GameStart Main Stage, 8 October 2016 (Saturday)
Our special music performances this year shine a spotlight on two very talented musicians from Southeast Asia – Guitarist Az Samad from Malaysia and Vocalist Rika Lee from Singapore. We’ve become fans of Az’s amazing guitar skills and Rika’s rich vocals since we were introduced to us by fellow game and music lovers, and are very happy to welcome them to GameStart 2016!
Az will perform a 30-minute set of selected songs from well-known classic games, followed by Rika, who will be lending her voice to songs from popular franchises such as Final Fantasy and The Witcher 3.
Az Samad’s albums will be on sale at the GameStart Official Booth during GameStart 2016.
About Az Samad
Growing up playing video games, Az spent hours gaming on classic gaming systems such the Atari 2600, NES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy and the Super Nintendo. A fan of the Nintendo series such as Zelda and Metroid as well as Square RPGs such as Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana, Az’s future musical tastes were shaped early on by the cinematic music scores of these now classics. When he started composing instrumental solo guitar music, these melodies were some of the inspiration he drew upon from his subconscious.
Az was the featured classical guitar soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) for the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy Kuala Lumpur premiere conducted by Arnie Roth (USA) at their three sold-out shows. Az also performed for the South East Asian premiere of A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur conducted by Arnie Roth (USA) and featuring pianist Benyamin Nuss (Germany). For the MPO Superheroes concert with conductor Guillaume Tourniaire and presenter Alasdair Malloy, Az played ukulele on the Handheld Heroes medley (Super Mario Bros Ground Theme, Tetris Korobeiniki Theme and Angry Birds Title Theme).
He was the Space Jam Headliner at Comic Fiesta 2014 in Kuala Lumpur and was seen performing a 30-minute solo fingerstyle guitar set of video game music.
Prior to moving back to Malaysia, Az also played in a video game music band in San Francisco. He has also been interviewed on GameSpot and featured in the GameSpot Asia Beat Podcast.
Follow his updates and performances at www.facebook.com/azsamadmusic.
About Rika Lee
Since she picked up a mic in 2002, Rika has been a regular face at J-culture event stages in Singapore with her knack for unconventional song choices and versatility in covering a wide range of varying genres and styles. Among her most striking performances was a live rendition of the 30-odd song medley Kumikyoku Nico Nico Douga in 2008 – more recently, a compilation of songs such as Snake Eater and Sins of the Father from Metal Gear Solid marked the first time a local performer has covered vocal tracks from the iconic series on stage.
When she isn’t dividing her time between work and singing, Rika spends her days running around in Final Fantasy XIV as a guy in shades and a mankini. Check out her cover of the game’s latest expansion’s theme “Dragonsong” here.