I have known Mr Idrus for close to two months now but have never seen him perform. After Sultangate Music Festival however, the members of Veda 9 now occupy a special place in my heart and opened my mind as to what lies at the heart of sincere and genuine music.

As a fusion band, Veda 9’s music is an eclectic mix of different genres. They play songs ranging from ‘Mirror on the Wall’ – a moving piece based on the real-life experience of one of their former band members – and the ever catchy ‘Sweet Melodies’. Watching them, one experiences the beautiful symphony of different instruments blending in smoothly with one another. Notes produced from varied musical instruments interweave with each other to form stunning music, and as I challenged myself to pick out the different instruments, I find that I will inevitably fail. From the smooth tunes of the saxophone to the grounding rhythm of the double bass, each instrument and member has his own place and coalesces into a beautiful whole.

Veda 9’s music is perhaps symbolic of the wider culture, atmosphere and soul of the area of Sultan Gate.

Music permeates the fabric of reality and existence within this special enclave, and emerges from an eclectic mix of music and musicians. From budding singer-songwriters busking along the lanes, to seasoned musicians whose strong vocals have haunted the streets for years, they are part of the diversity and individuality that makes Sultan Gate so unique and so very special.

Music is the lifeblood and beating heart of Sultan Gate and the Sultan Gate music festival is a symbol of that enduring message that one often hears (but after all, there is truth to be garnered from clichés): that music unites all. It strengthens the community and draws people from all walks of life together. And I sincerely hope that music such as Veda 9’s – so full of heart, soul, and harmonious beauty – will continue to resound through the streets of Sultan Gate for more years to come.

Written by : Stephanie Heng