Its a music launch with a difference: no pop concert, album promotion or even iTunes premiere – a Malaysian rock band aims to break into the Maldivian music market through cell phone ringtones.
Pop Shuvit, the Kuala Lumpur-based band, has four successful albums to its name. Its adrenalin fuelled live performances have won it fans across Asia and the band is often touted as the continent’s leading hip hop rock outfit.
The band has followed an unusual route to stardom. Their first single ‘Skaters Anthem’ was released exclusively online, where it became an instant hit and lead to the channel ESPN licensing the song for use in their Summer X-games broadcasts.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Pop Shuvit has ambitious plans for global stardom, with tours planned in Europe and the US. Their fifth album, ‘Cherry Blossom Love Affair’, is going to be released in March.
Pop Shuvit is also making a foray into the Maldivian music scene with the imminent release of their singles as ring tones in Maldives.
Minivan News caught up with Pop Shuvit’s lead vocalist ‘Moots’ at Huvafen Fushi, to discuss the band’s interest in working with local Maldivian talent.
Aishath Shazra: What does the name Pop Shuvit stand for, and how was the band formed?
Moots: ‘Pop Shuvit’ is a skateboarding trick also known as a kick flip 360° where you flip the board under your feet and it does a 360° flip. The band has been together for 10 years now, but we have known each other for over 15 years since we were in high school. We each started out in the music industry with various bands and groups until we got together and started Pop Shuvit. We have been a solid unit ever since.
AS: The band’s gamble in releasing the first single Skaters Anthem exclusively on the internet paid off. How did the idea come about and were you expecting this success?
M: This was the time before MySpace and when the internet was still in its infant stages. We knew the internet would be the next step in the evolution of music marketing and being tech geeks ourselves, we were one of the first few bands in Asia that had a full fledged website and actively used the net to market our music to the kids. It was then only natural that we gave our fans first access to the song. Before we knew it, the song started circulating the net and ESPN came knocking and the rest they say is history.
AS: Despite establishing a good fan base in countries such as Japan, Thailand and Singapore, Pop Shuvit is still a relatively unknown band in Maldives, are you hoping to change it with the release of your singles as ring tones?
M: We want to share our music with the whole world! Maldives, Sri Lanka and India seemed to have been the only countries to have eluded us thus far but we hope to change that. I think the Maldivians are going dig the Shuvit sound and we have to come down for a show in the near future to rock the islands!
We are also looking to collaborate with local artists and we are thinking of shooting one of our songs in your beautiful islands.
AS: With whom are you collaborating on the ring tones and is Pop Shuvit going to do a performance in Maldives to promote it?
M: We have linked up with Sri Lankan based Maharaja Entertainment who then signed on our music as ring tones with Dhiraagu. We definitely hope to head down as soon as things come together for us and play a few shows here. We have also linked up with Per AQUUM in terms of DJ sets at their resorts and we hope to have a full band gig there soon.
AS: Do you think it’s necessary for a music band in Asia to sing in English to break into the global stage or do you think language and culture pose no barrier in music?
M: Music is universal and our story is proof of that. We broke Japan, a market that does not speak English or Bahasa Malaysian as their first language, but they understand the language of music. I think if beautiful music is made, it will get noticed regardless of the language.
AS: How is your holiday so far at Huvafen Fushi and are you open to doing a performance on your next visit?
M: Name the time, date and place and we will be there to rock it. I am amazed at the beauty of the Maldives and had an awesome time at Huvafen Fushi. It was breathtaking and this will not be my last visit to the island. I’m hoping to come back again for both work and play.
Pop Shuvit’s website is http://popshuvitmusic.com/wordpress/