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This ‘Malaysian John Legend’ Is Trying To Bring Back R&B To The Local Scene & We Totally Support It!

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Chritian
Source: Christian Theseira | Instagram

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The Malaysian music scene has always been abundant in talented groups and individuals trying to make a name for themselves through their music.

One of these talented artists is Christian Marc Theseira, a member of the popular band Back2Basixx, a solo recording artist and the owner of a record label, Soul Lab.

He’s also been compared to the likes of John Legend (and Christian certainly looks like John too)!

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We at WORLD OF BUZZ had the privilege of speaking to Christian about his music, the local music scene and the ups and downs that come with it.

 

WOB: Being a member of Back2Basixx, you branched out into creating your own music in an effort to try and find your individual sound. How has that been like for you?

Christian: It was quite tough initially because when you write the way that Back2Basixx sounds, we’re quite a commercial pop band more or less, we’ve got a very ‘boy band’ sound. 

My sound is a little bit raw, a little edgier. It’s a bit more PG18. It took a while to get the sound out, it took me almost a year before I was able to. I sat down for almost a year in the studio and was just writing and experimenting with different sounds, and then eventually when I was comfortable enough and I had written enough material and a year was up, then I started releasing. 

Christian went on to explain that his latest song, Say It, is about sexual tension and was inspired by 50 Shades Of Grey!

 

WOB: You’ve obviously worked with some amazing local talents like Jaclyn Victor, Anggun & Dayang Nurfaizah. So which local artists are you looking to collaborate with in the future?

Christian: I would really love to work with Resh. And Yuna! 

She’s (Yuna) really cool, I really like what she’s doing. She’s really breaking the boundaries for the English music scene. I have a lot of respect for her, she’s so talented. 

 

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WOB: You also have your own record label, Soul Lab! What prompted you to start Soul Lab?

Christian: Having a label behind you, you don’t see all the processes that go on behind releasing music, as an artist especially. If I’m being very honest, when we would get a certain amount of money, maybe our yearly dividends, we would notice that it was not as much as we expected.

But, realistically speaking, labels spend a lot of money on you as a product, and they have certain recuperations that they have to make back. I don’t blame labels for working that way, they are a business. Essentially, I didn’t want to be at the mercy of anybody else in regards to my art, and them making money from my art.

How the art is marketed and when the art was released, will be completely on them. 

And also when you’re with a label, most labels will only spend money on the production of maybe one song per year (and per artiste), maybe two if you’re lucky. So, the more artists they have, the chances of you releasing two or three songs is not possible because they need to focus on different artists as well.

It only makes sense for me to open up my own record label where I can publish and distribute my own material and I have full control of all the rights to my own material. And whatever profits I am making or losing, is completely available and transparent to me. I control it and I see it. 

I opened up Soul Lab Records when we (Back2Basixx) left Universal, however, we sub-publish under Universal, so Soul Lab Records is technically a sub-label of Universal. But, we run our business independently. 

 

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WOB: What would you like to see happen for the future of the local music scene?

Christian: I think the crux of the problem, don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t say it’s a problem, but if you look at any other industry, they don’t import international music as much as we do. We rely heavily on imported international artists. 

I mean, and that’s fine, you can import international artists. But, we don’t have a majority or some sort of quota of Malaysian artists that are on the radio. I think if we imported fewer international artists and played more local artists, we might be better of. 

It’s very hard to say, I know a lot of people will say that the quality is not the same, and that to some extent is true, but I would say that if the quality is good enough, maybe we can slowly stop importing international artistes and use our local artistes more on media platforms. 

If you look at the Malay scene, they’re all local artists, there are a few Indonesian artists but the rest are all local. They have a very prosperous industry because their artists are always on the radio and on TV, brands also pick them up and use them as ambassadors. 

I am fortunate to have my songs on the radio. I think we could probably give chances to other people. 

 

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Christian ended our chat by giving a huge shoutout to local radio stations, Hitz, Mix and Astro for supporting Christian’s music and the music of other local artists.

And there you have it, folks, it’s about time we champion our local artists because they’re ridiculously talented and deserve the chance to show the world just how amazing they are!

And hey, if you’re a budding R&B artiste who would like to gain an expert’s view of the local English music scene, or would like to have your songs produced by the one and only Christian Theseira, you can reach out to him via Soul Lab Records.

 

You can check out Christian’s music on Spotify and YouTube.

Here’s a little something to get you guys familiar with Christian:

Don’t forget to #SapotLokal, and this includes the very talented musicians that call Malaysia home.

What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section. 

 

Also read: Meet Dr. Lavanya Sivaji, The Newly Crowned Miss World Malaysia 2021!

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