“You say ‘yeah,’ you get the gig, and then you learn,” he says of his personal philosophy towards life and music — for him, one and the same.
Fast-forward to the present day and Musa, now 31, is living and playing in Taiwan, his home since the summer of 2011. His latest change of scenery came at the behest of another famous connection, Malaysian-Chinese singer-songwriter Gary Chaw (曹佰豪). Musa had written some arrangements for Chaw based on an introduction from Tu. Chaw then brought Musa to Taiwan through his label, Dragon Force Music, to become a full-time musician here. After years of playing other people’s music in hotel bars while sneaking in his own numbers here and there, Musa finally has an album of his own to promote and perform. The album is 3690, a homage to his home and family. Released last month, it is filled with references to La Plata and the people and places that have shaped Musa as a man and a musician. And to think that if he had let rationality get in the way when Tu had first asked him to get into production and writing song arrangements, it all might never have happened.
This month, Musa is staging a series of free shows at various bookstores of the Eslite (敦南誠品) chain around Taiwan, with the next gig coming up Thursday at the Dunhua South Road (敦化南路) store in Taipei. On Oct. 19, he and his band will perform at Sappho Live. Every performance is a primal experience for Musa, a bonding through music that is the same whether you’re listening to Bach, or Dizzy Gillespie, or his dad’s favorite, Deep Purple.
“There’s a tribal thing with music. When I go to a show, I want to be able to move, to even dance, or clap, or whistle, or do whatever I want, because I want to be connected to the music. The [stuff] that we try to do on stage is exactly that. While we’re here, we all make noise together.”
■ Musa plays Thursday at Eslite Music, B2, 245, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段245號B2). Admission is free. On Oct. 19, the band hits the stage at Sappho Live, B1, 1, Ln 102, Anhe Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市安和路一段102巷一號B1). Tickets are NT$200 at the door.