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Archive for 16/07/2013


Brunei on the world map

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Netcom Computer House


Click image to see more of Netcom Computer House from their Facebook Page


Icon Design Store


New and bigger things at ICON Design Store. Click to enter


Grand Raya Package at Peugeot


Grand Raya Package at Peugoet and promotion ends 15th September. Click image to enter website.


Sungkai at Tasek Brasserie


One of the popular places for breaking fast – Tasek Brasserie!!


BIBD Barakah 4


Click image to enter website


Fly KL via RB


The trio in Hollywood!!


Congratulations on them representing Brunei. Good luck!!

This is it. The time is soon. Fakhrul Razi will be performing his heart out in the US. More specifically in San Diego for the World Championships of Performing Arts 2013 where he will be up against hundreds of competitors from all around the world. Well, to be exact, it is nearly 3,000 contestants. Tomorrow will be Maria Grace Koh aka Eia and Kevin Lo’s turn as three of them are representing Brunei in this international prestigious competition.

The trio will be given one minute only to perform. Fakrul and Eia will be singing 5 songs while Kevin will be performing in 5 actin categories. It’s similar to how competitors go for their audition in the American Idol. During the interview at the airport a week ago, all of them had the same feeling – they are there not to just perform but to win. Now that’s the self belief that we Bruneians can make a difference and we do have the talents and this is such a great platform for them to get more international exposure and experience.

Fakhrul Razi, Maria Grace Koh aka Eia and Kevin Lo departing for the US 9 days ago

The Brunei delegation with Prismworks Event Management

Fakhrul Razi is no stranger in our Brunei community. He is a rare talent who is able to multi-task as an emcee, a singer and an entertainer at once and hence he’s one of the top emcees here in Brunei and I can’t even find one that fits his role and furthermore, I love his voice whenever he sings.

I have to admire his work commitment as of late. Before flying off with the Brunei delegate, he had only had two hours of sleep due to emceeing the Royal Wedding the night before. For him, this is a such a great momentum heading for Hollywood on high note.

“It’s a good start. I think you know this yourself, if you love your job, you won’t stop working and it’s as if you are having a holiday. This is part of what I do and I’m not even complaining about it. I’m having the jitters and nightmares but I have been well prepared and thank you to the support of my fans. I’m definitely going for gold, ” said Fakrul Razi.

“This is a great opportunity not to just showcase my music but also my talent which will help to promote the creative industry in Brunei which is lacking in our country. We need to bring the soul of our creativity and talent outside of Brunei. Hollywood is just one of the platforms.”

Fakrul will be delivering five numbers (four English and one Malay song) – Open, Jazz, Pop, Broadway and Original. Two of the songs that he highlighted were One Moment in Time by the late Whitney Houston and “Senyuman Gelapmu”, his own original piece. He’s indebted to Ms Marietta, his vocal instructor for guiding and coaching him.

Fakhrul Razi with his close friends

Next up is Maria Grace Koh aka Eia. Eia is her stage name and she’s also no stranger in the Brunei music scene. I have always noticed her in JIS Music Showcase and she indeed has a very powerful voice. Eia is currently studying as an artist at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. In her music journey, she has met many producers. She even has her own single released on iTunes, “Hello World”.

She had a previous dream, to become a national athlete (in swimming) and also an Olympian which the latter didn’t materialise during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Because of the misfortune and frustration, she turned to music and discovered her passion for song writing too. Her music portrays a young girl’s perspective on life, love, hopes and dreams. She has come a long way and now she’s competing in one of the most prestigious events in the world.

“I really feel excited and it has been a while since I represented a country. I have the same feeling whenever I compete in international swimming competition for Brunei. Now I have a good feeling about Hollywood and I have been practising at least 3 hours a day and it has made a huge difference and during the run through, everything just went well, ” shared Eia during the interview.

“I have my lessons and practice in Singapore and Brunei. I’m also here to compete and we have many great local talents, it’s just that no many knows about them. Hopefully we will be opening doors for them in Hollywood.”

Eia will be singing five songs in broadway, R&B, Pop, Contemporary and Original category. She’s very excited with the original category because it’s her own composed song entitled “You”.

Maria Grace Koh with her family

Last but not least is another Brunei representative Kevin Lo. He is the only one competing in acting category. It also has been quite a busy few weeks for Kevin who have been practising over and over again. He has been training his pieces with Rachel Malai Ali and Sarah Talbot. This is not the first time that he has been representing Brunei. He represented in a debating competition before.

I have only caught his performance once in the “The Boor” and “The Langsat” play directed by Abdul Zainidi early this year. So this is the real thing where he will be acting his heart out within a minute for the 5 categories that he is entering.

“The preparation has been intense and we have been doing the 5 categories and it’s tough. I have to make it entertaining and relevant and it’s so difficult to make it under one minute and it has been an amazing journey and we are just half way through. Right now, I just wanna do it,” said Kevin Lo.

“I have discovered emotions that I didn’t have during my training. I ended up choosing characters which totally the opposite of me. So that was a challenge but it taught me a whole different side of me where I could emphatise and show the emotional part of myself. I’m going for gold and we are doing our best regardless because this is going to be an amazing experience and it already is.”

Kevin Lo with his family and girl friend

Guess what??? My photo of the trio with the Brunei flag won the Best Photo for the World Championships of Performing Arts 2013 for its virality. Awesome, huh? I couldn’t believe it and this is a great way for the world to notice about our country Brunei Darussalam. Great job to you guys in making the photo full of life and energy too. I even had this silly idea where they will run with the flag opened together but the jumping shot would suffice.

That alone is already an amazing achievement and it doesn’t matter how small our nation is but we have a very compact community which makes social media more impactful than any other region. While Brunei won the Best Photo, Colombia won the Best Video.

Congratulations Brunei on the winning the Best Viral Photo

The award winning photo for the World Championships of Performing Arts 2013

The Brunei delegation conveyed their appreciation to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Brunei Tourism; Armtrix Enterprise; Laily’s Bridal; Ms Marietta; Rachel Malai Ali; Ms Sarah Talbot; Ak Muhd Syarif bin Pg Hj Baharudin for their support.

Accompanying the Brunei artistes to Hollywood are personnel from Prism Works Sdn Bhd, the licensed national director of the World Championships of Performing Arts in Brunei Darussalam.

Taken during the press conference end of May 2013

And two months later, they are off to Hollywood

A dream come true for the Bruneians

Taken during the opening ceremony and their attire is sponsored by Laily’s Bridal

Eia, you’re looking pretty awesome in that dress!!




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