Yamaha Music Malaysia recently launched a new project that embodies their 'Kando' philosophy
to enrich the quality of life of people in Malaysia and around the world
In support of Yamaha’s commitment to
inculcate a musical culture among today's youth, a couple of Malaysia's own musicians banded together to ink an agreement with Yamaha to kick-start Kando at Golden Palm Tree Resort.
The event was attended by keyboardist Aubrey Suwito, guitarists Jamie Wilson and Aznan “Nan” Alias, drummer John Thomas, bassist Halizor “Fly” Hussein and rap-rock band Pop Shuvit members Jedidiah “JD” Wong and Nazrin “AJ” Mohd Nasir. Managing Director Mamoru Okazaki was there on behalf of Yamaha.
Through this project, the musicians pledged to guide and motivate budding musical talents to create music, with the help of Yamaha’s high quality instruments. Here's a little more detail on their musical backgrounds:
Aubrey Naga Suwito has been actively involved in the music industry since 1988 as a songwriter, producer, music arranger, and music director to some of the nation’s most distinguished performers such as Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza and M Nasir. Malaysians would be familiar with his tour de force Gemilang that he wrote for Malaysian Idol winner Jaclyn Victor in addition to his involvement with sensational reality television competitions—Akademi Fantasia and Jangan Lupa Lirik, to name a couple— which earned him nationwide fame and recognition. But Aubrey Suwito’s achievements do not end with the local scene, for his music arrangements can be found in the albums of international performers, namely Jacky Cheung, Sandy Lam, and Tanya Chua.
Hailing from Australia, Jamie Wilson is a resident guitarist who has performed alongside music legends such as Joe Walsh of The Eagles and Clarence Clemes from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Having studied classical guitar as a child, he made his first formal appearance at the Sydney Opera House at the age of 16 before moving on to win the title of “Australia’s Best Young Guitarist” at MTV Australia National Guitar Challenge two years later. In Malaysia, Jamie Wilson is one of the region’s top session guitarist to have worked with the likes of Richie Ren, Eason Chan, Wang Lee Hom, Fann Wong, Afdlin Shauki, and many more.
Aznan bin Alias, affectionately known to his admirers as Nan, is frequently spotted hitting the local music scenes with his mad guitar skills. Sporting an affable demeanor, he is easily approachable by friends and fans alike despite having performed alongside big names in the music industry, most notably Fish Leong and Ella. In addition to his love of performing, Aznan has also been a music director to M Nasir since 1997 and produced albums for Dia Fadillah, Amir Yusoff, and Coda.
John Ashley Thomas' career on the drums began at the tender age of 8. Since then, he has toured with the Blue Note Circuit in Japan with Motown legends The Three Degrees and collaborated with Grammy award-winning flautist, Nestor Torres. A frequent player at numerous jazz festivals (Arts Alive, Jarasum International Jazz Fest, and etc), John Thomas has performed with premier jazz-Latin-funk musicians such as Steve Thornton, Jiro Okada, and Yu Quan. A formidable percussionist, he has been acknowledged as a promising musical talent by Malaysia’s Ministry of Cultural and Arts.
Aside from being a lecturer at ASWARA, Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan, Halizor “Fly” bin Hussein has been rocking the bass for RTM Orchestra and the Petronas Performing Arts Department Concert. Halizor has been associated with a myriad of local artistes like Anuar Zain, Zainal Abidin, Misha Omar, and Faizal Tahir while also being actively involved with international music festivals. His latest project is his own jazz-fusion called “The Phunk Mob Experience,” conceived with John Thomas, Tok Khon and Wan.
Pop Shuvit is a Malaysian independent rap-rock band, comprising Moots (vocals), JD (guitar), AJ (bass), Rudy (drums) and Uno (turntables). Having already established a sizable fanbase in Asia—notably in Malaysia, Japan, Thailand and Singapore—they are known for their adrenaline-packed live shows and eclectic blend of hip hop and rock. It comes to no surprise then that they are being touted as Asia’s leading Hip Hop Rock band. Their debut album Take it & Shuvit broke new ground when their first single Skaters’ Anthem was released exclusively on the Internet and became one of the most downloaded local songs in Malaysian music history. The hype and street buzz from the track caught the ears of ESPN, who in turn licensed the track for use in their Summer X-Games broadcast that hit millions of households worldwide. As further credit to Pop Shuvit, ESPN played their music videos and tracks off the album throughout the duration of competition.