Get to know the Asia-Pacific artists playing Vans Musicians Wanted 2019

Get to know the Asia-Pacific artists playing Vans Musicians Wanted 2019


’Tis the season for Vans Musicians Wanted.

This year, nine Asia-Pacific acts will fly to the United States to battle it out at House of Vans Chicago, where, based on fan votes as well as input from a panel of esteemed judges, a winner will be crowned.

The chosen one will get to open for hip-hop lightning rod Bohan Phoenix, renowned underground music collective and party-throwers Yeti Out and more, as well as get a music video produced by MTV

As a first, Vans has linked arms with Boiler Room to live stream the the House of Vans showcase featuring Bohan Phoenix, Yeti Out and the Musicians Wanted winner.


Before the competion unfolds, get acquainted with the nine acts, including Singapore’s BAD DOD below.


What are you looking forward to the most about representing your country in Chicago for Vans Musicians Wanted?

We are looking forward to sweating as much as we can during the performance! We represent Singapore's tropical heat!

What kind of impression are you hoping to make while you’re on stage?

We wanna come off as one of your weird uncles who try too hard to look cool and be funny

If you win, what do you think you’ll include in your music video?

Smoke machines, lasers, disco lights and bear suits, cuz we think they are pretty cool :)


Congrats on your debut album Freesummer. How does it feel to have an album out in the world?

It feels great that what we feel natural and strong about finally came out. We had a lot of making this album and had hoped the listeners would feel the same.

Since you don’t perform in English, how are you hoping an English-speaking audience will react to you?

Music is just sound. You don't understand every word of Mozart opera but still go because it's just music that sounds good.

You are all experts at your instruments. Why are technicality and skill important to you?

It's critical since we are a jam band. Improvisation has a basis on playing what you hear in your ear and if you don't have means to perform it, you just lose a moment.

Send us your favourite photo of the band and tell us why it’s your favourite.

We are who we are and we like to be goofy.


As a hip-hop act, Chicago must resonate with you. Who are your favourite Chicago rappers and why?

The members of the band have a bunch of favorites from Chicago, namely: Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Earl Sweatshirt, Chance the Rapper, as well as Common, Twista, and Open Mike Eagle.

Congrats on your excellent EP Streets We Frequent. What was the vision behind the project?

Streets we Frequent is our sincere homage to the places that greatly influenced the record. It encompasses the whole sound of the EP: Raw, gritty, and truly personal. This is what we ultimately wanted: To highlight the spaces that shaped our sound and writing. Riverdale St., Katipunan Ave., and Cubao Expo – the streets that we freak with on the daily.

What photo best represents your sound? 

Yes, the key emoji.


How did the band meet?

IRONPUNCH has been established since the beginning of 2013. The band's original members have known each other for several years. We worked together as partners and had parties almost every day, after work. One night Jun, the vocalist, said that we should jam sometime. The next day, we finished our first song and IRONPUNCH was established.

Why did you chose to make rock music?

We didn't choose any particular music style when we started out. In fact, each musician in Iron Punch has their own favourite style but our musical style has been influenced by the type of music we recently listened to and by the reaction of our fans.

How is the scene in Taiwan? (Can use an image or video to answer)

We've noticed indie music has become more popular in Taiwan. In recent years, many indie orchestras have achieved great results at the GMA (Golden Melody Awards). Not only are there more fans, but government departments are also paying more attention to the potential of indie music.
For example, the Taichung Rock Festival is a free music festival that is subsidized by the government. We’ve also noticed that the audience is much more enthusiastic than a few years ago. However, as music festivals and bands grow, how they improve themselves and develop their characteristics will be the goal of the next stage of Taiwan's independent music scene.
Send us your favourite photo of the band and tell us why it’s your favourite.
It's always fun for us to perform. We're also eager to share fun experiences with our audience. This photo taken by our friend is our favorite because it expresses our happy mood.


What drew you to busking and what was one experience you had when you doing it that you’d never forget?

As I was growing up and finishing school, it was hard to figure out what I wanted to do. I knew music was the dream and really had no idea how to achieve it. I saw people busking in my city and I thought that it was a great first step to doing music more full time.

There are a lot of really amazing moments I’ve had when busking, but when people actually come up to me and let me know my music has helped them or that even that they play my music really gives me hope and inspires me to keep going.

What does your debut single ‘Awkward’ mean to you?

Writing and working on 'Awkward' was the first time actually working with a producer. It was really fun and we tried to get the song as "me" as possible. I always feel really awkward, especially in social situations. So the song just means it’s okay to be awkward. That’s who I am and I’ve accepted that.

You’ve said that one of your aims with music is to help people feel not alone. Who’s one artist that has done that for you and why?

One artist that has really done that for me is Aurora. Some of her music is super empowering, some makes you feel, reminding you its okay to cry and be an emotional person. She is completely herself and that has not only inspired me but made me feel less alone and less afraid to be myself.

Send us your favourite photo artist photo and tell us why it’s your favourite.

I think this photo is my favourite because I just feel like I look super cool (laughs)! It was taken by WILK who is insanely incredible at what he does. Also, whenever I look at the photos I always remember how fun this day was.


How is it being in a band of brothers?

Being in a band of brothers has all its advantages. First of all, three of us live under one roof, so bouncing off ideas can be done almost at anywhere and anytime that we are together. Nevertheless, we also take ideas and discuss with the rest of the other five bandmates whenever we group up.

Could you please share a clip of a jingle you wrote?

TVC Hari Pahlawan 2012 “Kerinduan”. 

When are you releasing new music and will it be on streaming platforms?

We’re in the process of recording new music and releasing our debut album Ada Angin & Hati on digital platforms starting early next year.



What’s it like being an alternative rock band in China?

Rock music has developed greatly in China recently, and numerous young generations adore it. Even more people are devoting their time to rock. The media constantly reports news about rock bands, which shows that rock music is booming in China.

Please share a photo of something that made you happy recently.

I've liked The Libertines since I was little. Carl, the lead singer of The Libertines, came to China for a tour. I achieved my dream of being their warm-up guest. Before the show, we were drinking and chatting together in the lounge – that was very wonderful day.

What are your hopes for the band?

I hope our band can move into next level and make more excellent music pieces. Meanwhile, I hope more people listen to our music as well.

Send us your favourite photo of the band and tell us why it’s your favourite.

Rock music is extremely cool. Leather clothing is the first choice for us at live shows – we always carry it at shows. no matter how hot or cold the weather is. At Vans audition in Guangzhou, the lead singer was wearing a leather jacket from beginning to end, at high temperatures, which represents our attitude and style. Besides, we chose this picture that we took on the train: We bought four tickets and began our rock journey.



How did you find your sound?

We discovered our sound via a jam session and conversations about music. From the start, all four band members liked groovy songs and alternative rock. Therefore, we try to combine both styles in our arrangement. On the other hand, we mostly write our parts, individually, at home, and then bring the demos to our band session and restructure them together in order for it to become a WHIZZ song. 
How does it feel to be representing Hong Kong in Chicago for Vans Musicians Wanted?

It is a great pleasure to represent Hong Kong in the Vans Musicians Wanted competition. We hope that our songs can bring energy and passion to people who live on the other side of the world as well as encourage them to listen to more music from Hong Kong.

The motif of water figures heavily in your work. What draws you to this imagery?

First of all, we believe that the groove of our music is often synced with the pulse of the waves from the sea. Jess, our drummer who always enjoys the freedom and relaxation granted by the ocean. Hence, we would like to share this love with our audience through our music and performance. 
Send us your favourite photo of the band and tell us why it’s your favourite.

During our first trip in Taiwan, we saw an endless blue sea and sky merge perfectly together while heading to the performance venue on our show day. However,  the day before we arrived Taiwan, the sky was dull and cloudy. We are super blessed to have this amazing weather on our show day, which allowed us to take this lovely photo.

The Vans Musicians Wanted 2019 finale will take place on 22 November at House of Vans Chicago. The broadcast of The Takeover will take place on 23 November, 10am and can be watched here