Ksatriya’s ode to Malaysia

Ksatriya, during the interview

He called himself an urban poet and a song-writer.  Ksatriya, 28, local musician in Penang writes poems and puts the poem into music or ‘rap’ to the poem.

.He has a full-time job as a Security Engineer in an IT firm but during his free time, he is very much involved in his passion – music.

Ksatriya’s music is a curious mix of Rock, Hip-Hop and World styles.

In an interview with Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY), he said that he grew up listening to music and learnt music on his own through the internet.

Occasionally, he sought help from other musicians.

He is very proud of his urban poetry piece ‘Salam’, which received a nomination at the VOICE Independent Music Awards (VIMA) in 2012.

He wrote the lyrics and the music was composed by him and his sound engineer friend, Sam.  ‘Salam’ also features the vocals of Regina Ibrahim.

Ksatriya said that he choose the stage name ‘Ksatriya’, which is the name of a Hindu warrior.

It holds meaning both in ancient India and modern Malaysia, as one that has transcended time and geography, and this reflect perfectly his struggle for what he believes in and a reminder of why he does what he does.

Indeed, he said he composed his songs, usually based on his life experiences and what’s going on in the country.

“Being aware of, and taking an interest in what’s happening around me, helps me a lot in my composition of lyrics,” he said.

“I find a way to express myself through the lyrics. As you know, there are a lot of issues in Malaysia, which provide ample inspiration for me.

“For example, the song ‘Salam’ I composed it after the halal issue in school where a principal make some racist remark to a student.

There were so much hatred and backlash going on, that made me come out with the song,” he explained.

Ksatriya performing at Konsert Bersih in 2012

His song ‘Anak Merdeka’ has a profound message that makes one wonder if we are truly ‘merdeka’.

‘Are we not all Anak Merdeka or are we mere sheep yearning for a shepherd,’ he asked in the lyrics.

Part of the lyrics asks significant questions like,

If your cries are answered by batons and chemical laced water

Do not be afraid, do not be deterred.

Many find it easy to relate to.

In 2010, one of his song ‘The Malaysian Revolution’ was featured in a compilation album, known as ‘Bangkit’  produced by NGO Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia.

Presently, Ksatriya said he is working on his first album, which will feature ten songs touching on Malaysian life.

A variety of styles will be featured in the album.

The album will be on his website, free for download but he also hopes that those who want to support his music will not mind lending a donations for the songs.

Ksatriya had performed in many places in KL and Penang, like in clubs, coffee-house, during festival or events. He also busks in his spare time.

He performed during last year’s Georgetown Festival and Konsert Bersih in Petaling Jaya.

His latest performance in Penang was at The Canteen At ChinaHouse  in January and at the Merdekaraya, PJ on February 23, 2013.

To Ksatriya, being a musician in Malaysia is a challenge as not many people support local musicians.

However, he is positive that, people are beginning to slowly realised that local musicians are good but he said musicians need to perform more, as the more they perform, the better they will get.

Ksatriya performing at The Canteen At ChinaHouse

For this purpose, not only for musicians but other artistes like poets and story-teller, a platform for them to showcase their talents is needed.

Thus ‘Say It Like You Mean It’ (SILYMI) was started at The Canteen At China House, in January this year.

Ksatriya informed that SILYMI is a monthly workshop for budding artists to come together, not only to perform but to share with each other.

“Every last Sunday of the month, local artistes will gather under SILYMI to perform and interact with one another, and on the third Sunday is the basic performance workshop,” Ksatriya said.

“In this workshop the artistes will learn the essentials on how to perform like basic vocal techniques for stage performers using breath and voice control.

The workshop is open to anyone.

“Local artistes in whatever field, should be encouraged to bring forth their talents to be shown and known to others.

“Art is entertainment. Entertainment gives value. We, artistes provide service to people’s lives. Imagine life without entertainment,” he said.

If you wish to be entertained by Ksatriya’s songs, you may download his songs here, which also includes lyrics.