(Photos by @joehairie unless stated otherwise)
“One thing that amazes us about good music, is how an artist sums up emotion and exactly how we feel, in minutes. Good and groovy music will always makes us tapping our feet on the ground”-curiostraveller.com
We were so lucky to be able to attend this annual Sunset Music Fest at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Kudat. We have been to Kudat so many times but never have we attend any of the Sunset Music Fest before. We received our tickets sometime in May 2016 and we were acting like small kids, excited and counting days. The event for 2016 was held on June 4, 2016. We were actually planning to spend a night in Kudat but we cancelled the plan last minute. So, we went for a day trip, thanks to Sabah Tourism and Sri Pelancongan, we managed to squeeze in that big bus meant for the tourists.
About Sunset Music Fest 2016
The Sunset Music Fest is a unique outdoor musical experience at the northern-most Tip of Borneo, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, which means the “lingering junction”. Come and be serenaded with classical favorites and contemporary tunes performed by both local and international artistes on the center stage set against the dramatic backdrop of a stunning sunset, which dips along the horizon of the South China and Sulu seas.
As the azure blue sky turns into a splendid cocktail of gold-red from the sun, allow your heart to beat in sync with melodic rhythms from jazz and pop tempos to wistful classical tunes. Held since 2006, the Sunset Music Fest is Sabah’s biggest open air concert featuring a line-up of international and local acts performing a broad repertoire of music and songs. Popular local singers will be performing their rendition of current and evergreen local hits that will be sure to get the audience on their feet. Handicraft, souvenir, food and drink stalls are also set up on the same day.
During the one-day event for 2016, access to the venue and its surroundings, which include the pathway from the parking lot to the Globe, were opened to concert ticket holders only from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm. It’s litter-free event brought by Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn. Bhd, wholly-owned subsidiary of Sabah Tourism Board.
About Tanjung Simpang Mengayau
At the northern-most tip of Borneo is Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, which means the ‘lingering junction’ as it is where the South China Sea lingers and merges with the Sulu Sea that flows from the east. According to the local folklore, the headland was previously a lookout point to guard against invading pirates. The treacherous coastline is a reminder of the bloody battles fought and shipwrecks that litter the seabed off the coast. Today, this relatively undisturbed promontory offers striking views of Kalampunian Beach and the idyllic islands of Banggi, Mantanani and Kelambu.
For more information regarding Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, refer to the websites below (Click the link):
Sabah Tourism TripAdvisor Wikipedia Personal Blog- Saidatina Aisyah My Sabah.com Saramsa-rahawil.blogspot.my
curiostraveller.com journey to Kudat
The journey to Kudat (Tanjung Simpang Mengayau) normally will take about 3 hours, depending on traffic. Those who were taking the big bus, assembled at the Sabah Tourism Office. We were told that the bus will depart at 1 PM, however soon we were told that the departure time rescheduled to 2 PM. A bit worried of course, we all might arrive late for the show.
While waiting for the bus to come, we both took selfies (above and below images). We can’t hide our excitement actually, nervously waiting.. at this moment, some foreign tourist started to complaint about the timing. Being locals, we remained silent though deep inside we were a bit embarrassed.
1.30 PM, the big bus showed up and all the excited passengers started to line up to go on board. Altogether, there were 41 passengers, 1 guide and 1 driver. Yes, I always pay attention to the details!
So off we go…..The guide told us that the bus will make a brief stop at Simpang 3 Kota Marudu. The reason was to enable some passengers to go for toilet break. Some of us decided to alight anyway to have a brief ‘tour’ at one big shop selling local food products.
That man in green shirt was our bus driver for the return trip. @joehairie was pretty excited to see the delicacies. We however did not buy anything as we thought that there will be plenty of snacks for sale at Simpang Mengayau.
The Hanging Snacks...as we named it…
Wefie before boarding the bus again….
Arrived safely at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau
We were happy that the bus arrived on time, just before the arrival of the VVIP(s). Luckily the bus was given a parking slot nearby. We all hurriedly went to the
D’Franciscan UKE ONSOI
Formed in March this year, D’Franciscan UKE ONSOI features talented ukulele players of the St. Francis Xavier Secondary School. The Murut word ‘Onsoi’ in their group name means admirable and great. Under the guidance of their founder and trainer, Mr. Peter Paun and group leader Helny Donny, these talented youths will be performing a variety of songs including One Direction’s ‘History’ and Dusun favourites ‘Pemelihis the Ginawo’ and ‘Tanak Kampung.’ On vocals are Josephine Magdalene Joseph, Job Johan Jonah, Hangelica Harold and Alexander Sebastian Lawrence.
Matlankidz and Brothers
Matlankidz and Brothers is a local band with members hailing from Kudat and Papar. This talented group of musicians is led by Matlankidz, Ateq Kidz (drums), Amenk Kidz (guitar) and Syax (bass). Matlankidz is an accomplished songwriter, composer and arranger, with a bachelor’s degree in music from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and is a noted leader of the ‘Kombo RTM Sabah’ musical ensemble. He has also assisted local and international performing artistes including Dato’ Khatijah Ibrahim and Ron Bumblefoot of Guns N’ Roses fame. Together, the band has performed together in various concerts and private functions around the country since 2002.
The Deep Buskers
The Deep Buskers are made up of seven talented individuals who enjoy performing both contemporary and evergreen tracks and in several languages! Led by vocalists Saiful and Dewi, the band members include Hatilin who plays the ukulele, Alhadzrie on guitar, Mohd Fauzi on drums or cajon, Sajili who plays the bongos and Mohd. Ashary on bass. No stranger to the local entertainment scene, the Deep Buskers are often seen performing at hotels, pubs and major events around Kota Kinabalu including the prestigious Sabah Tourism Awards. They are also the winners of the 2014 Sabah Parks Golden Jubilee Band competition.
Singer, songwriter and Sabahan diva, Elizabeth Applunius Chin, better known as Esther Applunius, first started singing at age 9 and became the first Sabahan to win the National level Bintang Kecil RTM singing competition at age 10. She gained nationwide recognition through the reality show, One In A Million 3 (OIAM3), in which she emerged as a runner-up. Known for her soulful voice, Esther is no stranger to the local music scene as she has participated and won numerous singing competitions in Sabah. When not performing solo, Esther lends her vocals to various bands including D’Illusions and The Esthers, performing at 5-star hotels and resorts in Kota Kinabalu. Her singles include singles ‘Aku’ (2013), ‘Sipi-Sipi’ (2013) and most recently ‘Bebeh’ (2016). In 2015, she released an album entitled ‘If Only You Knew.’
28-year old Gadaffi Ismail Sabri, fondly known as Dafi, hails from Kuala Lumpur and is another famous alum of Akademi Fantasia. The baby-faced singer was a fan favourite from the beginning and came in top 5 by the end of the season five. His hit song ‘Bila Terasa Rindu’ was composed and produced by Edry of KRU and went viral upon release. The song was also featured in the soundtrack of the film ‘Duyung’. His first album ‘Seumur Hidup’ was launched in 2008 and in 2014, #D4F1 was released.
A captivating jazz singer, Nur Farhan Azizan or Farhan, was one of the students in the fourth season of Akademi Fantasia (AF) in which she placed third at the end of the season in 2006. Farhan, who is from Kuala Lumpur, never received formal vocal training but began participating in singing contests at the age of 12. Farhan has since gone on to become a seasoned performer and has even been dubbed as the ‘Royal Singer’ for her popular demand among corporate VIPs and royal families. She has been nominated for numerous Malaysian music industry awards including for Best Vocalist and Best Female Artiste. Her first single ‘Kelmarin’ stayed on the charts for more than 13 weeks when it was released in 2007 and she went on to release three more singles, two of which ‘Bukan Mimpi’ and ‘Berdua’ were released in Indonesia.
A soulful singer, an engaged actress and a stunning beauty, Marsha Milan Londoh, well known as Marsha, has walked the path to stardom with hard work and passion. A Kadazandusun lass from Tamparuli, she is a jazz and pop singer who came into the spotlight during her time Akademi Fantasia where she won fourth place. During her formative years, Marsha has been nominated for Best Group Vocal Performance Album in Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) 2009, Best Future Artist in Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) 2006 and Top New Female Singer in Anugerah Bintang Popular (ABPBH) 2006. In 2013, Marsha dubbed the voice of Elsa in the Malaysian version of Disney’s Frozen and sang the title track ‘Bebaskan’ (the Bahasa Malaysia version of the hit Let It Go).
Overall, we enjoyed the performances very much and we are looking forward for more exciting performances in 2017. Yes, we will return to Kudat again for the Sunset Music Fest 2017. Our only regret was arriving late to the venue (due to the late arrival of the bus at Sabah Tourism Office). If only we have arrive earlier then we will have the opportunity to go around the Chalets nearby and take interesting photos. Personally, we wish we were able to have out early dinner at the restaurant nearby. We went to the show in hungry state actually! If only the bus arrive earlier….
Esther Applunius and Marsha were 2 performers that we truly adored and they both really know how to interact with the crowd. They sang from their heart and we enjoyed their performances more than the other artists. We want to congratulate Sabah Tourism and Sri Pelancongan Sdn Bhd for the successful event. However, for the bus in 2017, we hope it will arrive sooner to fetch those curious tourists! For 2017, we plan to stay for few nights in Kudat so that we both will be able to capture more moments and write up lengthy post about the Sunset Music Fest. We highly recommend this event to all future visitors coming to Sabah in 2017.