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Manicam Da Meteorite
by Siva Choy
Siva Choy (1947 to 2018) was an Singaporean guitarist, composer, writer and comedian. Sivanandan Choy was born in 1947 in Singapore, then part of Malaysia but later a Republic. By the age of eight, he had begun to play the guitar (his first performance was at a primary school concert). While a student at Bartley Secondary School, he often took part in theatre and stage performances and went on to participate in the "All-Singapore Paul Anka" singing competition. In 1957, at 10 years old, he began singing together with his brother James as 'The Cyclones', but in 1964 they were invited to join 'The Checkmates' as twin lead vocalists (they held a residency at The Cellar, a restaurant-cum-nightclub). The line-up also went on to become the resident band for Golden Venus' "Sunday Beat and Blues" tea dance sessions. They were later renamed 'Unit 4+2+1', and released an EP on the 'Philips' label which included an original composition by Choy entitled "She". In addition to their regular gigs at tea dances, the band also performed during stage shows at the National Theatre, and toured Malaysia. They released an EP in 1965 as 'The Cyclones' (on 'Philips'), and it featured four more original compositions by Choy, including "The Dew" and "Oh No She Didn't Say" (the latter number topped the local music charts). When 'Unit 4+2+1'/'The Cyclones' disbanded in the late 1960s, he formed an 'R&B' band called 'The Xperiment', with former members of 'The Commancheros' but without his brother, who had left the music business completely (they released two singles and two LPs on the 'RCA' label). Becoming better known as 'Siva Choy', he graduated in 1969 with an honours degree from the University of Singapore, working for a year as a writer for the now-defunct music magazine Fanfare and following this with a short stint at The New Nation newspaper. He then spent five or six years busking in Europe, plus a year cycling overland from Holland to Singapore, returning in 1976. Upon his return, he entered the local literary scene with the "Kitchi Boy" stories, but remained more focused on music and comedy. In 1977, he and some friends recorded "Long Number Lah", an unscripted compilation of jokes, and although only a hundred copies of the album were produced, it did later become an underground hit through word-of-mouth, and was officially released in 1992. In the late 1980s, Choy started working with 'blues' band 'Crossroads', and they performed at the inaugural Singapore Blues Festival in 1996. He moved to live in Perth, Australia, in 1990, returning occasionally to Singapore to perform concerts - however, he was probably most famous for the 1991 comedy album "Why U So Like Dat?", despite his musical prowess. He wrote a column for The New Paper from 1999 to 2012, and in 2001 played the role of 'Sammy Best', a former footballer, in the movie "One Leg Kicking". Siva Choy died after suffering two strokes in Perth, Australia, on March 4th 2018, aged 70. He leaves his wife Ilsa Sharp but no children (however, his nephew, Rai Kannu, is part of a local music duo called 'Jack & Rai').
Posted: About 10 hours ago
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away every year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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