Winson Voon – Sarawak’s titan in the entertainment industry
By Jude Toyat
You may remember Winson Voon as the host for ‘HoChak!’ and a multitude of hosting gigs with 8TV and Media Prima Radio, but you’ll soon be seeing the Sarawakian singer and composer of ‘Resurrection’ in his own online reality show and vlog in September.
“The contents are more about my life as a celebrity in Sarawak, and also to feature local homemade industries including food, places of interest and many more to let my audience have a clearer view and understanding of Sarawak in a more entertaining and fun way,” said Voon, whose online reality show or vlog will be debuting on YouTube and Facebook.
More recently, Voon released his second mini album called ‘Let’s Smile’. The album contains three songs dedicated to his family, wife and daughter, namely ‘I Promise, I’ll Be Home’, ‘Purple Field’ and ‘Let’s Smile’ to encourage people to smile more.
When asked his views on the local entertainment scene, Voon said that there were many amazing talents in Sarawak, but that most of them lacked the platform to showcase their talent.
“Therefore, it has always been my vision to make Sarawak a new frontier in the entertainment scene, especially for music enthusiasts around the world.
“One of the ways we can use to foster this interest and bring up talents is by organising workshops and events. I have plans to organise them in the future, as well as to give talks to our local talents with the help from other professionals in the field,” he said.
Voon said that there were many talented people scattered across Sarawak and it was essential to establish a good platform for them to gather together and build a new, highly talented community.
“I also plan to open a new music academy where I hope to gather these music enthusiasts together, allowing them to share their knowledge and polish their skills and self-esteem to showcase their potential,” he added.
How Voon’s career in entertainment took off
Voon started his journey in the showbiz industry in 2006 after his first public appearance for 8TV reality singing competition ‘Project Superstar’ that year.
Upon receiving tremendously positive responses from fellow supporters on his singing abilities, Voon became more determined to be involved in the entertainment world with an aim to showcase local talents and bring out the best of what Sarawak had to offer the world.
The cute 32-year-old is a former student of University of Technology Malaysia (UTM), Johor Bahru.
After a few months there, he quit, moving away from the architecture field to further his passion in music, which made him to later enrol in the International College of Music (Icom) in Kuala Lumpur for Bachelor of Music (Hons) Professional Music in 2007.
“After I completed my Form 6, my parents told me to further my studies in Unimas. Nevertheless, I was reluctant to do so and enrolled myself to study at UTM, not because I actually want to study there, but to be able to join a music club known as the ‘Losting’ in JB.
Several months passed and he decided to quit his studies in UTM for his love of music and go to Icom.
“I had always been interested in taking up a music course even when I was still in high school. I came from a musical family and most of my relatives love to sing and join singing competitions. I was hugely influenced by them back then,” said Voon when met here recently.
In 2007, Voon decided to take part in ‘Project Superstar’ emerging as the first runner-up for male category of the singing competition. The same year, he later released his first EP ‘Little Prince’ as well as recorded the theme song for the movie, ‘Hidden Summer in My Heart’.
Voon later sang Malaysian Version of the Olympic theme song – ‘Olimpik di Beijing’ in 2008.
Three years later, Voon joined Media Prima Radio and TV networks as a guest DJ and host for OneFM and 8TV. He hosted food programme ‘HoChak!’.
In 2011, Voon also became the host for ‘8TV On The Street’ and guest host for ‘World Vision’.
Voon, who is Beyond Artistes Sdn Bhd recording artist and TinyTune Music and Entertainment founder, released his first mini album ‘Resurrection’ in 2013, which is fully produced and composed by him. That year, he was also the host for 8TV live broadcast entertainment news programme ‘8 Enews’.
“I continued making music and released ‘Resurrection’ right after my graduation from Icom in 2012. It was an experimental album for me,” he said, adding that he also does hosting as well as singing in clubs and cafes.
“Several companies have also approached me to do jingles,” he said.
He was then nominated in the Best Variety and Entertainment Programme Host, and Most Popular Artistes for Golden Awards 2014.
Last year, he collaborated with singer and producer Wu Jia Hui to produce an album in conjunction with the Chinese New Year. He has also been nominated for Best Song Arrangement for ‘Resurrection’ at the Malaysia PWH Music Awards 2015.
He was also the host for 8TV traditional customs and cultural programme ‘Folks & Tales’, before he eventually decided to go back to Kuching and join MyFM as a radio announcer starting this July.
He hosts the ‘My FM Off Day Live’ every Saturday from 2pm to 5pm, as well as the ‘My FM Sing Till You Drop’ where he introduces the latest mash-up of songs by local artists in the segment through a mobile interface and interviews them on their music and lifestyle.
Nevertheless, his signature segment has got to be the ‘My FM Eat Full Full No Worries’ as he loves food and in this programme based on a weekly theme, he introduces the best foods, not only from Sarawak, but food which many people seldom come across.
Apart from the three programmes, Voon is also hosting the ‘My FM All the Student Know’ where he talks on topics that touch on life as a student.
“Being an announcer is more challenging than being a TV host. Nevertheless, I am always ready for new challenges.
“As a radio announcer, it all comes down to how you project your voice. I admit that this is not an easy task because you have to get used to the machines in the studio, as well as create interesting content which sometimes can see you end up in a mess,” said Voon, adding that he was grateful to have helpful colleagues who have taught him so much and were thrilled to have him as part of the MyFM Sarawak family.
As a radio announcer, Voon also said that he can now adjust his schedule better compared to when he was a television host, an important transition for him with his major concerns being family.
Apart from singing, deejaying and hosting, Voon is also keen on acting and has starred in several television dramas including NTV7 ‘Twin Lovers’ and 8TV’s ‘Justice Bao Junior’ and ‘A Cup of Love’. He’s also dabbled in musicals, acting in the ‘Jewel of Tibet’.
His pastimes include watching movies, listening to music, as well as spending time at the studio where he works every day.
“After getting married in 2014, most of my time is just spent at home or in the studio,” he said.
Sape’ master Jerry Kamit and radio announcer Royce MyFM are whom Voon always looks up to in the entertainment industry.
“I absolutely love Jerry’s music and admire his ability in creating wonderful music to inspire people around the world. As for Royce, he is very knowledgeable on lots of things, not just entertainment,” he said.
His advice to aspiring musicians is to never be afraid to show themselves to the world.
“It creates more opportunities for you to learn and explore new stuff, including music. You have to show yourself, but never boast. Social media is a very good platform to do so because through social media allows you to make yourself visible.
“The problem with us Sarawakians is we tend to keep things to ourselves and don’t want to show others our potential. If you are willing to show yourself, it will be easier for people to identify you and take you to a higher level,” he added.