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What Is Hip and Quantum Kid double the funk

SINGAPORE — A clear sign of maturity within a music scene is when there is demand and support for musicians who trade exclusively in their craft without the need to appeal to popular tastes. Coupled with the rise of the expert instrumentalist in the Singapore-English indie music scene, such a result is an opportunity of an altogether distinctive musical experience.

SINGAPORE — A clear sign of maturity within a music scene is when there is demand and support for musicians who trade exclusively in their craft without the need to appeal to popular tastes. Coupled with the rise of the expert instrumentalist in the Singapore-English indie music scene, such a result is an opportunity of an altogether distinctive musical experience.

In this respect, we need not look much further than two LASALLE alums — ace drummer Teo Jia Rong and keyboardist extraordinaire Nazaruddin Mashruddin (aka NAzTyKeys, or Naz for short) — as prime examples of this recent phenomenon. Teo has played for Inch Chua, Dru Chen and Taj whilst Naz has been seen manning the keys for Gentle Bones, 53A and The Good Life Project.

However, tonight at the Aliwal Arts Centre, Teo and Naz will be leading their own outfits in What Is Hip and Quantum Kid respectively, as the bands present a funk-soul tribute to please fans of the genre.

According to Teo, he had a talk with Sarah Sim (from House Of Riot) concerning the show’s concept some time ago.

“The response from What Is Hip’s previous shows were really good and we were itching to come back for another show. However, this time round we wanted it to be different … So I thought we could put together two 11- piece bands in a single night. Quantum Kid was an obvious choice for me,” he said, to which Naz responded with a straightforward: “Yeah, let’s do it!”

For the uninitiated, What Is Hip was formed by Teo three years ago. “This is a side project that I really cherish a lot and it’s always super fun to play with all these amazingly talented folks.

“I started it also because I noticed there was a lack of bands with horn players. The sound of a horn section really brings a different dynamic to the band and I really dig the vibe. What Is Hip is, for lack of a better word, a pretty exclusive band and we only do shows once a year.”

Quantum Kid, on the other hand, began life as Whitecap Strawmen, and was formed by Naz as a Snarky Puppy tribute band.

“It began mostly as a means to challenge our musicianship and technical proficiency,” Naz declared. “But now the band has evolved and we are covering more artistes such as Kendrick Lamar, Funkadelic and we have also started writing original material.”

Despite playing mostly cover material, Teo took pains to distinguish the event from your standard covers night at a pub or club.

“Firstly, What Is Hip only comes out to play once a year, so the event will be pretty different and special. And with another big band like Quantum Kid, the night will be epic. What Is Hip will be bringing the good old soul music back as a reminder of how groovy and awesome 1970s’ music was. It’s a big soul party, and not just a regular night at the bar.”

Naz added that two 11-piece bands, complete with horn sections, performing on one night is in itself “pretty different from standard covers night”. “And besides covering different genres from soul to funk and hip hop, we’ll be debuting a couple of originals as well.”

By all accounts, this unique double-bill concert sounds like an event that no fan of funk/soul music would want to miss. Teo promised that What Is Hip would be performing some heavy groove music from the 1970s to the early 1990s, “serving up some good ol’ James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Duke, Michael Jackson, Kamasi Washington and more”, while Naz added that attendees could expect “some of your favourite tunes from Funkadelic, Kendrick Lamar and more” from Quantum Kid.

Great music and lots of dancing are in store, and as Teo advised, “bring an extra shirt”.

 

What Is Hip X Quantum Kid is happening tonight, 7.30pm at Aliwal Arts Centre. Tickets available at S$20 from http://www.whatishipxquantumkid.peatix.com or at the door.

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