The Spotlight a starting point for youth to turn pro

LivingMoments BN hopes to continue performing arts contest to showcase Bruneian talents

Event management company LivingMoments BN are hoping to organize a second edition of performing arts competition The Spotlight to further develop professional talents after the first sold close to 400 tickets last weekend.

The Spotlight’s finale at the Jerudong International School (JIS) Arts Centre last Saturday evening received an encouraging response, with singer Nas Suhaili taking first (pictured main R), yo-yo player Ak Muhd Aiman second and magician Nadzri Harif in third out of a pool of 12 finalists, whittled down from 150 participants who first auditioned in September last year.

LivingMoments BN founder Noor Rohaya Arun said that the competition was targeted to provide a positive outlet for talented individuals to showcase their talents, hoping to serve as a beginning point of turning professional.

“As a company, we have worked with many youths who are very talented in performing arts but lack the platform to exercise their talent and test the commercial aspect of it,” said Noor. “We hope that with this competition, we are able to provide that platform, support them in sharing their passion and inspire others who are like them to step forward and realize their potential.”

18-year-old Ak Muhd Aiman preforming a yo-yo routine which won him second place.

“We want to provide a positive platform where they can see the values of their talents and then ignite a perspective where they could consider pursuing talents-based entrepreneurship as a source of income,” added public relations executive of LivingMoments Indra Jaman.

Developed in the mould of Asia and America’s Got Talent, The Spotlight saw LivingMoments collaborate with the Brunei Tourism Board under Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) to host the event in conjunction with the Brunei December Festival, a month-long series of  festivities designed to draw tourists and encourage more locals to spend in Brunei during the year’s end.

Out of the 150 auditioning, 54 talents were invited to compete in the semi-final rounds held on October 8 at the Dewan Setia Pahlawan of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT).

Champion Nas Suhaili, who belted Jennifer Hudson’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, walked away with $1,000, sharing that it was her first solo performance to a public audience.

Contestants celebrating together backstage. Tickets to spotlight were sold for $30.

Magician Nadzri Harif, who dazzled the crowd with tricks and comedy, added that the Spotlight connected him to the performing arts community, all who share a passion to turn their art “pro” in the future.

“It is a great platform for our local performers and gives us a chance to showcase our talents to a wider audience,” he said. “The prizes give us the incentives to work harder on our talents – (and is a step towards) turning our hobbies into a professional act.”

Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Roselan Haji Mohd Daud attended the finale as the guest of honour, with badminton Olympian Jaspar Yu, local singer and composer Mari Aries, actress Liyana Yus and stand up comedia Zainal Bostaman as judges.

Partners to The Spotlight include Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd, A.K.K. Design, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Brunei, with XOIA, Warrior Energy Drink and Firoza Jaya Silkhouse Sdn Bhd also providing support to the event.

For more information follow @thespotlightbrunei @livingmomentsbn on Instagram.