I thought I should write a little bit introducing my very first festival, LOVELIFEST. A festival? Am I crazy? Maybe. Just a little bit.
It all started 10 years ago, when I recorded songs in my bedroom, and posting it on Myspace. That led to a 10 year long journey (which I am still on, by the way) and it has been an incredible experience for me.
I still remember when my rockstar friend Myo (of Oh Chentaku) organized a little acoustic gig back in 2008 called Live @ Chenta Kashorga, and added my name so casually to the flyer which forced me to perform 4 of my songs. That was my first show ever.
In the beginning I was hesitant, I had my music, but I didn't know if I should do anything about it after my first gig. Then came 2009, when I first shared a stage with a wonderful band called Hujan, which until today I still swoon over their beautiful music. Hujan, I still believe, whose massive success at the time, really gave the rest of the local indie bands, me included, a chance to promote our music to the mainstream music industry. Hujan paved the way for all of us, because the big boys are now willing to give us some airtime. We were no longer a DIY, semi-broke bands, forever not knowing our worth as artistes. We managed to turn our love for music into something that could be our source of income. We can now graduate from an indie band, into being nominated in the AIM (Anugerah Industri Muzik, and equivalent to the Grammys in the States) . I remember when Noh, the lead singer, songwriter of Hujan showed me, step-by-step, how to set up my own recording company, deal with distributors, and handling the media. How to be a brave little frog, if I may compare myself to, to take a leap of faith, from an indie leaf, to the mainstream leaf. Basically, how to be the bossy girl in the big boys club. And let's not forget AG Coco. What can I say, he's one of my best friends. He has been there for me to create any music I ever wanted, never questioned my talent. He's not just a crazy talented person, he was also a wise, wonderful friend. The help doesn't stop there. My relationship with bands who started from nothing to something grew stronger over the years. Without each other's support, we would never be able to do that crossover.
The Malaysia music industry, especially the independent music industry, during that time, which was not long ago, was truly special. We loved the fact that the youth were curious about our music. Who paid for our creativity and knew that whatever they paid, does not go into the pockets of corporate men in suits, it went straight to the artist's funds, enabling us to continue making music. Who didn't care if we were on TV or not. Who memorized every word to our songs before a gig so that can sing along to our songs. They could order a Radiohead t-shirt online but felt prouder owning one of our silk-screened band t-shirts. Who didn't care if a tudung girl is playing her music with a guitar on stage. This is why we are special. Driven by the west, but not forgetting our eastern values. Traditional, but open to new ideas. We knew the spirit of music without caring whats on the surface. Money was important, but it wasn't everything. We would have disagreements, some bands break up, but we still give our 'salams' when we see each other. Whoever made bank, we cheered for them. Whoever got the chance to open for a huge international band, we came early to watch their set. We functioned like a family. Everyone knew each other, everyone went to each other's shows, everyone worked together and eventually, some of us even married each other. We were all just, very loving people.
LOVELIFEST has been on my mind for a long time. I went to all the big festivals in the states you could think of, only to miss singing along to Pagi Yang Gelap, or 60's TV. Fine. I'll admit it. I miss it guys. Some people tell me that those days are over.. I refuse to believe it. Let's prove them wrong.
So here is what it is actually.. 2017 marks my 10th year anniversary, only I didn't want it to be all about me. I love my music friends and my fans. I loved every bit of my journey because they had made it so beautiful. I love our music. I love the newer bands that had kept that fire hot for us. Therefore, Yuna Room Records would like to introduce our very first festival celebrating music, arts and life - the LOVELIFEST.
Thank you so much to everyone- all the bands and sponsors for being a part of this. To fans if you already bought tickets, please know you're not only buying a ticket to a show, you're helping keeping the dream alive. Don't let that stop here. Buy your local music, don't download for free. Buy tickets to your local shows, don't only go to free shows. I understand that the festival is overlapping with another one, so please by all means, if you feel like you want to go to that one too, do it! Support your local bands & artists. Support is key to a musician's livelihood, it enables rockstar dads to buy diapers for their babies.
Peace and blessing be upon you all, inshaAllah. When I see you, let's rock out like it's 2009 again.