As spring gets well under way, the weather is heating up in sunny Kuala Lumpur and so too is the concert scene. Among the bevy of international performers headed this way, three musical maestros stand out as must-see – singer-songwriters Christina Perri and Ed Sheeran as well as versatile violinist Lindsey Stirling.
X Marks the Spot
Despite Ed Sheeran’s jokingly self-deprecating claim that ‘I’m a singer that you never want to see shirtless’, that hasn’t stopped the English redhead from sweeping a multitude of the industry’s highest awards with mega hits like The A Team and Lego House.
Sheeran’s refreshingly unique blend of soulful vocals, organic folk introspection and irresistible hip-hop hooks are what set him apart – a fact reflected in the record-breaking reception to his albums + and x (pronounced ‘plus’ and ‘multiply’ respectively), which chart his life and loves to date.
His unique style has drawn the interest and admiration of industry superstars like fellow singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, who contacted him for a collaboration that resulted in him co-writing and providing vocals for her single Everything Has Changed. Sheeran is also credited with two tracks in One Direction’s second studio album, Over Again and Little Things, with the latter becoming the boy band’s second number one hit in the UK.
x in particular has achieved worldwide success, charting at number one in the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200. Early this year, it also won the Brit Award for British Album of the Year. The brand new album features tracks that dominated the airwaves in 2014, such as Sing, Don’t, and Thinking Out Loud. Sheeran is pushed further out of his comfort zone with the help of Pharrell Williams and Rick Rubin, with influences from Justin Timberlake’s debut solo album Justified – particularly for Sing and Runaway.
"I can’t wait to tour this new record," Sheeran says of his upcoming world tour. "It’s been a long time coming. Looking forward to touring in Asia for the first time!"
Head or Heart?
Catapulted to stardom by her debut single Jar of Hearts during its run on TV dance contest So You Think You Can Dance in 2010 and multi-platinum single A Thousand Years, featured on the soundtrack of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2, Christina Perri has come a long way from her days of working in a cafe.
The Los Angeles native’s honeyed vocals tend to revolve around love and heartbreak, with every track on her debut album lovestrong. dedicated to relationships – primarily a musical documentation of her struggle with the aftermath of a breakup.
Perri wrote the first song for her second album, head or heart, a mere two weeks after the final show for her lovestrong. tour on 9 October 2010. In the process of creating head or heart, she agreed to any collaboration proposed ("I wanted to play a game called ‘Yes’", she said) and, with the help of nearly 30 co-writers, emerged with nearly 50 possible songs.
Just under a third of those potentials made the final cut, including the first song she wrote called Trust. It poses the question that dominates the album – ‘how do you trust?’ – and the rest of the songs, according to the singer, are her possible answers.
“I’ve tried trusting my heart, I’ve tried trusting my head and I feel as though I’ve chosen wrong each time." Perri said. "I knew the album had to be called head or heart and half the songs would be heart songs and half would be head songs.”
|Lindsey Stirling||Christina Perri|
Once told by America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan that she was ‘not good enough’ to succeed as a dancing dubstep violinist, Lindsey Stirling turned to the Internet and the results speak for themselves – she now has over half a billion views on YouTube, Billboard chart-topping hits and has sold out tours worldwide.
Stirling fused her rigorous classical music upbringing with romantic Celtic folk music, compelling dance and infectious electronica to create a brazen new musical phenomenon that has swept the world. Despite not having the backing of a major music label, her self-titled debut album sold over 474,000 copies in the United States alone, being particularly well-received in Europe where it went platinum in Germany and gold in Poland and Switzerland.
"The same reasons I was told I wouldn’t succeed are the reasons people travel hundreds of miles to see me now," she laughs. "Because it’s different. Because it’s something you haven’t seen before."
Different isn’t always better, but Stirling’s fearless yet savvy innovation and unquestionable talent have cemented her status as the newest musical phenomenon to watch. Last year, she released her new album Shatter Me, which features 12 brand new songs and includes collaborations from Lzzy Hale of American hard rock band Halestorm and The Voice runner-up Dia Frampton of Meg & Dia.
There’s nothing a performer loves more than interaction with their fans, and Stirling is no exception. She is known for taking ‘requests’ on her Youtube channel and has recorded unique covers of everything from the Phantom of the Opera and Game of Thrones soundtracks down to The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon game themes.
If you’re a fan of this talented trio, don’t miss the chance to catch them live in KL! See below for further information.
Christina Perri ‘The Head or Heart Tour’
WHERE KL Live, Life Centre
WHEN 3 Mar (8.45pm)
TEL 03 7880 7999