Saturday, August 9, 2014

[COVERAGE] Storey Telling with Kenny Khoo 『唱所欲言』(8 Aug 2014)

Introduction to Kenny邱锋泽

25-year-old home-grown singer-songwriter Kenny Khoo under FUNKIE MONKIES PRODUCTIONS (lead by music veterans Eric Ng黃韻仁, Xiaohan 小寒 and Jim Lim 林倛玉 with a mission to push local music talents to a higher level) has invited his fans to a recording studio for an exclusive live performance with his band. Presented by Super and AMPed, “Storey Telling with Kenny Khoo”, was recorded live and made available online at

Who is Kenny Khoo?
Better known as 肯尼 邱锋泽 (Qiu Feng Ze) in the Chinese music industry, he is a singer/songwriter/actor who made his debut on April 28 2014 with his first Mandarin album "Ten Storeys" in Taiwan. His title track 伤者 (Wounded) topped charts in Taiwan and even won over top artists like Eason Chan, doing Singapore proud!

His entry into acting last year, landing a prominent role in local music movie "Girl in Pinafore", showed off his spontaneous, humorous persona which worked well in the Taiwan pop scene, leading to him being invited repeatedly to various highly rated Taiwan variety programs hosted by entertainment heavyweights Show Luo, Alien Huang, Harry Zhang etc.

At that time he was very interested in singing and came by our school to explore being an artist, just like many other people who walk through our doors. He did a small audition for us. Though he did have some looks and some potential in his singing, I didn’t think he was ready. I advised him to continue practicing singing and start to try writing songs just like what our other artists have done. I didn’t think too much about it as I’ve met so many before whom will just nod their heads, walk out and I’ll never see or hear from them ever again.

Eventually he did take our advice and started to explore where he could learn songwriting. One day he heard a Jam Hsiao song named 复制人, loved it and went to check out the credits. Viola! he found out that the song was written by Xiaohan and me, and decided to signed up to learn songwriting with us.
Since then he’s experienced many things, being my production assistant, performing in pubs/clubs, taking part in “Guinness Live!” where I saw him ‘opening up’ his stage presence and acting in local music movie ‘Girl in Pinafore’. Witnessing his improvement and with his relentless enthusiasm towards performing and songwriting , we decided to take Kenny under our wings in FM.
 think what we are most proud about for Kenny is that he really started from scratch (in terms of songwriting), from his initial conception of writing hit songs being unattainable, to writing a whole album of great stuff by himself, both music and lyrics, In which through his songs, he started to find his own voice and music identity. His improvement dramatically improved during last year’s MDA-WDA with FM’s “Career in Hit Songwriting” course, with most of the songs for his album written during that period. And ultimately being very hands on with me on the production process, throwing me song ideas/references and exploring arrangements ideas with me. It helps that we have a quite a similar taste and hunger for all kinds of music.
A week before his promo trip for his album release in Taiwan, I had a talk with Kenny to go thru last minute stuff and mental preparation. When asked, ‘You ready?’ He replied. “I’m ready, I’ve been waiting my whole life for this”.
Read more about Kenny at the FM Pop Music website!

Kenny’s Local Debut Showcase – This Is Home, Truly.

During the sound-check / rehearsals, Kenny and his band diligently tested and ran through all the equipment required for his big night, making sure there wouldn’t be any glitches.
His vocals already sounded great even when he sang casually into the mic~

Held in Beep Studios, the show venue was filled with Kenny’s most familiar faces ; Friends, family, his mentors, and his fans.
Before the venue doors opened, Kenny’s Singapore and Taiwan fanclub representatives were distributing lightstick supports  with words “KENNY KHOO” on them, what good efforts!
As soon as Kenny stepped up on stage in a very smart and handsome suit with a hint of rock, he began introducing himself (even including his height and weight!) to the nearly 300 audiences.

Kenny sang 8 songs that night, 6 from his album and 2 cover songs, alongside with his live band.
Songs from his album “Ten Storeys” included 伤者 (Wounded) 关于我们 (About Us) 你还好吗 (How Are You) 单人套房 (Single Bedroom) 灵魂(Soul)and  菲尼克斯 (Phoenix).

Kenny’s  live vocals were stable and outstanding, which is not an easy task! His live band worked hand-in-hand with Kenny like friends for life as they brought impressive performances to the audiences.
As someone who attend quite a lot of live band shows, I personally think Kenny and his band is one of the most well performed groups!

Kenny also covered Taiwanese singer Zhang Zheng Yue’s自由 (Freedom) and sweetly serenade the song to his fan Xiao Rong who flew here from Taiwan to support him! They took a photo together as a souvenir to remember the night.

Halfway through the show, he dedicated a song to his homeland, Singapore, with one of our national song “Home” by Kit Chan as it was National Day’s eve! The audience originally requested him to sing the national anthem and he playfully sang a few lines as a joke!

In-between songs, Kenny explains where his inspirations of some of the songs he sang came from and it’s story behind them.
He mentioned that the idea of单人套房 (Single Bedroom) was to cherish and pay attention to the people and things around us in our everyday lives because as Kenny went to Taiwan for a few months for album promotions, he misses his friends and family in his single-roomed dormitory there, felling slightly lonely and scared.

Nearing the end of the showcase, Kenny hyped up the studio audiences by jamming and jumping  to his rock-like track, 菲尼克斯 (Phoenix). He took off his blazer and threw it aside, causing the crowd atmosphere to heat up!

Not forgetting the most important value, Kenny thanked everyone who has came to support him, his friends, family, fans and mentors one by one with great gratitude in heart.

I had a great experience at this showcase as it was pretty unique, having held in a very spacious studio, and also my first local artiste showcase! Expanding my knowledge in the local music scene, I had well spent my night at “Storey Telling With Kenny Khoo” !

I also believe Kenny had a great time singing for the people he values most, in his very own homeland.

A big thanks to Lj and Funkie Monkies for inviting me to the event ( and the sound-check as well!) , and Kenny for posing in the exclusive rehearsal photos! 

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