With over 2 million playlists, Spotify, the leading music streaming service, has received nothing but love and support from the music fans around the world. With its hassle-free features, music fans can now enjoy listening to free music that are constantly on-demand with legal access to over 20 million tracks.
From EDM to R&B to K-Pop, music fans can choose to stream any of their favourite genres. In fact, Spotify has even analysed over millions of playlists to curate special playlists such as the nation’s guiltiest pleasures playlist and the K-Pop playlist or the music fans to enjoy.
And because music is social, the music streaming service even brought music fans closer through their first local artiste showcase in Malaysia!
But before we introduce you the local band that was featured at the showcase, we sat down with the Managing Director of Spotify Asia, Sunita Kaur to talk about the showcase and their future plans. Here’s what went down:
Q: So this is Spotify’s first local artiste showcase in Malaysia. Just wondering, is the showcase part of a long-term plan?
Sunita: Yeah we would love to continue with showcases like these! This is the first time we’ve done a live showcase in Asia and we are incredibly proud that we’ve done it with Warner Music Malaysia. And this is definitely something we want to do more of because the opportunity to be able to work with such a talented group of young men is pretty unmatched.
Q: What can Spotify fans expect from the digital music streaming service in the future?
Sunita: One thing in Spotify we focus on is always listening to our music fans around the world and being able to build out and do more things from our service. So, one thing we heard about from last year was, “I can only get Spotify on desktop for free, but if I want to take it on a mobile, I need to become a subscriber.” So we listened and last December, we changed it and then we launched Spotify app for free across all devices. It made our music fans so happy!
The latest addition we have in our service is what we called an “equalizer”, and what that enables you to do, especially for some of our more advanced music fans, is that you can go and choose from other preset audio stations and actually equalise manually. So we are taking such new technology back to the boom box days, which is something we’ve heard from our music fans around the world. We’ll continue to innovate with that.
Q: For this showcase, it’s only made exclusive for the media and the invited guests, but in the future, how do you want to make it more accessible to the crowd?
Sunita: That is actually a great question. So what we have actually done is that, there are some showcases for the media but then when we talk about amazing new bands for the general public, that’s where we partner with music festivals. You have got amazing music festivals across Asia and they have all of these wonderful bands that we need to showcase and what generally happens is that, we chattered and asked if they want to be our music partners. So, we will help to promote the festivals and these new bands, and we will always partner with someone.
Sunita: We’ve done some in the past actually! For example, in Singapore we did it with Camp Symmetry and we are already looking forward to 2015 in Malaysia to see who we can partner with as well!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about your collaboration with Warner Music Malaysia? Would you want to collaborate with other music labels in the future?
Sunita: Absolutely! We collaborate with all the labels, all the indie music houses across the world. It just so happens that our first launch in Malaysia was with Warner Music Malaysia.
Q: Would you like to bring more regional or even international bands to Malaysia’s showcase in the future?
Sunita: Oh, we’ve done similar things in the past! For example, earlier this year, we had the privilege of working with Yuna and what we did was, we invited Yuna to our studio to do what we called a Spotify session, which we did a special recording in the studio for Spotify listeners to stream live in Spotify. We had the opportunity to promote that worldwide. We assume what’s currently trending and which country want more of that musician/artiste/band and we will work to accommodate.
Q: How did you discover PAYSLIP and decided that you want to put on a showcase with them?
Sunita: They were Warner’s discovery and we were lucky enough to partner with them. As you’ve heard tonight, I think this is the first time the team heard them as well. They’re young and talented and we think it’s just the beginning for them! It’s an exciting opportunity for us as well.
For those who are unfamiliar with PAYSLIP, they are a recording artiste under the wing of Warner Music Malaysia. The band signed the agreement to record for Warner Music Malaysia last year and has since become a lot more active than they were in the past. The band will be releasing their upcoming self-titled album which includes their first hit single titled, “Syurga Sang Pencinta“.
But way before they signed their record deal with Warner Music Malaysia, the members of the band got together through a battle of the bands competition organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2011. Later in 2012, the young local band started to perform on stage and even won first place in a TV competition program titled “Jamming” in March 2012.
Akeem was chosen to become the vocalist of the band while his older brother plays the bass. As the son of XPDC’s guitarist Izo, Arif naturally became the guitarist of the band while Wan, the son of XPDC’s manager, became the drummer instead. Through their family connections, the band was given the opportunities to become the opening act for most of XPDC’s rock concerts and Jinbara’s new album launch in 2012.
We must say, the showcase itself was really fun and enjoyable as the band was very well prepared and had good energy throughout their performance! So, we had a quick interview with the band as well, where we talked about some of their most memorable performances and their guilty listening pleasures!
Q: How do you guys feel about the first showcase you guys did for Spotify Malysia?
Jimmy: We feel very grateful because the event was successful and it was an awesome event!
Q: You’ve had a lot of performances in the past. Which track do you guys enjoy performing live the most and why?
Akeem: I would say, “Gergasi Hijau”? Why? Because it’s catchy and the song hypes up the crowd!
Arif: “Gergasi Hijau” too 🙂 Maybe because we enjoy performing that song a lot.
Jimmy: For me, my favourite song is “Syurga Sang Pencinta”, our new song that was featured in Spotify! The melody is very nice 🙂
Q: Tell us which performance so far was the most memorable for the band?
Jimmy: For me, I think it was in 2012 when we performed at Hari Belia and we all felt like that day was an awesome day. The crowd was very fantastic!
Q: So, I heard you guys like Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold, which are the top 5 bands that you all look up to and would love to someday collaborate with?
Akeem: Linkin Park
Arif: Eh, Linkin Park too? Tiru ya (translation: Copy)! Okay, for me, still Avenged Sevenfold. Haha!
Wan: Dream Theatre, the progressive metal/rock band!
Jimmy: For me, Hujan!
Q: Last question! We’re pretty sure that you’ve heard some pop songs on the radio, what are your guilty listening pleasures? Or what songs do you guys sing along to?
Arif: For me, I think, 5 Seconds of Summer?
Wan: Muse 🙂
Jimmy: I think for Akeem, BIGBANG too?
Akeem: Oh yeah! Those sad songs which I can get very emotional sometimes. Haha! And then I cry at night! Haha!
Q: Haha! Okay! That’s all for our interview 🙂 Would you like to make a shoutout to your fans?
PAYSLIP: Yeah sure!
Be sure to check them out via their official Facebook page and stream their music on Spotify! Because they are that good! 😀