S’porean drummer Brandon Khoo will perform for global audience on online platform Drumeo

Khoo will be the first Singaporean and the first Asian drummer on the online platform.

By Sulaiman Daud | October 13, 2017

He’s one of Singapore’s most accomplished drummers, and now Brandon Khoo is getting ready to show off his talents to a global audience.

If you listen to local live music or have chilled at Wala Wala Cafe Bar in Holland Village before, Khoo is the super-talented drummer in Shirlyn & the UnXpected:

Photo via Shirlyn & the UnXpected’s Facebook page

Khoo, who’s performed in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong, will travel to Vancouver, Canada next week to perform and record a live demonstration for Drumeo, the world’s biggest online drumming platform.

Online school for skins

Drumeo was launched in 2012 by Jared Falk and Rick Kettner, two musicians who wanted to create an website for people who wanted to learn how to play the drums.

By collaborating with legendary drummers like Todd Sucherman of Styx and Danny Seraphine of Chicago, subscribers get access to their video lessons, as well as additional tips and tricks that only comes with years of living like a rock star.

Khoo will join their ranks as the very first Singaporean (and the first Asian) drumming instructor for the platform. On Oct. 16 at 1:00am (Singapore time), he will give a live lesson at this link. Viewers can also ask questions for Khoo to answer.

Singapore Rock Star

But Khoo is no stranger to big names in the music industry, having shared the stage with artists like Emil Chau, Richie Chen and Jacee Lai. Speaking to Mothership, he elaborated on his ambitions for this new tie-up:

“I’ve developed my concepts for the past 20 years. I hope to bring my own brand of ideas and concepts to the international drumming community.”

Aside from teaching at the Singapore Drum Academy, Shirlyn & the UnXPected perform twice a week:

Apart from that, Khoo says he got back together with some old friends of his to re-form a progressive metal band called COEN, which released its own album 20 years ago. Now they’re back and recording a new one based on their experiences from being apart.

Having conquered the local music scene, Khoo now has the opportunity to demonstrate what he can do to drumming enthusiasts from around the world.

But he’s also aware of the racial barriers he’s breaking, having been given such a platform. Said Khoo:

“I feel a sense of pride about being the first Asian drummer to work with (Drumeo). People are getting more colour-blind and focusing more on the music, but I want to represent the Asian community and shed more light about Singapore.”

Other than the live show, Khoo will also be filming a series of “concept” videos where he focuses on a particular set for aspiring drummers to learn from.

Photo by Steven Chew.

A musical background

Perhaps a performing career was always his destiny. Khoo is the son of the late Victor Khoo, the Singaporean entertainer and ventriloquist. His father set several milestones himself, becoming the first Singaporean to perform in Las Vegas.

Khoo tells us he recalls growing up in a “musical household”:

“My house was always filled with music, the Carpenters, Barbara Streisand, Nat King Cole. My mother was a musician too.”

Khoo’s mother was Lam May Yee, a famous Hong Kong singer.

While they both died from cancer several years ago, Khoo appreciates the example his parents set, both in raising him and as performers, that gave him the tools to work through the often brutal nature of the entertainment business.

“I hope to do my parents proud.”

Top photo by Steven Chew and courtesy of Brandon Khoo

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve. In his spare time he writes about film, pop-culture and international politics, which you are very welcome to read here.

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