Ipoh Echo delves into the nitty gritty of indie music with Shizuka Ben Aman, via a one-on-one with Faizal, guitarist, lead vocalist and songwriter of the Ipoh-based band.
Formed in 1996, the band members are working-class, self-taught musicians. Besides Faizal, there is Azam (guitarist and backing vocalist), Bahabruzzi (lead guitarist), Ijan (bass guitarist) and newbie Wakyus (drummer). They have performed all over the country and have their own fan base.
“We started as a three-piece band during our school days. We listened to all sorts of music in our childhood and that’s what inspires us today,” Faizal recalled. According to him, “Shizuka” is Japanese for “peace” while “Ben Aman” means “Peace Band” in Malay.
Faizal runs Dream Project Studio, a small recording studio operating at UTC Ipoh for ten years and recently took over management of Khizanat Hall from local art community, Projek Rabak. “It has become our practice and recording space. All recording, mixing and mastering of our songs are done here for the moment,” said the Ipohite.
“Our best achievement is our hit song, ‘Redline ’95’ which was released in ‘Kopi Sechewen I’ compilation in 2002 under Ipoh music label, ‘Bodysurf Music’. It’s widely accepted among the indie community then and now. Plus, it has received over 500k+ viewers on YouTube and many have done covers of the song,” he added.
The group has recently released their first single, ‘Jauhjauh’ which is a lover’s breakup song in Malay with an up-tempo music. Listeners will love the comforting vibe it exudes, perfect for healing wounded hearts.
“I fell in love with the line ‘lepaskan lah hati ku…hey!’ which appears in the first few seconds on the track. As a single, ‘Jauhjauh’ is a preview of our upcoming full album. The CDs are pro printed and priced at RM10 only. It contains three songs: ‘Jauhjauh’, ‘Run to You’ (acoustic) and ‘Do You Ever See (acoustic)/Selamat Malam’,” Faizal added.
It is on sale at Khizanat Ipoh, Kolek (UMNO building), V9 Yik Foong Ipoh and during their shows. Readers can contact 011 2094 7544 for posting.
Shizuka Ben Aman will be the only band from Ipoh to perform at Rocktoberfest on October 7 at Miri, Sarawak alongside others. For their next live performance, check out their Facebook / Instagram / Twitter page: shizukabenaman for details.
Faizal feels that the Ipoh indie scene is booming with bands coming in with new styles thanks to the support from the government. His one precious advice to bands just starting: “Stay true to yourself. Don’t give up.”