This musical duo got their big break after doing a cover of P. Ramlee’s classic ballad ‘Getaran Jiwa’ which went viral and was subsequently featured as the song for a Nescafe advertisement in conjunction with World Coffee Day. The video garnered more than 5 million views on YouTube, catapulting this duo into the public eye. We spoke to singer Eve Wong and guitarist/composer Billy Ho of EB Duet on their rise to success and their new album ‘The Beginning’.
How did you guys meet and decided to start a duo?
Eve: We met because we were both performing in functions. When we do functions, we don’t usually get to choose (the songs) that we 100% love to perform. We have to compromise between our songs and what the client prefers. After performing for quite some time, we found out that we share similar interests and vision in music.
Why become a jazz duo? Is that the only genre you like to sing?
Eve: We are both Chinese educated and our upbringing was exposed to Chinese music. Jazz was not in our roots but we are so moved by jazz music. Our album titled ‘The Beginning’ represents the beginning of our music together. Jazz is our beginning but we do sing other genres like evergreen, pop and classic oldies.
Do you do a lot of performances in Malaysia or have you travelled elsewhere for shows?
Eve: We perform anywhere we get invited. The furthest we went was to China but mostly performances in Malaysia.
Would you guys be open to performing more shows overseas?
Eve: Of course. We love to travel around while working. We are both explorative people.
What kind of music influences you?
Billy: I play many types of music. I’ve played heavy metal like Metallica and British rock when I was young. But after some time, my taste started to change. Eve: Generally jazz but I still listen to pop and different kinds of music. As a performer, I don’t think we should limit ourselves to just one song or genre.
Can you tell me about your first overseas travel experience?
Eve: My first time was when I was 16. I went with my mum to Korea. That time Korea was not as popular as it is now but it was still a great experience.
Billy: I went to Hong Kong with my friends. I remember when we went to the hotel; the credit card machine was down so we had to pay them in cash. After that, all of us were short on money. It was a small problem we faced but overall it was a good experience.
Any travel trips that stood out?
Eve: My solo trip to Bali 2 years ago. Two months later, I got addicted and did another solo trip to Boracay.
You guys travel a lot for work. Is it easy travelling together?
Eve: The way we travel is quite similar. First, we both do not like to go to the touristy places. We’ll just find a place to relax which is not a tourist spot and like to observe the people.
Billy: We like to experience their culture.
What are your goals in music?
Eve: One of our goals is to perform in major music concerts or renowned theatres and music halls with an audience of people that truly love music. We want to share what we love, which is music to people that appreciate it as much as we do.
How did the cover of ‘Getaran Jiwa’ came about?
Eve: We were doing a cover of a song by Michael Jackson called Black or White. We set up everything and did it in 2 takes. We didn’t want to waste the lighting and the audio set up, so we just sang another few songs for fun. Then we randomly sang Getaran Jiwa which we have never practised before.
Billy: I played the first couple of chords and we liked the style and went with it. We did that video in one take and just uploaded it for fun.