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The cohesive power of music

  • It's music that brings the Ong family together. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Da Chuan and his bassist daughter Zheng Yang. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Drummer Zheng Ke and lead vocalist Zheng Yao. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • The many awards "Kozyy" has won. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

PENANG, June 17 (Sin Chew Daily) -- When 8-year-old girl Ong Zheng Yao was performing on the stage for the Wings of Songs on Jiangsu TV of China, she not only mesmerized the audience with her angelic interpretation of a Chinese folk song, but she also brought the family band "Kozyy" to China.

Together with her 44-year-old dad Da Chuan, her 14-year-old sister Zheng Yang, the bassist, and 11-year-old brother Zhen Ke, the drummer, the family band has come into form, with her as the lead vocalist.

The youngest boy in the family, 5-year-old Zheng Zhe, has been the pre-determined guitarist or keyboardist the band is going to groom in the future.

Individual worlds

For so many years both Da Chuan and his wife Yeoh were deeply troubled by the physical health of their children as well as their differing learning abilities and characters.

But fortunately there was something that could bring this family together.

"Zheng Yang is quite smart. She has her own way of learning things and is doing quite well in sports, dancing and music.

"Zheng Ke is more of a headache. He's doing badly in school and there's nothing much I can do to help.

"Zheng Yao is pretty active and will do things out of our expectation. She can turn the wall into her drawing canvas and would sing out loudly and do funny things. I sometimes feel she's a little impish," the mother described.

When the kids were young, they all had their own personalities, all playing on their own while the father was busy with his work in front of the computer desk.

It appeared to Yeoh that everyone in the family was living in his or her own separate world, so she was trying to find a solution that would bring the family back again.

The unifying power of music

Yeoh wanted her husband to institute some changes. Even she herself knew nothing about music, she knew the kids did have one thing in common.

It was through a family meeting that the band "Kozyy" -- the name derived from the initials of band members -- came into being in 2015.

Despite the initial hardships and frustration, the family band managed to put up a show on the stage in under one year, and made it to the Malaysia Book of Records in 2016 as the first family band in the country.

"Da Chuan is no longer that father glued to the handphone at home and the children are no longer living in their own worlds with hardly any interaction.

"What they accept daily now is more than just band training but also constant negotiations and coordination."


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