31 Aug Perfect Harmony: Back2Basixx

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It’s not every day that we get a glimpse of fresh, local bands that can stand up against today’s music scene. Meet homegrown harmony band, Back2Basixx, a self-proclaimed ‘man band’, comprising of five talented individuals; Christian Theseira, Brendan Aloysius, Devon Chew, Daryll Nathaniel and Aster Kyle G. The group has proudly signed under Universal Music Malaysia, propelling them to the local music forefront and making them the next band to look out for.

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Daryll Nathaniel

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Brendan Aloysius

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Christian Theseira

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Aster Kyle G

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Devon Chew

With their different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, Back2Basixx is an all-round Malaysian combination that really encompasses what our multicultural country is all about. What we think is really striking is the fact that their music reaches out to both the English and Malay audience. The title of their latest single is “Senyuman”, written and sung in Malay – a song dedicated to the family, friends and fans of the band whose endless support brought the guys to where they are today.

We met the boisterous and happy-go-lucky group at our FABSPY store in Mid Valley. Armed with an entire storefront of urban streetwear labels in Klang Valley, they were ecstatic for the opportunity to pick out their own outfits for the shoot. Trying to source the best look, they started grabbing anything and everything within their grasp – putting on sunglasses, the latest black snapback and pretty much the entire t-shirt collection. Daryll announces that he “needs to go back to the car to grab his signature hat” but the others insist that his blonde streaks are there to be seen. Devon, on the other hand, is indecisive, going through each rack meticulously. Then there’s Christian who’s trying to be as badass as possible and Brendan, clearly undecided about which pair of sunglasses to pick to complete his look. Kyle was first to make up his mind, and spends the remaining time teasing the rest of them. One cannot help but  notice the amazing chemistry they have as they laugh and joke around amongst themselves. It’s no wonder they do, as Christian claims that “[they] meet every day”.

The story behind Back2Basixx is an interesting one. As the guys explain how the band formed, it’s clear that they are passionate about working together. At the end of the day, they are just a group of guys who share a deep passion for music. Believed to be brought together by fate – Daryll, Kyle and Christian are cousins whilst Bren and Devon are god-brothers. Kyle and Bren met whilst performing in a singing competition 16 years ago. The two went to a solo show to support Christian and Devon, where they all connected and ended up performing two songs together. Loving the sound and vibe from the crowd, the four decided to have a jam session at a field next to Merdekarya where they were joined by Daryll who had a gig nearby. Soon after, they started doing their own shows.  As they say, the rest is history.

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Christian and Brendan came up with the name Back 2 Basics and it echoed their direction as a harmony band and “had the corniness of a boy band name”. On top of that, Kyle mentioned this was what he had always wanted to name his solo album. However, when registering for a page on Facebook they realised the name “Back 2 Basics” was already taken. A hybrid version was then born and that was how “Back2Basixx” came into existence.

So, what’s next for Back2Basixx? The band is currently working on a few more singles, including “Sayangku” which was written by the band in their early days. With an album also underway, Back2Basixx aspires to bring life to the local music scene, one melody at a time.

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Read more about Back2Basixx as we dive deeper with Daryll. Check out our interview below and make sure you keep an ear out for their new singles.

Why do you call yourselves a “man band”?

We joke about it on stage a lot and people always loved it. But it’s true, we’re not a bunch of boys doing it but a bunch of men on stage singing their hearts out. There is also a correlation that boy bands dance in sync and sing. We’re nowhere near that. On a serious note though we’re a vocal harmony band, not an a cappella band (no instruments) as some perceive us to be (we play with a guitar mostly and have done shows with a backing band of as many as 7 people to an orchestra) but we do have an a cappella song or two that we perform.

How does Back2Basixx stand out from other local bands?

To be honest, it’s not fair to say we work harder than anyone else but we do work hard at our craft, as a band and as individuals. We also planned out every bit of our journey and constantly plan things to make us better. On stage, we’re just a bunch of guys having fun entertaining the crowd, in other words, we’re just being ourselves. That helps us stand out more than others I guess.

As a Malaysian band, how do you hope to impact the local music scene?

Well, we’ve been through a lot and let us tell you, we’ve had our fair share of mistakes and success but invariably it brought us here and we think that might give other musicians out here some sort of blueprint to follow. Just like others out there who are already paving way for musicians like; Yuna, Zee Avi, Shila Amzah and so many more. We just want to inspire not only musicians but everyone out there that dreams do come true, that it ‘is’ possible and not to give up.

What do you guys love most about being musicians?

Getting on stage and putting on a great show, inspiring others to do the same. And most importantly, the crowd enjoying the music we put out there. I think all of us musicians work really hard at our craft and put a lot of heart into our music. Getting it heard on radio, someone humming the song, getting recognition would be the greatest reward any musician could ask for.

Who do you guys look up to?

We look up to a lot of people to be honest. We think that is the best way to go out and learn your craft even more. By humbling yourself and listening to every bit of advice that everyone has to offer. Musically though, the likes of Boyz2Men, Babyface, David Foster, Brian McKnight and so much more. There are so many talented musicians here in Malaysia that we look up to as well, don’t forget. We also have to give props to the people behind the scenes that make a difference in the music industry as well. People like Darren Teh, Daniel Wong, Reza Salleh and so much more for giving a platform for musicians to strut their stuff. Jennifer Thompson and Aylwin Santiago are others that we’d like to thank in our journey as Back2Basixx. Their advice and comments really helped us push ourselves even further. Of course, there’s the people at Universal Music Malaysia, whom we all love for believing in us and taking this step further with us.

Name your favourite original song written by the band.

We love all our songs, even the ones that are in the midst of completion. Honestly though, it’s not officially out yet, but it definitely has to be ‘Sayangku’. It was the first song we ever wrote together and we put a lot of our emotions and love into this song. We performed it quite often in our first year together but we’ve put it aside for a bit and now we’re excited that we’ve got a world class producer that we’re looking forward to working with really soon.

What is the future of Back2Basixx?

At the moment, we’re still in the midst of pushing out our first single ‘Senyuman’ and there might even be a Music Video in the works. We’ve also just locked down the producers we want to work with for our next few songs. We’re really hoping to churn out an amazing album in the next 6-8 months or so. As for what else we’re looking forward to? We’ve definitely set our hearts and minds to spreading and sharing our music as far possible. That means more shows, more promos, more interviews, etc. One of our goals as well is to bag one of our local awards such as AIMs and the AJLs. Just to be nominated at the moment would be great, winning it would be a dream come true!

If you could represent Malaysia in an international music festival, which one would it be?

We think one of the festivals we would really love to play at would be Java Jazz Fest. It always has a killer line up! I mean the likes of Stevie Wonder and others have played there, need we say more?

Do you guys have nicknames for each other since you spend so much time together?

Lol. I don’t think so. We call each other couz and bro all the time! However, we do have nicknames when we introduce ourselves on stage. Devon is known as the ‘cute one’, Brendan is the ‘old and wise one’ or ‘B2Slique (don’t ask, lol), Kyle is supposedlythe ‘tall and handsome one’. Daryll used to be known as ‘the big one’ until he lost about 30kg in the past 5 months, so he’s just ‘the annoying one’ now.And finally Chris is known as ‘John Legend’ (compare the pictures and you’ll understand why!).

Favourite hangout.

It’s gotta be any mamak. I think we go to mamaks and practice there so often that they sometimes expect us to sing everytime we’re there. Daryll’s place is our main joint because that’s where we practice, study, research, play basketball, and so much more.

Any advice for those who are interested to do what you guys are doing?

Believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make it. Plan and execute as much as you can. Practice hard, and ask experienced musicians their opinions and advice when you’re not sure of something. Enjoy the journey and most importantly be honest with yourself.

Back2Basixx Instagram: @back2basixxmusic
Back2Basixx Facebook: Back2Basixx
Back2Basixx YouTube: Back2BasixxVEVO

Wardrobe by: FABSPY (@fabspy) and FABSPY.com
Photography by: Andy Goh (@ee.goh)
Article by: Denise Lee (@missnise7)