Asia News: Punjabi Rapper Sidhu Moose Walla Killed; Malaysia: Latest Zepp Opens; Korea: Police Investigate TV Talent Contest


Sidhu Moose Wala Killed In Punjab

Sidhu Moose Wala, a popular Indian rapper who performs in Punjabi, was shot and killed on May 29 in Mansa, Punjab. He was 28.

Asia rapper
Sidhu Moose Wala performs during day 3 of Wireless Festival 2021 at Crystal Palace on September 12, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Burak Cingi/Redferns)

Media reports say that Moose Wala was driving his car in Mansa when he was shot. He was rushed to a hospital and declared dead on arrival. Punjab state police say that their investigation has revealed that the killing was the result of an “inter-gang rivalry.” Up until the day before the attack, Moose Wala and some 400 other individuals were the object of security cover by the Punjab government, which decided to stop the cover in a bid to “clamp down on VIP culture.”

Moose Wala started as a songwriter and then had his own hit song in 2017, which made him a star among Indian and Punjabi expatriates in foreign countries like the UK and Canada. His videos were highly accomplished and mostly focused on machismo themes.

His debut album even made it onto the Canadian charts.

Within India, he was a contentious figure. Two years ago, he was charged under the country’s Arms Act for promoting gun culture in his songs. In the meantime, he joined the country’s Congress Party and ran unsuccessfully for the Punjab assembly.


Latest Zepp Venue Opens

The latest addition to the Zepp family of concert venues opened in Kuala Lumpur on May 26. The vice president of operations of Zepp Hall Network Inc., Shinichiro Honda, held a press conference to mark the opening of Zepp Kuala Lumpur, and expressed confidence that the venue would be busy despite uncertainty over bookings due to the lingering COVID pandemic.

“Although we have been facing the COVID-19 pandemic for two or three years,” he said to reporters, according to the Malaysian Reserve, “we keep saying that COVID-19 is about to end, but it has not actually ended. Some of the countries are still severe, so I cannot say clearly, but I think maybe next year there will be more bookings for international concerts.”

Zepp KL, as it is called, is a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), which owns and operates the Zepp brand with eight halls in Japan and one in Taipei. The new venue is located in the Bukit Bintang City Center development. The hall covers 6,500 square meters and holds 2,414 people. The Malaysian Reserve reports that Zepp KL is unique in the capital since it also includes eight VIP boxes with “private lounges and seating areas,” and offers high-quality, pre-installed lighting and audio facilities that make setting up for concerts easy and fast, thus saving organizers production costs.

The chief impetus for bringing Zepp to Malaysia is the country’s diverse domestic music market, which encompasses a wide range of Southeast Asian styles and languages.

Honda also said that Zepp KL will act as a cultural exchange center not only between Malaysia and Japan, but between Malaysia and Taiwan. Prior to COVID, Zepp planned to open other venues in Bangkok and Jakarta, but so far they have focused only on Kuala Lumpur.


Police Investigating TV Talent Show

In an unusual move, South Korean police have announced they are investigating a popular TV music show to determine if the winner of a song contest showcased on its May 13 broadcast was rigged. In that contest, the rookie girl group Le Sserafim, which is managed by one of Korea’s biggest talent agencies, Hybe, beat out popular trot singer Lim Young-woong.

According to the website Soompi, the show, “Music Bank,” scores contestants based on input from digital scores, broadcast scores and viewer panel surveys, as well as physical album sales and social media scores, though all these inputs are not weighted equally.

Apparently, the source of contention was that Lim’s broadcast score, which accounts for 20% of the total score, was zero because the song he sang for the program was not played on any programs broadcast by the TV station, KBS TV, nor on any of KBS’s radio programs or digital shows during the week of May 2-8.