Shadow Puppet Theatre, (or ‘SPT’ for short), are a 4-piece Malaysian rock band based in the city of Kuala Lumpur, named after the beautiful and ancient art of shadow puppetry. In keeping with their chosen name, they meld both storytelling and what they call “the feels”: an indefinable element adding a special ‘sparkle’ of life into each, and every, musical note they play. Their music cannot be pinned down to one genre but, as their name suggests, like ‘hidden puppeteers’, they skilfully create music that takes their fans through a magical journey through “Funk, rock and everything in between”. Their latest single is the wonderfully cyber-noirish tale of a lone avenger fighting corruption – ‘Codename Summer’– which will appear on their next album.
SPT got together in 2016, with some degree of changing personnel ever since, but the band’s ‘hidden shadow puppeteer’ modus operandi remains the same: richly woven, musical stories accompanied by serious messages that resonate. The band see this as a real collective responsibility and provide a service for their audience: or as they put it, “SPT is the place where we bring our stories to life. Songs in hand, at your command!”
The following years have been busy ones for the band: they were championed by Boston DJ and Grammy nominated producer Clinton Sparks (Lady Gaga ‘Born This Way’, Pitbull ‘Shut It Down’) who featured them on his Get Familiar radio show and, later, on his Twitch TV show. In 2016 SPT wrote and recorded their first EP Nightvision released in 2017. In 2018 they released their debut English album John Doe together with 2 music videos for the tracks ‘John Doe’ and ’Mystery Girl’. In 2019 they released their 3rd music video for their inaugural Malay single ‘Sendiri’ which was also a radio hit in Malaysia. If all that wasn’t enough: The band also appeared in the Malaysia Book of Records for the Highest Altitude Live Music performance, playing a live set during an Air Asia Flight!
In 2020 they released their fourth music video for a mixed English and Malay language single ‘Setia’ – a radio hit in Malaysia and one which also landed itself across US media including the California Music Channel, LATV and across the Web. 2021 saw the release of two singles, ‘Doctor’ released in honour of healthcare workers for their extraordinary dedication during the covid pandemic, and the rock funk fusion track ‘Alibi’, released in the November. The band are now working on their highly anticipated second album which will be announced later in the year.
The first single from the (as yet) unnamed second album is ‘Codename Summer’. The track works on many levels, as intended by these clever musical ‘puppeteers’. Frontman Dzul says: “The song is a fictional creative born from my imagination, inspired by the hit shows “You” and “Mr Robot” minus the quirks… a story of low key cyber vigilante, quite the loner, his altruism sings true in wanting to make society a better place by weeding out corruption and exposing those who are abusing power, one after another.” Its noirish lyrics speaks to our imagination and indeed also reminds us of our actual lived reality. Like the character in the song, we are witnessing these abuses around us every single day and the message in the song is clear: “it’s time for some correction”.