KRU mark 25th anniversary with gig

Boyband KRU comprise (from left) Norman, Edry and Yusry Abdul Halim.
Boyband KRU comprise (from left) Norman, Edry and Yusry Abdul Halim.PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ESPLANADE

In the early 1990s, Malaysian brothers Norman, Yusry and Edry Abdul Halim formed the boyband KRU and built up an ardent fanbase in the regional Malay music scene with a string of catchy pop hits.

The siblings have since expanded the KRU brand name into a successful multi-business empire spanning music, film, food and beverage and education.

On Aug 6, the trio will return to the stage for a show at the Esplanade Concert Hall that is set to kick off KRU's 25th anniversary celebrations here and across the Causeway.

In a telephone interview from his office in Kuala Lumpur, Norman, the eldest, says the show will be a rare treat for their fans.

"We're so busy with our work that if it weren't for the 25th anniversary celebrations, I don't think we would have been able to commit to a full concert," he says.

The 44-year-old heads the KRU group of companies, serving as executive president in ventures such as KRU Studios, which has produced box-office films such as Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (2011); and record label and music publishers KRU Music, which has some of Malaysia's biggest music stars, including rock veterans Wings, in its stable.

  • BOOK IT / KRU 25

  • WHERE: Esplanade Concert Hall

    WHEN: Aug 6, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $45, $65, $85 and $105 (includes meet and greet and autographed poster) from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

One of the group's most recent ventures is KRU Academy, a school that focuses on creative skills such as mastering visual effects and animation used in films.

They also run a food and beverage service, Master Chef, which is based in Kuala Lumpur.

Norman, who was conferred the title of Datuk by the Sultan of Pahang in February, says their growth from singer-songwriters to business magnates was an "organic" process.

"When we formed KRU, we had plans to start a label, but never thought we would diversify and grow so much," he says. "We love the music business as a whole and not just performing, producing and songwriting. We wanted to be involved in all aspects of our music. From music videos, we went on to make commercials, films, animation and then set up a film school."

He says that working with Yusry, 43, and Edry, 40, has not always been smooth as the three of them are "highly opinionated".

However, their relationship has grown stronger over the years.

Norman says: "Back when we were in the studio, we tended to argue a lot more. We were young boys and we tended to be less flexible and more demanding.

"We're a lot more mature now and we've learnt to compromise."

The trio plan to stage more 25th anniversary gigs in Malaysia after the Esplanade date.

The set-list at the shows will feature their best-known songs from their extensive discography dating to 1992, from early hits such as Janji Tinggal Janji (1993) to Hingga Ke Jannah, a new single released earlier this year.

Norman, who is married with a four-year-old daughter, says he does not want to give away too much about the Esplanade gig, but hints that they will attempt to bring back some of their old dance moves. "People expect us to be more mature in terms of style these days, but, yeah, there will be some dance choreography," he says with a laugh.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2016, with the headline 'KRU mark 25th anniversary with gig'. Print Edition | Subscribe