URBANSCAPES kicks off tomorrow at Padang Astaka in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and has lined up a string of performances and activities for all music and art lovers.

Organised by Freeform, Urbanscapes 2012 will see artistes like Yuna, Tenderfist, Narmi, Charlie Lim, DJ Goldierocks and Froya performing tomorrow, while Sigur Ros, Sheila Majid, The Trees And The Wild, White Shoes And The Couples Company and Wayang Pak Dain rocking the stages on Sunday.

Tomorrow will also see winners of the R.AGE Open Mic competition showing off their talent. For those who have been away from the internet (seriously, what is up with you guys?), Open Mic is our very own YouTube talent search competition.

All the participants had to do was record a video of themselves performing a song, upload the video to YouTube and email us the link.

The public was then invited to vote for their favourite acts online.

After over 53,000 views and 5,000 “Likes” (and that’s just for the Top Ten finalists), we have our top three winners who snagged the opportunity to perform at Urbanscapes, and here’s what they had to say about their show tomorrow:

Urbanscapes hopefuls

For the affable trio of Jumero, performing at Urbanscapes is “a dream come true”. Brothers Michael, 18 and Jared Lim, 22 and their neighbour (not random at all) Ryan Gomes, 20, formed their band in 2009.

Formerly known as The Jared Lim Trio, Jumero is going to showcase their unique acoustic blend of folk, jazz and blues.

Jumero's Michael Lim, Jared Lim and Ryan Gomes is going to perform an original song at Urbanscapes.

Percussionist Gomes, shared his thoughts on the competition.

“For us, winning a slot at Urbanscapes is a privilege. We honestly thought we’d never be there because we the competition was really tough. The other contestants were really good.”

The boys consider themselves as Urbanscapes regulars, having attended the event in the past few years.

“When we were at Urbanscapes, we always thought that it would be nice if we could perform for the crowd one day. Fast forward to this day and wow, finally it’s actually happening,” said bassist Michael.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Jared hinted that the band is going to play an original composition.

“We thought since most people have seen us do covers, we’ll do something different and surprise everyone with our own songs. It’s going to be exciting and we hope everyone will enjoy it,” said Jared.

The band with the book

Avalanche is another trio that earned a spot at the Urbanscapes’ stage. Quite possibly the youngest set of performers tomorrow, Avalanche is made up of 16-year-old Malsa Shiyam, Nicole Ng and Kareshma Martin. The budding performers admitted they formed the band specially for R.AGE Open Mic.

“I read about the contest in the newspaper and got the girls together. We had a discussion about what songs we’d want to sing because we all have different taste in music,” said vocalist and percussionist Ng (whose instrument is a book).

Avalanche's Malsa Shiyam, Nicole Ng Kylie and Kareshma Martin, are eager to perform an original and a cover for their slot at Urbanscapes.

Guitarist Shiyam said the news of their win was “unbelievable” at first. Then vocalist Martin explained how they’ve been monitoring R.AGE’s YouTube page for updates.

“I admit, we’ve been looking at the site vigorously and refreshing almost every time for updates. It was our first time ever joining a singing competition, and to have made it all the way to Top 10, was hard to believe,” said Martin sheepishly.

She added that they are going to do what they do best, and entertain the crowd with their own creative take on popular songs.

“We’ve been practising hard every day and we can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve got. We hope the crowd will enjoy our music and have fun.”

Solo act

For Natallie Ng, 19, R.AGE Open Mic’s only solo winner – the reality that
she has won herself a spot at Urbanscapes has yet to sink in.

“I got a call from one of the Jumero boys and they said ‘Nat, we’re in!’, I congratulated them and then they said ‘No, Nat! You’re in as well.’ And that was when I found out.”

Natallie Ng said she'll be backed by her sister and a friend for her Urbanscape Open Mic slot.

Ng who sings and play the keyboard said that she was just glad to have the opportunity to share her song. Her R.AGE Open Mic final entry was a heartfelt song she wrote for her late father.

For her slot tomorrow, she won’t be alone.

“My sister, Tania will be playing the violin and her friend, Basil Cha will be playing the guitar. It was an impromtu decision and I thought it would be nice to have them share the stage with me.”

The Next Stage

The R.AGE Open Mic winners are scheduled to perform at 2.30pm on The Next Stage, Their slot will be hosted by Open Mic judge and soulful R&B crooner, Liang. To get a taste of what our winners have to offer, check out their videos on R.AGE YouTube page ( or you can listen to the audio tracks of their winning “live” performance at

Catch every act!

The festival begins at 2pm and will run until midnight. Tickets are priced at RM87 for the Saturday Pass, and RM237 for the Weekend Pass and are still available for purchase.

Children under age 12 can enter for free. You can get the tickets at KL Live, Life Centre in Kuala Lumpur, or at selected Rock Corner, Victoria Music and The Bee outlets within the Klang Valley. Tickets can also be bought online at

For those of you who will be taking public transportation to the venue, check out the schedule for the free shuttle buses on or go to the festival’s Facebook page (

You can also follow us on Twitter (@thestar_rage and @MyStarTwo) for updates and live tweets on the festival weekend.

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