Pete Teo

Pete Teo


Pete Teo is a multiple award winning singer songwriter from Malaysia. He works in English and is regarded by critics as amongst the most important emerging crossover artist in Asia today.


Pete's primary influences as a singer songwriter are Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Cave, Cat Stevens, Daniel Lanois and Van Morrison. However, he also takes inspiration from Asian ethnic music as well as classical Chinese poetry. Intensely lyrical and introspective, his songs have been described as 'immediately familiar yet eerily personal', 'Zen pop' and 'haunting'. Known in Malaysia as much for his irreverent writing as his music, Pete's artistic voice is famously eclectic - as evidenced by the presence of folk, jazz, rock and ethnic musicians in his bands. He first made his name as a brilliant live performer with a fanatical cult following in Kuala Lumpur. Upon the release of his debut album 'Rustic Living For Urbanites' in June 2003, Pete burst into the national consciousness with 2 chart-topping singles and as nominee / winner of numerous arts awards. He is widely recognised as one of the most exciting creative voices to have emerged from Malaysia for decades.


Jesselton Tonight

Written By: Pete Teo

The boys are playing down The Riverside. Flat broke and crazy, but it didn't seem to matter, cos we had the night. Yeah, we had the night. Doing Sweet Thing in 4/4 time. You said it didn't work, "but I'm oh so glad to be alive". To be alive. Hosannas under a blood red sky. We danced a tune to Van's surrender. Bless the man, he's singing and howling sweetly to the moon! And then you took me by the hand again and said, "I love you so. Would you fall in love in Jesselton tonight?" We headed down to The Zanzibar. Make a left somewhere between your dreams and the shooting stars; that's where you are. Oh baby, why don't you just let it show? "Hey!" she laughed, "that's Brown Eyed Girl on the radio!" On the radio. Would you fall in love in Jesselton ere days of 'burn baby burn'? Would you fall in love in Jesselton tonight?

Where've The Years Gone?

Written By: Pete Teo

Walking down Bourbon Street. A dozen years back or so it seems. At the Voodoo Museum, we bowed to the prayers of the Voodoo Queen. Waltzing Dionysus on Fat Tuesday. The garbage was good that year. From the Orpheus we threw pearls and beads as we threw our tangled lives away. Down by the big big wheels where the Mississippi flows, I don't know if I really loved you so. I guess it should be clear by now, but it's hard to know. Where have the years gone? Took a page out of a Gibran letter. Took a low ride with you on a streetcar named Desire. But streetcars don't go there anymore. And at the cemetery, by the grave of Marie, we poured an ancient bowl of spirits and holy ghosts. But even so...

Rhapsody In Blue

Written By: Pete Teo

Susie came to town last night on the 7.43. Bare of back and long of face like a banshee in a tree. From across the crowded hall, you should've seen her beck and called, "A little bit of honey has never hurt nobody. If you want me, I could take you through the steps of Rhapsody In Blue. Touch you where you want me to, yeah. Rhapsody In Blue. And on this one black night it's evil to be on your own." She said, "Are you a strong man? Do you have a strong bone? Do you eat all your favourite spice on a stick or in a cone?" I said, "I don't know baby. It's been years since I ate. I'm living all alone in a dessert I call home. I wake up every morning thinking, oh no here it goes." She said, "Let's go to a little place that I know." And all I heard, as she turned aside, was the drumbeats beating in the night. It goes. Yeah, it goes. It's three o'clock. I looked across and she was staring down at me like a bandit on a cross. And she was smiling. She said, "We can walk, or we can talk, or you can do it all over again while I watch. I like to watch". We must all head down in the direction of our fear.


MAR 2002 - Invited to perform in New York at the Global Entertainment & Media Summit.

SEP 2002 - Demo version of cult favourite ‘Alive ‘N Free’ used in Malaysian playwright Huzir Sulaiman’s short film ‘That Historical Feeling’.

FEB 2003 - ‘Arms Of Marianne’ placed in filmmaker Bernard Chauly’s TV movie ‘Multimedia Super Cintun’.

JUN 2003 - ‘Rustic Living For Urbanites’ released in Malaysia to critical and popular acclaim. First single ‘Jesselton Tonight’ shot to HITZ FM Top 10 in the first week and stayed there for more than 10 weeks, reaching as high as No.2.

SEPT 2003 - 3 weeks Tour Of Japan - played Asian Acoustic Music Festival in Hokkaido and 6 different venues in Tokyo and Osaka, including the famous Noro Club and Venus Fort. Subject of one-hour special feature on NHK FM, Japan’s national radio station. Also featured on National Public Radio’s ‘The World’ program in the USA. Interviewed by Marco Werman.

OCT 2003 - Pete Teo Official Website won the top design award at Kancil 2003, Malaysia’s biggest advertising awards show. ‘Rustic Living For Urbanites’ charted at number 52 on CD Baby and number 1 on CD WOW!. The album stayed in the Top-10 of the ‘CD WOW! ‘Unsigned’ album charts for more than 10 weeks.

NOV 2003 - Pete Teo LIVE @ The Green Room. 3 packed concerts at the Actors Studio Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. First non-jazz musician to be featured in Heineken’s prestigious ‘Green Room’ concert series.

DEC 2003 - Pete Teo Official Website won ‘Gold’ at one of the top web design awards in the world, The New York Festivals Interactive 2003. The site also ranked 5th in the Top 100 Flash sites by the Flash Users’ Association of China in 2003.

JAN 2004 - Premier of ‘Arms Of Marianne’ music video on Malaysia’s top music video satellite channel, Hitz TV. Headlined Kuala Lumpur’s popular arts festival, Urbanscapes.

FEB 2004 - Pete Teo LIVE @ The Green Room nominated in ‘Best Musical Performance’ category in Malaysia’s top performance arts awards, The Cameronian Arts Awards. Launch of ‘Not Verbose’, Pete Teo’s News Blog, in response to popular demand by fans. The blog receives more than 7,000 page views a month.

APR 2004 - ‘Rustic Living For Urbanites’ nominated by Malaysia’s top music industry awards, The AIM Awards 2004, in 4 different categories: ‘Best Album’, ‘Best New Artist’, ‘Best Music Video’ (for ‘Arms Of Marianne’) and ‘Best Album Cover’.

Set List

Pete Teo's set list changes depending on the gig. Typically, a solo show lasts 90 minutes, and a show involving his band lasts 120 minutes. He almost never play covers.