High time for hip hop

Hiphop idol Sai Sai Kham Leng will turn 36 tomorrow, and every year his birthday bash wouldn’t be complete without a concert, which has become something of a ritual over the past 10 years. As his fans look forward to the concert with eager anticipation, the artist recently took time out from his rehearsal to tell Myanmar Eleven what to expect. The aptly titled “April 10 Show” kicks off this evening at Hmaw Sin Kyin (inside Kandawgyi Park).

Tell us about your upcoming concert.

I have been holding my birthday [concerts] consecutively for over a decade now so I’m thinking about whether I should do it this year or not. If I were to hold it, I would want to change the format of the show and everything else. I have been singing the same 40 or 50 songs in my birthday concert. It’s difficult to change them except the order of the set list. I asked my friends and they said they have many songs [to perform].  If all of us are going to share the stage, it would become a concert that is concerned with everyone. The concert will be held on my birthday, but April 10 is concerned not only with my birthday but also everyone. So I titled the concert that way. 

Will there be any changes in presentation and theme?

The stage design will be just as grand as my previous shows. I’m thinking of doing a theme I haven’t done within the past 10 years. I’m thinking about performing half of the concert as it is my birthday after all. For example, if there are around 50 songs in the set list, I will sing half of that. Each artist will give their best performances. Bunny Phyoe and Ki Ki Kyaw Zaww will perform with their own band. Snare will perform with G Family DJs. I’ll perform with Dream Lover band from Mandalay to give my audience a whole new experience. I have performed with this band in Mandalay before, but I haven’t performed with them in Yangon yet. As I won’t be able to hold the concert in Mandalay, it’s good to try something new.

How will you select the songs?

I will choose the songs I want to sing as well as the ones the audience wants to hear. I will select the songs I haven’t performed for a long time. For example, I normally sing 10 songs at a normal concert. As I will be performing around 25 songs, I want to pick some of my oldies.

Does this show feel any different from your previous birthday concerts?

Every show is the same for me. This year, the title has been changed. The format has been changed. So you can say it’s like my previous concerts, but you can also say it’s a new concert. This has given me a new feeling. As it is my birthday, many fans will come to celebrate it. My fans know my birthday. There will also be fans of Bunny Phyoe and Snare. We have always been performing together so it will be fun to listen to different songs.

How do you feel about having tons of likes on your official Facebook fan page after you wrote about preparing for this concert?

They have been supportive for so many years. They always expect me to hold a concert on my birthday. I’m very happy for this. Sometimes, I can’t help thinking whether I should still do this or not and whether I can still do it or not. Thanks to the positive feedback from the fans over the years, they all want to see me in concert on my birthday and continue to support me. That’s why I’m able to continue doing this.

You won the Long-Lasting Award during the [Three Seasons] Music Awards. Are you perfectly satisfied with your career? 

I want to continue to push the envelope. Sayar Htoo Eain Thin once said that success is like smoke. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The smoke is not the main thing. The main thing is the fire. I believe the duration of my success is not very important. I have directed my focus towards creating more and reaching new heights. I’m getting very excited about this.

Will the show be broadcast?

So far I haven’t got any plans. It’s more likely to not broadcast it.

Where will you celebrate Thingyan [Water Festival]?

The Alpine mandat (pavilion) will be built in Yangon as usual. I have invited those who want to have fun to come to the mandat. The mandat is on Pyay Road.

Is April your favourite month given your birthday and Thingyan?

People are happy on their birthdays. The singers want to sing songs. They are happy as long as they are singing. So I’m happy because it’s not only my birthday but I get the chance to sing. I’m also happy that my fans come to support me. Among all the festivals in Myanmar and international festivals, I’m happier during Thingyan. So April is the most joyful month.