The 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) National Organizing Council has set the stage for the Asean Music Festival to showcase music diversity and regional excellence. The highly anticipated event is set to take place on Tuesday, November 14 from 7 p.m. onwards at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City.
Held along the sidelines of the 31st Asean Summit and Related Meetings, the festival is part of the yearlong celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Asean and the Philippine Chairmanship of Asean Meetings for this year.
With one shared identity, and one vision, the free concert aims to highlight cross-cultural exchange in the form of music performances from 10 participating countries all over the Southeast Asian region.
Joining the festivities are Filipino alternative, indie, and modern rock acts Parokya Ni Edgar, Franco, Silent Sanctuary, The Ransom Collective and Sandwich.
Besides these top local artists, the roster of performers are as follows:
D-Hask (Brunei). The D-Hask band was officially formed in February 1999 with four members—K-Roll (lead vocals), Syarif (keyboard), Reme (bass), Luffy (drums) and Daus (lead guitar). D-Hask won second place in the Rhythm and Fiesta/Pesta Musika 2005. The band was also voted sixth place for best featured artist in Brunei in 2006. Then in 2007, D-Hask emerged as the champion for Brunei Most Famous Band Challenge. Also in 2007, D-Hask was nominated in the Group/Duo category for Pelangi Awards. They also became a supporting band for Pentarama 2008 during His Majesty Hassanal Bolkiah’s birthday. Chamroeun Sophea (Cambodia). Sophea is the founder, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the Grammy-nominated band Krom in Cambodia. She also sings for the Smiley Band, a Khmer pop band, and is a dancer in the Children of Bassac group. Currently, she works for the Department of Performing Arts. Sophea graduated with a degree in choreography, specializing in folk dance.
Chhith Sovann Nimith (Cambodia). Chhith Sovann Nimith is a classical and traditional singer in Cambodia. He is involved in making the album “Season of Love” in the Songkites Music Community. He is also an “iSing” World finalist. As an actor, he has acted and many short films. He is set to star in a new feature film and drama called “Behind the Glass Door.”
Mia Ismi Halida (Indonesia). Mia Ismi Halida is a multitalented artist. She is a singer, musician, actor, and composer. Mia is a member of Kamila, a trio vocalist and violinist. She is also a vocal director and coach for the vocal group of the University of Indonesia. Mia has performed as a soloist in different countries and events, most recently at the “Konsert Nove” for the 60 years of friendship of Indonesia and Malaysia at the stadium Melawati in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2017. Under her vocal directorship, the vocal group of the University of Indonesia has won several awards, including first place in Pop category at the Busan Choir Festival, Korea, in 2015; the Pekan Seni Mahasiswa Nasional (first place in 2008, 2012, and 2016; second place in 2014; and third place in 2010); and first place in Univision in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2014.
Sack Cells (Laos). Athisak Ratanavong is the vocalist of Sack Cells. He is also the managing director of Indee Records. Athisak is also a composer, producer, and actor. In 2007, they had an international album with GMM Grammy Thailand and won in the Virgin Radio Hot Awards. Sack Cells are often invited to perform in music festivals, including the Pattaya Music Festival in Thailand (2010); the Lao Festival in Tokyo, Japan (2012 and 2014); the Mun Nao Mark Music Festival and the Big Mountain Music Festival both in Thailand (2013); and the Lao Festival in Thailand (2016). They also performed in the Asian One Concert in Thailand.
Nading Rhapsody (Malaysia). Nading Rhapsody is an avant-garde Borneo ethnic band. Forming the band are Opah Aspa (chants and vocal), Roy Kulleh (vocal, chants, and poems), Christ Sheldon (vocal and dance), Boy Keevin (bass and ambience), Randy Walter (sape and ruding), Petyson Bujang (percussion and jatung utang), and Adrian Yen (tribal percussion). The cultural roots of each member are strongly represented in the band’s unique style of adapting songs, myths, folk tales in their music. Nading Rhapsody has represented Malaysia at various festivals, including the Rainforest World Music Festival, Penang World Music Festival, Malacca World Heritage Music Festival, International Gong Festival, Diverse City KL Arts and Music Festival, the Johor Baru Indigenous Festival, and most recently, the world’s largest festival on Southeast Asian culture, the Tong Tong Fair and Festival in The Hague, Netherlands.
Eint Chit (Myanmar). Eint Chit has been a pop singer for 13 years. She started in 2004 when she was only 13 years old. She received two awards in 2014, the Most Requested Female Artist and People’s Choice of I Love Artist awards. In 2016, she and her father Chit Kaung, who is a rock star, held a concert together. This November she will be having a solo concert called “One Lady” concert. Eint Chit places much value to old music and songs. She wants to introduce these songs to the younger generation. Which is why in all her solo albums, she recorded covers of old songs.
Asia 7 (Thailand). Asia 7 was founded in 2016 by a group of alumni from the College of Music in Mahidol University in Thailand. Asia 7 has a unique sound, a combination of Thai, folk, and jazz music. They consider their genre of music as folk, pop, jazz, and groove. Asia 7 uses the Thai singing style and instruments such as Saw Duang (Thai fiddle), Phin (Thai lute), saxophone, guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums. Asia 7 won first prize at the Thai contemporary band competition and third prize at the band competition where they performed his majesty the King Bhumibol’s songs. They have also performed in various international music festivals, including the ACC World Music Festival (Korea), Asean-India Music Festival 2017 (India), Wonderfruit Festival 2017, and Thailand International Jazz Conference 2016-2017.
Tran Thieu Anh Tuan (Vietnam). Tran Thieu Anh Tuan is the second-place winner of the Binh Duong vocal student competition in 2014. Since then, he has joined several other competitions and won prizes as a solo performer and as part of a band. He studied in the vocal department at Binh Duong Intermediate School of Art and Culture. At present, he is a student at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music taking up a bachelor degree in vocal.