Having laid off singing for close to a decade,Miss Esther Khoo won a TV talent search at the age of 15 and by the time she was 18 she was the voice to many TV commercial jingles in Malaysia including Nescafe, Salem High Country & a host of others in Asia.By the time she was 21, she had her 1st Chinese Album produced,recorded & released in Hong Kong with duet with George Lam(Hong Kong) & followed by a release of a 2nd album 2 years later also produced & recorded in Hong Kong but released in South East Asia.
She has also appeared in numerous musical TV shows in Hong Kong,Taiwan,Singapore & Malaysia in the mid to late 90's.
Seen here is a candid video shots taken by Jeff Siah with Esther singing even with a sore throat, unrehearsed to an old song "Misty" at Playtime Productions (ex Positive Tone) studios in Dataran Prima. Petaling Jaya. Keyboard was played live by Zul Mahat & Nafie(Spider Band) recorded this demo track within half an hour.
Although these video/song recording was an impromptu & unrehearsed session. yet you can hear the dynamics of Esther's powerful vocals,pitching and control. Can you imagine how she would sound like if she was feeling well with no sore throat & the recordings was done professionally?? She will definitely be a force to be reckon with.
Esther is keen for a come back to the music industry with her own Jazz Album and talks are being held between her and Jeff to produce her forthcoming album,with possibilities of an Artists Management contract under Jeff;s new flagship companies' namely We Are One Sdn.Bhd,a content,event & artists/model management company and Playtime Productions Sdn Bhd.,a recording studio cum music production company.
( Check out ; vr1world,org & vr1playtime.com)
Jeff was the main/co founder of Positive Tone(PT),a successful independent English record label in the early 90's which witnessed triple platinum sales of more than 80,000 copies only in Malaysia for OAG's 1st English album in 1995 feat their hit singles "60's TV". In 1996 OAG was the official & opening band for the FIFA world football event held in Malaysia, with an official FIFA music video feat OAG & their hit singles "The Name of the Game".
Then in 1998 just 2 weeks before the AIM awards, PT brought Innuendo & Poetic Ammo to perform 1 night "Live in Hippodrome,London" with an entourage of 15 artists & crews, with air tickets sponsored by Malaysian Airlines, 3 nights accommodation part sponsored by Putra Hotel in London of which PT organised jointly with Malaysian Student's Association in London.
PT's popularity soared when they returned just in time for "Anugerah Industri Muzik" (AIM) awards in April 1998 and swept 6 winning awards for Innuendo's debut English album.The awards included for "Best Song Of The Year".Best Engineered Album".,'Best New Artists"," Best English Album","Best Music Video" & " Best CD Cover Design".
In a nutshell, PT was an astounding musical success story in Malaysia with the most awards ever won by any record label in the history of AIM, Malaysia. At their peak, PT had more than 10 artists signed to the label including Leonard Tan,Liza Aziz, OAG,Poetic Ammo,Intoxicated,John's Mistress, Nice Stupid Playground,Nita, Ferhad,Innuendo, Too Phat & a host of others.
Unfortunately due to the bad timing of PT's success, it was short lived & coincided with the Asian economic crisis which started towards the end of 1997. By mid to end 1998 the whole financial turmoil hit the whole South East Asia region from Banks to Publicly Listed Companies with Asian currencies & stock prices spiralling down respectively. PT was not spared from the financial crisis either regardless of all the AIM awards they won. Entertainment industry in Malaysia then was a real tough business to be in, especially in the film & music business. Piracy was rampant, copyrights laws was not intact, coupled with ineffective & corrupted enforcement authorities the film & music industry was dying. With already a small population based of only about 22million in Malaysia then and to further segregate the population of a pre dominantly Muslim country with 4 main different races of Malay,Chinese,Indian & Eurasian market,urban English music listening followers was very limited. PT felt the financial difficulties by the end of 1998 and they were lucky that negotiation with EMI started in 1997 and by end 1998,EMI bought over 100% shares of PT from the existing founding directors & shareholders.
Riding on the success of PT some of the top the management staffs are now sitting in the board of directors in Media Prima Group and it's subsidiaries like 8TV. With PT's artists some are still household names till today and for example Yogi B of Poetic Ammo fame has made his name all the way in India and is a well known rapper there.
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