Mr. Fred Chong

Is the founder and group CEO of Prodigee Media and WebTVAsia which is setting up Viral Fest Asia on July 16 at GWK. the beat had a chat with him to find out what it is all about.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into the industry.
I was trained in engineering and IP management in New Zealand but am extremely passionate about the media entertainment industry since I graduated some 22 years ago. So my first job straight after completing my master’s degree was to work as a coffee boy for a top music producer in Taiwan. I was very keen to get into the music industry so that’s how I started. Everything since then is history.
To sum up my career as a media entrepreneur: 1) I was the winner of the first Nokia Mobile Ring Tone Competition in Asia. 2) I was the first and most successful digital content entrepreneur in Asia (pioneer of mobile ringtone business). 3) Malaysia’s biggest conglomerate YTL group bought my Singapore company, Hip Mobile and I became the youngest CEO in YTL’s history. 4) When I started Prodigee Media in 2005 from literally nothing in Malaysia, I already saw the immense potential of the digital media revolution in Asia. 5) So, my first artiste Karen Kong became the first Chinese-to-Malay crossover singer ever in Malaysia, earning her the record of achieving Friendster’s (biggest social network in the world at that time)‘First Ever Online Concert in South East Asia’. 6) With a young, supertalented but abrasive rapper (and also Malaysia’s first ever star YouTuber) Namewee, we created history again with Prodigee’s first ever movie, NasiLemak 2.0 and broke the Malaysian Chinese box office record in 2011. 7) In 2012, with the help of a Malaysian government friend (he now works with me), I was among the first to sign a partnership agreement with YouTube, and discovered the great future of a multi channel network business model. Hence, Prodigee’s digital media brand for an ambitious regional expansion, WebTVAsia was born in 2013. 8) Finally, the past three years for WebTVAsia has been the most unbelievably outstanding for me and my team: pioneering almost every digital initiative that Asia has not seen. We became the biggest and most ahead-of-the-curve digital media entertainment company in Asia; masterminding the new Gangnam Style global viral music campaign, Little Apple; inspiring the biggest and most successful digital creator awards in Asia, WebTVAsia Awards in 2015; and now in 2016, attempting again the largest and most ambitious Digital Music Festival in Asia, VIRAL FEST ASIA 2016!
How did you get involved in Viral Fest Asia?
How is not as crucial as Why. In 2013 during YouTube FanFest in Singapore, my number one creator Namewee (who was and still is immensely popular in Singapore), suffered the humiliation of getting next to zero fan attention compared to so called American superstar YouTubers who “parachuted” into Asia. Since then, I vowed to create my own “FanFest” that is 100 times bigger with the sole focus to promote, recognize and celebrate the best of the best and pure, native Asian talent or creators. Enough is enough of Asia playing second (or third, or maybe last) best behind America/West. That, was what drove me to start Viral Fest Asia, let’s #CelebrateAsia!
What exactly is Viral Fest Asia?
Like I emphasize above, Viral Fest Asia is slated to be Asia’s most prominent platform to showcase the best Asia has to offer: our unique cultural identity, the diverse social anthropology that is found nowhere else in the world, and totally captures the imagination of millions if not billions of the Asian millennial audience.
We want Viral Fest Asia to be an annual festival celebrating the very best in music and video content revolution in Asia. The continent’s hottest artists, musicians, digital talents and social media celebs will converge in Bali, Indonesia this time for an explosive night of All-Star concert, EDM music and visual extravaganza!
Is there a theme for Viral Fest Asia?
Yes, of course! Viral Fest Asia 2016’s theme is “Everybody’s Going Viral”, originating from the social media buzzword “viral video” which emphasizes the power of massive global community-driven trend-setting via creative mediums like music, film and multimedia. Hence, the festival aims to celebrate the best of Asian music, talent and culture.
What kind of party is it?
Well, it’s definitely the party of the year. I would say we work so hard to give our guests, partners, media, artistes and most importantly fans, the most enjoyable night of their lives. Looking at it, 27 of the top Asian artists coming together for a super concert of Asia – that’s simply unfathomable but it’s real. It’s coming to you real soon!
What’s there to do for the average punter?
There are lots to do. Bali, Indonesia is the most revered party island in Asia. Besides the massive concert on July 16 evening, there’s an absolutely rocking EDM party right after for the wild and imaginative. A day before, we bring to our 1000 VIP guests a trend-setting industry forum with the most influential media entertainment executives in Asia. Then, followed by a glamorous and prestigious, black-tie red-carpet affair Gala Dinner Banquet graced by a top government minister in Indonesia. It’s highly private but not so confidential, just not open to your average punter. Bali still has plenty to offer: the crystal clear ocean, sandy white beaches, exotic Balinese architecture, sumptuous local cuisine, natural rainforests, tempting shopping paradise and of course, hard rock partying!
What kind of musical acts will there be?
We have announced the cream of the crop of Asian artists from 12 countries to power the July 16 super concert. The live Concert and EDM party will have an all-star line-up of 27 top Asian artistes, with a combined fan base of over 100 million. It’s headlined by K-pop superstar Hyuna, India No.1 rapper Badshah, top-ranked Asian comedian dance group Egu-splosion of Japan, China’s top Mandopop artiste Guan Zhe and Malaysia’s epic rap star Namewee. Host country Indonesia is represented by a stellar roster of Papinka (celebrated homegrown band), Al Ghazali (No. 1 rising star) and DJ Yasmin (Asia’s Hottest DJ). Many more artistes from Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Netherlands will also be there!
Can I bring my kids?
Yes, you can bring your family and friends but they have to be 18 years old and above.
What should I bring?
Just yourself and your loved ones? Haha, I think the best you can bring is a completely relaxed emotion, be ready to party and have a whale of a time! If you really insist on being practical, keep a stash of cash to buy your ticket, food and drinks available at the GWK venue. Oh yes,you are definitely going to sweat so dress as if you’re going to the beach! Cause everybody’s going viral!
How can the public obtain tickets to Viral Fest Asia 2016?
Anyone who has access to the Internet can click on www.viralfestasia.com or www.loket.com to purchase tickets online. We are having a very special promotion of giving away the first 1,000 tickets completely free on a first-come-first served basis (subject to T&C). After that, each ticket will be sold at an absolutely nominal fee of only RP50,000 (USD4) per person per entry. We do hope to have more people joining us for this exciting ‘party of the year’ in Bali!

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