Wednesday, September 26, 2012

付費文化 [pay culture in local chinese pop]

we are sure you know this saying: the moon in foreign land is rounder. essentially, this means that locals would always look up to foreign artistes and look down on local artistes.

it has never been truer in the context of local chinese pop scene. not many people are willing to pay to watch local singers sing, unless they are international-status artistes like fish leong and gary chow.

this no-pay culture has been deeply entrenched in local chinese pop culture. the same people can pay RM1K to watch faye wong but wouldn't not bat an eyelid to great local singer-songwriters like wu jia hui and yuheng.  

but this culture is slowly changing for the better. pop pop music is one of the very few pioneers who challenges this unfair treatment to local artistes. since our ticketed concerts last year, we have seen many good local artistes started to charge for their performances. the latest being, aki huang shu hui, the great malaccan singer-songwriter who wrote the hit song "love" for S.H.E hebe. eventho' the ticket price is still very cheap but aki showed that if you are good, you can influence people to come to watch you.

the overriding factor is you must be good and the music must be good. there is no way you could ask people to pay if you engage mediocre musicians, lousy venues and you music does not appeal to your target group! the keyword being "target group", ok.

do you know that malaysian chinese singers are considered some of the best in the world? we don't have to shy away from this fact. even taiwanese (music lovers as well as producers) admit to this fact. one of the problems lies in many local producers and singers have been trying so hard to sound "taiwanese" so that they can be accepted in taiwan! but the taiwanese expect us to sound like malaysian! same for malaysian producers/singers trying to sing hong kong "K" songs.  do you think you can do "K" songs better than the hongkies? Come On!
we read in TIME magazine about the phenomenal success of PSY, the korean singer who danced gangnam style. in the past korean K-pop producers tried hard to break into the US market with all these westernized acts like girls-generation. but to the american, there is nothing special about  girls-generation! they are basically westernized pop sung in korean! but gangnam style is something that totally surprised and shocked the american because it is so "grass-root" and "un-westernized"! they find it inspiring and amusing at the same time.

so malaysians should do something truly malaysian, and we don't mean it has to be like A-Niu (tan kheng seong) where you have to purposely sing about mamak stores, satay celup, teh tarik etc etc.

malaysia is an exciting fusion of east and west; it is a rich concoction of cultures and influences and these elements can and should be reflected in the music.

we won't tell you how this can be done musically but we are getting positive feedback from taiwan, singapore and hk that what we are doing is something that is uniquely malaysian, which means that it has its own strong character consistently and is hard to imitate.

we don't mean to be blowing our trumpet. we want this industry to improve and we hope more producers/musicians would start thinking about creating music which is unmistakably malaysian: uniquely different, hard to copy and instantly recognizable.

only then you can start talking about charging your target group for your performance.


chinese pop is all about idols. so those who go for pop concerts are not necessary live music goers but merely supporters of their idols.  there is nothing wrong about this, except that you shouldn't waste your time if you want to attract this group of worshippers to watch local artistes. it won't happen until you make it big in taiwan or hk. reality sucks.

live music goers are inborn. you must have this passion in your blood to know that listening live is better than listening to CDs at home. live events have the electricity, the ambience, the interactions, the sing-along, all those unexpected/unplanned things that can happen. if you like live music, you don't just  go to watch one or two singers, or one or two genres of music. you selectively watch those you like and you do it frequently. frequently being the keyword, ok. watching live event once a year does not qualify you as a live music goer, eventho' you can be a genuine music lover.

live music goers, tho' discerning, but never discriminating. they will support local artistes, as much as they support foreign artistes. this is the profile of many of our supporters.

live music goers is an extremely small community in malaysia. that's why we need to nurture them and influence more people to come out from being a closet music lover to being live music goer. it takes time but we are doing plenty of hardwork to increase this population.  

p/s: we still haven't touched on the lack of mutual respect and support, peer jealousy, non-acceptance, back-mouthing among the local industry people. that will surely be a great topic on another day, perhaps.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

回味 [reminiscing]

she has come a long way since her debut EP "WHo" in 2006. definitely she is known widely, much more than she was ever before. thanks to a series of major exposures since "the jazzy sounds of teresa teng" concerts last year and now the best-selling album (into its 4,000th copy!), winnie ho has garnered a certain recognition, fame and fanbase.

we have got many requests from her old fans to sing her earlier songs, most of which are local original compositions, all of them great songs.

so we comply, being the nice people we are.

mark you calendar: 18th october 2012, at pavilion's the venue, 9:30pm.

in winnie ho "reminisce" mini showcase, she would be singing many original compositions from her debut EP , 2v1g-1, 2v1g-2, as well as her personal signature tunes! bonus: there would also be a mystery guest from abroad, a beautiful lady too!

cover charge is RM50. booking hotline: 012-2083790.

so far the maximum turnout in the venue is 200+, we want to break this record. now it all depends on you to come in drove to support her! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

打入國際 [going international]

Taiwan's Audio Art Issue 288
malaysia is such a small market for entertainment industry, especially chinese entertainment. considering our chinese population (less than 25%), you know it is a small playground.

it is small wonder most chinese artistes venture into overseas market given any opportunity. international artistes like fish leong, michael wong, penny tai and gary chow all made it in taiwan, before coming back to malaysia.

most people target mainland china for big money but china is not an easy market, due to the many protocols and cultural differences. it is also a known fact that chinese businessmen are the most cunning of the lot, they can eat you alive with their unethical trades. we are in no hurry to break into china.

our immediate market is regional countries like singapore, taiwan, hk, indonesia and thailand, in order of potential. whichever market you penetrate, you need a local agent who is familiar with the protocols, networking, media relations, venue operators and many other factors. one just can't march in like a hero and stage a concert, without knowing any locals or having connections.

we have made great stride in singapore with the partnership with s2s. lots of collaborations are in the pipeline. taiwan, is a big market for our CDs, but we have yet to meet a mutual agent or music label. likewise for HK. you have to be in the right place at the right time. you can't just hurry.

besides expanding into a new base with new supporters and untapped potential, it is always cool to earn currency like SGD which is stronger than RM!

we are slowly building our brand in overseas with magazine interviews, write-ups and reviews. ultimately, we want people to remember the music label first before they remember the artistes. a music label has to be bigger than the artistes, unless you are mariah carey or lady gaga.

just a piece of interesting news: veteran singer cai qin has FULL bookings all the way up to the year 2015! it just goes to show, once you have the fame and recognition, it is lasting and it is perpetual money spinner. it is always better to be an evergreen singer than an idol singer.

we strive to produce more evergreen singers who can help the company to make sustainable money for long-term growth. we are not interested in short-term gains.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

韓流風靡全球 [k-pop sweeping the world]

we didn't really bother about k-pop until the gangnam style guy came along. from the little that we know, k-pop has totally swept aside j-pop in recent years and now it is even conquering the rest of the world!

how could this happen? looking at all the k-pop acts, they have something in common: visually stunning or amusing, the music is catchy and infectious and the dance moves beautiful synchronized. the best of them all, they don't need any media or big scale A&P but just youtube alone!

gangnam style video has garnered some 3-billion hits worldwide, this is quite some magical number. the fact that even ellen degeneres and simon cowell praise him show that this guy is something else.

so, it shows that internet and the social media can defy tranditions and break boundaries. this is something not shocking at all but how do you compete with the koreans?

the whole entertainment industry has changed. the old model is gone. now what the youngsters want is "shock" and "syiok", they don't have patience to listen to you singing a ballad, strumming with a guitar in a cafe! they want instant gratification, like the gangnam style, so that they could quickly circulate to their friends and share!

so my advice to the purveyors of entertainment: you choose your target groups carefully. if it is youngsters you target at, your music and MV  has to be instantly recognizable, catchy and memorable. never mind that it is shallow and superficial but target for massive traffic, hits and mass circulation.  that's the only way to make money! 

if it is the mature group you are targeting at, like what we are doing, it is still substance that reigns. don't spend money on MVs or unnecessary advertising. this group of people don't use that much FB or internet. some even prefer phone calls to SMS-es! haha!

we have some friends who belong to the former group: making music for the youngsters and they are finding hard in sustaining the business. they just can't catch the attention of their target group because today's youngsters are spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment options. as we have said, they won't be interested in sitting quietly and listening to a singer strumming a guitar in a chinese cafe! even if they go there, it is more for meeting friends or playing with their iphones, than listening to music!

how to compete with the korean pop manufacturing factories? they are so superior in packaging, choreographing and marketing!  but then again, do malaysians always need to compete on that? look at how zee avi (kokokaina then) captured the imagination of the world when she just exposed her sensuous voice with a half-covered body/face?

so, imagination and creativity are kings. youtube is fair for everybody, it does no discriminate.

we hope that in the not-too-distant-future, we will see more malaysian entertainers becoming youtube sensations!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

尋找 youtube 達人! [youtube sensation wanted!]

here's a chance for you to win easy money!

we are looking for youtube sensation(s) to make our corporate website more interesting!

every week, we will be picking a video from your submission, a singer wannabe who has the potential to become the next superstar. the youtube video that gets chosen will earn a RM50 angpow from pop pop music!  

we are looking for the "shock" and "impress" factor. even "gangnam" style can be considered but you have to be early before the rest discover and mass circulate!

here are some of the rules and regulations:

1) you can submit as many video links as possible to but we would only pick one per week. and it would be posted in our website every monday morning, starting 17th september 2012.

2) winner will be notified through email. RM50 will be banked into your account via online banking.

3) if there is more than one submissions on the same video link, then the prize money of RM50 would be shared among the various parties

4)  the song can be a cover version, or an original composition. it can be in any language but chinese and english is preferred. the video recording can be done using simple iphone, android phone or webcam but the quality must be decent.

5) the singer cannot be an established singer attached with a recording label. he or she has to be someone unknown or at most semi-known. for example, you can't post early videos of zee avi, when she was still known as kokokaina.

6) the said video cannot be one that's has previously been mass circulated. it has to be something still relatively unknown and undiscovered and you will be one of the early ones to unearth it.     

every video that gets picked will get a commentary from us on why it is chosen.  we will comment in a fun and light-hearted way. no serious judging is needed!

all in all, this is all done in fun and who knows, something unexpected would happen!

so, search in youtube now and discover your favourite youtube sensation!

there's no deadline to this contest, so you can take you own sweet time!




您只需要在YouTube上寻找有潜质成为下一位超级巨星的歌唱视频,然后以电邮方式(email)把那YouTube视频的连接(URL link)寄给我们( 邮址 ),您就有机会成为我们正在寻找的YouTube达人了!!

每个星期,我们都会从所有提交的YouTube视频中挑选一个视频,分享在我们的官网(,被选中的YouTube视频将会获得我们送出的奖金RM50。这游戏不但简单好玩又可赢钱,何乐而不为呢?让我们一起期待被震惊,被感动,或许在寻找视频的当儿,就被您发掘了下一个“Gangnam Style”


1)提交的YouTube视频无限次数,但每周只有一个视频会被选中。成绩将在每个星期一早上(从2012917日开始)于我们的官网公布。参与的YouTube视频必须是把YouTube视频的连接(URL linkemaillesloh@yahoo.com的。 

2)获奖者将通过电子邮件通知, 而奖金RM50将会以电子转帐方式(online banking)进获奖者的帐户。 



)视频的主角不可以是任何唱片公司的歌手,他/她必须不属于闻名的公众人物,无论是曾经还是现在。打个比方,提交未出道前的ZEE AVI的视频是违反条规的,因为她现在已经是歌手。 

)提交的视频不能是一个已经(曾经或现在)被大规模流传着的,例如Gangnam Style。它必须是一个,因为您发掘了它,而开始被流传的视频。 



Friday, September 7, 2012

發燒女聲 [the audiophile voices]

reality singing competitions are getting boring, winning the contest does not guarantee stardom either.  how many champions are forgotten?

the recent "the voice of china" attracted attention worldwide, not the least due to its entertaining format and their focus on "voice" and voice alone. it even attracted some audiophile singers to participate!

so it gave birth to our idea of having our own "audiophile voices" competition, open to aspiring singers in singapore and malaysian. yes, we don't need fantastic looks, shapely body etc etc, we just need good, solid voice.

it is also timely we have another up-and-coming singer besides winnie ho. winnie has carved out her own niche and market, she is mature enough for us to look for other talents to boost our stable of artiste. 
at this stage, we are still unsure how we want to carry out the competition. for sure, it won't be big scale as astro or 8TV.  we just don't have the financial resources.

one thing for sure, we would use the social and electronic media to do our marketing and create buzz.   

it is still early stage of planning but we have a feeling that we are gonna have fun.

nobody has done this before and it sure would raise plenty of eyebrows!   

Thursday, September 6, 2012

官方網站正式啟動! [corporate website launched!]

manjii hwang did the artistic design

our progress is so rapid that our website can't catch up!

in the short 18 months, we have changed from a niche music label to a corporate entertainment provider, and this revamped website justifiably reflects that.

this is our new website

this is only the first draft, with more enchancements coming in. as it is the year-end, and events are coming up, we need to launch this to capitalize on the market forces.

we are proud of our graphic designer, manjii hwang's, superb design. the design is retro modern with plenty of thoughts given on navigation and look and feel. it is easily one-of-its-kind and unique.  

to avoid making the website too static, we plan to include a weekly "pop pop media" section where we would post news on entertainment and lifestyle, and not necessary on music alone. we plan to engage some good writers to provide contents. watch out for that!

with this website, we are ready to advance to stage 2 of our development!