Month: January 2006

How to connect to today’s Malaysian music market

For homegrown acts in 2006, the rules will continue to be broken when it comes to dabbling in the music scene and making a career of it. Everything from the way music is distributed and sold, to the way some major artistes are self-financing their albums signifies an on-going evolution.

In this superb TheStar article today on section 2,
Adibah Noor
, Afdlin Shauki, and Pete Teo are made examples. Look out for the “HOW TO” in the article – like, “how to connect with fans”. Read it now!!

Digi Gets it right

I like it when work is kept fun and honest.

This can mean different things to different people, but when it comes to the youth market, it seems DiGi got it right.

They chose some trained call center professionals to be themselves – young, casual, and fun, by allowing them to decorate their workplace, dress up for work – the way they like it. Now, those who dread talking to scripted robot people who are oh-so-courteous and intimidating, will have a chance to ask for help from a friend. See the full article from The Star here.

Personally, I am a Maxis customer, and I actually enjoy scripted robot call center people. I enjoy cracking them up! By saying awkward, silly things, like shouting ‘WAHLAUUUEEHH…!!’ at their every instruction, and flirting with my faux-baritone voice HAHAHA even with the men.

And no, I did not get paid by DiGi to write this. I just want to highlight organisations and marketers who act with their brains AND with their hearts.

When an organisation dies

A budget airlines I used travelling across the States pens its goodbye:

Today is a sad day for Independence Air. Today is a sad day for our customers who have gotten used to tender loving service and paying less for air travel. We will miss serving you.

See the full message here.

There is almost something human about it, the most obvious being a sense of loss, especially if you were part of that organisation. Makes me wonder how an organisation I set out to build might avoid the same fate – or embrace it. Do all organisation inevitably die, or just take different shapes, evolve, and survive? How long can even the oldest, largets, giants like General Electric stand?

The science and art of music!

On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or “genes” into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony.

It’s not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records – it’s about what each individual song sounds like.

What started as The Music Genome Project produced Pandora – my most listened to internet radio station. Been raving about her since. But I won’t ever forget my first love –

A different new year’s eve for a different new year

It began with some choices, listed in order of preference –

1. Stay at home and arrange photos, reflecting on the year that was
2. Go to a hotel room party with my long-time best friends
3. Go to a hotel room party with Rachel, Stella, Mel etc
4. Go to a party full of strangers, hosted by YuRi

I decided, in line with my 2004’s resolution of avoiding comfort zones and 2005’s resolution of doing the things I would rather not do, I chose the riskiest choice, the party full of strangers, thus sealing my resolution for 2006 – connect with more people.

Outcome? I had possibly one of the best (public) times of my life despite missing out on fireworks.

I was so happy TJ and HeyMun came along for the ride (as if I am the one who drove =P) to Legend Hotel. Anticipating traffic jams, we equipped ourselves with road trip supplies fit for a bomb shelter, but arrived in 15 minutes (??)

Being early was a blessing, as I soon discovered I wore slippers and forgot my belt. I dragged TJ and HeyMun to ‘The Mall’ (which is near Legend Hotel) where we spent a good hour browsing. I stuck with my slippers but got a new belt, which matched my pants a bit too well.

After grabbing drinks and cigarettes for Josh (one of the hosts, and a birthday boy too) off 7-Eleven and an encounter with a very strange mamak worker who refused to cook me any dish with eggs despite standing beside cartons of eggs, we were at a 3 bedroom suite on the 26th floor.

The party started off slow, but the hosts were terrific, and I soon got along with a dude who used to study in SMKDJ too, named Weng Kit, and Malaysian Idol No.5 Ash, approaching midnight.

Instead of detailing our fuzzy TV screen new years countdown, I will share my most memorabel moments –

YuRi, Abel, and I were given 3 minutes each to present our case to the CEO – Weng Kit.
Should we combine two separate parties for ‘critical mass’? Work with pumping up the current one? Or accept status quo? Considering the other party were too heavily drugged, and half of our party were playing a sorry excuse for ‘the memory game’, the board had to make an executive decision for the greater good. Yu-Ri accused Abel of googling ‘business process re-engineering’ to jack off, and by the time we stopped mucking around, the situation resolved itself. Through the rubble I picked up a phrase – “Different strokes for different folks” =)

A drunk stranger told me – maturity is the ability to accept disappointment. I thought it was a decent metric, but felt ‘the ability to embrace change’ was left out. The stranger had vanished by then.

A filmmaking Rafil doppelganger named Tony, Dique (who did Pete Teo’s award winning video), and a few of us got high talking about how to overhaul the music scene, and making live gigs cool… go PROJECT BAZOOKA!!

I was blotting my oily face when an evil but well-endowed caucasian girl, Emily, decided to use that to pick on me for the rest of the night, till the point I pointed out her joke was ‘drying up’. I think we ended up friends. Her whack attitude earned herself an place on the Bazooka Boombox (later in the month) as a co-host with DJ Ash (from music exec).

I saw Mawi hating DJ Ash becoz he ‘tak world’.

Malaysian Idol Ash’s bonfire story telling as the crowd thinned out/ passed out.

Scratching myself to sleep as my alcohol allergies kicked into full throttle.

I awoke to spend the day in the carpark getting YuRi’s car to start, which was all good fun. It was January, and the start of a brand new year.

In the back of my head is an echo of Weng Kit telling me to cast my doubts away, and pursuing my crazy plans with full force. I need to get in the ‘zone’ fast, to deal with the stuff on my plate… the new Wiki System for the Big Bazooka music resource, HSBC Young Entrepreneur Award Round 2, and Phillipines… all in the next 12 days!

Upon my return, The Bazooka Boombox music show is due for release, by then, work for episode two, finding sponsors, and part time job as a research assistant should fall into place…

Sigh. The past two years of my life was so carefree – I was exploring everything, responsible only to myself. It had been such a fun, fast paced ride, as though the two years were rolled into one.

Now I will have to test everything I learnt, and act on everything I ever wanted to do… I hope I can focus enough to take things in stride, not fall wayward. I decided to do build something great with what I have been given, and won’t settle for any less.

And I will need your help! Keep in touch friends – especially through my revamped site =)

I wish all of you streght to make decisions for yourselves you can be happy with, and be proud of, so the next year, we can all look back in smiles…