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One Night with Ji Yu Jin

It’s been 8 years……EIGHT YEARS????? Gosh, that was how long it has been for me to step on stage with Ji Yu Jin. Aisay, don’t want to admit that I am old also cannot lah.

Even if it was just one song that I sang with Ji Yu Jin ‘What’s Up”, the memories came flooding back. A fan of Ji Yu Jin emailed me a couple a little less than a week ago about Ji Yu Jin being back in town after long stints in other parts of the country. This time, they’re back in PJ/KL in the club scene. So, acting upon the tip-off from the fan, I gathered two friends who are into the canto-rock scene (not everyone’s into rock….canto-rock at that) and headed on over.

Ji Yu Jin is currently singing in Club 18 in Bangsar Avenue right now and getting there is a harrowing experience in itself if you’re heading over from Damansara. How to get over the other side? How to get over to the other side of the road, niamah!!???? Wrong turn here, wrong turn there!

Beforehand, I called Louie, Ji Yu Jin’s leader and Joe, the lead singer to get the directions already….but still got lost wor. Stupid-nya.

Anyway, I was caught by surprise when I arrived. Club 18 in Bangsar Avenue is damn nice, number one. Ji Yu Jin, in the years that I have not seen or sang with them is now damn good, number two. 8 years ago, all of us were struggling to master the art of performing on stage. All of us either cannot remember lyrics, don’t know how to dance, cannot find identity or don’t know how to improvise on the musical instrument that we were playing. It took eight years. Let’s just say they got it down pat.

Although I knew I was probably going to be called up on stage to sing, I didn’t really want to. I sang a lot of songs with them but I cannot remember the lyrics for all of them. I have been relying on lyrics a lot, you see. I’ll be honest, in order to perform on stage 100%, you need to remember the lyrics. But it’s not an easy task because a singer is required to remember lyrics for hundreds of songs under the band’s repertoire.

Aiya, let’s just say it’s my weakness lah. Very bad memory.

Anyway, I wasn’t too keen on singing but if there’s one song I know I can remember 80% of and will hit the crowd with, it’s What’s Up by Four Non Blondes. I mean, if you don’t know the song, raise your hand. If you don’t know how to sing the chorus, raise your hand. If you don’t know how to sing ‘Hhhheeyyyyyyyy….’, raise your hand!

So, actually…..I kept safe lah. Hee hee hee….. A song that hits the crowd and something I can get the crowd to sing FOR ME while I try to remember the lyrics to the following part of the song.

But still, I cannot remember the sequence of the song so, that’s another problem. The band had to be good enough to follow me because I am the blur one on stage although I hold the mic and the crowd.

I say this from the bottom of my heart. They’re top notch now. I am really proud of Ji Yu Jin right now because I know how Ji Yu Jin struggled and sacrificed for their passion in music. 8 years, folks. For some of them, it’s a decade of dedication. I can’t imagine myself doing the same thing Ji Yu Jin did.

Ji Yu Jin is a recording artiste in Malaysia and yet, not a lot of people know of them. The market for canto-rock in our country is very narrow, hence, they run the pubs. Which is a good thing, actually. They get to build a fan base throughout the country. If things get good for them, they will find a bigger fan base in other parts of the world. I don’t want to go into the Malaysian music industry sucks thing again because I said it a lot of times liao.

A few more facts:-

Ji Yu Jin’s garb and makeup and hairstyle very ‘de-in’. (very in)

Their song repertoire has improved and most band members can probably tipu their way through an English or Malay song now. Last time, cannot really do that and Joe’s only English song was ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’ and now can sing ‘Livin’ la Vita Loca’ ROCK style. Fu-yoh!

Drummer is SSSUUUPPPPEEERRRBBBB! I say this because most of the time, the drummer has to lead the way. The subtle drumroll, the little tap here, the knock there to indicate a silent signal to the other band members. As in the case of me singing on stage that night, the drummer had to watch me and listen very closely as to which BLURRR note or part of the song I am going to sing! KUDOS, man.

Louie’s keyboard skill has improved TREMENDOUSLY! Here I am taking piano lessons and there he is, learned it all himself and performing for real. Shame on me.

Joe’s voice is rockier than ever! You don’t get a voice like Joe’s in Malaysia a lot. He’s rock but think very rough Rod Stewart voice. Crispy and Rough. Not the Malay song screeching kind of songs. The moment he sings, you’ll sit up and listen because you don’t hear this kind of unique voice in Malaysia a lot. I’ve seen lots of aunties, tai-tais and tow-teng-muis fall for his very rough exterior mingled in with his boy-ish smile.

All their guitarists are top-quality ones

Very sweet yet spunky lead female singer!

All in all, I am super proud of Ji Yu Jin right now. They’ve really impressed the friends brought there and some of them asking me when will be our next visit! Without a smidgen of doubt, Ji Yu Jin rocks right now!

So, if you’re in PJ or KL, be sure to stop by at Bangsar Avenue, Club 18 for a big dose of Ji Yu Jin. You won’t be disappointed. Club 18 is located directly opposite of NSTP in Bangsar.
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