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By Wendy John
SIBU, 8 Dec: Famed veteran Iban rock group Masterpiece did not disappoint in their first solo concert, entertaining a sold out crowd with two hours of solid rock music and classic power ballads on Saturday.
All 1,500 tickets were sold out two days before the concert called “Concert Merindang Ke Bintang 1 Dekad Masterpiece”, as the band performed 24 songs from their various albums.
It was definitely a night to remember for the fans, as the seven-piece group wowed the audience with classics and hits such as “Sinu”, “Kumang Seari” and “Ngarap Ka Nuan Nikal Pulai”.
“I am very happy to the organiser and the sponsors in making this first solo concert of ours a success,” said band leader and vocalist, Depha Masterpiece, who could not contain his excitement after knowing that all 1,500 tickets were snapped up by fans just days before the concert.
Masterpiece never had their own solo concert since their formation in 2003, he told reporters at the event.
“All these while, we had been staging numerous performances but only as invited artist. We did not expect that this concert was a sold out,” he said in jest.
On Dec 31, 2011, at the State Stadium in Kuching, they opened for legendary Malaysian rock band Search.
Lanang MP Alice Lau, who officiated at the concert, was equally stunned by the encouraging response to the concert.
“I am not an active follower of Dayak music but I am happy to see the big crowd tonight,” she said.
Lau opined that Masterpiece could be the trend setter of the Dayak music industry that would pull the crowd to the concert.
“I hope this concert would not be the first and the last but a beginning for the Dayak music industry to prosper,” she said.
Masterpiece, which was formed in 2003 and formerly known as Masterjam, is best known for hit singles such as “Sinu”, “Kumang Seari” and “Ngarap Ka Nuan Nikal Pulai”.
The band comprises vocalist Depha Masterpiece, lead guitarist Willy Edwin, guitarist Kennedy Edwin, bassist Watt Marcus, drummer Harold Vincent, keyboardist Valentine Jimmy and Roslee Qadir.
The group was renamed Masterpiece in 2005 after Depha was hired as the Band’s new vocalist. Drummer Roni and keyboardist Dellender Wilson and Timothy are former members of the band.
Since its inception, Masterpiece has released five studio albums and three songs for Gawai various artist album compilations.
The band achieved commercial success in Sarawak with the release of their first album, Merindang Ke Bintang, in 2009. The album has won numerous awards including the best produced debut album of 2009–2010 during the 2010 Dayak Music Awards.
Its full-length follow-ups, the second albums Rock & Roll (2013), were also widely successful; which respectively debuted at number one on the local radio station for months.
Masterpiece’s third album, Ngap Sayot (2014), was a commercial success, although not to the degree of their previous two albums. The band’s mainstream success continued with Ngarap Ka Nuan Nikal Pulai (2016), which was critically praised, becoming their most nominated release to date.
In December 2016, the lead single from the album, “Ngarap Ka Nuan Nikal Pulai” became the first Iban song to reach one million views on YouTube.
The band fifth album, Ensera Paragon was released in August 2018 through their first major label, Warner Music Malaysia.
During the course of their career, Masterpiece has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and important Iban rock bands in Sarawak and has been recognised by several Sarawak Music Awards ceremonies.
To date, the band has received 14 awards from several nominations. Notable awards they have won include the Most Popular Group, voted by fans via SMS at the 2010 Dayak Music Awards and Best Rock Artist at the 2014 Dayak Music Awards. — DayakDaily