KL’s very own Amrita Soon aka “young Taylor Swift” launched her 2nd album, “Familiar Strangers” on 23rd February 2019 to an audience of over 100 made up of friends, family as well as fans. The doors were opened at 4:00p.m. and at the entrance was a display of the artiste’s hand-drawn tote bags. There was already a crowd gathered in the front row as well as the side stands. Music can be heard in the background while the crowd poured in. Among the audience was also local music guru, Jennifer Thompson as well as one of the music producers of hitzfm.
The Opening Act
At 4:30p.m., the first opening act, hailing from Kota Kinabalu, Beverly Matujal took the stage. The songbird sang beautifully and her quirky personality definitely got the crowd cheering. Armed with just an acoustic guitar, she sang 4 of her original songs ending with her single, “Escalate” which pushed her to make the big move to the capital city to pursue her career in music. A quick 15-minute set was then followed by the second opening act, Darien Foo. A music student in ICOM, Darien did not disappoint. He hopped on stage with much confidence and with a voice full of soul, he wowed the audience with his original music as well. He too, will be recording and releasing his own compositions soon.
Star of the Show
When 5:00p.m. came, all eyes were on the stage expecting the star of the day, Amrita Soon to perform. The audience cheered as she stepped onto the stage. Joined her on stage were a very talented drummer, a bassist and a violinist while Amrita plucked the strings on her guitar kicking off the set with the first song off her album, “Nothing”. What an introduction to her set with some palm-muted chords on the guitar and a solid stable drum beat. She then continued with her title track, “Familiar Strangers”. Right before she performed a cover of Billie Ellish’s “Come Out And Play”, Amrita shared a little bit about why she chose to do this cover, “The most terrifying part about performing live is the in between songs. The silence just gets to me and I just never know what to say so I’d rather just say it through my music.” She proceeded with 2 more songs, “Almost But Not Quite” and “Midnight In Paris” before a surprise guest joined her on stage.
Daniel Lee, Malaysian Idol, performed “Untitled” which was a song they had written together. Daniel mentioned that he had heard of Amrita through a friend and he thought she had an amazing voice and a knack for song-writing. His interest in her music grew quickly and initially wanted to just lend his voice on one of her tracks, “24 Years”. He jokingly said, “I tried to mimic her voice for backing and I just couldn’t do it. So, I figured, I’ll sing on a completely new song together instead.” They both proceeded to perform “24 Years”, which Amrita described as a song inspired by her grandparents who were also present at the launch. The set ended with Daniel and Amrita performing, “Patterson Street”. A customary group photo of the artistes and audience was taken and immediately after, the swarm of fans rushed to the merchandise booth to purchase the album as well as to get them autographed. The tote bags were sold within minutes.
According to Amrita, the launch was definitely a good start for 2019 and she will be planning a nationwide tour starting with Penang and eventually making her way back to KL. All in all, the launch was a success and the year is looking really bright! A series of music videos is also in the works as well as new music with the team that brought the album to life, phMusic.
All images courtesy of Tang Chun Cheuh.