Category Archives: Music

Storm disrupts closing ceremony for world kite fest

BINTULU: A storm created havoc among the audience and performers at the closing ceremony for the Bintulu International Kite Festival at the Old Bintulu Airport on Sunday. 

The weather which had been fine all along suddenly changed when a strong wind blew around 11.30pm, and the storm it brought lasted about 30 minutes.

Dance choreographer Tuah Jili of Kumpulan Sri Budaya Bintulu said this had never happened before in his 20 years’ involvement with the industry.

Tuah when contacted was still traumatised and had applied for leave from duty as an officer with the Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation (Cultural Section) Bintulu Office.

“This is an unforgettable moment for me and in my 20 years’ experience in stage shows and performances, I’ve never been in such a situation.

“There was no warning of the disaster as the weather was fine.

“But in a split second, I felt cold, and the wind started to blow gently … the strong wind knocked down the backdrops where my dancers were posing for a photograph after the results of the competition were announced,” he said.

“Thank goodness, the event had almost come to an end,” he added.

Tuah had felt uneasy before the weather changed.

He was scared  when one by one the backdrop on the main stage, lighting equipment and canopy got destroyed.

“Since the site is an open space, we don’t know where to go to save our lives, the only thing I care about that time was the safety of my dancers,” said Tuah.

Hundreds of people in the audience ran for their lives.

Some got into  their vehicles and others fled to a nearby building.

“There was no way we could hide under the canopy as the wind had blown it off. While running to my car with a few others, I saw various objects like zinc sheets flying through the air. I was hoping they would not hurt anyone,” he said.

Some 20 dancers were under Tuah’s responsibility that night and after the disaster, he tried to get in touch with his dancers who got separated in the commotion.

“Thankfully, all my dancers were safe but a few of them had minor injuries on their legs,” Tuah added.

He said as a leader in the team, he had to ensure all his dancers were safe.

“As a leader, I had to lead them and be calm. I have to do it even though I was shocked — only God knows how terrible I felt about the incident,” he said.

“But I believe something good will come from it — it is a test to all of us to be strong and patient in facing challenges. Money is not important, but lives are invaluable,” Tuah said.

He was relieved nobody among the audience was hurt in the incident.

Among the entertainers were singers from Peninsular Malaysia like Sheila N D Lala and others from Astro reality show, Academy Fantasia.


Jamming studio spreads its wings

RASHDAN Entertainment Groups (REG), a popular jamming studio in Mukah, has spread its wings to Bintulu.

Registered on March 16, 2004, it has been encouraging youths to use their time wisely and develop their talents, especially in music.

REG is not new to some music fans in Bintulu as it had opened a jamming studio in Medan Jaya back in 2005.

According to founder-owner Zabidin Zamhari, 42, the new studio will concentrate solely on recording service.

“This is a new business, especially for Bintulu, but even with a challenging market, I still believe the venture is worth it,” said the father of five from Balingian, Mukah.

REG recording studio became “fully operational” in Bintulu in 2009 in a building at the back of Zabidin’s house in Kampung Jabai. He was assisted by Rosman Mohamad Tahir as producer.

Zabidin set up the studio at the request of friends, mostly among the indi-bands who wanted to record their songs.

“Before this, there was no place for them. They had to go to Kuching and it was quite expensive. So I thought why not give it a shot,” he recalled.

He said unlike other recording studios that charged a high service fee, REG tried not to over-burden customers who are mostly youths.

“I didn’t venture into this business just for the profit. I feel I have the social responsibility to help the youths spend their time wisely and develop their musical talents.”

The fully digital studio charges only RM80 per hour. Usually, two or three songs can be recorded in that time. And according to Zabidin, who is also the manager, it’s still comparatively much cheaper.

He has invested about RM80,000 in the business and assured there will be no compromise on quality.

“With the latest instruments and a knowledgeable staff, we strive to give our customers the best,” he assured.

So far, REG has recorded several songs for five local bands and its most recent recording was for a Bintulu Maksak choir.

“REG is only responsible for the recording and will not get involved in any kind of distribution. After the recording, the bands do the rest — promotion, selling demos and things like that,” Zabidin said.

Public response so far is average.

“Our studio is still new — people have yet to know about it after we closed the jamming studio in Medan Jaya. There is also no promotion. We cannot expect too much. Our music industry is not as big as the peninsula’s,” he noted.

REG owns two bands — Skool of Ska with seven members which is more to reggae genre, and Teshu with five members. According to Rosman, the bands have produced their own demos and are also active in stage performances.

On REG’s future, Zabidin, who is the manager, said it would organise a mini gig for local indi-bands, and produce a compilation of songs probably after Hari Raya.

“The mini gig will be the best opportunity for the bands to promote and sell their products. “I hope it will also encourage them to keep a healthy lifestyle.

“They can delve into music more seriously by producing their own songs. From there, you can see how the youngsters develop their creativity. So far, several bands have been identified.”

Zabidin who studied mechanical technology at a private college in Kuala Lumpur, also shared an interesting aspect on the origin of REG.

“R stands for Rashdan, my late younger brother who also loved music — in fact, he was more passionate about it. He had dreamed of setting up his own recording studio. So REG is a tribute to `him.”

REG in Mukah has been active in various activities and one of its regular events is ‘Battle of the Band’ held every Pesta Kaul.

The studio co-organised Lord of the Band in 2005 and Rexona Band Quest in 2007 with Hoc Star Entertainment.

REG Bintulu now has over 20 members.

REG can be contacted at:-
Zabidin – 0138416413
Rosman – 0198547310
Facebook: – R.E.G studio
REG studio address – No 329, Jln Tg Batu, Kpg Jabai 97000 Bintulu Sarawak.