Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sept 9. It was an especially quiet Sunday evening. Pasar malams, often a hive of activity, seemed unusually deserted. Everyone appeared to be staying home. Was there something interesting on TV? Apparently so.
By 7.30pm, families were gathered in front of their TV sets. Children and even their parents looked as if they could hardly contain their excitement. For the next two hours, they were tapping their feet and singing along, especially on You Are the Music in Me and What Time Is It. The songs had been playing on the Disney Channel for a couple of months now.
It was the premiere of High School Musical 2, a sequel to last year’s unprecedented phenomenon. High School Musical attracted millions of viewers with its regular telecasts on the Disney Channel, spawned a best-selling franchise and produced a soundtrack that went on to become the best-selling album of 2006. It also won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programme while stars like Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron became household names.
Kids, tweens and adults sing along to the music while the recent ‘My School Rocks’ competition saw schools in Malaysia signing up in droves to participate in the dance contest.
Not bad, eh, for a humble made-for-TV movie?
With its overwhelming popularity with Malaysians, Disney roped in two of the top Malaysian singers Jaclyn Victor and Vince Chong to record a cover of You Are The Music In Me from High School Musical 2.
While the original number brims with youthful vigor, the two artistes’ rendition gave it a more mature vibe.
Victor spoke to the media during a recent press conference.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to sing You Are The Music In Me. I’m especially thrilled to sing on the soundtrack of a movie that embodies believing in yourself and following your dreams because these are familiar themes in my life and career,” gushed the first-ever Malaysian Idol.
Chong leapt at the opportunity when he found out that he will be singing with Victor.
“I had so much fun last year being part of the Asian version of Breaking Free from High School Musical. When I found out that I’ll be singing with Jaclyn for High School Musical 2, I just had to be part of it,” he said.
The Akademi Fantasia 2003 winner loves how the show is having a positive influence on the kids.
“The wonderful reception that High School Musical has received is great because it shows that Malaysian kids are not passive. The show instills positive values because it teaches kids confidence and how to express themselves.”
When High School Musical 2 premiered on Sunday in South East Asia, it dominated the youth demographic, becoming the highest-rated telecast ever among kids 6-14 years old in Malaysia. Viewership among Malay kids saw a 35% increase compared to the premiere of the first movie, as the show was made available in both English and Bahasa Malaysia.
Apart from singing the Malaysian version of You Are The Music In Me, Jaclyn and Vince also cut a Bahasa Malaysia version entitled Kau Muzik Di Hatiku that is available on the High School Musical 2 soundtrack.
The album contains songs like What Time Is It, Fabulous and Humuhumunukunukukuapua’a, which are featured on the show and looks set to go platinum in Malaysia.
Catch Victor and Vince’s You Are The Music In Me on the Disney Channel.
High School Musical 2 follow the story of the East High Wildcats who are on their summer break. But there is no break for Sharpay (played by Ashley Tisdale), who again tries her best to break up Troy (Efron) and Gabriella (Hudgens).

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