PETALING JAYA, March 15 — They’ve raised the roofs at clubs across KL and beyond for over half a decade; a steady ascent to the forefront of the local music scene marked by a number of festival appearances here and overseas.
Now, Ethan Curzon and Yeoh Wai Hong, both 28, have made their ambition clear: 2018 will be the year of Bate.
The pair, who got together in Kuala Lumpur in 2011, got proceedings underway with the launch of debut single One I Love last Friday.
After years spinning mixes and bootlegs, Bate said the song’s inclusion in their sets from here on out takes them one step closer to becoming the real deal.
“It amplifies us (as Bate) and makes us want to do more. After we released the track we immediately said ‘Okay, how are we going to use this to improve our sets?’” said Curzon.
“It’s a huge deal. When you see people moving to your own song, it’s just wow. It gives you confidence,” he added.
“As we grow up, we keep changing. Now we’re heading for more pop-EDM,” said Yeoh.
“It’s a lot better when you’re able to do your own mash-ups with your own tracks.”
One I Love was co-produced by Bate and Lion Music Group’s Bryan B featuring Los Angeles singer-songwriter Blake Rose and rapper Radio 3000.
The tune is a nod to the pair’s direction — a pop-EDM banger with tropical vibes that would fall in the trap bass genre.
To build anticipation for its release, Curzon and Yeoh curated a Spotify playlist titled “Bate Sauce” with a list of current influences.
Curzon and Wai Hong are hardly new to the game.
Their explosive sets have made their presence felt in the nightlife scene here for years, be it earlier days playing small clubs in downtown KL or supporting Malaysia’s Goldfish and Blink, considered the country’s most successful EDM artists.
They’ve been mainstays at Zouk KL since 2013, the same year they began landing festival slots. Future Music Festival Asia and Thirst remain their largest crowds to date.
The duo ended 2017 with their biggest show in terms of magnitude when they closed the second stage at ZoukOut, Singapore last December.
The memories created down there were some of the fondest.
“There was this huge firework display. I couldn’t take my eyes off it,” said Curzon.
“I felt like crying,” added his partner.
Bate explained when the touring talents fly in they’ll usually go out for dinner. If the show is at Zouk, they’ll get up closer and join the artiste in the DJ booth.
The parties will often stay in touch — dining and hanging out is on a friendship basis rather than out of business interests.
Still, not ones to waste an opportunity, Curzon and Yeoh plan to send out One I Love to acquaintances in the industry in the hope of the song being plugged somewhere around the world.
“Working with Zouk we get a lot of opportunities to meet these guys,” said Yeoh.
“We plan to send out our track to our DJ friends. Hopefully we’ll get to international level from there.”
They’re aiming high. Bate want to Malaysia top 10 status with the single while the possibility of it reaching Billboard charts has not been ruled out.
Established and maturing as one of the hottest acts on the circuit, they recognise the role of responsibility in their own territory, hoping to lead by example for the nation’s aspiring DJs they once were not too long ago.
“I get messaged so often now by young DJs saying I just wanna be like you guys,” said Yeoh.
“It’s just like we used to be and we were fortunate the senior guys really helped us out. We want to do the same for the younger generation.”
Details of the upcoming singles are under wraps for now. There’ll be an album one day but for now it’s just one-off tracks, seemingly the trend.
Is 2018 the year Bate will become the most talked about on the circuit?
“For sure, man — this is only Q1,” riffed Yeoh.
“I won’t say it, I don’t want to jinx it. But we’re definitely going to push further from here,” Curzon added.