Of weddings and flea markets

THIS two-year-old band has Facebook and founder Ahmad Jihadi to thank.

They are the reasons why Johnny Eyeglass, an acoustic folk-rock quintet, have had the opportunity to take their immense talent from YouTube to different platforms such as Scape Flea, where the aim was to attract passers-by to visit the flea market at *Scape Youth Park off Orchard Road.

But attracting customers is not all that this band can do.

As LOUD found out, they have been sought out to perform at weddings too.

"People found out about us and asked us to play at their weddings, but we're a really new band so we're still trying to get as many gigs as possible to build up rapport," said lead vocalist Nurul Husna.

Explaining how they arrived at a name for the group, the 21-year-old added: "All of us wrote our choices on pieces of paper and (tried to) pick a name out.

"We pulled out Johnny first, and then thought to ourselves that it was a bit of an empty name, so we picked another one and that's how Eyeglass came about."

The local outfit comprises four other members, with each playing a different role.

Nadia Rosmaly, 22, a cost consultant, is their bassist, Muhammad Azrul, 23, who works as a stowage planner at PSA, is the drummer.

Twenty-four year olds Jihadi, an MDIS student, and Muhammad Fahmy, an engineer, play the guitar.

Jihadi also doubles as the band's vocalist.

The band emerged when Jihadi went on a Facebook hunt and found his members.

He got in touch with each of them in an attempt to meet up and jam together.

To their surprise, they had chemistry and performed well together.

"I gathered the four talented musicians with the hope of jamming to our favourite tunes and sharing our individual experiences and passion for music," he said.

"But we eventually grew to realise that we had chemistry playing music together.

"That's when we decided to call ourselves a band."

Nurul, an undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University's School of Arts, Design and Media, said: "Ahmad actually found a cover that I recorded and posted on Facebook of myself.

"He got in touch with me to ask if I was interested in meeting up and jamming one day."

Although they refer to themselves as an acoustic folk-rock band, they certainly don't limit themselves to a specific genre.

Said Nurul: "We actually record covers of different genres like indie, alternative rock and even pop songs."

Their entry for this month's LOUD cover contest was that of English indie-rock band Florence and the Machine's first official single Shake It Out, taken from their second studio album Ceremonials (2011).

"We decided to cover the song for fun since all of us love the band, especially Florence Welch's (below) voice," said Nurul.

She added: "We are a young and talented band seeking exposure because we love what we do and we'd love to share our passion for music through our covers and originals with more people who are unaware of us."

Their cover video struck a chord with the LOUD judges for this month's contest.

They include Mr Andre Alabons, promotions manager with concert promoter LAMC, local producer Leonard Soosay, who also founded Snakeweed Studios, as well as a spokesman for Gibson Guitar.

They will be looking out for a few essential elements in the entries.

Mr Alabons said that "instrument proficiency" and "sounding tight" as a band are important.

He said: "Besides being able to handle their own instruments and vocal individually, they must be able to keep in time and gel as a unit because this shows that they've been practicing."

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