KOTA KINABALU: He had been captivated by the majestic Mount Kinabalu even as a young boy.
“I have always wanted to honor the mountain. Since I was a young boy, I’ve been fascinated by it, ”said musician Justin Lewis, 41.
His chance has come.
The music video for Oh Kinabalu, the Bahasa Malaysian song he wrote and dedicated to the country’s highest peak, was released by Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Joniston Bangkuai on Saturday.
Along with featuring a group of traditionally dressed dancers, the clip also features images of the iconic mountain, Melangkap River, and Kudat’s Tip of Borneo, among others.
Oh Kinabalu is available on YouTube (https://youtu.be/ZotoxPSI9l8).
Shooting the video took time because they needed clear skies to capture the mountain in the background, said Lewis, who is from Selangor.
Also called One & Only JLewis, he comes from a family of musicians.
His father plays guitar while his uncle is Lewis Pragasam, the famous drummer.
Lewis, who started composing the song in December last year, said he often mingled with students from Sabah and Sarawak while at university and had lived in Sabah for four years.
“Every time we go up to the mountain, it is a must for me to stop at Pekan Nabalu to get a glimpse of the mountain,” he said, although he has never climbed Mount Kinabalu. .
He released two more singles at Saturday’s event: Lonely and My Lady.
He and his team also launched the “TikTok Oh Kinabalu” challenge (https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSdUJmkqT/) for people to post dance videos with Mount Kinabalu in the background.
Bangkuai, chairman of the Sabah Tourism Board, praised Lewis’ dedication and expressed hope that Oh Kinabalu would be recognized.
“It is admirable to see a non-Sabahan sing about the beauty of our state. At Sabah Tourism, we would like to see other artists follow suit and use music to promote places of interest, especially in rural areas,” he added.