For many music lovers growing up in the preteen years of the Internet, The Wknd Sessions has been an important part of their exposure to local and regional music. Now, The Wknd Sessions has come out of their hiatus to bring you Buka Panggung, their first showcase event for 2019 – and they need your help to make it happen! Click here to contribute to the campaign to turn up Southeast Asian music up to 11.
What is The Wknd?
Established in 2008, The Wknd and their live performance uploads via the Wknd Session is responsible for launching so many artists to a wider audience. Their eclectic curation and indiscriminate approach to genre has brought the likes of bands such as Bunkface, Juno & Hanna, Rebel Scum, Pastel Lite even interviewing international bands like Bo Ningen and icons of early 2000s post punk revival – Franz Ferdinand! Most of the time when hosting Southeast Asian artists, these people were barely known to the public. When Yuna was only slowing getting out of her MySpace Internet fame phase and climbing into the mainstream, The Wknd Session got her playing guitar on the porch of someone’s home (with guest director, Ahmad Faris, founder of TAPAUtv) back in 2009.
It was during a time when, relatively speaking, online live session channels weren’t as readily available on the Internet yet and even the ones that are so popular among music lovers today only released their first video in 2009 such as NPR Tiny Desk and Audiotree. During the sunset of popular music chart shows such as MTV’s Total Request Live, these online channels started filling in the gap.
In a way founder of The Wknd Sessions, Fikri Fadzil’s love for independent music and video archiving came in at the beginning of a zeitgeist. Many others mushroomed of course, probably around the same time as well, but very few brought together Southeast Asian music into such a coherent and popular portal.
For me personally, The Wknd Session introduced me to Indonesian group, White Shoes and the Couple Company. They’re the type of group who would probably only find limelight in the pre-Internet world through niche independent magazines, having to compete with a mainstream world saturated by Indonesian groups like Ungu and Peterpan (whom I also love). Other Southeast Asian bands include Yellow Fang from Thailand, The Pinholes from Singapore and more!
In a much more literal way, the people behind The Wknd also help support new artists by affording them opportunities through initiatives like The Wknd Recording Fund in collaboration with Hotlink, a platform for new Malaysian musicians to record, produce, release and market their recorded material which brought creative creators to our music scene (e.g. Takahara Suiko of the Venopian Solitude) and also their collaboration with Vans through Musicians Wanted (with winner this year, pure rock’n’roll outfit, KAPOW).
Saying that they’re an important beating heart in our local scene seems to be an oversimplified summary, but it hits the nail close enough to accurate.
What is Buka Panggung and what do you get by contributing?
Buka Panggung is the Wknd’s first showcase event for 2019 and they’re bringing over critically-acclaimed folk band from Surabaya, Indonesia: Silampukau.
Silampukau is special among the litany of folk bands from Indonesia, with lyricism often highlighting the commonfolk of their homeland. Their music is often haunting and poignant, (as made evident by the one-string bow instrument that sounds mildly like a theremin mildly penetrating the live performance above). Their album Dosa, Kota, dan Kenangan, in my opinion sits on the pedestal as a very significant Nusantara folk album.
They will also be accompanied by other noteworthy Malaysian artistes, all of which at the behest of the Wknd’s renown sense of musical curation, so you shouldn’t be worried. It will be an unforgettable experience, and can only be made possible with your help!
The Buka Panggung crowdfunding campaign aims to raise RM50,000 over a period of 45 days from 9 November to 22 December, and is accessible from the URL: http://bit.ly/bukapanggung
“We’ve reached an important milestone in our history”, says Fikri Fadzil, founder of The Wknd. “This is our tenth year as a tastemaker in the regional music scene, and we really want to kickstart our next ten years on a good note. This crowdfunding effort will help us keep doing what we do best.”
The crowdfunding campaign will offer multiple rewards packages, ranging from free event tickets to an ultimate “hero” reward that consists of tickets, custom-designed merchandise and a unique collectible only available via p
“We’re excited for The Wknd to fundraise their Buka Panggung event on pitchIN,” says Sam Shafie, founder and CEO of pitchIN. “We’re major supporters of the arts and we’re happy to see The Wknd using a crowdfunding platform that will enable early supporters of the event to be part of it. Having championed crowdfunding in Malaysia since 2012, we’re equally enthusiastic to support projects like Buka Panggung by The Wknd who champion the regional music scene”.
Buka Panggung will be a modular event that combines a music showcase, exhibitions, workshops and marketplace into a holistic music-going experience.
Taking place on 19 January 2019 at Bentley Auditorium in Petaling Jaya, Buka Panggungwill kick off The Wknd’s 2019 music programming, which will see three additional events being organized throughout the year. The Wknd’s long-running Internet music series The Wknd Sessions will also be making a comeback, with the first episode of its eleventh season slated for broadcast in mid-February.
With more than 100 Malaysian and Southeast Asian artistes featured since its beginnings in 2008, The Wknd aims to continue breaking new ground on its mission to elevate the Asian music experience through events, digital content and storytelling.
Featured image source: Silampukau & Kawan-Kawan The Wknd Sessions Video