Pete Teo

About Pete Teo

Pete Teo is by far the most successful English singer songwriter in Malaysia.

In an age characterized by media conglomeration and manufactured celebrity, Teo’s rise to nationwide attention is a refreshing anomaly. Known as much for his erudite intellect as his eclectic artistry, his work is characterized by a quirky ability to bridge the divide between popular and critical appeal. His deep-rooted association with the independent arts movement also makes him one of the most intriguing personalities in Asia today.

Teo is a notorious workaholic. While in the studio recording his new album through 2005, he performed over 20 gigs and concerts, wrote, arranged and performed the title song to a major Malaysian movie, and acted in 3 independent films, all of which will premier in major international film festivals in the course of 2006.

Meanwhile, his work as writer / commentator on the state of Malaysian popular arts have not gone unnoticed. In early 2006, several of the biggest English dailies in the country offered him exclusive positions as columnist. However, paralyzed by the prospect of being read by potentially millions, he has to date failed to decide for whom he should write.

Pete Teo currently lives in Kuala Lumpur. He loves Tequila and supports West Ham United. He resolves to speak better Malay soon and wants to learn Japanese and Tai Chi. His new album 'Television' was released in August 2006.

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By Pete Teo, 2007-04-19

<p style="margin: 5pt 0in" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">&lsquo;Elastic Truths For These Plastic Days...&#39;</font></p><p style="margin: 5pt 0in" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">So says Pete Teo in his new album &lsquo;Television&rsquo;. 12 months in the making, this 11-track album is a significant departure from his debut &lsquo;Rustic Living for Urbanites&rsquo;. Gone is the soul-searching introspection that so lushly and effectively defined the earlier work, and in its place, a bitter-sweet critique of George Bush&#39;s America.</font></p><p style="margin: 5pt 0in" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">From the opening stanza of &lsquo;Lost In America&rsquo;, it is obvious that this is exceptional work. In lesser hands, a song that is premised upon the idea that America is &lsquo;lost&rsquo; would likely resort to recrimination before long. Yet Teo eschews such easy conclusions. Rather, he invokes sadness for the loss of the American ideal while simultaneously decrying the excesses of her imperial intentions. This is rare sophistication. Not least because it gives the song a righteous power that mindless ranting could never attain.</font></p><p style="margin: 5pt 0in" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Not that such deftness of touch would surprise fans of this intriguing singer songwriter. Known as much in his home country for his cerebral dynamism as his artistry, Teo&rsquo;s work has always been characterized more by cerebral depth than sloganeering machismo. It is such that &lsquo;Hide Your Gun&rsquo;, an anti-war lament, devastatingly juxtaposes domestic peace with the utter despair of war. It is also such that &lsquo;Carnival Hall&rsquo;, an ironic parody of our media obsessed existence, is driven along by a dancing bass line that is as infectious as it is technically impressive.</font></p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;">Indeed, it is here where &lsquo;Television&rsquo; stands furthest from the folk-infused sensibilities of its predecessor. From the imperious piano solo in &lsquo;Sunday Best Shoes&rsquo;, to the compound time dexterity of &lsquo;Blow&rsquo;, and finally the aching beauty of &lsquo;Who For You?&rsquo;, this album is punctuated by many moments of sheer musical virtuosity. While this is not surprising given the stellar cast of musicians assembled here, that such technical brilliance is never allowed to overshadow the emotional resonance of the songs is perhaps the most laudable feat of an admirable artist in great form.</span>

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