Last week, we managed to catch Adruce Azman, member of SonarTribal which is a music project promoting the wonderful sounds of tribal music.  Aside from Adruce, the project also features Hafizi Asmuni, and Sufyan Kamarol Zaman who are all passionate about preserving their roots, as they firmly believe music is the key to such an idea.

Without further, check out what Adruce has to say in our quick interview with him last week.


Q1: Tell us why you and your buddies started SonarTribal?
ST: Me and my buddies started SonarTribal on the DiGi Challenge for Change competition on October 2011. The aim for the competition is to create a start-up on social venture by using internet and mobile technology. Firstly, it was just a random idea for a competition. But as we get deeper during the 48 hours of workshop, we realize more on how important it is to preserve our cultural heritage, especially the tribal sounds and how important it is for us to get started and work with the community.

Q2: What inspired you?
ST: We are inspired by the indigenous tribal sounds from Borneo. As the music director of SonarTribal, I was inspired by the fusion of javanese gamelan and jazz. So from there, i was thinking, if they can fuse it, why we fuse our sounds with jazz. Not only jazz, we can fuse it with any other genres, because music is a language which transcends through all barriers.

Q3: Most of you are aspiring graduates from UNIMAS. Any idea if you’d turn to music full time and not work in your respective disciplines?
ST: Music is something we love. In our opinion, we should mix what we love with our job. But yeah, SonarTribal is actually community based project. We will continue on doing this while keeping our respective disciplines in control.

Q4: What is unique about SonarTribal? What makes people go “aww…” when they know about you?
ST: As I said, SonarTribal is not only a group of musicians. We are a group of people who are passionate on keeping our heritage alive. Most of them will say “Awww..” after seeing our Sonar Tribal Music Bootcamp video footage, where in that video we were pumping the awareness to the kids of Kampung Sebayor by teaching them how to play basic beats pf the tribal instruments.

Q5: How about your social lives? Has it changed since SonarTribal started?
ST: It didn’t really changed though. It’s just that our schedule is getting tighter, because we are still students.

Q6: What is the most difficult part of being in this SonarTribal Project?
ST: There are so many complications faced in this project, with the SonarTribal key members Hafizi Asmuni, Sufyan Kamarol Zaman and I being final year students. Dividing our time between our studies and our social ventures was very tight.
Another big challenge is that our social venture require us to negotiate with numerous bodies which require us to use softskills which we don’t even have.  But from difficulties we learn, and for that we are grateful.

Q7: What do you have to say to other youths out there?
ST: To youth! If you feel like what you have, may give great impacts to the society, please never be afraid to stand out because we are the future and we are the ones who’ll get hold of our own state and country. If you have something to be contributed, don’t wait, as waiting gives nothing.

Q8: What was your most memorable performance?
ST: One of our most memorable performances was The Loyalty Dinner of NORMAH Medical Center. We were performing with fellow Sonar Instinct band members. After the performance, we have received standing ovations even on corporate dinner. We feel so appreciated. Besides that, Tweet-Up Kuching was also awesome because there are tweets, mentioning us after our performance.

Q9: Tribal music is not foreign in Sarawak, but it’s also not very popular. How do you intend to change that?
ST: Simple. We’ll fuse the original tribal sounds with other genres such as RnB, Hip Hop, Jazz, Latin, Spanish, Rock and Roll, Blues, name it. With these elements as the backgrounds, our music will be listenable by everyone. You may listen to our EP, as that was our basic start-up.

Q10:How far do you hope Sonar Tribal will go?
ST: As far as we can, sky’s the limit. Tour on Europe, perhaps? And of course, Sonar Tribal Music Bootcamp to every districts in Borneo, from Sarawak to Sabah, to Kalimantan if possible. By that time, everybody will have this mindset where, “SHOOT, YOU CAN PLAY TRIBAL INSTRUMENTS? THAT’S SO COOL DUDE!”.

SonarTribal will also be representing Sarawak at the DiGi Challenge For Change Finals in Kuala Lumpur this Tuesday, and we wish the all the best.  Regardless of the results, their passion for music and culture is something one should applaud.

To hear how SonarTribal sounds, check out this link.