Neil Zaza Taipei Sept 2017 is the 24th stop of his tour after 23 shows in China for almost 1.5months.
We ran on a very tight schedule for the Taipei stop as we had three things to accomplish.
First was the show on 24 Sept 2017 at The Wall Live Music.
Second, was a guitar clinic at iRock Music Centre.
Third and last, was a video shoot of Neil Zaza in Taipei.
The Wall Live Music has been a great partner for the Taipei stop. They took great care of Neil from the time he landed to the time he departed from Taoyuan Airport. Special shout out to Jemp who tirelessly looked into every detail. 謝謝Jemp和公館的熱情招待!
The clinic at iRock Music Centre was an intimate session with lots of great questions from the attendees. Just want to say a huge thank you to Hank of EGO Eletronic and 阿民 of iRock Music Centre. You guys made everything work so smoothly and so easy. The clinic was live streamed on EGO’s Facebook page and there were questions from viewers outside of Taipei that came in as well. Below is the live recording of the clinic.
Lastly, we squeezed in time for a video shoot for Neil Zaza in Taipei with 阿陸. It was a fun time shooting both outdoors and indoors. I must say it was very efficient. Special thanks to 阿鬼 of Ghost Note Guitars for the use of the studio as well.
Great partners are hard to come by. For this Taipei stop, we had such great partners whom we can call brothers. We are sure that they had our backs and are doing their best in everything. I was a little concern having so many parties involved in such a short stop. Friction can easily arise as some do not know one another personally before Neil Zaza’s Taipei stop. Upon arrival, this concern quickly dissipated. It was apparent that while they have their own expectations in being involved, they were as equally committed to help each other fulfilled one another’s goals. I truly believe that this was the key to the success of this stop and we love this team of partners. Till we come back again Taipei!
Great news: Neil Zaza in China & Taipei Jul & Aug 2017.
Neil Zaza is coming back to Asia this year again, to China and Taipei! Neil is doing 20 stops in China this time round. Friends in Taipei, Neil is coming as well and he has not seen you all for a while. If you happen to be in these cities, do drop by and have a great time with Neil Zaza.
Neil Zaza finally arrived in Changi Airport on 14 Jun 2016 (Tue) after the long wait of slightly more than 6 months. In my heart I was praying that all his baggage arrived in good order, especially his guitar. I spotted him at the baggage belt after about 15min wait. He got all his stuff rather fast, kudos to Changi Airport. Within the first 5min of receiving him, I popped the question if he needed wifi and passed him a hot spot dongle. The flight-wearied face suddenly lit up and immediately I got a big hug from him! Wifi is the way to make friends within a minute! >_<
Neil Zaza Guitar Contest
First thing lined up for the day was sound check the next day. Following that, a video recording with the 2 winners of the Neil Zaza Guitar Contest. I put Marcello Brandon (winner) and Ho Li Kai (Runner up) in a whatsapp group chat a few days before to make the necessary arrangements. Brandon arranged to collect his prize of a brand new Reverend Guitar with compliments from Movement Music the day before to prepare himself for the big day! Their excitement geared me up for Neil’s arrival. Excitement is contagious and so is their passion!
When they finally met their guitar hero in person, Li Kai was shaking up so visibly but I am sure Brandon was as well but hidden beneath his cool demeanour. I believe the most nerve wracking part was to play I’m Alright together with their guitar inspiration. The atmosphere in the Media Hub at *SCAPE was super charged up with PASSION. The three guitarists filled the room with energy that was explosive! I looked around and everyone had smiles on their faces, enjoying the moment.
The part that deeply touched me was the bonding and love the two young gentlemen have for each other, strangers until the whatsapp group chat. There is a mutual respect between these two that I admire. They worked through with Neil how the song should be played while waiting for Daniel Ho (@oneclickwonders) and Samantha Lee (@simsumsam) set up for the video recording.
I love the fairy lights and the two round light thingy (pardon my pathetic vocabulary!). My favourite part of the video is at 1:56-2:02. The few seconds of wordless communication captured by the camera hits home for me that this is the community that SOOS OIO is about. Established artists who have gone ahead are great inspiration for the next generation, forming relationships and communities to fire each other’s passion. I believe that these two young men will spur each other to be better in their guitar skills and fuel each other’s passion in the road ahead. I have somehow lovingly called them Neil’s Singapore Kids already. So Neil Zaza is unofficially the Guitar Papa!
Neil Zaza Guitar Workshop at *SCAPE
The cosy room was packed with almost 30 participants anxiously waiting to learn from their guitar hero. It is a pity that Neil’s iPad decided to act up 30 min before the workshop. After much troubleshooting, with our fantastic sound guy Nizam exploring all possible solutions, Neil used his iPhone back up backing tracks for the workshop. As many of you know, Singaporeans are not the most participative and responsive crowd, especially in a classroom & workshop setting. Yet in this workshop, the opposite was true. It was fascinating and amazing to see how interested the attendees were. They raised their hands to ask very good questions and once again, the PASSION for guitar was oozing out of everyone.
Neil Zaza Live in Singapore at Esplanade
A big shout out to the production team! Neil was completely blown away by the sound when he took off his in-ears during sound check just to busk in the quality of sound in the Recital Studio. Neil’s supersonic fingers on the guitar fret sounded so crisp and clear which not many sound systems can relay. I broke the usual rule of no photography allowed in Esplanade to no flash photography, wanting everyone to be able to capture their piece of memory in the show. The audience was amazing and it was so good to see you at the Meet & Greet session after. I love the fact there the age range of Neil’s fans ranges from pre-teens to adults!
I want to thank the amazing team, lean and mean in a super awesome way. Each of you has made the week so memorable and I want to thank:
Neil Zaza – Your music reflects who you are in person – AMAZING!
Samantha Lee – What do I do without you?! =)
Daniel Ho – You are way more amazing than the photos and videos you take!
Angus Sham – You have quietly taken such good care of Neil Zaza. I did not even have to worry a single bit!
*SCAPE – Special shout out to Kenneth and Japheth who provided great support.
Esplanade – Special shout out to Jacklyn, Ben, Hock Hoe and your team. Awesome work!
Nizam – The sound guy for the workshop & video who gives 110%!
Wenling – For responding to the call for merch help so last minute.
Movement Music – You guys set up your booth so impressively and tirelessly for two days. Appreciate all the support you have given to us, especially the Reverend Guitar for Brandon.
One lesson that came across so clearly this week is that passion is contagious and infectious. Neil’s passion for guitar has inspired Brandon and Li Kai. When these three come together, their passion is crazy explosive dynamite. My conclusion is when passionate people comes together with respect and appreciation of each other, the effect is greater than addition and multiplication, but EXPONENTIATION.
Do you have a stereotype about musicians and their life? We get up close with Neil Zaza to find out a little more about his journey as a guitarist, including his perspectives on some important things in life. Neil Zaza is coming to Singapore this June to do a Neil Zaza Live in Singapore show at Esplanade and a guitar workshop at SCAPE.
Here are the questions posed to Neil Zaza and some of his answers are refreshing surprises!
Q1: How did you discover the guitar and decide that you want to be a guitarist??
Find out what is the life changing epiphany for Neil Zaza when he not only chose guitar but HAD to play it.
Q2: What were some of the sacrifices you made to pursue music?
The commonly asked question about sacrifice is resolved for Neil Zaza by living what he love and living what he does. Find out more about his perspective on sacrifice.
Q3: Was there an event in your music career when you felt it was pivotal? Why?
The pivotal moment for Neil Zaza was not a huge stage or receiving a prestigious award but the one moment when he became addicted.
Q4: What are some of the key factors that contribute to your success as a guitarist?
Neil Zaza defines his success in its longevity, which is not an easy feat. Neil Zaza has been a professional guitarist since 1987, with almost 30 years of experience!
Q5: What are some of your everyday disciplines and practice routines as a guitarist?
A consistent and regimented practice schedule is a must for musicians but for someone who has paid his dues of over 10,000 hours quality practice in the early days, find out how Neil Zaza’s work day looks like.
Q6: Tell us about the most difficult period in your music career? How did you overcome it?
“There are good bad days and there are good bad years.” Find out how serious things get for Neil Zaza.
Q7: What were some of the social pressures you face while pursing a career in music? How did you handle them?
Be SURPRISED by the social pressures Neil Zaza faced!
Q8: What does stability in life mean to you? How does your music career relate to your definition of stability?
Neil Zaza’s definition of stability is simple but stabilising.
Q9: What is your advise to a young person who is aspiring to be a professional musician?
Besides loving what you do, Neil Zaza touches on a deeper wisdom in sustaining your pursuit of music. Find out what what Neil Zaza means when he calls himself a “lifer”.
This simple yet revealing interview with Neil Zaza has shifted some stereotypes on musicians and guitarists. Neil Zaza’s single mindedness and positivity anchor him for the many storms that have taken out many on the same road. What are some of your struggles and your perspectives with regards to the areas mentioned in the interview?