Edwin Nathaniel

Edwin's initiation into the music world began for him at the tender age of 9 when the drummer of his elder brother's band was not available and they discovered that he had a natural flair with the drums and could play fairly well at that age. He was roped in to perform with them and this further led him to performing at clubs with groups such as the Poor Boys, Cellar Hi-5 and backing shows. Upon leaving school, Edwin formed a band called Pieces and played in many towns all over Malaysia. After leaving the club scene and joining Yamaha Music in the marketing division, Edwin continued his affiliation with the drums by playing with groups backing local and international Artistes such as Fauziah Latiff, Salamiah Hassan and Johnny Tillotson. Armed with an undying passion for creativity and experimentation with rhythms and percussions, Edwin, besides being the 'sound effects and suggestion box' man in the group is also the main player of the conventional drums and one of the founding members of the band.

 

Kirubakaran

Kirubakaran or Kiruba as he is more popularly known as, comes from a long line of Indian classical musicians. His grandfather who was a master musician of Indian percussions taught him the fundamentals of the art. Playing at temples, weddings and festivals gave Kiruba the opportunity to polish his rhythmic skills. Impressed with his prowess in Indian percussions, a well known drummer invited him to perform and experiment on the fusion of Western music with Eastern elements. This experiment proved to be succesful and through this combination, Kiruba has had the opportunity to travel and play with Asiabeat in many international music festivals. Among some of the international musicians that he has performed with are John Kaizan Neptune, Ernie Watts and Jeremy Monteiro. Kiruba has also toured Denmark with World Fusion band “Oriental Mood”. His skills on the Indian percussions have made him a much sought after musician and have been included in many recordings for popular local and Indian Artiste albums. He has also appeared on many musical programmes on RTM and Astro backing local and foreign artistes. Kiruba handles all the main Indian ethnic percussions and is also one of the founding members of the band.

 

Philip Robert

The gentle giant of the group, Robert's main influence in music at an early age was from watching his uncle who was playing in an Indian band. A self-taught musician, Robert started his playing career playing bongos in a Tamil band at the age of 18. At a later stage, a good friend who was an accomplished drummer taught and guided Robert how to read music. Robert later honed his reading and playing skills by being the drummer in a Chinese nightclub backing Chinese singers. In 1986,Robert joined the Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia (OSM)as a percussionist and was there for two years before joining the Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Orchestra. Robert's talents has seen him being much sought after by many bands and has backed many local and foreign artistes,among which are Bob Hope, Ziana Zain, Siti Nurhaliza and Ramlah Ram. Robert plays a variety of percussions and drums and is also one of the founding members of the band.

 

Jerry Ventura

Hailing from a family of musicians, Jerry's influence in music began by watching his uncles playing in bands and orchestras. Armed with the uncanny ability of learning to play instruments easily, Jerry at 12 years of age started playing the rhythm guitar in an all guitar trio. Realizing the need for a bass player, Jerry switched to the bass guitar which eventually became his 'first' instrument. This band was known as The Falcons and they were among the very first Malaysian bands to record a single in the early 70's.With The Falcons, Jerry started travelling to Singapore and Vietnam playing pop and rock music. In the mid-70's,Jerry picked up the saxophone, flute and percussions and moved from the rhythm section to fronting the band. Jerry, together with The Falcons left Malaysia I 1978 and performed all over Europe. Whilst there, Jerry had the opportunity to back many foreign artistes such as Latoya Jackson, The Coasters and Percy Sledge. Upon his eventual return to Malaysia in 1991,Jerry played with many different groups in various capacities due to his multi-instrumental skills. Jerry is the Musical Director of the band plays the bass, saxophone, flute and congas.

 

Mohd.Kamrulbahri Hussin

Hailing from Kelantan, Kamrul was exposed at an early age to traditional arts and music through his father, who is an exponent of 'Main Petri', the art of ritual healing. When he was in his teens, Kamrul had picked up a number of traditional Malay instruments such as the gendang, rebab, gong and serunai. It was also during this time that he was exposed to the 'Wayang Kulit' a traditional form of puppet theatre and learnt to be a 'dalang' (puppeteer). Upon leaving school, Kamrul journeyed into Kuala Lumpur and enrolled in the National Academy of Arts (Akademi Seni Kebangsaan) where he currently lectures) and graduated with a Diploma in music majoring in Malay and Western percussions. During his time as a student at the Academy, Kamrul picked up many more instruments. Traditional instruments such as the gambus, seruling, gamelan, tak lempong and western instruments such as the congas, bongos, timpani, djembe,classical guitar and steel drums. Kamrul has been appointed musical director for many modern and traditional theatre productions, among them the prestigious Venice Film Festival in Italy and has collaborated on many cultural exchange programs such as 'Many Skins, One Rhythm', 'Kua Etnika' in Jakarta, Indonesia and 'Window to Asia' in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kamrul is also a well sought after musician and sessionist backing and touring with local and international artistes such as Raihan on their UK tour, Siti Nurhaliza, M.Nasir, Ning Baizura, Ramli Sarip, Tan Sri S.M.Salim, Sadao Watanabe, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) and Zainal Abidin, just to name a few. Kamrul credits his expertise and skills to his teachers, the late Pak Hamzah Awang Amat and Asian Fukuoka Culture prize winner, Pak Nasir Yusoff, Pak Ibrahim Senik, Pak Ismail Mamat and his father,Pak Hussin. Kamrul also currently teaches music to local universities such as ASK, UPM, UKM and UITM. Kamrul plays traditional Malay instruments and western percussions in Aseana Percussion Unit.

 

Chen Kham Chien

Chien, as he is fondly known by, provides the Oriental touch to many of Aseana Percussion Unit's performances. Chien is an accomplished 'Dizi' (Chinese flute) and 'Erhu' (Chinese fiddle) player. Chien is also an experienced artist in Chinese wind instruments such as the Suona and Guan (Chinese Serunai), Chien presently is the principal wind instrumentalist with the Professional Cultural Center Traditional Orchestra(PCCO) with which he has traveled and performed extensively throughout the country and many other countries. Chien is also a conductor and Instructor of a Chinese orchestra. Chien plays all traditional Chinese melodic instruments with APU.

 

Mark David

A truly versatile and experienced vocalist with unique style, Mark has been performing with many groups in many clubs and shows throughout Malaysia. His vocals skills have been featured in numerous radio and television commercials. Mark has also performed at local and international music festivals. With a heart that holds a place for the less advantaged members of our society, Mark has lent his soulful voice to many events and shows. Through his initial collaboration with APU on a Christmas album released in 2000,which left an amazing effect, Mark has since incorporated his unique singing style with Aseana Percussion Unit and carried the band to a different level with his charismatic stage presence, golden voice, brash showmanship and slick dance moves.

 

Sanjiv Daevin

The youngest of the group, Sanjiv is a talented multi instrumentalist. He started playing piano, violin, and electone at the age of 4 and picked up a wide range of musical instruments and experiences along the way such as gamelan, drums, trinidadian steel pan, djembe, various percussion instruments as well as music composition. He has completed his Grade 8 in piano (ABRSM), Grade 6 in piano (AMEB), Grade 7 in violin and Grade 5 in Electone. His composition 'Samba Fest' won him the Distinguished Award in the Ensemble Section at the Yamaha National Electone Festival at the age of 14. He has since composed a few other songs and also composed the theme song 'Every Little Drop Counts' for the 1998 International Children's Environmental Conference in Marang. He also performed with a local Gamelan Troupe putting on a show called " Rhythm in Bronze " in Kuala Lumpur. Sanjiv plays the keyboards, violin and steel pan in the band.

 

Justin Lim

The one with the dreadlocks, Justin started playing drums at the age of 13 and his musical journey began with gigs in pubs while still in high school. After joining the Aseana Percussion unit at the age of 18,Justin picked up different percussion instruments such as the djembe and congas from the various members of the band and learnt the art of playing the didgeridoo.an Australian Aboriginal instrument, from fellow Aseana Percussion Unit member and former schoolmate Krshna. No stranger to the local underground scene, Justin is a much sought after sessionist for various rock bands including local metal legends Koffin Kanser and Blind Tribe with whom he toured with and opened for local rock outfit Search. Justin also regularly sessions with local and foreign DJ's in the club circuit, having collaborated with Groovedoctor, DJ Yansi from Indonesia DJ Gabriel and Lazygod. Justin, who is currently studying Visual Arts, is also a talented Artist whose works have been added to private collections in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia plays djembe, chinese drums, light percussions and didgeridoo with the band.

 

Krishna Pathmasingam

The loudest in the group, Krshna’s musical journey started at the age of 9 playing the classical guitar. His teenage years brought on a change in music direction as he moved on to playing with rock bands during high school. Krshna picked up the Didgeridoo, an Australian Aboriginal instrument at the age of 19 and begun experimenting on the blending of the sounds of the didge with modern music. Upon joining Aseana Percussion unit, Krshna, picked up various percussion instruments such as the Surdo, Djembe, Bongos and Congas. His trademark vibrant and colourful fashion sense instantaneously lights up the stage. Krshna also regularly sessions in the club circuit and has played in various clubs such as Echo, White Room, Zouk and Atmosphere. Krshna plays the didgeridoo, surdo, djembe and light percussions in the band.

 

Kesavan

Penang born, Kesavan’s interest in music at a tender age saw him learning the Indian Classical flute at the age of 10 and after a period of 6 months, he started playing and recording with an Indian Classical band in shows on a local radio station. During his teenage years, he took lessons on the piano and started playing in clubs with Indian Pop groups. Upon joining the TNB Brass Band, he added the clarinet and saxophone to his array of instruments and moved down to Kuala Lumpur and joined the RTM Orchestra. Kesavan has backed many Malaysian Artists, among some of which were DJ Dave, Sirti Nurhaliza, Zainalabidin. He has also played at a number of Jazz Festivals with Steve Thornton’s AfroAsia. Kesavan plays the Indian Classical flute and doubles up on the saxophone and light percussions with the band.

 


 

© 2012 The Aseana Percussion Unit