A local legend, RIP. Those from my generation should remember the cassette tape, "Why you So like that?". Also a accomplish blues musician.
Veteran musician Siva Choy, songwriter of Why U So Like Dat? dies at 70Local musician Siva Choy died in Perth on Sunday (March 4) at the age of 70. Photo: Siva Choy/FacebookPublished04 MARCH, 2018UPDATED 04 MARCH, 2018
SINGAPORE – Local musician and comedian Siva Choy, who wrote the popular Singlish rap song, Why U So Like Dat?, died in Perth, Australia, on Sunday (March 4).
The 70-year-old was hospitalised at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth after suffering a major stroke on Friday, and underwent surgery to remove two clots in his brain, said his wife, Ms Ilsa Sharp. A second stroke early Saturday morning left him in a coma, and he died on Sunday afternoon.
The couple has been based in Perth since the 1990s, and they have no children.
“He went very quickly and peacefully under the very good care of the palliative care nurses… He was surrounded by many friends,” said Ms Sharp, 72.
Regarded as one of the pioneers of rhythm and blues music in Singapore in the 1960s, Mr Choy performed with his younger brother, James, in their band, The Cyclones.
A flyer from the 1960s promoting The Cyclones' performance, with James Choy (photo left) and Siva Choy. Photo: Jerry Fernandez
They then linked up with another band, The Checkmates, the resident band for the legendary Golden Venus’ tea dance sessions. The duo also formed a super group, 4+2+1, with vocalist Vernon Cornelius, before he departed for The Quests.
Mr Choy also performed with blues band Crossroads in the late 1980s, and continued to sing with them during his visits back to Singapore.
But the talented musician was best known here for his 1991 hit rap song Why U So Like Dat?, which was written with now defunct comedy group Kopi Kat Klan.
The album, which comprised Singlish songs and sketches, sold 50,000 copies, and its title song received frequent radio airplay.
Besides his career in music, Mr Choy also performed in one-man comedy acts like Rocking Rambutan (1999), which was part of Action Theatre’s Stand Up For Singapore! Comedy series, and Stand Up and Boogie (2000). He also played the role of former football star Sammy Best in the local movie, One Leg Kicking, in 2001.
Mr Choy, a former writer with music publication Fanfare, The New Nation newspaper and The New Paper, also published two Kitchi Boy books in the 1980s.
Many local music veterans paid tribute to Mr Choy after learning off his death on Sunday.
Jazz musician Jeremy Monteiro said Choy was “one of Singapore’s most creative people”.
“He was one of the great ones here in Singapore. Rest in peace, old friend,” he said in his Facebook post.
Mr Jerry Fernandez, 69, a veteran of the music industry, told TODAY that “it is a loss to see such a brilliant and humble gentleman go out”.
Mr Fernandez, who now performs with Jerry and the Neu Faces, said: “He was a God given talent – he was a writer, a journalist, composer. He could play the guitar, the harmonica, write songs and do standup comedy. I’ll really miss him.”
Local musician Mr Audie Ng described Mr Choy and his brother James, as the “Beatles of Singapore”, as he referred to their Beatles-style haircuts and cover songs that they used to perform from the British band.
Mr Rai Kannu, who is Mr Choy’s nephew and one-half of music duo Jack & Rai, also paid tribute to his uncle. “He was very intelligent, engaging, and always humorous,” he said.
“It was only after I got into music that I appreciated what he did more. I did go for his gigs whenever he played at the Crazy Elephant.”