Saturday Dec 05

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Meet Jay - lover of music, music, and especially music.

What do you do?

I'm a student in the University of York under DANA scholarship, in my 2nd year doing English Language & Linguistic Science. I've been studying in the UK (at Shrewsbury School) since in A' Levels though.

Describe yourself in three words.

Open, passionate, laid-back.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up mostly near Bandar (Lumapas, and Pengkalan Batu), but was also in Tutong (around the pekan) for a couple of years.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

Going to see Power Rangers live in KL. Hahaha!

How long have you been blogging?

I've been blogging on Friendster since around April 2005. Then I moved onto Multiply, which lasted till May 2008, and there I picked up Blogger. Now I've got both Blogger and Tumblr sort of co-existing together.

Here are my new ones: &

I've been tweeting for about a year now. To be honest I only started tweeting because a musician (Olafur Arnalds) was giving out free MP3s everyday for a week on Twitter. Since them I've been using it for micro-blogging.

What do you blog about mostly?

Music. My blog is about 98% music. My tweets, probably about 70% music. Note: 90% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Recommend a blogs for us to read and a tweeter for us to follow.

Big Scary Monsters Records - This is my favourite record label ever. It's releasedmany of my favourite releases of all time and signs many of my favouritemusicians. Run by a guy in Oxford.

 (Other than @BruneiTweet, of course) @TheMonopolist - My favorite band from Brunei at the moment - interesting things to happen to these guys in the near future. Keep an eye on them.

Name your favourite restaurant, and which dish do you recommend?

In Brunei, I love Capers. I love Italian food. I can't remember what the exact name of the dish was. It was a pizza…with lots of cheese. I absolutely love cheese. I also love Tarindak, but I've only been there for the Sungkai buffet. In the UK, I really like Ask. The Quattro Formaggi pizza is my favourite.

Name a 'must-visit' place in Brunei, and why.

Kampung Ayer. My dad is from there, and we used to stay over at my grandparents' place, and it was quite nice just walking on the stilt walkways. The house is no longer there, sadly. It was burnt down by a fire a few years ago, and both of my Kg. Ayer grandparents are no longer alive. It's surprising how many Bruneians have not been on a water taxi or walked on the walkways. It's absolutely lovely

What do you hope to achieve in three years?

Well, hopefully I'll end up with a really good degree. If I can, I would want to continue doing my masters, and then PhD. But that's a BIG IF. I also want to try to set up a cafe-slash-music venue…a smallone, probably less than a hundred capacity for a standing audience. I've been to lots of those here in the UK, and I'm very fascinated by how they run. I hear Klubaianz Cafe in Brunei is sort of the same template. I'll be interested to see how they run live music there. What I want to achieve with this cafe is to provide an intimate setting for bands to connect with their fans, and help them make some new fans in the process. I'll also be hoping it'll be a place where people can go to buy CDs from the local bands…sort of a one-stop music venue to support local bands.



(Above and front page picture courtesy of Tenspeed Photography.)

Editor's Note: Jay M. Johar was key in helping me discover and rediscover local music talents. Jay has interviewed a number of local artists, and if you want to sample local talent, check out Planes & Copters. If you're REALLY game, check out his adventures on YouTube here! Up-and-coming artists in Brunei...if you need someone to sample your stuff, @mujahidjohar has got you covered.
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