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A celebration of Malaysian Music in the UK


A celebration of Malaysian Music in the UK

05 June 2024

A celebration of Malaysian Music in the UK
Photo credits: @firdzulkifly

A collaborative synergy between the Malay Language and Culture Society (MALECS) Manchester and Anak Rantau UK brought the Malaysian pop musical band Masdo to an international stage in February this year.

MALECS was established in 2014 to introduce the diverse Malaysian culture to an international audience and serves as a platform for Malaysians in Manchester to socialise with each other. Focused initially on promoting Malay literature such as pantun, puisi and sajak, MALECS members consist of 22 members. Over the years, the association evolved, and the events organised diversified.

In the summer of 2023, Adi Irfan, MALECS’ event coordinator, an accounting undergraduate student at the University of Manchester, met Masdo at a fan meet and greet session in Malaysia. During their conversation, Adi discovered that the band had seen videos of him performing Masdo’s songs in Manchester during the Rainbow of Culture event, an annual cultural event organised by MALECS. Leveraging this opportunity, the idea and possibility of having Masdo perform in the UK in 2024 were initiated. Fast forward a few months later, Masdo expressed their commitment to doing a UK tour, and Adi immediately got to work and proposed the idea to the head of MALECS.


Bringing the concert to life

As a student association, they faced unique challenges in planning an event of such a scale. To see this event through, a collaboration was formed with Anak Rantau UK, a Malaysian event production company based in London, who played a significant role in the making of the concert by providing support through funding and guidance from start to finish. Between exams and sourcing a venue within a tight timeline, it was the beginning of a steep learning curve for Adi.

“Having a good team matters.” As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work. Supporting him was a team of 10 people consisting of students and professionals who managed different areas of the event. On the day of the concert, he had a total of 21 crew members, including representatives from Anak Rantau UK, alongside him.


Leveraging on Malaysian networks

To promote the concert, MALECS worked closely with Malaysian Student Associations across the UK. Meetings were set up to spread the word about the concert and create noise in the social media space. Anak Rantau UK and Masdo showed their support through cross-posting on Instagram to promote the concert to their .

Now, with MyHeart, MALECS and other Malaysian associations alike can list their events on the MyHeart portal to reach a wider Malaysian audience. They can also easily manage their events via the events module.


An overwhelming turnout

Months of hard work were made well worth the effort. Malaysians travelled far and wide from all around the UK to attend the concert. The show in Manchester almost sold out with 480 turnouts, while London completely sold out all 350 tickets. Adi shared that Malaysians who attended that night were ecstatic and in disbelief that Masdo was actually in the UK to perform. MALECS even received requests to bring more local performers to the UK.


Reflecting on the journey

A celebration of Malaysian Music in the UK - Reflecting on the journey

Recalling an incident, Adi shares that the team encountered technical issues at the London show due to the venue’s sound system being different from the one typically used by the band. This was something they did not anticipate happening. Having faced this, Adi had to think one step ahead and prevent the same thing from happening in Manchester.

Overall, “It was fun, I learned a lot, and we as a team learned a lot”, Adi shares.


What’s next for MALECS?

This year, the association will continue to plan its usual annual events, such as the Rainbow of Culture and Pasar Malam. These are their flagship events, open to both Malaysians and non-Malaysians. Rainbow of Culture is a social event that showcases performances by students, traditional Malaysian games and the selling of Malaysian food. Their Pasar Malam event needs no introduction. With an array of Malaysian food being sold by students and working professionals, it is something many look forward to that reminds them of home.

Adi hopes to promote MALECS’ upcoming events on MyHeart to reach a wider audience. He is also looking forward to using the new event management feature on the MyHeart Events Module to create, share and manage their events moving forward.

Are you a Malaysian association looking to organise an event abroad? Sign up on MyHeart to list your event and manage it all in one place.