In the #3Questions series, we get to know the selected artists, performers and people that comprise the #YSDAF2018 lineup.

Cyanus is the grand prize winner of #YSDAF2018’s Satellite Show, Battle of the Bands. Beating seven other bands at the finals to win RM 2,000 and a slot to perform at the YSDAF Finale this 18 & 19 August, Cyanus took the crowd by storm with their eclectic and electrifying fusion sound.

Hailing from UCSI University and forming the band just two weeks before the competition, we discover Cyanus’s journey and secret sauce in delivering Battle of the Band’s winning performance.

The band:
Cornie Kok / Vocals
Elroy / Drums
Lee On / Electric Guitar
Anthony Ting / Electric Bass
Justin Lee / Keyboard
Kenny Wong / Saxophone

Question 1

What's the process of putting the band and music together for the competition?


We [the band] took a lot of courses in UCSI together, like choir, modern dance, music theory and history. We even had a few collaborations before the competition, like them playing for my music jury.

Cyanus is actually the name of a tea blend [laughs]. It is short for Centaurea Cyanus, and is actually a name of the cornflower related to my name, Cornie.

So, we only had less than 2 weeks to prepare for Battle of the Bands. And this competition requires an original [song]. We didn’t have much time to practice but I can see that everyone was willing to contribute their effort to the competition, making up for lost time. We literally wrote the music, practiced and recorded our video in one week’s time!

Cyanus: Place of Place

Place of Place is Cyanus’ original song, created especially for #YSDAF2018’s Battle of the Bands (BOTB). Cyanus only took one week to write, compose, and record the song for their submission entry to the contest! This was what got them into the finals, and eventually emerging as the grand-prize winner of BOTB.

Lee On:

Our songs have a story. We use different variations that make our songs unexpected.


Yeah, and each of us has a role in the band. Like Justin, he’s the chord generator for the band. For me, I’m the idea generator. And Leon, he’s the riffs generator.

This is our first time joining a band competition. So, we didn’t expect that we could win. [Laughs] That really surprised me!

Question 2

Do you have any musical idols you look up to? Why?


To me, I don’t actually have specific musical idols that I look up to, because I listen to quite a lot of music. I listen to a lot of traditional music like the Sape’, and refer to a lot of musical instruments. One of the artiste I look up to is Julie Fowlis, a gaelic musician. Before that, I also listen to jazz music, with Ella Fitzgerald being one of my main influences. For the progressive part, I listen to Steven Wilson.

Lee On:

I listen to a lot of progressive metal actually. Initially when I picked up guitar, I played a lot of metal stuff. Before studying music, it was a lot of electronic music like Depeche Mode.


I have three. The first one is Oscar Peterson. If you talk about jazz piano, it’s him all the way. The second one is Brian Culbertson, who’s a legend in funk piano. The third one is called Robert Glasper, who’s a modern hip-hop and indie jazz musician. He provides a lot of weird but very nice harmonies, and he’s very laid-back.


I’m a bassist, so I admire bassists from Peter Lucas to Marcus Miller.

Question 3

If you can describe Cyanus’ music in just 3 words, what would it be?


Connect people (at) heart.


Exciting. Unexpected… Enthusiastic! [Laughs]


Harmony touches soul!


Join Cyanus at our festival finale on 18 & 19 August — between 1:00PM to 1:30PM on 18 August, 2:00PM to 2:30PM on 19 August — at Pentas 2 of klpac. They will be performing in the genre of progressive music, showcasing a diverse range of debuts and cover songs.

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