sing for the entire night. even the very talented singer-songwriter penny tai, hosted her own solo concert only after 10 years in the industry. in short, paying money to watch a local artiste is never the culture here.

we have done a lot of unprecedented things, not only in commanding healthy album sales amidst miserable retail climate, but also in making people turning up for concerts.

lately, much to our surprise, there have been more and more young local chinese pop artistes hosting ticketed concerts, eventho' they don't even have a proper album! the ticket price may be low but their courage in doing so is certainly admirable and encouraging. but deep inside, you know, people won't pay for that kind of performance. the target crowd is an issue, not having a good portfolio is another. the teenager crowd would never ever buy your CDs, much less pay for your performance.

but it is a free market. we all know local artistes can no longer rely on album sales so live performances is the only way to earn a bit more. but we feel that they need to strategize and not just hosting a concert for the sake of hosting a concert. in all likelihood, you would end up losing money.

it is no easy to host a ticketed concert. production cost is sky high, risks are high, getting a full house is not easy.

at the end, you have to ask yourself: why host a concert? 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

美好的七十年代! [the best of the middle of road]

we have said that before, 70s' music is the best!

and here's one of our fave bands: middle of the road. we just found the "best of middle of the road" cd in victoria music today!

ah, those glorious years of pop!

p/s watch those hot pants!

Friday, August 12, 2011

世界, 我们来着! [taking it to the world!]

you may not believe it: after saturday's amazing concert, we are offered an opportunity to tour the world!

it does not come as a surprise: we know what we are capable of. musicians like tay cher siang and roger wang are world-class. malaysia is just too small to contain them and let them shine brightly.

but we would still serve our supporters here. malaysia is still our primary base station.

are we happy with such results? sure. are we overly excited? not really. we are biding our time. we need to plan properly and strategically. sure, money is important but you know,  we are just not after money alone. there is a strong sense of purpose in what we do. we always believe if we do something good, the money will come naturally. it is a matter of time.

so, here we are. a bunch of aspiring musicians ready to take on the world.  

we invite our supporters to come along and share this pride with us!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

赵学而第三张 [bondy chiu's 3rd]

bondy chiu is the first chinese artiste who released an audiophile album in HQCD.

now she is back with her 3rd self-financed audiophile album called "trinity"!

we asked a friend to buy this at the HK hifi show last week for RM65....

after listening for few rounds, we decide not to comment much but let you find out yourself....

you guys check it out la!


Monday, August 8, 2011

回味无穷 [jazzy recollections]

本地中文爵士歌姬何芸妮在七夕情人节举办“靡靡之音”音乐会,用爵士风格演绎中文乐坛传奇人物邓丽君的经典名曲;超过20首歌曲、超过2个小时半的演出,何芸妮超实力的现场演唱功力让全场爆满的观众听得如痴如醉。而何芸妮也捎来了好消息,表示:“由于今晚全场满座,所以赞助商决定再为我们加办一场,定在 10月14号,到时大家一定还要再来哦!”

感动万分 [touching]

Hi Roger

Good day to you.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your successful performance on 6th August at Benley Music.
My wife would like me to write to you, to let you know that when you played solo on 月亮代表我的心 (the moon speaks for my heart)  she felt LOVE! Tears just filled her eyes when you played on, it touches her soul. Later she tried but can't described what kind of love touches her so much. It is more than family or romance, it is just pure LOVE. She never knew music has that kind of healing power. That's just marvelous!

And we thank you for your music, keep playing and let everyone feel LOVE through your music.

Hi CK,

Thank you for that email. It means a lot to get feedback from the listeners .... especially such a touching one.

Your experience has reminded me how powerful music can be and it's role beyond just pure entertainment.

I will be starting work on a guitar instrumental Teresa Teng Tribute CD. That song will definitely be on the album. Your email has given me more reasons and motivation to start work on this project. I hope to complete it by the end of the year. I will put you on my mailing list to keep you updated.

Thank you again to you and your wife for coming to the concert and for sharing your experience with me.

Keep in touch.


Roger Wang

爆灯! [it is a screamer!]

imagine if you are a 100m sprinter, and you entered the olympics....

your personal best  is 9.85 seconds (below world's record), you are considered good and will probably win a medal but never in the likelihood to beat the world's record of 9.82 seconds

but you worked your guts out for the impending race in the past weeks, put all your might and concentrate on winning..

on the day of the race, you were so pumped up, you put all your mind to the task, totally focused, you rose your performance several notches above the your normal standards, you stunned the crowd, you shocked the world with a out-of-this-world performance by clocking a record-breaking 9.80 seconds!

the above analogy can best be applied to winnie ho, who stunned the world, or at least the 400 strong crowd on saturday at "the jazzy sounds of teresa teng" musical showcase.

we don't want to write too much about it. if you missed it, you just missed it.

however, this is hisoing report with fantastic photos! here's sinchew's report.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

就在今晚! [tonight we rule bentley!]

the specially-designed program sheet for tonight's concert
everyone woke up early this morning!

we feel the electricity in the air, the vibes are extremely positive that we are gonna have a blast at bentley music auditorium tonight!

it means a lot of things to many people. for winnie ho, it is her "report card" after 11 years in the music industry, it sure means a lot to her. for tay cher siang, it is his first time interpreting teresa teng and we are sure he wants to impress all and sundry. for roger, his acoustic solo of "the moon speaks for my heart" is gonna let all those datuks, datins and VIPs hear how teresa teng's classic can be interpreted in roger wang's way and let these VIPs know about pop pop music.

for us, the producer and music label, it is high time we let people know that we have a world-class production that can travel internationally. many people don't think highly of made-in-malaysia products.....

in fact, that's what the worldly but very very savvy malaysia-finance blogger, said when he left the rehearsal session.

"you can travel the world with this concert", he said in his typical deadpan manner.

yes sir, we do believe you too!

winnie ho, tay cher siang and roger wahg, you guys are gonna rule the bentley music auditorium tonight! go! go! go!

Friday, August 5, 2011

好预兆 [good vibes]

The lady in yellow T-shirt is the veteran Lynn Lee Yun Ling from Taiwan

Rehearsal in Brown, Black and Blue studio

it is so different this time, with a strong production team in place and plenty of pre-show preparation: we are actually shaking our legs leisurely now, anticipating tomorrow's showcase with much excitement and yet calmness.

we had a great rehearsal this afternoon. even our guest from taiwan, lynn lee yun ling, said she is impressed with our musicians. that speaks volume as lynn has been the backbone of chinese pop in taiwan for the last 25 years. she has worked with almost everyone in taiwan.

tay cher siang's arrangement this time is superb, with lots of rhythmic grooves, variety and imagination. winnie ho was simply reveling in his arrangement; it is so obvious that she is enjoying herself eventho' this is her major ticketed concert in her career to date and she is the center of attention.

so, we are ready, we are ready to show you what pop pop music is capable of. forget about past showcases, forget about our past weaknesses: this is the time to make amends.

we are ready for the big stage.

roger wang 驾到! [roger wang is here!]

it is always a pleasure to welcome roger to kl and let him stay at our pop pop resort!

we heard his solo rendition of teresa teng's "the moon speaks for my heart" and our goose bumps were all raised up!

it is gonna be a magical night from roger wang!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

倒数:两天! [counting down: 2 days!]

the production team has been burning the midnight oil for the past few nights doing video editing, programming and overall planning and program control and let us tell you one thing: it is gonna be a very very exhilarating outing for winnie ho, tay cher siang and the team!

for the first time, we have prepared a very elegant program sheet (above) for the audience, that shows how much we appreciate them.

and can you believe that we are doing a 2nd showcase on 14th october, 2011? so for those who miss this round, you can always listen to the feedback and come for the 2nd show in october ;-)
we believe there are gonna be many repeats of this showcase in various states and various countries, that much we are confident.....

you rock, winnie girl!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

下一个精彩 [the next excitement]

yes, it is sort of a pre-announcement but we have decided to do this early next year.... this will be the third installment of the "chinese oldies revival" concert that completes the trilogy, with "my glorious years" and "the jazzy sounds of teresa teng" being the first and second installment.

and we would travel the world with these three installments!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

口香糖般轻 [light as bubblegum]

when the world is in chaos and the music gets increasingly thrashy, olivia's ong brand of light pop seems like a breath of fresh air. it is light, no doubt but it entertains alright.

yes, she may not have the soul of true bossa nova singers but she does make it up in sweetness, plenty of sweetness. and this is what exactly the music doctor ordered.

"romance" sees olivia attempting composing and penning lyrcis, which is all very fine but lacking any real weight. the music is all very light, bordering on bubblegum pop.

we wouldn't call this a "romantic" album as the title suggests but rather a very sweet and breezy chill-out album perfect for de-stressing.

there is a lack of focus in the music as every song seems to thread on different paths; it just breezes along like summer wind.

we are not complaining; at least our girlfriends are not.

the packaging is worth a million dollars. thumbs up to HIM music for such taste and creativity!

国际音响展:赞!赞!赞! [KLIAV: two thumbs way up!]

winnie ho was impressive
lydia was the crowd's favourite!
winnie ho singing live is such an aural treat
she has got class, sensuality and a voice to match
zyan with the sexiest outfit causing many uncles' nose to bleed
dang, even the musicians are good looking!
aren't they lovely?
winnie with a very sexy outfit too....

we had a home run!

the mini showcase by pop pop music's 3 divas over the weekend at KLIAV 2011 @ JW.Marriot was a resounding success, at any level you measure it!  every session was packed with sunday's sessions having the most audience.

we sold a whopping 300+ pieces of CDs, with roger wang "milestones" topping the sales chart, followed by zyan's "brasileiro". third place was lydia chew's "jz8". we couldn't believe the sales figures, seriously.

we received many many praises and compliments from those who attended the mini showcase. many confessed of not having heard of us and were surprised that malaysia has good singers like zyan, winnie and lydia and such genre of music!

big round of applause to winnie, lydia and zyan. because of you, people start taking notice of pop pop music!

the audience were fantastic too. to those who attended, a big "thank you" from all of us!