Archive for the ‘FIBS’ Category


Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Dear Mum,

I’m sorry I haven’t written for a while. I’ve been so busy flying everywhere – from Venice to Pusan to Tokyo to Marrakech to Shanghai to Singapore to Cannes – that I simply hadn’t the time until now. You’ll be happy to hear that I had a great time. I have to admit that it is weird being jet-lagged all the time though. I think I know now how Mr. Dracula must feel. It’s hard to be sociable when you wake up to find everyone asleep.

Not that I am complaining or anything. I really needed to travel after ‘Television’ was made. For some reason, I was feeling weird and insular. Not sure why. Perhaps it was the haze. I mean – do you sometimes find yourself suddenly walking slower? Perhaps talking slower? Or dwelling more on the impossibility of something more than its possibility? Well, that was how I felt. It could be the humidity, of course – I don’t know – whatever it was, it couldn’t have been indigestion.

That’s when Auntie Lorna got me free tickets to film festivals all over the world. See, I acted in some films she produced. So she wanted me to come help promote them with her. She also said I’d feel less weird if I traveled. I trust Auntie Lorna. She reminds me of you when you are not sniffing glue. So I went.

It was great. I got to meet people like Uncle Andy. He looks like a girl but is actually a really nice man. I also met Grand Uncle Jonas. He drinks all the time although he is 250 years old (I wonder if he knows Mr. Dracula?). Then there was Uncle Lawrence Fishburne. He wasn’t very pleased to meet me at first – may be because I kept calling him ‘Samuel’ – but he became friendlier after he learned that an anvil fell on my head when I was small. I even met Mr. Roman Polanski. He was head of jury for the film competition in Marrakech. But unfortunately we weren’t allowed to speak to each other. So we only shook hands.

Not everyone I met was world famous of course. Some were successful, others were not, but most were just like me (some were taller). We all got along fabulously and exchanged email addresses. Some even bought my CD. I’d love to visit them again soon. But Auntie Lorna said that for me to visit so many friends in so many different countries would be rather costly. She said I’d have to sell many more CDs than I do now. And when I discussed this with Uncle Andy, he told me I must sell more CDs outside of Malaysia especially. And I must play more music outside of Malaysia too (for money). Only after that I will have enough money to visit my international friends, he said.

That’s why I went to MIDEM last month. This is a big event in Cannes where scary music merchants meet every year. They normally buy, sell and license music to each other and then drink a lot of wine afterwards. But this year they did not drink so much because kids the world over wouldn’t stop stealing music. Anyway, I made even more friends here. Some of them were musicians and others were music merchants. I don’t really want to say too much about my meetings here because: (i) I am superstitious; and (ii) Auntie Lorna tells me that music merchants often like to blow smoke up musicians’ bum bums and therefore it is better to wait for final confirmation before I tell you details. So for now I will only say that it is likely my music will be heard outside Asia very soon. Don’t worry, rest assured I will write you with news as soon as it happens.

I also wanted to tell you that I have been invited to play at the biggest music festival in America next month. It is the SXSW in Austin Texas and I am expecting it to be real fun. I wonder if Uncle Bush will be there too? If so, I will tell him that you don’t like his policies very much. I am sure he won’t take it personally. Other than that, you should also know that my friends have finally finished making my new music video for my song ‘Lost In America’. It’s got a lot of famous faces in it and I think it is very good. You should be able to see it on Malaysian TV soon – but if you can’t wait, you can watch it HERE now!

Oh well, that’s it mum. I must go sleep now. I will write again soon. Please say hello to Dad. Tell him the customs officer confiscated the magazines he wanted from France.

Your loving son,


MORE PHOTOGRAPHS – [Click To Enlarge]

GRAND CANAL. Ho Yuhang gloating on the grand canal in Venice. On a clear day you can see forever. He and I used to dream about this while drinking in the backstreets of Jalan Alor. His film ‘Raindogs’ became the first ever Malaysian film to compete in the Venice International Film Festival. Andy Lau funded it. I had a supporting role.

RED CARPET. [L to R: Lisa Ngan, Cheung Wing Hong, Me, Lorna Tee, Ho Yuhang] Moments before walking the red carpet in venice. The organisers arranged for a dog to walk with us. It was a labrador retriever by the name of ‘Pedro’. It’s the first dog ever to walk the carpet at Venice. We got a standing ovation. Unfortunately, we didn’t win. But it was fun.

OPENING PARTY. [L to R: Korean screen legend Sung-kee Ahn, Andy Lau, Lorna Tee, Me, Ho Yuhang] At the opening night party of the 2006 Pusan International Film Festival. The festival has risen within 10 years to become the top film festival in Asia. This stellar achievement was built on the back massive public support for homegrown Korean films.

INTERPLAY. Ray Park [right] runs the Pusan International Rock Festival. We met at the abovementioned open night party and became very fast friends. This photo was taken while we were jamming in the ‘Interplay’ livehouse a few nights later. The venue is owned by a great guy named Jeong Seob Kim. I want to play there next time I go to Pusan.

SHIBUYA. Yoichiro Takahashi [left] is one of the most accomplished directors in Japan. We met at the Tokyo International Film Festival. He said he’d like to cast me. I hope he does. Sharifah Aryana [right] is the lead in Yasmin Ahmad’s new film ‘Mukhsin’. She is also the girl holding the TV in my ‘Lost In America’ video. We were in Shibuya, Tokyo.

KAZU’S PLACE. [L to R: Oguri, Shiori, Kasshy, Kazu] My favourite drinking hole in Tokyo. Incredible vibe. Warm. Cosy. Friendly. Organic. Do go if you’re in Tokyo. Make a right from the Nishi Ogikubo Station. Then up the one o’clock side street. It’s the 5th or 6th shop on the right with a small traditional Japanese entrance. Blink and you’d miss it. Ask for Kazu.

DJEMAA EL-FNA. Marrakech town square. With old geezers in traditional Berber water-seller’s outfit. It is impossible to walk across the square to the souks beyond without being hassled. Everything is here. From snake charmers to snake oil salesmen. And at night, you get amazing street food here – sausages, vegetable tagines, boiled lamb’s head. Mm.

ATLAS MOUNTAINS. I met Veronica Chen at the Marrakech International Film Festival. She’s a filmmaker from Argentina. We got along real well. This photo was taken when we were in the Atlas Mountains just outside of Marrakech. It’s a gorgeous place. Beautiful people and great food. Veronica’s film ‘Agua’ premiers in France this month.

CANNES. I spent a lot of time with Hanin Sidharta and Windi Ramelan at MIDEM. Hanin is the A&R director for Aksara Records in Jakarta and Windi is the Indonesia country head for ZingMobile. Hanin introduced me to many contacts and was super helpful in everything. But no, this is not what they look like. It’s a plate of seafood, silly.