22 Oct – Eating pizza on its own is already enjoyment enough for most people but when a concert gets thrown into the mix, now that's satisfaction to the max!
Taking place at Petaling Jaya's Bentley Music Auditorium last Saturday was "The Singing Pizza Concert", a cross-industry collaboration between Pizza Hut and Universal Music Malaysia, featuring renowned as well as up-and-coming artistes as part of the star-studded line-up.
To hype up the crowd for an evening of music-filled fun, rapper Aman Ra hit the stage first with his opening number "BudakFlat". He continued spitting fire with "Fighter", the track that was featured in local MMA movie "Sangkar", and "Bangun". Since the latter translates to 'rise' in the Malay language, the rapper fittingly had the crowd rise to their feet and move their bodies to the catchy beat.
During the little chat he had with emcee Brandon, Aman Ra admitted that he initially found it hard to rap in Malay, now he finds it hard to rap in English. Before leaving the stage, the rapper dropped a slice of wisdom: "If you know what you want, you can choose your topping."
Taking the stage next was Zen, who usually sings in Mandarin but can also be found covering Malay and Indonesian songs on her YouTube channel. She demonstrated this versatility by first singing her latest Mandarin-language single, "If I Knew", before belting out a medley of Samsons' "Kenangan Terindah" and Charlie Puth's See You Again", which the crowd enthusiastically sang along to.
The singer did not immediately leave the stage after her performance. Joined by Aman Ra, and four fans picked randomly from the crowd, she had fun testing her taste buds' prowess next in the "Blind Pizza Tasting" game.
There was plenty of laughter to be had as each contestant tried to guess the pizza and its toppings. When it was Aman Ra's turn, he joked that he received an empty box. (In reality, the rapper was busy chomping down on his slice of pizza as the others took turns guessing). Not surprisingly, having had a full slice, he nailed the answer even though he was also probably joking when he replied, "Black volcano".
The show continued with Shalma Eliana, who had to limp on stage before settling down on a stool where she would sit for the duration of her 3 songs. She followed up her first song, "Janji Terindah", with a cover that would have made Alicia Keys proud. After singing the R&B songstress' "If I Ain't Got You", Shalma closed her set with her latest single, which was just released less than 24 hours prior to the show, called "Mahukah Kamu".
When asked by the emcee after her performance, she explained that she was limping because she broke her foot 3 months ago when she landed wrongly after jumping into her swimming pool (she even had to film the music video for "Mahukah Kamu" with a broken foot!) but it is healing well.
Singer-actor Alvin Chong took the stage next, accompanied by his dancers, to perform "Tajam" and "Bei Ni Chong Ai", the latter which he said he was performing live for maybe only the third or fourth time. Amid loud screams from his fans, who he gave a shout out to in between songs, Alvin wrapped up his set with a cover of Andmesh Kamaleng's "Cinta Luar Biasa".
Before leaving the stage, Alvin stuck around to present a mock boarding pass to one of the winners who will be flying to Australia with him to catch Shawn Mendes' concert. The other winner, who hails from Sarawak, was not present that evening.
Presenting the prize with him was Deputy General Manager of Pizza Hut Marketing Emily Chong. When we spoke to her prior to the concert, she said that the artistes picked for the evening's line-up came from different backgrounds to better represent Malaysia's multi-cultural spirit.
Performing next was Fattah Amin. The dashing actor warmed up his vocal chords with "Isterimewa", before further elevating the romantic atmosphere with "1234U". These were not the only songs he sang for the evening as he later re-appeared for a duet with his wife – but more on this later.
Before that, Mandopop duo ThomasJack, with their dancers in tow, wowed the crowd with their Mandarin track, "Rumours". Demonstrating the uniqueness of Malaysia's multilingual culture once again, the duo delivered a mash-up of "Ku Juga Mencintaimu" and "Qing Fei De Yi". (Two different versions of the same song, with the former being Malay and the latter Mandarin).
The duo wrapped up their stage with special guest Zen, who joined them for a cover of Indonesian band Peterpan's "Mungkin Nanti".
While the duo has been busy with their respective acting works, Thomas in dramas and Jack in movies, when we asked them prior to the concert if they were brewing up a new song for their fans, both grinned and simply stated that they were hoping to put out a new album by this year. So there's that to look forward to ThomasJack fans!
The last to take the stage was singer-actress Fazura, who made a powerful entrance with her inspiring track, "Bangun". For her second song, this was where Fattah Amin made an appearance again. The husband and wife team belted out their duet, "Paling Sempurna", before Fattah bid the crowd good evening and let Fazura continue with her performance. After singing "Bisa Apa", she wrapped up the concert with a bang with a remixed version of her first English single, "Can't Forget Me", featuring DJ duo BATE.
That is not the end of the Singing Pizza, however, as its app will be available until the end of the year. To the uninitiated, the Singing Pizza campaign, which was recognised with the "Excellence in Marketing Innovation" award at the recent Marketing Excellence Awards 2019, features vinyl-themed pizza boxes that bear illustrations of Fazura, Fattah Amin and Alvin Chong with a QR Code to access 200 exclusive tracks, including top trending and unreleased tracks that are updated biweekly.