Share & Connect
It’s not often that the best young fingerstyle guitarist in the world bypasses your country’s capital and heads to your city. That is, if your hometown is Kuching, which means ‘Cat City’ in Malay. If you aren’t a Malaysian and haven’t yet been to Kuching, this would be a perfect excuse to book a flight and plan a holiday there in mid-December: Sungha Jung, the 16-year-old South Korean musical sensation will be having his own concert there on December 16. It may be a great chance to meet this young star personally, in a relatively small city.
Many have come to know Sungha through his Youtube videos. His ability to learn and play a wide range of tunes since he was 9 caught the attention of people worldwide. What made Sungha stand out then (other than the fact that he was a tiny kid playing a guitar), was that while many people starting out with an instrument settle for being able to get a few notes right, Sungha was able to master and play songs with precision and skill.
Real practice pays off, and now at age 16, Sungha already has an impressive record: he has performed alongside a number of notable fingerstyle guitarists, such as Tommy Emmanuel, Andy Mckee, Ulli Boegershausen, Thomas Leeb, Kotaro Oshio, Byung-Woo Lee, and Trace Bundy.
As a preview for this concert, Toonari Post caught up with Borneo TruEvents, organizers of the event, to get more information on the show. I spoke with Silas Michael, CEO of Borneo TruEvents.
Toonari Post (TP): Why bring in Sungha to Sarawak and not Kuala Lumpur, where all the big artists usually go to when they come to Malaysia? What was the initial motivation to bring in Sungha?
Borneo TruEvents (TruEvents): We’re a Sarawak-based event company looking to expand the horizons of event organizing and management in the state. It is our passion to host major events and artists here instead of the typical venture of doing so in the national capital. As a passionate music enthusiast, I would like to see an artist entertaining us from pure musical talent, away from the usual manufactured glitz and glamor of the standard pop culture. Of course, being Korean, Sungha will carry a pop buzz anyway.
TP: Sungha actually did a free mini concert at the Kuching Airport earlier this year, organized by Borneo to the World (BTTW). Many commented afterwards that they would have gladly paid for an actual sit-down concert, where they could enjoy his guitar playing in a quieter atmosphere. Would this have played a part in the decision to organize this concert, seeing the overwhelming response to his short visit?
TruEvents: His then appearance was purely to help promote BTTW’s soap products and his performances were merely road show styled which to me are not very appropriate for such a great musician and artist. Sungha’s talent and status as a musician are deserving of an exclusive concert setup, performing as the headliner and main attraction. I have been following his videos since late 2007. Seeing that he is now of age, sweet 16, I strongly believe it is timely to host him here in Sarawak.
TP: How can people purchase tickets? Would there be meet and greet sessions?
TruEvents: The tickets will be made available via an online ticketing portal come November 1. The meet & greet session in Kuching will be held at 8pm, at The Spring Shopping Mall on December 13.
TP: What can fans expect from the concert?
TruEvents: A mesmerizing acoustic fingerstyle guitar performance- which has never before happened here in Sarawak. We will also be seeing some other inspiring performances by top-notch performers from the International Music House and a grand opening by Malaysia’s youngest professional mentalist-magician, Chris Cheong.
TP: How many people are you expecting for the concert?
TruEvents: 1000 people.
TP: Tell us more about TruEvents, what are your aspirations as an event management company in Borneo?
TruEvents: We are an outgoing, passionate team of ‘Eventors’ and ‘Artivators’ (regarding event organizing as an art) looking to push the limits of the event management industry in Borneo. Currently, we run events all across Sabah and Sarawak and have been growing steadily in strength and market share over the past 7 years. Find out more about us at our website.
TP: Any other artists you hope to bring into Malaysia in the future?