A NEW PORTAL IS OFFERING THE URBAN HIPSTERS AND CREATIVES OF THE MALAYSIAN CITIES AN EASY WAY TO KEEP IN TOUCH, ENSURING THE PUBLIC ARE AWARE OF THE PULSING VIBE VIBRATING THROUGH THE COUNTRY.
Malaysia is home to some of the most vibrant cities in the world – yet very few urban dwellers are aware of the coolest new cafes or the latest underground act to make it to our shores. More often than not, being in the right circles is a pre-requisite to knowing about that new, quaint café or that awesome art and music mash-up gig happening this weekend, and if you’re not in the know, you miss out.
But times are changing. For lovers of the urban cool, there is – at last – a way to stay connected. More synonymous with style and excellence in automobiles than events, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia have shown they are savvy with the urban vibes by launching Alive: Malaysia; an exciting, urban culture project targeting the young and hip Malaysian and providing a portal to encourage communication and creativity.
MAKING THE COUNTRY LISTEN
The mission of Alive: Malaysia is a simple one; to bring to the surface the rich urban culture that exists within Malaysian cities, and to give local talent an opportunity to showcase their work and collaborate with like-minded individuals. The portal is open to all Malaysians, and users just need to connect via Facebook to be able to start posting up content and connecting with other people on the same wavelength.
The year-long venture was launched to the public with an eight minute documentary highlighting a vastly different take on Kuala Lumpur and its environs – from pop up stores to cool cafés, late night bicycle rides to a group of well-dressed Vespa enthusiasts. It showcased a very different side from that of stereotypical Malaysia and, not surprisingly, the documentary clocked up more than 50,000 views within the first few days of being broadcast on YouTube.
“Malaysia has cities that have all the makings of vibrant metropolitans,” said Kai Schlickum, VP Sales and Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia. “We wanted to capture this emerging creative culture and find a way to promote these incredibly talented young people.”
Kuala Lumpur is the hub for many of the projects in the Alive: Malaysia portal (www.alive-my.com), and the site hosts portfolios, guidance for “cool hunters”, as well as showcasing the latest creations of its talented users and offering collaboration opportunities for those feeling inspired.
Talented musicians, photographers, entrepreneurs, artists and the like eager to be discovered and to express their love for their art with others no longer have to wait for it to happen. Rather, they are able to go forth and share their talents and passion for different things with the nation via the Alive: Malaysia website.
The bulk of entries are divided into four categories – Art & Design; Style; Food & Drinks; and Music & Entertainment – each of which hold a special place in Malaysia’s identity as a site for urban cool.
Art & Design draws attention to quirky bookstore owners, funky furniture setups, street shots from Kota Kinabalu featuring the juxtaposition of old buildings rife with modern satellite dishes, and even a sneak peek at the upcoming KL Centre of Contemporary Art.
Similarly, the Style section has the scoop on hot new outlets including a boutique stocking plus-size clothing, a harpist-cum-interior designer introducing Malaysian men to urban dress styles, and a young designer showcasing his bridal collection at an international fashion show.
The Food & Drinks section is a firm favourite with culinary-obsessed Malaysians, with entries coming in from all ends of the country and detailing delectable goodness from French restaurants, Malaysian-fusion eateries, Central Asian and Russian cuisine, and even homemade delights.
The most popular section is the Music & Entertainment one, with over 20 entries (at time of print) being featured on the website. From aspiring singer/ songwriters showcasing their respective talents to skateboarders taking on challenges in a skate park – there are even Harry Potter wannabes playing magicians through the streets of KL – this category does not fail to entertain.
STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE
The “Events Calendar” section of the website is informative and allows site visitors to get details on upcoming parties, exhibitions, clothing sales, theatre performances, and album launches. Alive: Malaysia recognises that interesting people are the heart of every cool city, so site visitors are able to view profiles of contributors on the website itself.
All you need is a Facebook profile and then you are free to log in via the Alive: Malaysia app and start posting updates. You can also create a profile via the website itself; use the #AliveMY hashtag in Twitter updates or take Instagram photos and email them directly via the feedback form provided on the website. It is easy to subscribe to the e-newsletter and keep yourself ahead of the pack in terms of what’s hot and happening in the cities of Malaysia.
The aspiration of Alive: Malaysia is to make sure the local public are aware that Malaysian cities are on par with some of the liveliest cities in the world. The portal seeks to share whatever is fresh in art, entertainment, food, and style and, despite having been launched only recently, Alive: Malaysia has gained a veritable following and has garnered much support, especially among the youth in cities across the country. It is clear that all it takes is some homegrown talent and lots of support to create a thriving, cool, urban community and, thanks to Mercedes-Benz, the artists of Malaysia now have a place to gather.
Visit the portal at www.alive-my.com.
Source: Senses of Malaysia Sept-Oct 2012
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