Before the Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival (YSDAF) 2018 is set to open this 18th-19th August, the folks at both YSD and KLPAC have been working hard to ensure that the festival does more in terms of giving back to its community. This means not just limiting their works to the installations and activities that will be featured during the festival itself but creating events to encourage the spirit of innovation and love of the arts for months on end.
Their Battle of the Bands, a competition where various music bands must fight to earn the spot of performing at KLPAC during the finale weekend when the festival premieres, has been one of the best and most challenging events for the participants thus far.
This previous weekend from June 29th-30th, eight bands performed over the course of two live shows each day to secure the judges’ votes and to the tune of a rousing, cheering audience. Besides being able to performed at YSDAF on their premier weekend, the winning band also walked away with RM2,000 and made a name for themselves to the seasoned musicians and industry experts who made it to the competition.
You may have heard of some of these bands or you’re about to hear from them real soon. Alien Lipstick Fire, Avery Fox, Cyanus, KOKKAMANGO, Margosa, Pasca Seni, Segi and The Zee Ng Project are the names of the 8 bands that battled it out for the top spot. Alien Lipstick Fire is a modern indie rock band inspired by the sounds of Bombay Bicycle Club and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, bringing their unique sound to the stage since 2015. Avery Fos is another band to look out for, a music duo from Borneo who have successfully recorded an entire EP just one week into their collaborative writing process, birthing a band that follows closely in the footsteps of bands like M83.
CYANUS is a six-piece band formed primarily to compete in the Battle of the Bands and are associated more closely to progressive rock and fusion genre. You would have performances that often contrasted each other when lined up one after another like the sensitive singer-songwriter sensibilities of The Zee Ng Project, whose hard rock edges were complemented by Pasca Sini, described as a ‘pop punk band that makes you long for the pop punk of the early 2000s.’
We also have to give our shoutouts to KOKKAMANGO, a Kajang-based indie electronic pop band that has been self-described as influenced by Spanish and Swedish indie pop, twee pop and shoegaze rock and Margosa, a new alternative pop quintet that was founded earlier this year. Finally, Segi is another new band formed recently in late 2016 who play mostly rock but enjoy jumping from genre to genre and testing all sorts of musical waters.
While we can’t imagine how tiring the 2-day performances must have been for each band as they poured their blood, sweat and music into it, the show was a spectacle for those who came to watch. It was described as “good vibes all around” and was an encouraging platform for many of these aspiring younger artists. Ultimately, CYANUS walked away as the champion of the Battle of the Bands and will be making their next step at the finale weekend of YSDAF 2018.
To celebrate and support the excellence of younger musicians like those that battled it out over the weekend, be sure to stop by and catch their performance. Alongside CYANUS, there will be over 350 other activities and festivities to take part in so watch this space for updates!
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Featured image source: YSDAF Facebook.