Our Homegrown Talents Who Are Scaling New Horizons
Malaysia’s multiracial society has witnessed the emergence of many homegrown talents in music, dance, film and theatre.
As we are just four days away from Malaysia Day, the Good News team is pleased to highlight fellow Malaysian talents who are striving hard to perfect their craft and crushing it!
Ryot Jones (Ryot pronounced as ‘riot’ and of course, Jones which rhymes with ‘stones’! 😄)
Based on first impressions, this all-male band comes across as a huge act with eight members! Having performed at a number of music events and venues including Good Vibes Festival 2019, these guys are a breath of fresh air in the local music scene with much needed soul, energy, and of course, funk!
Above all, the beauty lies in the band representing our multiracial society, there’s Kyren Thomas (lead vocals), Izzy Azhar (bassist), Deo Karmawan (guitarist), Jazmi Jamaluddin (saxophonist), Clifford Tan (saxophonist), Joelle Magindaan (keyboards), Mohd Irhas a.k.a Payung (trumpets), and Aaron Gideon (drums).
So, if you’re looking to groove to a different tune, do give their songs a listen! Check out “Radio”, a song about pursuing your passion despite having loved ones who might not believe in you and eventually how they end up hearing your voice on the radio and seeing you everywhere. In a nutshell, lead vocalist, Kyren describes the song as a ‘moving forward’ anthem.
Malaysian director/screenwriter Zahir Omar is definitely a talent to watch out in the Malaysian film circuit. His latest crime thriller “Fly by Night” recently released on Netflix is definitely an indicator of great things to come!
The film about two taxi drivers who are brothers with a plan to steal money from a wealthy passenger showcases Zahir’s storytelling skills with sincerity and unfiltered intensity. In fact, the film made it to seven international film festivals including the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, Macau International Film Festival And Awards and Busan International Film Festival.
(Keeping our fingers crossed for Zahir to make the nation proud with an Oscar nomination, someday!)
This KL-based indie duo, Eff Hakim and Mohd Faliq are all about serenading us with dreamy pop sounds and romantic tunes reminiscent of acts like Lana Del Rey and Beach House. If you’re anticipating a long drive home and need some music to keep you company, then Pastel Lite’s “Masa Kita” or “Damsel” might just be the perfect tune!
Shanjhey Kumar Perumal
A communications graduate majoring in broadcasting and filmmaking from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang, Shanjhey dabbled in the local entertainment scene making short films, travelogues and even children’s programmes.
His short film, “Thaipoosam”, was screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2006 and in 2013, his documentary, “The Day That River Ran Red”, won the Jury Award at The KOMAS Freedom Film Festival Southeast Asia.
However, it was his debut full-length film, “Jagat” (derived from the Malay word jahat meaning bad and pronounced as “Jagat’ in Indian ghetto slang) which catapulted him to success in the local filmmaking industry as a household name beyond the Malaysian Tamil film industry. Jagat received rave reviews and accolades including ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Director’ at the 28th Malaysia Film Festival, a first for a local Tamil language film which essentially highlights how family upbringing, the education system and socio-economic circumstances affects a young boy’s life.
International recognition for the film include a screening at the New York Film Festival as well as representing Malaysia at the Asean Film Fest 2017.
Kyo Chen, is no stranger to the entertainment business in Malaysia having appeared in a few television series such as ‘The Scavenger’. More recently, he has taken on a couple of interesting projects such as 2014’s ‘The Cage’ and last year’s ‘Guang’ which earned him the title ‘Best New Actor’ at the 30th Malaysia Film Festival for his role as the autistic young man, Wen Guang.
Malaysian-born screenwriter, Adele Lim made a name for herself in Hollywood through television shows such as ‘One Tree Hill’ and ‘Lethal Weapon’. In recent times, she is popularly known for being co-screenwriter of the film, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards.
Adele is now slated to write Disney’s next big animated fare ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’, a film that hits closer to home with a heavy Southeast Asian influence.
We wish all Malaysian talents out there continued success!
*Featured image sourced from Malay Mail