How has 2020 been for you guys so far? What have you been up to?
It started out just great in January with few line-ups of shows scheduled for us from March till June 2020 and we are also geared up to record our second album this year. Then the bombshell came, MCO because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence all shows were canceled and we cannot even do the recordings as then the bandmates need to travel to be in the studio.
However, we managed to do Mafidz’s ‘Online Live Shows’ and also a couple of sponsored ‘Online Gigs’ too. Other than that, we spent most of the time chilling and relooked into our new songs at home. By the way, we even did a ‘short movie’ with everybody in the house involved just to kill time!
Prior to joining Vans Musicians Wanted in 2019, you guys have been gigging around for a while. What made you want to submit your song to the competition?
We actually launched our debut album in late Sept 2018 and from that date onwards we were ‘gigging’ as much as we can all the way thru 2019 including twice in Jakarta and when we heard about the VMW we knew that we must try to be at least in the finals as it can help us to be known in the industry circle and perhaps more.
What are the preparations that you guys did before heading out to USA?
Since it would be the first time for most of us to be in USA, we thought that it would be nice to explore Chicago for another extra 4 days on our own, outside the scheduled that was prepared for us. There was a need to also bring along two of our crew members cum videographer and photographer plus our manager for documenting the journey. Therefore, we started off by staging our second showcase and a few gigs to raise the extra fund we need for the trip.
We also contacted the Malaysian’s student body in Chicago and they have arranged for us to perform in front of the Malaysian and Indonesian students there at the University Of Wisconsin (about 3 hrs drive to North West of Chicago). The most important preparation of all, is to get our winter gears since it was the beginning of winter at that time.
How was the experience like performing “Bahasa Malaysia” songs on an international stage?
It was great and exciting really. Before the actual competition day, we get to do a rehearsal and also check out our instruments at The Garage Studio in Chicago. There was no issue for us to sing our songs in Bahasa Malaysia because music is a universal language. Moreover, before the competition, all the contestants were taken on a day trip to get to know each other better thru drawing competition, lunch, dinner, and chilling events. After all that, it’s just like performing to the ‘family’ of House Of Vans.
What are some memorable experiences at the finals, and your stay in Chicago?
There are many memories in Chicago, and we are glad that we brought along our crew members to do the recording for our Vlogs not just only for us to remember the moments but also to share our experiences with our fans and families. One of the highlights was to be at the Jason Mraz Concert in the Chicago Theatre. We have made new friends in the USA too and that is precious.
What are some tips and key takeaways that you can share with other musicians that have submitted their demos?
Well, if they’ve already submitted , then the best we can say is…”Always aim high, be original and enjoy the journey.”
What are your future plans for the band?
Currently, the plan is to complete and launch our second album and to live up to our motto which is #mafidzfolktheworld.