Most recalled for lighting up audiences from Tokyo to Singapore, he’s arrived on time in a slick suit, hair perfectly quaffed. If you’d have caught him in the days when Pop Shuvit was the biggest band in town, filling up venues with pure energy and rock and roll, you might feel a slight disconnect. The quickly photographer explains the set-up, where to sit, how to stand, and when flash the occasional smile. Moots listens with his eyes and ears, focused on every word. As it turns out, there’s more ambition and drive to his story than the average head-banging vocalist.
“I’ve changed three jobs in the last three years,” he begins, when asked for a summary of life so far. “First I was Content Manager at hitz.fm. Then I worked with the Prime Minister to start IM4U, which came out of the National Blue Ocean Strategy office. We were looking at kicking-off high-impact government initiatives with the lowest cost. For two years I was focused on youth development, community service and volunteerism.”
It’s still a challenge he holds close to heart because he takes special care to say it wasn’t about free handouts or charity. “We were about mobilizing youth, inspiring them to make changes they wanted to see in their own communities,”
Then he went back to Astro’s publicaton business, signing on as general manager for integration and marketing. After a quick stint in charge of digital sales within the group, he was recently promoted to vice president for the Astro Talent Management Group. With the corporate world drowning in elaborate titles and convoluted set-ups, Moots recognizes my quizzical look and wraps with a quick, “I’m kinda like Ari Gold from Entourage.”
Gotcha. So he’s a wheeler dealer now, adroitly negotiating contracts, growing assets and managing careers. I ask him what the shark tank feels like.
“Back when Pop Shuvit were just coming out, I was managing everything. Then we brought on a professional manager who taught us so much. Now I’ve made all the mistakes a person can make, not only to my bandmates but to other people, even clients around us. And those are pitfalls Astro’s crop of talents can avoid. Careers don’t always last forever, and make no mistake, it’s called the entertainment business because that’s exactly what it is. You have to project the right image and work with the experts who can help you grow,” he says.
“Although we’re part of the Astro Group, we’re essential functioning as a start-up. Plus we’re just as focused on identifying new talent on a regional scale as well. We’ve got a network called Rocket Fuel that’s working to identify new faces from digital platforms to perhaps one day, introduce them to the mainstream media,” he adds.
“And that’s the thing about the nature of our work these days. We’re always connected and work never stops. We have to work with schedules and timezones that may or may not suit our regular hours. On that note, I’m not big on clocking in and out on a daily basis. As long as my team delivers, that’s all that matters. I learnt so much working under Datuk Jake (Jake Abdullah, CEO of Astro Radio) during my time at Hitz.fm and also when he was at IM4U. Everyone in the office is a peer and we’re heading towards our goals as a family unit. There’s no ‘staff’ where I come from,” he concludes.
But that’s not all he has on his plate. Pop Shuvit, the band that thrust him into the spotlight recently celebrated 15 long years together. “We recently released two singles to mark this milestone, one in English and another in Malay. We were the first band to come up in the age of the internet locally, back in the time of forums, MySpace and Friendster. We did a small private show for some friends and everyone’s asking when we’ll make a comeback. Maybe one day. Everyone’s busy with their own thing, but we’re always thinking of writing new music.”
The Oris Hammerhead Limited Edition
Oris made it’s first diver’s watch in the 1960’s. Ever since, this independent Swiss company has a well documented track record of funding marine life and reef conservation projects to providing benefits for various international oceanography institutions. The Oris Hammerhead Limited Edition was born from that same commitment, this time aiming to save the endangered Scalloped Hammerhead. Limited to 2,000 pieces, sales of the watch will go to conservation project run by non-profit body, Pelagios Kakunja.
“I’m a big fan of this watch. It’s smart looking and incredibly robust, the kind of sports watch that wouldn’t look out of place with a suit. Oris make some of the most distinctive diver’s watches, so this one has all their classic cues, with the bold dial and big markers. A very stylish piece,” says Moots.
Based on the second generation Aquis collection, this model is powered by an automatic Sellita movement, and features a uni-directional rotating bezel with black ceramic inlay with water resistance to 500 metres. The case back is embossed with a hammerhead shark and the limited edition number. This high-performance watch will be launched in June.