We’re just a couple of days away from this year’s instalment of MTV Music Evolution Manila, a high energy event that will see international artistes such as OneRepublic, Bebe Rexha, APink (에이핑크), Far East Movement and more take the stage for a one-night-only massive music extravaganza. While we’re bursting at seams with sheer excitement at the prospect of joining our MTV Asia friends, VJ Alan Wong and VJ Hanli Hoefer in Manila, where they will be hosting #MTVMusicEvo, we got to speak to them real quick before the party.
Here’s what went down:
Hi guys! Thank you for taking time off your busy schedules to speak to us. Where are you right now and what are you currently up to?
Alan: “I’m still currently based in Singapore, working on our weekly show The MTV Show and getting ready for the MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 concert! I’ve also started working with a couple of other channels this year, hosting on HBO Asia and acting on Mediacorp’s Channel 5.”
Hanli: “It’s Thursday and I am currently sitting in Changi airport in Singapore awaiting my flight to Manila. I am heading over to Manila for MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016! It’s going to be a week of hosting road shows, being interviewed, going on radio shows, speaking to artistes, and generally gearing up for this huge music event. Apart from that we recently have entered the fifth season of our weekly music and lifestyle show The MTV Show. In my life outside of MTV, I have been appointed as ambassador for fashion magazine L’Officiel Singapore! It’s honestly such a wonderful experience to be able to work with such creative and fashionable minds. Keep an eye out for my editorials throughout the year as I will be sharing them on my social media platforms.”
You were both hosts of the inaugural MTV Music Evolution Manila. What would you say were some of your best memories from last year’s event?
Alan: “The crowd was absolutely massive and amazing. With over 20,000 people there, it was by far the biggest crowd we’d ever seen and they definitely brought the energy. Then at the end, Naughty By Nature did an epic tribute to Tupac as the rest of the artistes joined them on stage for the finale and with the fireworks lighting up the sky, the place went insane.”
Hanli: “For me, it was being able to work with hip hop legends Naughty By Nature. I’m a giant fan of their work and I respect them immensely. The way that they carry themselves on a stage, in front of a camera and even behind a camera is so professional and incredibly humble. Oh and how can I forget to give a shout out to the audience – Pinoys know how to party, that’s for sure! The energy was electric and the cheers were loud.”
Aside from this year’s line-up, how will MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 be bigger and better than the last?
Alan: “Well, I’m really excited about our new venue at SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. I think it will add a whole new element. While we showcased hip hop last year, this year is all about dancing and that you just can’t stop moving. I think we’ve gathered some of the most popular local and international acts and I can’t wait to see them all perform on the same stage.”
Hanli: “MTV strives to showcase regional and local artistes alongside international acts. We are doing just that with this concert by having such a range of acts from all sorts of backgrounds. People in the audience will be introduced to new music and might love it enough to become a fan. This year’s theme is Can’t Stop Movin’, meaning everyone will be dancing! The vibe is going to be like one non-stop party.”
Which artiste(s) on the this year’s line-up are you personally a fan of and looking forward to meet?
Alan: “I’m really excited to see OneRepublic perform. I’ve been a fan of their music for a while now. But I’m also excited to see Far East Movement. We’ve had the chance to work with them before for MTV World Stage Malaysia and not only are they great guys, they also put on an amazing show!”
Hanli: “I can’t wait to meet OneRepublic!”
What surprised you most about the crowd at MTV Music Evolution Manila last year?
Alan: “I think it was the massive numbers in which they turned out. I mean, we filled the entire place up. From our view on stage, all you could see was an ocean of people.”
Hanli: “What surprised me most about last year’s crowd was the feedback online. Our hashtag #mtvmusicevo trended during the concert because everyone was so active. Scrolling through the posts really captured what the atmosphere was like, and it seemed like everyone was having an awesome time.”
Is hosting an event/a show always as “fun and games” as it looks? What are some things you wished your fans knew about being MTV hosts?
Alan: “For the most part, hosting a show like this really is every bit as fun as it looks. But it is an incredibly challenging and intimidating experience. The pressure to perform is high and the amount of preparation that goes into making a show run smoothly is enormous. Hanli and I put in a lot of script work and rehearsal time into making sure that we are ready to go when the time comes. But once the show starts and we are well prepared, it’s perhaps one of the most enjoyable experiences I get to have in my career.”
Hanli: “One thing I wish fans knew about being MTV hosts is that the best moments are the genuine ones. It is mainly fun and games but there are times when hosting live where things can get unpredictable and you need to maintain your cool and improvise on the spot. Sometimes it’s nerve-racking! It gets awkward when you’re thrown a curve ball on stage and aren’t sure how to react. So we always practice and anticipate sudden changes so that if something does change at the last minute, you can handle it with charm.”
You’ve worked with each other for so many years now. How has your experience with each other changed the way you work?
Alan: “I think that after working together over the years, we’ve come to really trust each other on stage. I know that if I make a mistake, she will be right there to cover for me, and she knows I’ll do the same. We’ve also developed some familiarity with each other’s speech patterns and timings. It makes hosting so much easier when you already know what your co-host is going to say and exactly how she will say it.”
Hanli: “We’ve always had a natural chemistry and have been able to banter about almost anything with each other. Plus, it helps that we are actually friends outside of work! Over the years we’ve come to trust each other more and know that we are a team. I know that if I miss a line he has my back and will help me out and vice versa and now that we know each other so well, we aren’t afraid to make fun of each other on-air.”
And what’s the one thing that, if you could, you would change about each other? (It can be a bad habit, an annoyingly good habit, or a quirk, or just about anything really!)
Alan: “This sounds like a trick question. The only thing I’d say is that I wish she’d pick a hair colour and stick to it. This constant changing hair colour of hers is all anybody I know will talk about. I’m a little tired of people asking me when I’m going to change the colour of my hair too.” 🙂
Hanli: “One thing I would change about Alan… This dude drinks about 1 litre of coffee a day. He should probably switch over to tea or juice – especially super early in the morning! I should add that I’m not a morning person.”
Do you guys still get stage fright and if you do, what are some of your pre-show rituals?
Alan: “I always get nervous energy. I think everybody gets that no matter how experienced you are. But after a while, you learn how to use the energy to help you perform better instead of letting the nerves cripple you and keep you from doing your best. Before a show starts, I have to move and walk around and it’s the best way for me to release the nervous energy and tension.”
Hanli: “Sometimes we do get nervous before we get on stage. We tend to hype each other up and get our energy levels up before we walk out. We don’t really have any pre-show rituals except for tons of practice and lots of laughter. When Alan and I are backstage, we are just joking around with the team. It’s important to keep the mood light and get some comic relief.”
Last one for the road! Imagine you’re trying to get us to attend MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016. How would you best convince us to go?
Alan: “First off, the lineup is awesome. With top local and international acts, the music is going to be outstanding. Now combine that with the fact that the show is being held at one of the most epic venues, SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds in Manila, a city bursting with music and dance culture. This is definitely an event not to be missed.”
Hanli: “Don’t be the person sitting at home wishing you were there. FOMO is real and if you don’t attend you will be diagnosed with a major case of ‘Fear-Of-Missing-Out’. Everyone who has ever attended says it was one of the best nights they’ve had. The passes are free and the music is awesome. You have no excuses. JUST GO!”
For more information on this year’s MTV Music Evolution Manila, hit up this link. And if you’re going (because Hanli says you should!), don’t forget to make a grab for these exclusive MTV Music Evolution Manila perks 😉
Catch the on-air premiere of MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 on MTV (Astro Ch 713) on Tuesday, 19th July at 9pm in Malaysia.
Catch Alan and Hanli on weekly music and lifestyle show The MTV Show which airs on MTV (Astro Ch 713) every Saturday at 3pm in Malaysia.