“Dah lama kita tunggu, bro,” quipped Kenny Ong, Managing Director at Universal Music Malaysia and Singapore, “that’s the average comment we’ve seen on Estranged‘s Youtube account.”
At the launch of Sepenuhnya Vol. 1, a mini album marking Estranged’s comeback after a three-year hiatus, Kenny was positively glowing — he did not hide his thrill, having signed the band onto Universal’s roster.
Locked to distribute, market and arrange performances for the established Malaysian band, Kenny is clearly a fan.
“If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you that I play “Hancur Aku” on repeat, every day,” he confessed soon after taking to the stage at Laundry Bar, The Curve.
Released as the band’s first single under Universal (last year’s “Inginkan Kau” was put out independently), “Hancur Aku” has been on Youtube for a week now, amassing over 22,000 view thus far. The downtempo rock ballad features popular Malaysian actress Fazura and is set to take over Malay radio soon.
Kenny deems Estranged “fantastic live performers” and has big plans for the band.
“We signed them up for several countries,” he continued, “kita akan tumpukan usaha kepada pasaran Malaysia dulu, but we are also going to export the band overseas by promoting them in Indonesia and Singapore.”
His long-term vision includes bringing the band to Thailand and the Philippines.
Estranged vocalist Rich Gimbang meanwhile explained that the album was long overdue, but the band needed time off to focus on their families and gather inspiration. He was positive about signing to Universal, stating that Kenny had a good strategy in pushing the band out to new markets.
The band’s 5-track release (marketed as a mini album) was backed by Kenny, who claimed that the digital era has proven to reward shorter-length releases.
“Based on the trend at Universal Music International, it’s always singles that perform the best, followed by EPs. Very few artists will come out with a complete album these days,” explained Kenny.
Rich further clarified that it was the band’s own choice to create a mini album, and that a sequel will be released by the end of the year. The band also did not rule out an eventual full-length release.
Conceived over a ten-month period beginning in March last year, all the songs written for a new release was whittled down to just five for Sepenuhnya Vol. 1. Tracks on the mini-album include “Bangkit”, “Hancur Aku”, “Inginkan Kau”, “Maaf” and “SyD” and can be obtained online via iTunes.