Thank you for the music!
KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — What kind of music do you listen to? Will you pay for the best seats if your favourite artiste flew here for a concert? What if it was a local artiste? Are you still willing to pay for the gig?
The local music scene has evolved so much over the years that now, it spans across many genres -- instead of just "indie." But where can you catch these local acts besides gigs? Is there a way to download their music to your phone or MP3 player, so you can always enjoy the songs on the go? Yes, you can! And the best part is that it doesn't cost as much as buying a CD.
The Wknd (http://www.the-wknd.com/) is an independent online music site that promotes local acts. It also has a store where you can purchase music of your favourite artistes at a fraction of the price.
With a snazzy layout, great selection of local acts and updates on the local music scene, The Wknd is the site to go if you want to know more about the local music scene.
Example: you caught some new act in town and want to find out where and how you can get hold of the music... just head to The Wknd. Besides paid content, The Wknd also has videos and free audio downloads, which is ideal for music lovers. Professionally shot videos with broadcast quality audio of indie music, the choices even go beyond Malaysia and includes artistes from the region.
Earlier this month, The Malaysian Insider had a chat with Fikri Fadzil, the 28-year-old genius behind The Wknd, to talk about the music industry in the country and how this idea became a reality.
A multimedia graduate, Fikri started The Wknd four years ago because he loves music. Attending local gigs was not enough — he wanted to listen to these artistes at home, at work, at play.
He tried searching online for videos or audio recordings of the musicians he liked but he couldn't find any — or there were just a few. Thus, The Wknd was born with the intention to share the beautiful music our Malaysian artistes produce.
Recalling one incident where rain literally dampened the equipment while filming for The Wknd, Fikri Fadzil said it was memorable because they actually set up everything on the rooftop of Central Market and once it started pouring, they had to take down everything.
But luck was on team's side because they were given a spot at the The Annexe Gallery to shoot the video. The mutual love for local music is what brings people together to take time off to record and work on the post-production of the recordings you can find on The Wknd.
In case you are wondering, The Wknd is a project manned by volunteers who believe that local music should be appreciated and that's why despite having day jobs, they don't mind spending two full days shooting 10 different bands, spend two months on post-production and make sure everything runs smoothly.
"It's best to start whatever you want to do right now. That was my idea. When I first graduated, I started my own graphic design studio because I thought if I want to make mistakes it is better to make mistakes when I'm young," said Fikri who started The Wknd two years after the graphic design studio started. He became an entrepreneur right after graduation and from there, learned through trial and error.
Ambitious and yet humble, Fikri may look like he is too young to be a boss but if you speak to him, you know that he knows the industry well. He is very supportive of the local music industry and for him, he believes in creating local content, products, services and etc.
A firm believer that talent is equally good locally and internationally, he feels that Malaysians should be able to create something they like and share their passion with their audience.
A lot of listeners and readers of The Wknd are from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and also students in the States and UK. It is so impactful that Norwegian band, Kings of Convenience, actually requested for local act Tenderfist to be the opening act for their concert after listening to Tenderfist on The Wknd.
Even local TV producers, radio managers and people in the media industry follow The Wknd on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
"Everyone volunteers. Even without money, we will still go on. I hope money doesn't change us but we are ready to make some money," said Fikri who set up The Wknd with his own savings.
Every artiste featured on The Wknd is not required to pay for the recordings, and The Wknd does not demand for remuneration for all the effort, equipment and manpower put into the project. The only form of business is the paid content but even then, The Wknd's goal was initially just to share the music.
Fikri believes in the do-it-yourself culture where if you want to put your music out there, you have got to put in the time and effort. If you love something so much, you would do anything to make it work.
Some things you may want to know about Fikri:
Fave indie band (International): Animal Collective
Fave Malaysian indie band: Every artiste The Wknd recorded with
Who inspires you? Family
Cannot live without? Music
Favourite working space? Graphic design studio
Genre of music? Experimental Electronica
What drives you? My team
If your life was a song? "Wake up" by Arcade Fire
If The Wknd was a real person, he or she would be? A struggling artiste
Best advice you ever got? Start whatever you want right now
Motto in life? A Vespa is a workhorse, it looks good and it still works perfectly well after so many years.
Check out The Wknd here:
Site - http://www.the-wknd.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/thewknd
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/thewknd
and catch it on 89.9 BFM Radio every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.