Fazz is a musical-pop outfit from Kuala Lumpur who’s currently on their third tour in Japan and are back with their second album titled “Passage”. Exuberant, sophisticated, yet fundamentally based on fun, Fazz has put on marvelous shows for the past 3 weeks; from Chiba to Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, and Tokyo.
Highlights of the promo tour so far are their return for a special show at The Keystone club from their previous tour in 2016- and Fazz goes even bigger by rounding up their tour by being the sole Malaysian representatives at the 14th TOKYO INTERNATIONAL MUSIC MARKET International Showcase on the 25th of October, at the Shibuya duo MUSIC EXCHANGE in Tokyo!
Take a closer look at one of Malaysia’s most sought after indie bands
Fazz is a six-piece band consisting of (from left to right): Ad Wafri (Trumpet), Raja Farouk (Electric double bass/Voice), Yon Lynn (Vocals), Jone Yeoh (Drums), Jason Lim (Trombone) and Grace Cho (Keys/Voice).
They’re made up of a bunch of diverse people from various backgrounds, of which some members were acquaintances before the final formation of their band today. Almost all of the members in Fazz have experience in the fields of music and the theatre scene, and that only makes up of a small fraction of their impressive showmanship.
They’ve come a long way, with their roots beginning as a band of four in 2009 to a full six-piece band with horn sections in the current day. As of 2016, the second part of their journey as the band begins with Lynn, Jason, and Ad as they continuously evolve as performers in the music scene. They’ve performed at various events and competitions, such as winning the 2nd prize at Coliseum Band Competition, Singapore in 2015, performing at Urbanscapes in 2016 and the recent Japan x Malaysia Friendship Concert 2017 at Sunway Lagoon.
The thespian identity and timeless genius of Fazz’s music
Though many might put their music under Jazz, Fazz pretty much transcends genres; As they like to say for themselves, their sound is “a good blend of theatrical comedy, vaudeville, cabaret, rock & roll, jazz, with a persona on stage – calling it Musical Pop.” Their theatrical build makes them fantastic performers; from commanding crowds through R.F.B and Lynn’s infectious enthusiasm on stage to Grace and Ad’s solos and intervals, turns the atmosphere at their shows into a carnivalesque delight.
What makes them special is their ability to put a twist on the music they play- for the most part, Musical-pop is a fairly underrated genre that often slips between airwaves and the ears of the masses. Their masterful way of conveying narratives of the tales they try to share through their songs turn Fazz into great storytellers to the audience, from corporate gigs to the underground scene turns anyone into a twisting and dance machine!
Fazz EP: A diamond in the rough
Upon listening to the EP, the cabaret and musical themes shine through their tracks. The composition of the tracks spin all kinds of stories from the first intro to very last note of the album.
The first song is “That’s Life”, that was produced in 2015. The jazz opening invites the listener into a spiel about the everyday misfortune that befalls a person, sultry vocals backed by a rising tempo that crescendoes into the chorus. The bass and the drums reach a climax into the song-a somewhat painted vision of a tantamount of bad things happening all at once; then the line drops in this sarcastic but nonchalant tone: ” That’s life for you.”
Other favorites include “Curfew”, “Jealous” and “Blame”, where their influences such as Disney themes, Dream Theater and Queen really comes into play. Each song crafted and arranged into bouts of interludes; horns and keys riddled sections that get people moving to the beat. They concoct tunes by “focusing on their delivery entertainment through story-telling, thus fusing theatrical broadway with modern-day poetry.”
The journey: Part II of Fazz
Occasionally songkok-clad, stripes themed, or suited up and dressed down- Fazz really raises the bar for their stylish performances and warm antics that really show how close-knit of a band they can be. Other songs such as “Valhalla” and “The Witch” bring out their darker and heavier materials that portray just as much technical skill; small details like the intro of a storm brewing or the organ adds more to the individual character that each of these songs has.
Even so, their live performances tend to incorporate covers; the most memorable are; Aladdin’s “A friend like me”, Cowboy Bebop’s “Tank” and The Strike’s “Atom Bomb”. The constant innovation in the music turns each performance into something bigger, experimental and new, but they’re still retaining the classic charm of their genesis.
We’ve spent the past few years refining what we want to sound like, and we are still searching for the tone of our sound- Fazz is getting there for sure! – Raja Farouk, 2017
Making music without borders: breaking into the Japanese market
Their musical journey made themselves allies of a particular scene- and the Japanese music scene is more welcoming than ever to bring them back for more. With more than three years of experience and self-funded tours, the indie band is given the opportunity to perform at one of the most popular music festivals that Japan holds yearly.
What started with some pit stops at various local ACG (Anime, Comics & Games) events such as Comic Fiesta led to tours in Japan (2015 & 2016), to the Haneda International Anime Festival 2015, the Japan x Malaysia Friendship Concert 2017; to a full-length 4-week tour that concludes with Fazz performing at the INTERNATIONAL MUSIC MARKET International Showcase 2017.
Representing Malaysian music
After a round of performing in different prefectures in Japan, Fazz will conclude their tour back in Tokyo City on the 25th of October, at Shibuya Duo MUSIC EXCHANGE; as a part of Tokyo International Film Festival, the one and only international music platform have them as the Malaysian pick to be playing alongside fellow bands;
Hello Nico (Taiwan), IAMNOT (Korea), LAST TRAIN (France) who performed at Summer Sonic 2017 and singer-songwriter Terra Lightfoot (Canada). Each band with their own unique and distinct qualities were selected by the Foundation for Promotion of Music Industry and Culture (PROMIC), to diversify the international music scene to Japanese audiences. For any locals abroad in Japan, here’s a link to check the event out to get more information!
First look: Fazz’s 2nd album “PASSAGE”
Though it may only be out for Japanese audiences first, here’s what their next album will look like!
Designed by Yin Teng (Official designer); it symbolizes the new paths, stories, feelings, and visions of the band after the conclusion of the first half of their musical journey so far. Mastered by Pete Maher from the UK, he’s worked with U2 and produced the award-winning Lalaland Soundtrack.
Their stories and sound are more refined- as the creative process included the opinions and understanding of all members, where they worked together to produce a more mature and compelling album yet. There is much to expect, and we can’t wait to hear a listen to it ourselves!
“Passage” EP will only be available at Fazz’s return next week, so stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled for any news regarding their next gigs and for “Passage” to be in your hands!
To keep updated, here’s how you can know about Fazz’s latest happenings!