Thursday, August 6

Sabahan songwriters runners-up of international songwriting contest

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KOTA KINABALU: Sabahan songwriting duo Rene Barrow and Rozella Mahjhrin aka CoffeeVersusEvil (CVE) were awarded the runner-up placement in the international Song of the Year competition for their original composition ‘Shattered Dreams.’ Song of the Year receives entries from all over the world and only the top songwriters receive a runner-up placement in the competition.

For over 14 years, Song of the Year has been a leader in offering songwriters great opportunities through the contest and by networking top writers with music insiders.

Songwriter’s submissions are judged by a panel of music professionals.

The preliminary-judging staff consists of individuals who have showed leadership in music related fields as well as notable songwriters.

CVE is a songwriting collaboration that was formed in 2012 after Mahjhrin started having guitar lessons under Barrow’s tutelage.

Barrow eventually suggested that Mahjhrin try to sing instead, and proposed a collaboration where Mahjhrin would write the lyrics and Barrow would write the music.

Their entry for the Song of the Year competition, ‘Shattered Dreams’, was the first song that they wrote together.

Mahjhrin said, “This song is very personal to me.

I wrote the lyrics at a difficult period in my life because I needed an outlet to release all the emotions that were trapped inside.

The funny thing is that I used to be Rene’s guitar student and this song was the outcome of the first songwriting assignment he gave me!” Barrow added: “Rozella is such a talented lyricist.

“And I’m very happy with the result of the competition.

“It shows that we have a lot of potential for the future.

“I took the basic idea that she came up with and readapted anything that I thought would make it more musically interesting.”

CVE made their debut performance at the Voices from the Asylum (Vol 2) in March 2013.

Since then, they have performed at various events including the Mango Jazz Night, KK Jazz Festival fringe event, TACKit art exhibitions, SPCA fund-raising dinner, launch of The Loft, the Perodua Media Nite 2013, KKIS Haiyan Typhoon fund-raising event, and KK Webcamp Christmas Edition.

CVE also wrote a song especially for Green Leaf Theatre House’s play ‘The Sumandak Movement: My Name is Not Hey Baby’ which will be performed live during the show on Dec13 and 15 (6.30pm) at the JKKN auditorium.

The CVE concept seeks to collaborate with other Sabahan and international artists to expose their work to the world.

As a songwriting collaboration, they not only work with other singers and musicians, but also visual artists, dancers, videographers, actors and etc, to develop the arts scene in Sabah.

CVE will be launching their Double-song release on Jan 1 (8pm) at El Centro, Kota Kinabalu and it will feature their Song of the Year Competition submission ‘Shattered Dreams’ along with another original composition ‘Blackbird.’ Admission is free and the public is invited to join in the celebration.

They are collaborating with other artists for the launch including woodcutting artist Rizo Leong from Pangrok Sulap (who designed the cover of the CD).

The launch will feature special guest performances by International jazz pianist Asif Pishori and social participatory art group TackIt.

Daphne Wong from Simply Sweet will also be sponsoring coffee cupcakes.