A Creative, Collaborative Performance Space
Hidden quite unassumingly in the commercial centre of Damansara Perdana, one can find a gig space behind its red doors. The capacity of the space holds about 100 people if seated, but the number doubles if it’s a standing event. Playspace is also a place that doesn’t muck about with disruptive interior design or architecture. It’s simply black on the inside and one can see the stage as they enter the premises.
As all three of the owners have invaluable experience in production, they take great care and pride to ensure an excellence in sound quality, so everyone involved – audience and performers alike – can wholly experience a fine show. One of the owners tells us that Playspace is primarily rented out for events, but whenever they can, the Playspace team tries to curate a show to include artistes who deserve more attention.
Among the varied shows the space has hosted are Soundscape Records’ 15th anniversary showcase, The Wknd Sessions Recording Fund Finale, and Perang Saudara with Kyoto Protocol and Oh Chentaku. But those gigs aren’t indicative of Playspace’s preferred ‘sound’, everyone from Melissa Indot to hardcore bands to swingers have found a place of showcase at this versatile space too.
Playspace Live is located at G3, The Place, No.1, Jalan PJU8/5G, Damansara Perdana, 47820 Petaling Jaya.
T: 011 2626 2744
E: [email protected]
Anthony Yap + Melina Wiliam + Cathy Chin
The A-Team of Event Production
We’re certain that readers of JUICE would know who Melina is – she’s the vocalist, bassist, and composer of rock band Tempered Mental. Joining her in operating Playspace is Anthony Yap, who has an astounding production experience in both live events and studio work, and Cathy Chin, who has an equally impressive resume in production for the performing arts sector. Here, we speak to the trio collectively about how they are using their expertise and experience to improve the state of the local gigging scene.
Why did you guys choose the commercial area of Damansara Perdana?
The area is starting to become a performance hub. DPAC, Laundry Bar, Bentley Music together with Five Arts Centre, Kakiseni, KuAsh, and Crack House Comedy Club in TTDI. It feels great to be a part of this growing hub.
How did this partnership form between the three of you? Melina and Anthony, we’re assuming your friendship was formed when you two were studying in University of Westminster…
We have all worked together in different projects and are happy to pool our strengths. Each of us has very different strengths and we find that we complement each other.
The main aspect about Playspace is the emphasis on sound—ensuring each performance is not hindered by the possible poor quality of the sound produced in the space. Why is there this focus?
We want audiences and performers alike to be able to focus on the show. We want performers to feel like they can give their best.
Cathy mentioned that you guys mainly rent out Playspace for gigs, but you guys are looking into holding or producing shows on your own. Why is this so?
We enjoy the collaborative and creative aspect of music. Being able to produce shows in our own space gives us the luxury to experiment with different approaches of executing the shows.
Do you guys have a certain theme or creative direction when you guys are finding talents for a show at Playspace?
At the moment, we’re looking for acts that are keen to add in some extra element to their performance.
What are some of the obstacles that you guys have faced with Playspace?
A majority of Malaysian acts are not used to the idea of organising their own shows yet, so most of our bookings come from organisers. We are hoping in the near future, there will be more performers who want to utilise Playspace in different creative ways.
What do you three personally think about the gig spaces here in Malaysia? And how does Playspace compare to these venues?
Playspace is modelled after the live houses I (Melina) played in overseas, especially Japan. It’s very exciting to see new performance spaces popping up around the country as well as existing establishments that continue to improve and expand. For us, it means the performance scene is growing, even though the economy is not so great right now. As long as we don’t give up, and musicians continue to create and perform, we can only get better as a community.
What are your plans for the future for Playspace?
We want to strive towards becoming the venue where bands, locals and overseas alike, will want to play at because they trust our sound and equipment.
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