THE band Estranged, best known for song Itu Kamu, which won Best Song at the 22nd Anugerah Juara Lagu, may be a hit with Klang Valley fans, but the trio also has a strong following among residents of Sabah’s interior.
On June 23, the band, comprising lead singer and lyricist Rich Gimbang and guitarists Nor Hanafi Hadi and Solihuddin Hormat, will hold its first showcase in Kampung Sungai Tebang, Ranau, Sabah, and it is for a good cause.
“We are entertaining fans in the village as part of the Lightup Borneo initiative. It is a non-governmental organisation that helps rural folk in Sabah and Sarawak gain access to electricity,” Rich told the New Straits Times recently.
“It utilises micro- and pico-hydro generators, as well as PVC water pipes to supply water from rivers and streams to villages in the interior. Since 2010, Lightup Borneo has set up more than 20 units in Sabah and Sarawak,” Solihuddin said.
Hanafi said 100 households would benefit from the installation of LED lights and electricity cables in the village.
“It is our first corporate social responsibility project aimed at raising awareness about the need to assist interior folk with basic amenities. The concert aims to raise RM40,000 for the installation of lights and cables, which will be carried out between May and June.”
Rich said they would have their most extensive tour of Borneo in August, covering 20 towns in Sabah and 40 in Sarawak, as well as Labuan.
“Since we have toured most of Peninsular Malaysia over the last 17 years, it is high time we cover East Malaysia. After all, my family is from Keningau in Sabah.”
“Since many of our fans live in the interior of Borneo, in municipalities such as Kapit in Sarawak and Ranau in Sabah, we should not leave them out of our tours,” Solihuddin said.
“It will be a good experience for us. Solihuddin and I have visited Rich’s family in Keningau, and we fell in love with the town’s rustic charm and friendly people,” Ha-nafi said.
The band’s journey around Borneo will be on a pick-up truck that has a special platform for them to perform on. Each showcase will last 40 minutes.
“We will shoot a Facebook documentary on our adventure around Borneo. We have a friend, videographer Bryan Kouju, who will help us,” Rich said.
Solihuddin said the tour would promote their latest single Sebelum Dan Selepas, which is about how couples strengthen their love for each other.
“It is one of four singles that we will release this year. Our next will be released shortly after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.”
He said a full album would be released next year.
Tickets to the showcase in Ranau are priced at RM25.
For updates on Estranged, visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/estrangedband.