Thursday, 31 July 2008

Burmese rock star Lay Phyu to sing for cyclone victims - Lay Phyu

30 July 2008, Mizzima, New Delhi — Prominent Burmese rock star Lay Phyu, along with three other famous singers are ready to rock the city of Rangoon during a fund raising concert organized for victims of Cyclone Nargis, organizers said.

Lay Phyu, who has not performed live concerts for the past three years, will stage a come back along side his brother Ahnge, Myo Gyi and Wai Wai, in a charity show to be conducted on August 24, in Rangoon's indoor stadium in Thuwanah.

Dr. Ko Ko Lwin, secretary of the Myanma Music Association, known as Myanmah Gita Asi Ayone, said all the four rock stars have agreed to perform free to lend a helping hand to cyclone victims, struggling to rebuild their lives.

"All the proceeds will go towards donation to cyclone victims," Ko Ko Lwin told Mizzima. But he added that they have not fixed the rates for the tickets for the show.

The show according to Ko Ko Lwin, will be sponsored by the Myanma Music Association and the performance will be by Burma's most prominent rock band Iron Cross, better known as IC by fans across Burma.

An official at the Iron Cross studio in Rangoon told Mizzima that the band will play to raise funds for cyclone victims without taking any fees.

"Lay Phyu will also be featuring in the show, and it will be the first time he will be appearing on stage after about three years," a woman official at IC studio told Mizzima.

Lay Phyu, Burma's premier rock star, has not performed in public shows for the past three years.

While the reason for his absence from live concerts remains unknown, rumours among his fans across Burma suggest that he was subjected to a ban by authorities.

A fan of Lay Phyu in Rangoon said, "We don't know what exactly happened to him but we hear rumours that he was banned by the authorities."

Lay Phyu could not be reached for comment on his disappearance from public concerts.

According to Ko Ko Lwin, the former manager of the Iron Cross band which has close links with Lay Phyu, he last performed a live concert in Rangoon in mid-2005.

Another woman fan of Lay Phyu told Mizzima that a planned concert at Rangoon's Kandawgyi in September 2005 apparently was conducted without him though the initial advertisement included him in a special appearance.

"I saw the advertisement stating that Lay Phyu was to perform at the show, but when the day came close, his name was removed from the advertisement and he eventually did not appear on the show," the fan, who went for the show expecting Lay Phyu to appear on stage, said.

"Since then I have never seen or heard him perform on stage shows," she added.

Lay Phyu, a graduate from the University of Mandalay, is one of the pioneers of rock music in Burma and gained immense popularity in the early 1990s. He is particularly famous for his high-pitched vocal.

Following the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis in early May, several Burmese musicians and prominent singers planned to raise funds through their songs and by jointly releasing charity music albums.

Earlier, another prominent Burmese singer Song Oo Hlaing told Mizzima that he and several other artists are working towards releasing a charity music album to raise funds for victims of the cyclone.

Cyclone Nargis, which lashed Burma on May 2 and 3, left at least 138,000 dead and missing, and devastated the lives of more than 2.4 million people.

Reporting by Mizzima correspondent, writing by Mungpi

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