Meet the Vans Musicians Wanted KL Showcase Finalists

This weekend sees the second of three Vans Musicians Wanted showcase shows, which will be happening on Sunday August 20 at Perfect Square Space in TTDI. As with last week’s post about the JB finalists, here’s a quick rundown of the four hopefuls that will be taking the stage on Sunday and a bit about why you should keep an eye (and ear) on them.

Mass Music

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Mass Music

Mass Music are a trio whose music crosses the boundaries of modern hip-hop, R&B and electronic music. Expect rapping, soulful vocals, some autotune and punchy, bassy beats. The band seems to have had a slightly funkier sound during their early days but they’ve traded most of that in for a more modern, club-ready sound.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Them

These guys sound modern and are definitely in with what’s hot in contemporary “urban” music, and if that’s what you’re into then you could do a lot worse than keeping an eye on these three. They haven’t quite yet found that hook that sets them apart from the crowd, but if they play their cards right they might be able to start making inroads into the scene and cross over into bigger, more general success. And who doesn’t want to be able to say “I was into them before they were famous”, now?

Budak Nakal Hujung Simpang

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Budak Nakal Hujung Simpang

Budak Nakal Hujung Simpang are a young ten-piece ska/reggae band hailing from Shah Alam. As the name might suggest, the band play a high-energy reggae/ska sound with a bit of attitude, and they make full use of their horn and percussion sections in their music.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Them

If you’re into ska/reggae sounds then these guys are obviously a band to pay attention to. They’re fun, have a lot of energy and come across as being really in love with reggae and ska. They’re still new but they sound like they’ve been doing this for a while; maybe they’ve had a lot of time in other bands or just honed their skills behind closed doors for a while before making their public debut, but they sound reassured and confident, not necessarily something you can always say about younger bands.

Zip Zieller

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Zip Zieller

Zip Zieller are a hard rock five-piece from Klang. The band’s sound draws from blues rock and stoner/desert rock, but also carries hints of psychedelic rock, grunge and even some indie rock, resulting in an interesting combo that has served them well throughout their musical career.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Them

These boys have been around for a long time, so it’s very likely that if you’re keen on bluesy, stoner-y rock then you’re already clued into these guys, but if you’re either new to the scene or just have only started to be interested in checking out what Malaysia has to offer in this style, then what we can tell you is that these guys are tight and know what they’re doing. They may not have the most inventive riffs or compositions, but they know what they’re doing and they know how to get your head bobbing and in the mood for some rock and roll.

Kokkamango

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Kokkamango

Kokkamango are an electropop three-piece based in Kajang. The band seems to have two sides to their sound: some songs see them in full-on cheery 8-bit synthpop mode, with earworm choruses and squarewave synth action that¬†Megaman composer Manami Matsumae would be proud of, while other singles see the band take a dreamier, more atmospheric approach. One thing’s for sure though: they like their Cocteau Twins.

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Them

Know that “get you a man who can do both” meme? Well, Kokkamango are a bit of that, just musically. They’re a band that sound comfortable either when they’re trying to get the party started or when they’re trying to soundtrack the after-party comedown, and that’s something that we think is somewhat rare here in the Malaysian scene. They lean more towards the latter, that’s for sure, but the fact that they can rev things up and break out of the elegiac electro-pop vibe, and do it well, is alone enough reason to see where they take their sound from here.