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MP3 Shelley Leong - Storyteller

Acoustic songs that will ease your soul. A story behind every song, with dashes of blues, jazz, folk and ethnic influences.

13 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, EASY LISTENING: Love Songs

"Mellow, earnest and melodic, Shelley exudes an old school folk charm on Storyteller that''s refreshing and timeless."
-MTV https://www.tradebit.com

"An excellent performer, she''s like a seasoned veteran on stage as she grooves into the soul of her music." - https://www.tradebit.com

"Thanks in part to a vocal style that is as unorthodox as it is accessible, Shelley is one of those singers whose music is familiar yet differentiated."
- Pete Teo

SHELLEY LEONG is a recording singer-songwriter (alternative folk) and jazz vocalist & band leader based in Boston and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2005, Shelley was nominated for Best New English Artiste for the AIM (Malaysian Music Industry) awards.

She performs either as a soloist, duo or with her band. Her songs and her soothing, unique voice are a tasteful fusion of contemporary styles of folk, pop/rock coupled with hints of jazz and ethnic, with strong melodic lines and thoughtful lyrics. She also plays piano and guitar.

Shelley was recently awarded for her popular single "Resident Fool" that recently charted number two on https://www.tradebit.com "Top Monthly Downloads." 4 of her songs in the album have received radio airplay on major radio stations in Malaysia. Acoustic, organic and classy - Shelley''s debut album - ''Storyteller'' is the latest original album to stand out from Malaysia''s independent music scene.

She also recently won a scholarhip to study at the famous Berklee College of Music. Shelley produces Songwriter''s Avenue, which features upcoming singer-songwriters. Her single "Forgiveness" is currently on Malaysia''s English Top 10 charts (hitz tv).

For news on this latest CD release, check outor email through: https://www.tradebit.com

BACKGROUND - the story so far

Shelley has an unconventional past for someone involved in music full time now, which is perhaps something that makes her stay down to earth and appreciative of her current vocation. She studied commerce in Australia , graduated with first class honours and then went on to be an associate lecturer in the University of Sydney and lastly, worked in the corporate world as an accountant. She took off on a 4 month backpacking trip round Europe, has bungy jumped, scuba dived with sharks, cliff-jumped, rock-climbed, and now, she''s out with an album.

She returned to Malaysia in 2002 to pursue music full time and started performing her original compositions wherever she could. Within a few months of her return, she was awarded the JVC Sales & Service Malaysia Award last year for her song-writing capabilities and expressive singing at the MTV/JVC ''Sing-out-loud'' competition.

Shelley went on to perform at Kuala Lumpur''s major music venues including Actors Studio, No Black Tie, La Bodega, Alexis, Emporium, Planet Hollywood, BSC, the Kit Kat Club and many more. Along the way, she has gathered a solid supporting band with the right chemistry, made up of many dynamic and young upcoming sessionist such as Alda Tan (Cosmic Funk Express) on bass , Az A. Samad on guitar, Stephanie Chan on drums, Zalila on percussions and many other contributers who enjoy playing her music.

Within the last 4+ years, she has risen to become a recognisable name in the original independent music scene. The combination of talent with hard work, resourcefulness, taking and finding opportunities, passion and professional manner has earnt her the respect of her peers.

Amongst her achievements was the best selling Music Circus series show at Actors Studio, Dataran Merdeka, "The Storyteller, Shelley Leong and Friends". It was touted as one of the most interesting acoustic productions at the time. It was also a rare feat for a newcomer to host a full show.

Shelley was recently awarded for her popular single "Resident Fool" that recently charted number 2 on https://www.tradebit.com''s "Top Monthly Downloads." This included an appearance on Channel V''s "Remote Control" TV show. Her radio singles "Forgiveness" and "Merry Christmas to You" have been topping the charts since release. "Merry Christmas to you" was also used in the soundtrack for Sunway''s Christmas on Ice concert. Other tracks receiving radio airplay include "Slice of Heaven" and "So Good". "Big Machine" is also featured in KLUE magazine''s 2005 compilation. So many great songs from just a single album - "Storyteller" is certainly doing well. Her single "Forgiveness" is currently on Malaysia''s English Top 10 charts (hitz tv).

Since her album release, she has become in demand, headlining for major shows including the Penang Jazz festival, Oktoberfest at Changkat Bukit Bintang, Mont Kiara Jazz Fest and private corporate events.

Shelley also plays an active role in promoting the growing singer-songwriter circuit. She started a successful new series called Songwriters Avenue in November 2004, which aims to develop new talents and encourage sharing between established amd new songwriters and increase awareness amongst a new generation of audience.

Her next destination is Berklee College of Music in Boston in January 2005, after receiving a scholarship from them. She will be back to perform in Malaysia between from May till end of August 2005.

Next up .. the album.


STORYTELLER - the album

All music and lyrics are written by Shelley Leong, except for Slip Away, in which the music is co-written with Nick. The album is an independent collaboration between Shelley of Soundtrax Productions and Nick of Sonique Productions. Produced by both Shelley Leong and Nick Lee, with a common goal to produce a conceptually strong album with music that sounds international, and has integrity and heart. This is a live sounding album with an organic and acoustic feel.

You will hear Shelley''s musical influences which include the blues, folk, ethnic and rock coupled with pop sensibilities. The melodies are strong and memorable. Her lyrics explore society''s views, her own experiences and the experiences of the common man that people can relate to. She sings about love, pain, repent and hope.

Storyteller, the album, features Shelley on lead vocals and piano. Nick plays guitars on all tracks. It also features members of her live band and many upcoming young sessionists, including Rozhan Razman (double bass), Alda Tan (bass), Jimmy Tan (drums), Elliot Koon (drums), Zalila (backup vocals, percussions), Jerral (guitar) and Fiat (conga). Soloists featured include Kevin Chu (tenor sax), Kenny Ong (Chinese flute) and Michelle(violin). Interesting instruments such as the Di Zi , Udu and rainstick are used to enhance particular songs.

The album is recorded, mixed and mastered by Nick Lee at Sonique Productions.


The Musical Arrangements-

Musically, it was important that the settings were made to feel live and real, rather than overly produced. You can hear the interaction between all instruments in each setting, especially those in small ensemble settings, such as in the voice, piano or guitar, bass, drums setting.

Ethnic instruments were also used to enhance the earthiness of the album, especially for specific songs which called for it. This includes the haunting, "Wake", which includes the Chinese flute and African Udu drum.

Piano parts, played by Shelley were recorded live. The producers felt that it was important to capture the richness of a real piano sound and also, to capture the live performance rather than a sequenced one to allow for a more human sound, rather than perfection. Soloists were used in ''Wake'' (Kenny Ong on Chinese flute), Crime (Michelle on violin) and ''Merry Christmas To You'' (Kevin Chu on tenor sax).

The sounds of the flute in ''Wake'' are very human, almost like a voice crying or sighing. This goes perfectly with the feel of the song as the song is about the singer trying to get out from being stuck in past mistakes and trying to repent to be a better person.

''Crime'' has the sounds of a lonely violin playing in the background, reflecting the lonely cry from the background about how painful it is to not be allowed to love freely without prejudice.


Her debut album, Storyteller, is in the acoustic singer-songwriter tradition that recalls Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and at times, Norah Jones. Mellow, earnest and melodic, Shelley exudes an old school folk charm on Storyteller that''s refreshing and timeless.
- MTV https://www.tradebit.com (Patrick Chng)

"There is something that remains authentic about the simplicity of acoustic singer/songwriters. No exception is made for Malaysian singer/songwriter Shelley Leong''s album Storyteller, a mellow collection of acoustic songs that land somewhere between Natalie Merchant and Norah Jones.....Most of the songs are rooted in the comfortable feeling of Leong''s gentle piano. Her voice at times reminds me of a harsher version of a 70s Joni Mitchell, and the jazziness of numbers like "Crime" are similar to Mitchell''s Court and Spark era. Most of the album''s songs are relaxed wine-sipping music, while other songs, like the album''s best, "Innocent Girl," are driven and pop-ish.
Storyteller is slow--but a good slow (not drawn out). Leong''s feelings are felt through her passionate songs, complete with stories about breakups, make-ups, and memories."
US Review by Jeremy Stanifer https://www.tradebit.com

"Her intimate debut album, Storyteller, is certainly a worthy addition to the local singer-songwriter catalogue. Self-released through Leong''s own Soundtrax Productions imprint and produced by Nick Lee, the 13-track album contains radio-friendly folk and pop-rock tunes sprinkled with lazy Sunday jazz touches"
- The STAR newspaper, album review

Link to a 3 page - front page feature in the star recently:

"In her debut album, ''Storyteller'', Shelley weaves a soothing tale of hope and dreams in our journey through life. Her pleasing, airy voice plus the catchy melodies and use of an eclectic mix of instruments combine to provide hours of easy listening pleasure with several tracks to get you moving. More discerning listeners may feel that the lyrics lack depth and mystique, but Shelley uses simple words and a certain amount of catchphrases effectively to deliver her message of seeing the better side of reality and appreciating the finer moments in life.

This album also brings together several guest performers, adding a nice touch especially to the later parts of the album with some unexpected sounds. Listen out for the Chinese flute in Crime and a mix of saxophone and double bass in ''Merry Christmas To You''. It''s also interesting to note that Shelley''s hit single, ''Resident Fool'' was recently the second most downloaded single at Music Canteen (https://www.tradebit.com). With the exception of 1 or 2 more solemn tracks, Storyteller will perk you up and brighten your mood during the drive to work on that dreaded Monday morning. So, don''t be surprised if you actually find yourself smiling at the driver who cuts u off or the boss who steps in an hour late.

To buy or not to buy? This is definitely a commendable effort and we look forward to enjoying more of Shelley''s future work. Consider adding this album to your collection and support a fine local talent in the making."

- album review by https://www.tradebit.com

"... she has successfully built a solid following. I''ve heard snippets of one song (from the album) and have come away impressed. Here is a another fine example of a musician who''s benefited from working the local live scene conscientiously and intelligently."
"Thanks in part to a vocal style that is as unorthodox as it is accessible, Shelley is one of those singers whose music is familiar yet differentiated."

- Pete Teo

"Good thing for Leong, her odes to romance never get drowned in sappiness and she''s got plenty of song writing muscle to make all the tunes work. It''s not all just love songs though; she also touches on other subjects close to her heart. There''s a bit of Vonda Sheppard, Joan Osborn and Paule Cole in what Leong does that will keep fans of the genre interested."

- Adlin Rosli KLUE magazine

"Her clear, light, pure voice harks back to folkies like Joan Baez, Buffy St Marie and Jewel .. her warmth and honesty shine through".
- EP review by Gerald Martinez, The Malay Mail, 27 July 2003

"The Shelley Leong song for me is ''So Good''. Mm. It isn''t just her voice - though if it were just her voice that would probably do the trick too - it''s also the way she moves on stage, hampered by guitar and perched on a stool...Her songs contain a gentle non-conformism, mirrored in the other acts on Friday." -Sonia Randhawa,https://www.tradebit.com

"She''s a fusion of Nora Jones / Alanis Morissette, with some cool acoustics thrown in. Her tunes are warm and engaging, her voice haunting and her lyrics real, depicting the norms of human life. A very immaculate first album, and we should be hearing more of Shelley in the future." Review by MYC News


Some people just have it all; the looks, the voice and the amazing talent. Shelley Leong is definitely one of those blessed few. Already the buzz in the Kuala Lumpur, she looks set to be Malaysia''s answer to American singer/songwriter, Jewel. After taking over the show from Pat Chng, she began to charm the audience with her eloquence and amazing stage persona.

Starting off her set was a solo instrumental guitar performance by her guitarist, Az Samad. Gentle and shy he may look, but the chops he possesses were simply massive. His solid performance simply bewildered the crowd, who were not used to seeing such virtuosity being displayed on the acoustic guitar.

After the mind blowing experience delivered by Az Samad, the lady herself took to the stage with her acoustic guitar. Amongst all performances that night, Shelley was clearly the most engaging. She was certainly the chattiest of the lot, as she shared with the audience about her experiences and explained her songs.

An excellent performer, she''s like a seasoned veteran on stage as she grooves into the soul of her music. Not just an accomplished pianist, she''s also quite decent as an acoustic guitar player. Lyrically, her songs were generally quite dreamy and detached, as she sings about everyday life - of love, pain, joy and dreams of course. Her eclectic and excellent taste in music is reflected in her own works, as they were a unique and tasteful blend of jazz, world, and folk. Like a cross between Norah Jones and Jewel, she blends the sensitive and dreamy singer-songwriter with the jazzy groove and does it pretty well.   In all, it was an absolutely charming performance with a charming smile by a beautiful lady.

[KL residents: CD is available at Borders-KL Times Square & Rock Corner]

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