SAYU ATENG…ECHOES OF BORNEO
- Sarawak, Malaysia
In Borneo, among the Orang Ulu people, Sayu Ateng means “welcome”. This 8-member group has been making waves in the local, regional and international music scene.
All over the world, the old musicians and their knowledge of the lore and songs of their countries have been dying out. Ancient and antique instruments lie forgotten and the younger generations very often are not interested in learning how to play them. That is not the case of Sayu Ateng. The musicians have found a sound that is refreshingly modern yet full of traditional Sarawak flavour. They have mixed and matched traditional instruments with contemporary ones, composed their own lyrics and melodies and based their songs on the nature, landscapes and folk stories of Sarawak.
The music is evocative and graceful in the simplicity of its design. The melodies are steeped in Sarawak tradition and create a very distinct sound that is unmistakably Borneo. Rhythms are fluid yet strong? Mixing world beat with the subtle intonations of the rainforest.
Sayu Ateng, a eight piece band, cuts a cool swathe with a little bit of contemporary pop sound tectures and World Beat Music while never straying far from its principal roots of Sarawak. Taking ancient and modern sounds and fusing them with their own infectious character, the original sound and lyrics are based on the historical make-up of Sarawak.
The band members share a passion for the rich musical heritage of the various ethnic groups and consists of Jeffery Mozallan (Back-up Vocal, Bassist & Sape), Mohamad Faizal Jamil (Vocalist & Acoustic Guitarist), Ismail Idris (Gendang Melayu & percussion), Shamsul Idzam Jamil (Back-up Vocal & Violin), Mohiden Bujang (Back-up Vocal, Gendang & percussion), Abdullah Azan Kadir (Bamboo Flute), Mohd. Khairil Zikri Jeffery (Engkromong, Gong and Rain Sticks) and Mohamad Kedari Abu Bakar (Acoustic Guitar).
The band leader Jeffery Mozallan and original member of the Sayu Ateng was first established in December 1998 as Ismail Idris and Single Mohiden is they who are responsible for bringing the golden Sayu Ateng once a singer who has a remarkable voice Hidahri Hipni. After Hidahri died, his place was taken over by his nephew Jamil Mohamad Faizal so like his voice with the late Hidahri. Similarly, the presence of members of the new group has added further confidence to revive the spirit of Sayu Ateng.
Sayu Ateng first performance was at the Rainforest World Music Festival 1999.
Catching up on the global music scene with their musical flavor offering diverse musical beats that moves along the rhythm of rainforest and exciting indigenous cultures of Sarawak.