This interview has been written in collaboration with Project Aloft Star, amplified by MTV. Find out more about this competition – which gives original acts the opportunity to be discovered, with the winner taking home US$10,000 – at this link http://projectaloftstar.mtvasia.com
We caught up with Malaysian band GTXperiment – the winners of Project Aloft Star, amplified by MTV 2014 – and got to know about their band, their ambitions, and their thoughts on music.
Tell us a bit about your band. What’s your story?
As cheesy as this might sound, we are all pretty much living experiments. We’re made up of four people, Daryll D (Lead Vocalist), Clinton Liew (Keyboardist), Jude Macson (Lead Guitar), and Mark Jay (Drums) and we play a bit of everything. We all grew up with different musical backgrounds and what we try to do when we come together is try to fuse all our different personalities together and mix different genres that everybody loves. Entering Project Aloft Star was the single most significant thing that soared our music career and was what gave birth to GTXperiment. ‘GT’ comes from our label, Grand Theft Records – a label that’s geared towards making fresh sounds and is very much in line with us. So that pretty much spells us out.
The past two years has been like a very nice, exciting musical roller coaster ride. Project Aloft Stardefinitely gave us an excellent opportunity to grow as artists, boost our songwriting career and gave us the confidence to develop as musicians
You guys have come a long way since winning Project Aloft Star, amplified by MTV in 2014. How have the last 2 years been for you and what would you tell bands who are thinking about joining the competition?
The past two years has been like a very nice, exciting musical roller coaster ride. Project Aloft Star definitely gave us an excellent opportunity to grow as artists, boost our songwriting career and gave us the confidence to develop as musicians. Since then, we’ve been blessed with a lot of opportunities and a lot more plans for the years to come. We want our music to go as far as possible so the best part is gaining international exposure from MTV and Starwood Hotels. To those thinking of joining, focus on the spirit of collaboration and not the competition, make good music and enjoy the ride!
Where do you see your band in the next few years?
The first thing now is to get our album released. We’re working really hard with a lot of different people to try to get this album sounding as good as possible. It’s gonna be a compilation that’s different from what you usually hear so make sure you look out for it! Currently, we have around 20 songs that we are working on that will eventually be cut down to 10 for the album. We’re in discussion to collaborate with local as well as international artists and expect ourselves to continuously bring surprises to all our fans.
… it’s hard when our friends around us have moved forward with their careers while we have prioritized our passion for artistic pursuits
The live music scene in South East Asia is constantly growing, with more and more great new acts appearing, bands big and small touring the region and more international acts performing here every year. What are your thoughts on the future of live music in South East Asia?
That raw energy of actually being in the presence of a performer can’t be compared to anything else. The future of live local and international acts looks upbeat. As the world gets smaller and more connected, it’s awesome that artists can be more active, involved and revealing to their foreign fans.
What do you think are the challenges for local bands in South East Asia who want to go regional or even global?
For us, we’ve realized that making it happen for a band is that “no one cares until you do”. We tend to get caught up with our daily lives and have to remind ourselves to make time to get down to it and create. The second challenge is believing in ourselves through discouragement from close relations. We understand where they’re coming from when they say “get a proper degree, get a proper job, you can’t earn a good life if you’re just into music…”; It’s true, it’s hard when our friends around us have moved forward with their careers while we have prioritized our passion for artistic pursuits. But once our songs are produced, the next challenges is how to get our music out there and getting heard. But the biggest challenge would be the finances. The costs of producing and shooting a good music video are quite high. Labels too are reluctant to spend as it’s hard for them to recoup their investments as nobody really purchases songs anymore. So, that’s why we feel platforms such as MTV Project Aloft Star offer a great opportunity for an ambitious leap fueled by passion for artists.
The future of live local and international acts looks upbeat. As the world gets smaller and more connected, it’s awesome that artists can be more active, involved and revealing to their foreign fans.
Your singles “Highdrated” and “Lost” have done well in Malaysia and you recently released a 360 music video for your song “We Own The Weekend”. Do you guys have any new music coming out soon? Also do you have any tours planned in the near future?
Yes, we recently released our latest music video for our single “Off The Ledge”. Do check out the music video if you haven’t, it’s been getting some great reviews. We also recently released our first Malay single titled “Terus Menunggu”, a song that was used as a theme song for a local movie. The music video’s something to check out too, it’s got an unexpected twist at the end. We definitely have plans to take over the world one tour at the time in the future. We’ve got plans for a South East Asian, Japan and UK tour at the moment and we honestly can’t wait to get started.
Check out GTXperiment online
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GTXperiment
Website – http://www.gtxperiment.com
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/grandtheftrecordskl
Instagram – https://instagram.com/GTXperiment
Twitter – https://twitter.com/GTXperiment