Dayak band `The Fingerprints’ out to make a name in the jazz scene

Performing live on stage at Busker Raya Borneo 744 Competition at Borneo 744. From right are Milson, Hazel, Alisa and Deck.

By Wilfred Pilo

THE FINGERPRINTS is an up-and-coming Dayak jazz band formed in May last year.

Its vibrant and talented band members are part-time musicians who share a common passion for jazz music.

The band comprises leader Deck Zeke, 23, on guitar and vocals, Milson Ching, 23, on cajon, and vocalists Alisa Spencer and Hazel Melville, both 22. Deck and Milson are Bidayuhs, while Alisa and Hazel are Ibans.

Deck and Milson have our own business, while Hazel works as an electronic technical assistant and Alisa is still a university student in Mass Communication and Broadcasting.

Deck told DayakDaily recently that he decided to call their band `The Fingerprints’ after he was curious of each band member’s fingerprints and their unique characteristics.

The Fingerprints logo.

“Our fingerprints kind of reflect us in a way and at the same time, we are unique and different too in terms of races. But we all are having the same ambition, which is to share our love for music and songs with those who are willing to hear us,” he said.

He observed that many Dayak youths are talented musicians but they lack the opportunity to expose themselves, as there is no proper channel or association to support them.

“We believe there should be more competitions and open mic gigs in Kuching, and all talented musicians should join in. I think it would be very healthy for local bands and the music industry in general,” he suggested.

He added that street busking is another way to expose musicians to the world.

“My band loves busking, and we love to explore this avenue locally to share our music with the public,” he confided.

The Fingerprints performing live at the Busker Raya Borneo 744 competition. From left are Deck, Alisa and Hazel. Milson is on cajon, partially behind Hazel.

On their music, Deck said the Fingerprints genre is jazz.

“Jazz is unique. Jazz has all the elements that other forms of music have. It has a melody that is the tune of the song. It has harmony on vocals and the music notes that make the melody sound fuller.

“Jazz influence has been and is still great over other kinds of modern music. We are very comfortable with such music, and it can be used for Iban, English and Bahasa Melayu songs,” he opined.

Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman and other VIPs with The Fingerprints (from left are Milson, Deck (with certificate), Alisa and Hazel) after winning the Busker Raya Borneo 744 competition.

Deck said to be consistent in vocals and music, the four of them trained on their own by playing music and do their own vocalising by hearing (ear training).

“It does help as we have been playing and singing from our younger days,” he said.

Deck said like any band, The Fingerprints dreamed of producing and releasing their very own single or even an album one day.

“We are planning to do one by composing our own songs. Our aim is to gain more new listeners to jazz music,” he said.

But for now, the band needs to make themselves more visible and gain momentum in their pursuit of recognition in the music scene.

“Yes, once we have enough fans, they might want to have their own concert. We like to be optimistic, and dreams can always come true. The world is our oyster, and we want to explore further in our music and genre,” he said.

The Fingerprints singing away with Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman and others at the Busker Raya Borneo 744 competition.

Deck said his band remained ecstatic and very grateful for winning the Busker Raya Borneo 744 competition at Borneo 744 in Bintawa, here, recently.

“The acceptance of the judges of our music is very encouraging. To be playing and to compete with seasoned street musicians who are all great talents was even more fulfilling. The performers were good but lady luck was on our side.

“We feel grateful and feeling happy with what we have achieved, so far. The prize money we won was divided equally for all our personal use.

“Next, we are going to improve our music and singing and also doing more song covers in the future … and to attract people to jazz music,” he said. — DayakDaily