Home-grown acts a hit at Malaysian awards

Instrumental-rock band In Each Hand A Cutlass.

Singapore music acts are making waves across the Causeway in the Voice Independent Music Awards (Vima), Malaysia's top indie- music event.

Now in its fourth year, the ceremony for the Awards - organised by Malaysian entertainment company Bite Media and marketing firm Saintz & Sinnerz - will take place at Kuala Lumpur's Cinta Restolounge on Sunday.

Already, home-grown outfits like R&B duo Lady Kash & Krissy and instrumental-rock band In Each Hand A Cutlass have been announced as early winners.

R&B duo Lady Kash & Krissy.

Lady Kash & Krissy will take home the silver prize for their song, One, in the Best Music Video category, while Cutlass scored a gold trophy in the Best Instrumental category for their song, Helmets And Fiery Endings.

Of the achievement, Mr Daniel Sassoon, Cutlass' frontman and a legal counsel by day, 36, told my paper: "It's always nice to win something and, hopefully, we might find a few new listeners. The next step is getting the music even farther beyond these shores."

To be nominated for a Vima, musicians have to register themselves for consideration. Winners are then decided by a mix of public voting and a panel of global judges.

In the past, judges have included Grammy-winning producers Will Baker and Pete Woodruff, who have produced for artists like India Arie.

Other Singapore acts up for accolades at Sunday's event include B Quartet, and rappers Kevin Lester and 21 Soul Blaze.

Mr Siva Chandran, chief operating officer of Bite Media and Saintz & Sinnerz, told my paper that the Singapore acts he has seen have "tremendous potential" to "make it big on a global level".

Mr Siva, 40, added that collaborations between different countries for awards like Vima are a good way to "foster cross- promotion of artists wanting to penetrate new markets".

Other home-grown acts, like Inch Chua, Great Spy Experiment and The Analog Girl, have won Asia Voice Independent Awards (Avima) accolades in the past.

Avima is a separate event that was held before Vima started accepting nominations from Singapore and Brunei last year. Vima was previously open only to Malaysian musicians.

The top winners of Vima qualify for the Bite My Music Global Awards, which Mr Siva considers the "World Cup of indie music", and which is conducted and announced online.

On gaining recognition overseas, Kalaivani Nagaraj (known also as Lady Kash), 22, praised Vima as a "great initiative and platform for independent artists".

"There truly are no boundaries when it comes to music... It doesn't matter which country we hail from, as there's no limit to what can be achieved through persistence and soul," she said.

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