MOST people outside the independent music scene in Malaysia would probably not know who Alda Evan Tan is; but if you’re anyone that’s anyone within the community, you most definitely would.

Tan was, and still is, one of the most well-loved musicians on the scene, a veteran (even at his age) who played bass with several top acts – Cosmic Funk Express, Dragon Red and Joe Flizzow, to name a few – and had a hand in helping many up-and-coming bands and artistes.

The self-taught musician started his first band in secondary school when he was 16, together with future Dragon Red bandmate Adam Lobo. He joined the International College of Music (ICOM) later on, and quickly developed a reputation as a talented sessionist. He was arguably best-known for his work with the now-defunct Cosmic Funk Express, the highly-regarded funk-fusion outfit he co-founded with guitarist Zack Kim.

Alda Tan. Pic by Gareth Davies/

On March 29, Tan collapsed after suffering brain damage resulting from a hereditary kidney impairment. He was left in a coma after an emergency surgery.

The entire music fraternity rallied around him, organising gig after gig to raise funds for his treatment but unfortunately, he passed away early Monday morning, aged 29, having never regained consciousness.

Tan was laid to rest yesterday morning after a ceremony in St Ignatius Church, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

The ceremony was attended by over 300 people, including some of local indie music’s biggest names, like Rithan from Deja Voodoo Spells, JD Wong from Pop Shuvit, Wing Meng from Love Me Butch and his best friend Adam Lobo.

R.AGE would like to offer our condolences to all those who knew Tan.


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