Kuala Lumpur: The concept behind Let’s Rock 2017 and this year’s Let’s Rock 2 is unique, combining different elements into one show. A symphonic band and choir are surely not the first things that come to mind when talking about rock music.
Let’s Rock 2 is slated for a 4-day run from 20 to 23 June 2019 and welcomes back the same head liners that brought the house down back in 2017 – Fuad of Kyoto Protocol, songstress Bihzhu and singer-songwriter Nick Davis.
The trio will be reunited with the klpac Symphonic Band, the YCA Chorus and a 4-piece band, making it a grand total of 60 musicians and singers on stage supported by a backstage crew of 25.
The programme is specially curated by director Ian Chow and fans will be able to hear their favourite songs performed live including hits by Coldplay, U2, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, The Beatles and The Carpenters.
With a 16-song programme featuring the best from folk legends to hard core rockers as well as some of the top names from the psychedelic era, music fans are in for a real treat.
FMT interviewed the people behind this mammoth effort and found that most of them are indeed over-achievers.
Director Ian Chow’s first foray into the arts was in 2002, and since then he has been involved in more than 100 local productions in various creative and management roles.
He’s gone from producing to directing to performing as well as stage and production management. In 2013, Chow made his directorial debut in Period by the Young KL Singers.
Choral Master Chi Hoe Mak keeps a busy schedule with a varied career as an award-winning choral conductor and singer.
Considered one of the most outstanding young Malaysian musicians of his generation, he was the recipient of a Kakiseni Boh Cameronian Arts Award in 2015.
Chi Hoe trained at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK, where he studied Voice and Choral Conducting, graduating with Distinction. He was the first Asian to win a conducting fellowship with the London Symphony Chorus.
Loh Ui Lee is the music composer and arranger. Besides musicals and concerts, she writes music for jingles, albums and films.
She started electone music lessons at the age of four and graduated from the International College of Music (ICOM) with First Class Honours.
She said churning out the scores for this concert took months, but it sure is worth it. She had to do research on the instrumentation and figure out how to highlight the rock elements.
The challenge was to put them together, yet arrange the music to feature each section at different times.
Bihzhu grew up listening to her dad’s cassette tapes with groups like The Brothers Four and Peter, Paul and Mary. She only started getting into jazz in college.
She is a huge fan of Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso, and Fat Freddy’s Drop from New Zealand, a cappella groups, world and gospel music.
She is really excited as its been an overwhelming experience singing with 60 other musicians, with additional choir parts as well.
Fuad Alhabshi of Kyoto Protocol fame moved from Singapore to Malaysia after secondary school. He’s a huge fan of the ’90s.
Not just grunge, but even Madonna and the Batman soundtrack. He loves Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” calling it an epic song.
Fuad claims that song will be remembered for aeons because when we’re abducted by aliens, they’ll be playing that song to calm us down!
Nick Davis is a Malaysian singer-songwriter, musician and actor. He was the vocalist and front man for modern rock band, Rosevelt.
Davis says Let’s Rock 2 is definitely a challenge because for classics like these, they don’t want to change it too much until it’s unrecognisable, yet need it to sound fresh and exciting for the audience.
All three leads agreed it was an honour and they felt touched and in awe of the music. They’ve been practising for months and now finally get to see the results where everyone sounds amazing.
When all are singing along and feeling the music, that’s just inspiring. Hearing them speak, FMT is positive this team will give the audience an epic rock concert experience to fully engage in the music.
Let’s Rock 2 is a fund-raising concert in aid of klpac. Early bird packages and bundle promotions are available.