I would like to introduce my ‘old’ homeboy Malaysian friend, Mr Kelvyn Yeang (yes, the one with the funky red hair in the video). I met Kelvyn way back in the fall of 2002 when I went back to Penang, Malaysia to spend a year there. I had enrolled into an art college, and Kelvyn was amongst the first few I befriended. He was friendly, approachable, funny and full of energy. He could have had his own stand-up comedy. But he did not have the funky red hair that he has today. I even found out he was my neighbour in the tall two-block apartment we were living in.
One evening, I woke up from a nap with a heavily bleeding ear. I forgot whether it was the left or right ear. I immediately became scared. I was alone in my apartment. I didn’t know what to do. I panicked. And then I thought of Kelvyn. He was the closest person to contact as he was my neighbour. I didn’t know whether he was home, but I took the chance. So I called him on my mobile. I started crying and blurted out, “Help, I have a bleeding ear,” through heavy tears. Sounding concerned, Kelvyn told me he wasn’t home but to go straight to his place where his mother, sister and girlfriend (whom is now his wife) would help me. Without wasting another second, I hung up and rushed to his place. When I got there, the family tried to figure out what was causing the bleeding. In the end, they saw that an insect of some kind had crawled into my ear and bit me…before it died deep inside. Nice. The family was concerned, and so, they decided to take me to the hospital. We had just driven past the main gate of the apartment when we saw Kelvyn. Meanwhile at this point, everything was a blur to me. I was thinking of the worse. What if the doctor couldn’t get the insect out? What is I got infected and die? I only remember seeing Kelvyn looking at me through the rolled down window of the car I was in with worry on his face before driving off. At the hospital, the doctor managed to get the unknown insect out and got me treated. By this time, I felt like my normal self again. After that, I was taken to rest on a bed. Kelvyn then arrived unexpectedly at the hospital. The worried expression remained on his face. He then asked the family if he could speak to me privately. I was confused. That was when he asked if anyone had physically hurt me. I said no, stunned by his question. But I understood where he was getting at. I convinced him I wasn’t hurt by anyone. But the worried expression on his face remained. Kelvyn then asked if I wanted to call a family member, and so I asked him to call my uncle and aunt. When they arrived, Kelvyn continued to remain by my side. I was discharged at around midnight. Kelvyn and his family paid the hospital bill for me and took me home. They took me back to their place where they insisted on me to have some food, but I wasn’t hungry. I just had a small carton of whole milk. After then, Kelvyn and his sister walked me back to my place. That was the night of my life. And that is Kelvyn for you. His kindness did not stop there. He was there for others. He would put his needs before others.
Besides being an art student, Kelvyn had bigger dreams. He wanted to become a musician, a rock guitarist. Anyone can have dreams. But acting upon them is another. I remember Kelvyn inviting me and some of us college friends to his apartment and he would play his guitar and share his music with us. I could tell his passion through the mistakes and broken chords he made along the way and never giving up. It was like he was sharing his written stories through his music with us. I was never into rock music, and I am the kind of person who was hard to ‘convince’ to approve of something that I was not fond of. But when I heard Kelyvn’s music, it changed my perspective. It wasn’t the music that got my attention, but the way it was played. Kevlyn’s way. Today, I would say Kelvyn is a well known local artist in Malaysia. He’s in a band and often attends music festivals around Asia. His music has broadend, and the video above is one of my many favourites. Even with his popularity, he has managed to remain the humble old kelvyn I know from many years ago.
The reason why I wanted to write a post on Kelvyn is because not only do I want his music to be even more well known, but to also let people out there know that when you are supporting him, not only would you be supporting his music, you are also supporting a humble friend with a honest heart, no matter how famous he becomes, and that is rare. Keep dreaming even bigger and brighter, my dear friend.