8 Great Local Bands That Have Changed The Malaysian Music Scene

If you haven't been exposed to the sounds and successes of Malaysia's local bands, this SAYS list is a good excuse for you to start.

Cover image via Dedy Adrianto/ROCKZONE

1. Busco. Featuring frontman Samuel Oh, this Malaysian band has opened for bands like Switchfoot and The Used. They choose to promote positivity and inspiring messages through their lyrics.

Image via Busco/Facebook

Consisting of Samuel Oh, Darren Ashley, Larry Chew and Eugene Goh, they are one of the rising bands in Malaysia. They have opened for acts such as Switchfoot, The Used and even performed in music festivals such as the Rockaway in KL and the Baybeats Festival in Singapore.


2. Paperplane Pursuit. This electropop group started back in 1998. You may have listened to their fresh, catchy, track "Beat of Your Love" playing on the radio.

Paperplane Pursuit is an independent Malaysian electro pop music group based in Kuala Lumpur. The group started in 1998 under the name Stop Sunday, changed later to SilentScream and finally to Paperplane Pursuit in 2009. The band currently consists of lead vocalist John O, drummer Andrew Yap (a.k.a. dr/ummer), and guitarist Isaac Ravi. Their best known release is a song entitled "Beat Of Your Love" which was a result of a collaboration with another artiste named Darren Ashley.


3. An Honest Mistake. The five-part band has now acquired over 27,000 fans on Facebook with their pop punk influences and energetic drive.

3 albums. Countless gigs. Nearly 20, 000 fans on Facebook, and rising. Highly vaunted shows at festivals throughout the South-East Asian region. Supporting sets for world famous bands like the summery Boys Like Girls and pop punk stalwarts Motion City Soundtrack.


Consisting on Darren Teh, Leonard Chua, Ashley Chan, Tomas Tam and Ian Ng, An Honest Mistake is Malaysia's go to band if you love pop punk.


4. Kyoto Protocol. They started playing covers at local bars in 2008. Today, the band is one of the most established names in the local music scene. It would be surprising if you hadn't heard of them.

Since their humble beginnings playing covers in bars for 3 hours a night in 2008, Kyoto Protocol are no longer strangers to the big stage having opened for international acts such as MGMT, Yuna, CITIZENS! and We The Kings, and played at the inaugural Future Music Festival Asia alongside The Chemical Brothers, The Wombats, and Tinie Tempah.


The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Fuad, back-up vocalist/keyboard player Gael, guitarist Hairi, bassist Shakeil, and drummer Shan. They are focusing on their upcoming album that is expected to be released in 2014.


5. Oh Chentaku. Led by Myo, the band is popular amongst fans from across the Southeast Asian region. They have achieved major success despite not being signed to a label.

Formed in 2007, the Malaysian trio Myo, Amber and Naem came together and started playing a mixture of rock tunes with punk, pop and electro. Gigging actively around the country and doing a series of tours in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, the band has achieved much for a band who is not signed to any record label.


Played more than 300 shows to-date and shared stages with big names such as MXPX (US), Caliban (Germany), We Are The In Crowd (US), We The Kings (US), Crossfaith (Japan), The Used (US), Story Of The Year (US), All Time Low (US), Sheila On 7 (Indonesia) and popular local acts like Yuna, Hujan, Joe Flizzow, Massacre Conspiracy and more!


6. Hujan. Popular amongst alternative music lovers, this band has done multiple tours and shared the stage with big names in the music scene.

Image via klpac.org

Hujan is a Malaysian indie alternative rock band, consisting of Noh Salleh, AG Coco, Hang Dimas, Azham Ahmad and Izzat Huzaini.


Hujan prefers to classify their music as alternative rock and has no qualms about delivering their material in Malay. Living and breathing the element they take their name after, their music alternates between the light, heavy and the torrential storm a reflection of the many stories, moods and agendas embedded in their songs. They sing about everything from love, God, family and to the happenings of the world. 2007-2008 period marked their journey as the most successful indie band in Malaysia during that time, adding a UK tour to their portfolio. Within a year, they crossed over from indie college gig to mainstream media crowd and the rest is history.


7. One Buck Short. They first started playing at high school events and competitions and stand as pioneers in the music scene today. The band has come a long way, having played their first show in Japan recently.

The band was founded by Hafiz and Rahul during their high school. One Buck Short began playing shows at school events and "battle of the bands" competitions before coming out in the local scene. The band performed in several concerts as the opening act for many international bands, including Fall Out Boy in Singapore and Good Charlotte, Panic at the Disco, My Chemical Romance and Sum 41 in Kuala Lumpur. As well as opening for major acts, they have also been featured alongside other prominent acts at the 2007 SingFest music festival in Singapore, acts including Gym Class Heroes, Avenged Sevenfold and MxPx. They also appeared in local shows such as Rock the World IV, Rock the World V as well as the Asian X Games.


8. Bunkface. You've definitely heard this Klang rock band play for TM's Everyone Connects campaign. Their 1.4 million fanbase on Facebook prove that they are one of the most popular bands in Malaysia.

Image via akamaihd.net

Bunkface is a Malaysian Pop Punk band from Klang, Malaysia formed in 2005. The band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Sam (Shamsul Anuar), bass guitarist and back up vocalist Youk (Farouk Jaafar), Paan (Ahmad Farhan), lead guitarist, and back up vocalist.


Bunkface joined the Everyone Connects campaign by TMNet and sung the song Through My Window, which was used in the campaign's television advertisement. The song was first heard over the airwaves when an anonymous CD arrived at radio stations in the country. This mystery generated an immediate buzz among the public, who wondered who the artists behind the song were. Bunkface's popularity soared when it was revealed they were the artists. Discussed widely throughout Facebook and Twitter, the song was said by many to be viral and infectious.


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