UP TO 4,600 VIEWS, A DOZEN COMMENTS
Meeting Steve Ho:
I met Steve the first time at a hotel lounge where he was singing and playing the drums. Steve has those rugged features with the typical John Mellencamp boyish cut, looking tough like a rock star in his red jeans, bracelets and dangling neck ornament.
True to his band name, Steve will definitely break hearts. Like Elvis, he addresses me as 'Sir' and 'Yes ma'am' when he answers to the pretty ladies surrounding him.
Steve's English diction and powerhouse vocals are distinctive and separate him from other local singers that I have heard. His versatility shows in his ability to sing in Cantonese too.
He is very different from many of the Singapore band boys I met. Besides, Steve writes very well and after some persuasion, he emailed me the article below.
He's just starting his musical journey and if you guys are reading this, give him that big break he needs. Check him out at the busking points specified below.
Thanks, Steve for the interview.
Singapore's New Pop Icon:
"I started very late in music and mostly jammed with friends in rented studios during my younger days. It happened in the 90s when the love for music within made me want to express myself.
It was only in mid-2013 when I joined a band called Still Alive as a vocalist. We indulged in Classic Pop Rock and sang Bad Company (Rock Steady, Wishing Well); Deep Purple (Smoke On The Water, Sail Away); Bon Jovi (You Give Love A Bad Name, Bed Of Roses). My other rock heroes are Firehouse, Skid Row, Pink Floyd and many more.
I am able to draw a Chinese crowd with rock numbers like; Beyond's (Hoi Foot Theen Hoong, Putt Zoi Yau); Sam Hui's (Tar Koong Zai, Kwai Ma Seon Seng); Alan Tam's (Pung Yau). My specialty I think. Besides singing, I play the drums.
Steve Ho's crowd in Chinatown was vibrant as the locals and tourists danced to the rhythm of the group's hot music.
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Gigs All Over Singapore:
We performed at various locations in Singapore for about 3 years, namely at Clementi and West Coast CCs, Azucar at Beach Road, 1° 15 in Sentosa with this same band, before branching out and forming my own band in 2016. We called ourselves, Steve and The Heartbreakers. We performed at a couple of clubs at Beach Road and Tanjong Pagar for about a year and a half. We then called it quits.
"Why quit suddenly?"
Sadly, Andy, we did not get paid!
Back To Basics:
I returned to driving a taxi for a living but soon realized that my true calling was (and still is) to sing and perform to a live audience.
After driving for some years and suffering ill from the livelihood (being a taxi driver is tough), I gave it up. It was then that I decided to try out busking in public for a means of living. I got myself a license in mid-2018 and have started the practice ever since.
I intend to sing and drum and share my music (as long as I possibly can), with anyone and everyone who loves music. When people ask me about "wearing a uniform" rule, I tell them I am a true blue Rocker and do not conform to such rules. We stick to simple Ts and jeans.
I sincerely believe that music transcends all boundaries. Music brings perfect strangers together with music as the common language, and it does not need to be understood! We just flow with it!"
In Chinatown, the crowd went where Steve went with his boys. The locals and the tourists enjoyed his music as the pretty young Caucasian girls from Australia, the US, the UK, and other European countries rocked to his music. The local Chinese loved his Cantonese melodies with a huge following from HongKong and mainland China.
With his musician friends, Robert Koh (image above: on guitar with Steve), the current lead guitarist with the band Blues Express, Patrick 'Tiger Baits' Koh and Peter Han (seen seated with bongo drums in the video), famed co-founder and ex-lead guitarist of the 80s superband, Tokyo Square, they have found a niche for themselves again.
No advertising stunt; the crowd at Steve Ho's road concerts are huge. Go see him and his band.
Steve and Peter Han (from Tokyo Square) below are now playing inside the air-conditioned Thrift Shop at the Salvation Army Building across from Hillview MRT @ Upper Bukit Road from 2.30 to 6/7pm on Saturdays.
Catch them live guys and give all the cash you've got.
Articles and Images are the properties of Steve Ho.
YouTube Videos from William Tan.
An affable and talented performer. Sadly his busking licence is under suspension after complaints of 'noise pollution' by stalls n restaurant owners in the vicinity where he busks. Police was called in on one occasion and Steve had to abruptly cancel his programme for that evening. It was alleged that spectators and dancers were disrupting businesses. The action that was taken by the authorities n the police is seen as 'stifling' homegrown talents. What a shame!
He is very good Andy, and a personality to go with as well. All the best to him.
Please thank Mr. Jimmy for me, sir. He is an absolutely fabulous person, go no ego and no airs although he is a well-respected local music legend. I've jammed with him at The Music Room about a month ago, and boy, I was all nerves then.
What a lovely thing to say.
Hi Andy, and all the best to him. To really succeed in music you really have to be yourself and not someone else.
Haven't seen him in action.
Richard Paul. M:
Hi, Andy, He reminds me of the ever popular busker from Hong Kong Ah Lam and his Band. They performed regularly in the night street market around the Mongkok area where tourists and locals dance and sing along with them. You may key Ah Lam on youtube to watch them.
Alfredo Wongo said...
Well-written and should be well-received by one and all .i will support Steve with cash & commitment
I want to support Steve too Will be joining one of his busking sessions.
We are the group of dancers that you can see in the video. We are a group of senior citizens that love The Busker Boys music so much that we are looking forward to the Weekends when they busk at Chinatown. But so sad now we can't hear and dance to their music anymore. Because their license has been revoked. Really hoped that they get back their license fast so our group of Aunties and Uncles can look forward to the Weekends again. We love dancing but we don't have a proper place to dance. Our group consists of about 50 to 60 persons. Government always promote Active Aging but all these Aging are roting at home
ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...
Thank you all for the comments and feedback.
I know Steve Ho is very popular with the Chinatown crowd and hopefully, he can resume playing there again.
Meantime Steve is performing at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop across the road from Hillview MRT on Saturday afternoons.
I must apologise for the huge gap between postings. There's a nasty bug on my computer now and trying hard to get rid of it. But it won't spoil your viewing.
When a veteran singer complimented another singer ,that singer must be good.
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When you are good. There is no stopping you. And he is brilliant
I am a Malaysian. One day I accidentally saw a YouTube on Steve Ho's busking with his boys and the dancing of the group of people. And I am mesmerised by the singer and dancers. After that I have to watch at least few times of their videos before I can go to sleep. I want to know is Steve Ho a Chinese? He sings Cantonese song very fluently.
Steve will be singing with Peter Han this coming Saturday 20th at Kreta Ayer Stage 6.45-9.45pm . Please drop by to sing and dance
Its me,galvin who always dance along with the songs u sings at chinatown.When is the next time, u will be performing at Kreta Ayer Stage.Sorry to miss your performance on the 20/08/19
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Thank you Andy.
I always enjoy reading your 'coffee table book'. While doing so , I will reminisce about the days when I was a teenager, still in school, and doing foolish pranks without thinking about the consequences. I wonder how we [my friends and I] got away with it.
There is no need for thanks, Andy. Those are my heartfelt words. I believe it is not just me who does this. Pretty sure there are plenty of your readers out there, are doing the same thing. Even talking about it gives me goosebumps.
Above are chats with Steve Ho who has been so kind with such compliments. I'm just happy for him to get busking permission so he could have a fulfilling day singing with his Heartbreakers.
My reply was -
These are positive thoughts and I'm glad the blog triggers your past ideals... Words bring back the memories and snapshots prove their existence.
Steve will be performing on Facebook live @ 24/01/2021 Sunday. The event will start at 10am. Do support him and his friend
Click the link to join https://m.facebook.com/TampinesChangkatZ2RN/
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