Shal Sagan

Shal Sagan is an independent music artist homegrown in Kuching, Sarawak.

I wrote about meeting her and her mate Brandon Juan at the Rainforest World Music Festival some time ago when JoyceTheFairy was in town. Prior to this I have heard of her though I never had the chance to listen to her music. Coincidentally, I bumped into them again at Bing the Coffee House last week. Brandon invited me to come to her gig on Sunday, so I figured why not.

For a 22-year-old, this fair-skinned beauty sure has accomplished a lot for herself. Shal Sagan has got some serious talent and I mean that in every sense of the word.
Get this – Shal doesn’t just sing. She wrote all her songs, composed all her songs, plays lead guitar, co-produced them, and on top of all that, started her own record label Shzogawa Records to distribute her music. And she did all these when she was just 21 years old.
When I was 21, I was still sitting in front of my computer play The Sims.

The gig was held at Somerset Gateway as part of a charity carnival. The bands performing that day were great but too bad the event was poorly organised. For some silly reason the organisers put the stage right in front of entrance to the condomnium, which means every now and then you get residents walking behind the performers to get to their suite, as you’ll see in the video clips later. Its very annoying.

It’s then Shal Sagan’s turn to go up there and do her thing as I readied my digital cameras and did my thing.
Halfway through her performance, I encountered a Freaky Fan Incident. Yes, I encountered it, not her.

A middle-aged man in his 40s or so (shown in this picture here) emerged from inside the building, walked past the stage and handed me a small folded note.

I looked at him quizzically and he smiled at me before walking away.
Now I don’t know if he’s the one reading my blog, or if he’s just playing messenger and passed me the note from someone else. But, guys! If you do happen to bump into me, there are less freaky ways to let me know you’re reader you know? Like, for example, “Hi Kenny, I read your blog. Nice to meet you!”

That guitarist bears an uncanny resemblance to Linus Chung from the movie Sepet.

Anyway, back to Shal Sagan.
Shal and band performed 4 songs from her debut album. They opened with Death’s Fatal Kiss and finished with a Green Day/Good Charlotte-inspired Newsflash, both of them uptempo rock tracks. In between, she sang a slow alternative track Message in a Bottle (think Smashing Pumpkins) and ballad track Just Fine, my favourite song from her album.

“These chicks don’t even know the name of my band… But they’re all on me like they wanna hold hands…”

Shal Sagan sounds a lot better live than my camera can apperciate, but here are the videos anyway (in MOV format, Quicktime Player required).
Death’s Fatal Kiss video
Just Fine video
Message in a Bottle video
Newsflash video
Samples of her songs can be downloaded from CD Baby. Pay attention and reflect on the lyrics as they are often the best parts to her songs.

Shal Sagan, Kuching’s Rock Princess and Kenny Sia, Kuching’s Rock.

Shal Sagan was nice enough to give me a copy of her CD. To show her my appreciation, I created for her a music video of her song ‘Just Fine’. Try to spot my Freaky Fan in there.
Download music video of Just Fine, crappily produced by
Low Res (17MB, WMV)
Hi Res (33MB, WMV)
Hi Res (alternate link) (33MB, WMV)
If you like what you hear, you can purchase her album from Tower Records if you’re in Malaysia, buy online through CD Baby, or just e-mail Shzogawa Records directly at
Support our local indie music industry. 🙂

67 Replies to “Shal Sagan”

  1. wah. timing so good, ah. i’m the first to tag? woohoo!
    okay. putting that aside, that shal girl looks really hot. and her guitar is suspiciously FAMILIAR.

  2. Isn’t that KNNCCB a S’porean thing? Don’t be a sissy. Spit it out! Ka Ni Na Chau Chee Bye! ROFLMAO!

  3. Hey Dude, nice to know Kuchingites are accepting local talent. During my day’s you’ll get booed for singing your own songs.

  4. 她需要找个行像设计师教她如何把内衣穿好.

  5. Kenny! please tell me,where to get her CD? she is like the Avril Lavigne (the singer i like very much) so small to write her own song! can’t wait to get her CD and listen!

  6. “Just Fine” also happens to be my favorite song of the whole album. I immediately sense the British slang in her songs ~ I’m proud of Shal ~

  7. Nice write up you have there. I have to say her song a quite good. You can proudly tell her that 1 more of her CDs will be sold(Don’t worry, will get the original CD, no pirated ones). Nice work..bro

  8. Support the local music industry..
    buy the original
    F la…
    kidding.. hehe
    would buy her CD soon when i find it in the stores..
    would do my part for the local industry 😉

  9. Quote -“And she did all these when she was just 21 years old.”
    If got money everything can be done. Everybody can do it.

  10. thank god for tellin us abt shal todae… its a good relief after tt disgusting entry abt some fugly china girl. Shal is lyk so much prettier and capable than that low-class slutty china girl who disgrace all chinese…
    u shldn’t haf wrote abt tt china girl… juz to think of tt fugly b**** gives me creeps.

  11. Shal Sagan looks a lot more prettier “live” than her album cover. I’d love to support the local music scene, especially budding artistes but I listened to all her sample songs online and found out that she can’t cut it. I’m being very objective here, trust me. There’s a few songs in which she went out of tune several times… in a CD! You’re supposed to get it right in the CD at least. I suggest that she ditch her studio and continue practicing somemore. I hope she makes it big one day, I really do. But until she improves, I don’t think I’m going to buy her CDs.

  12. rights. i’ll get the cd if it comes out in kuching. the little hole i live in. never knew cool people were inside this hole with me. hehe.

  13. Malaysian Chick with an Ibanez Guitar? oO – Sweet~
    To HP: “她需要找个行像设计师教她如何把内衣穿好.”
    Well, I don’t suppose indie rockers are much of a ‘wear my bra properly’, actually, most do not wear them (well, rockers from Portsmouth, UK don’t seem to fuss over dress sense, it’s the music and lyrics that counts)

  14. so small to write her own song!
    It wasn’t like that back in the 80s, when I was in a band. You had to be a certain size to write songs (and I’m not talking about…well, you know). I remember there used to be a sign outside the studio: “Must be this tall to write your own songs.”
    I’m sure glad those days are over, and small people can now enrich our lives with music. 😀

  15. She has talents but needs serious professional vocal training. Her vocal and style is not rock. She was out of tune, lack of powerful voice when it needs to. Hopefully she reads this. One day, she makes it.

  16. It is just great for what Kenny is doing here in promoting local talents or anything local at all.
    Shal Sagan:You are absolutely beautiful and have a wonderful vocal, and definitely will check out your debut CD. Continue with incredible success!!!

  17. Shagalot, I think its RM29… or RM39. I’m not sure?
    Joyce, she looks fantastic doesn’t she? 😉
    e, maybe because you were bad. WAHAHAHAHA!! Kidding, kidding.
    HP, why don’t you help?
    davdevil01, you’re not the first to say she looks like Avril Lavigne! I thought so too when I first saw her. Their genre are totally different though.
    chris, I don’t think pirated ones are even available!
    Brandon, heh. Its the least I could do.
    NoShitSaint, I LOLed reading your comment. Heh.
    sheepbah, Kenyah.
    Archimonde, without determination and talent nothing can be done.
    Su Ku Kia, you know what he meant! 🙂
    musiccritic, she is a bit rough around the edges. She IS good, but she do require a bit of polishing to compete with the music artists we listen to on the radio these days.

  18. Hello Kenny, I have dedicated a post to your coconuts.
    Your coconut fixation fascinates me. Why did you choose coconuts and not pomelos? Why coconuts and not honeymelons? Honeymelons are sweeter after all 😉

  19. Mr. Kia: there’s a new sign nowadays, it says “You must be thiiis long, or thiiss alpahabet size, to write your own songs!”
    BTW, Avril Lavigne did NOT write her songs. It was written by a pop music churn-factory duo called “Matrix”. The whole thing about snagging the boy who was “rockin’ on MTV”? Sorry to burst your bubble. It didn’t happen. Google it.
    Hey, the lead singer looks like Shelly Leong’s sister. Shelly rocks it with an acoustic guiter and piano, and write her own songs too.

  20. Hey Dude, I won the very first Song composition competition organized by Sarawak Music Society back in that ! well, back then I was also a classical music nerd.

  21. “她需要找个行像设计师教她如何把内衣穿好.” – e
    what’s the problem with flaunting nice undies?
    She’s cool! “Just Fine” is actually more than just fine!!
    KNNBCCB (or KN²BC²B)…is it a S’porean thing? it’s just a hokkien thing, right?

  22. oh my fave song on her album is no. 8.
    Dunno why!
    Her album launch performance was amazing tho, i got damn emo hearing her sing some of the songs.
    Had to maintain tearing while holding the camera

  23. Goddamn!! She’s so friggin’ hot..
    So sleek…*smacks lips*
    So smooooth. *drools* I would kill….
    …for one of those Ibanez guitars. hehehe
    Btw, did any other guitar player here (if any) notice how the bassist was playing left-handed on a right-handed bass… I thought his bass strap looked kinda awkward!

  24. Kenny, can you tell her that we all think she’s so hot? 🙂 And tell her to work hard on her vocal skills. I hope she makes it big one day. She’d be the hottest then. Move over, Avril Lavigne, your days are numbered (if Shal work hard).

  25. She is a very talented chic and + her look, definately a killer!
    Keep improving ShaL! Youll make it even bigger…

  26. Kenny (like so many other typical yuppies of his generation) support local music when it is attached to pretty young things with fresh pomelos (or coconuts). Discrimination happens even when lauding the success of others. This is condescending. So please lah — I wish Kenny would actually listen to Shal’s lyrics, to what she’s saying, check her background, and give us a bit of context of her environment and what makes her so special — not just train his digital camera on yet another one of his wet dreams.

  27. Hi Kenny…
    Shalom to a fellow kuchingnite…m from kuching…coincidentally a friend of joyce the fairy and coincedentally too that I was searching for shal after reading on her in Vida as I love to collaborate artistically with people from my lovely hometown…
    Be home this month actually… miss my beloved kuching so much… 🙂
    Warm regards
    ah keong! Linus

  28. Well what a dillyo, Had a dream about my past life in kuching, what a nightmare, thought Id look up afew friends names on the net see if they were alive but whoa man never expected sharon to be a big singing success! Congrats girl! Top Props!

  29. 1. knnbccb
    37 up, 8 downlove ithate it
    This is an abbrevation for a Hokkien(Chinese dialect) foul term used widely in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and by those who can communicate in that dialect. Kan Ni Na Bueh Chao Chee Bye generally means fuck your mother’s smelly pussy
    “Kan Ni Na Bueh Chao Chee Bye”, don’t you know that human can’t lay eggs.
    by jackson Jan 12, 2005 email it 0 comments
    2. knnbccb
    25 up, 10 downlove ithate it
    Kanina Bu Chao Chee Bye
    literally means fuck your mother smelly pussy
    knnbccb, not happy come and fight lah!
    by Marcus Oct 19, 2004 email it 0 comments

  30. shal you are a beautiful girl and you’r songs are too. maybe you can make a favor to send me the lirycs of your songs, i was looked for these for a long time easpecially
    of I’ll Sleep Tonight lirycs. I need it

  31. hye….
    diZ sweeT ladY is a kenyah right?
    weLL,same viLLage with me larh..
    weLL done!
    love uR songs too…

  32. Hello,
    I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding
    and arrange the reception dinner for a group of people who will be attending
    the wedding ceremony. The wedding is expected to hold on the 10th of December 2010 and 50 guests are expected to attend.
    As I do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card
    once availability is confirmed by you. You are to arrange for a venue for the wedding (its a civil wedding), a place for the reception ,Videography, Music Entertainment,Photography,cake and flowers.
    If there is any items that is beyond your capability,you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don’t have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us. I look forward to your reply.
    Dr. James Lugard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *