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24 Herbs
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alive not dead interview

24 Herbs

"24 Herbs" is a union of 6 guys; two are grand masters of Hong Kong Rap, one is a professional advertising musican, and the other three are music zealots.

Their original spirit comes from the philosophy of medicinal cold herbal tea: It's bitter in the mouth, but good for the body.  24 Herbs wants to infuse hip hop with their feelings and thoughts about the world around them.

Each member of the band develops 8 sentences related to a single topic.  Then the group comes together and works to compose the music.  By using light and humorous words, they try to resonate a message into the heart of the listener.  24 Herbs perform their music with a flair for theatrics and is working to lead Hong Kong into a new era of hip-hop.

Individual Members

Sir Eats a Lot / Sir JBS (Brian)

I own two shops.  One is called "8Five2 Shop", which opened in 2001 and sells skateboards, casual clothing, shoes, etc.  The other is called "KNOWLEDGE", openned in 2004 and just sells clothing.

I'm also a Hip-Hop artist.

A contradiction?  But they ARE related!

Why?

Isn't the culture of skateboarding similar to the Hip-Hop style?  Yes!  In fact, skateboarding and Hip-Hop are part of the same culture.

I started skateboarding with some friends in Hong Kong back in 1988.  (By the way, I'm an overseas Chinese from Indonesia).  I came back to Hong Kong at the age of 11 and after having lived here for over 22 years I can now consider myself a real Hong Konger.

You might have seen us skating under the buildings of WanChai or Central over the last few years.  But at the time we didn't know each other.  But no problem.  We will meet up when the time is finally right.  Just like 24 Herbs.

I first listened to Hong Kong Hip-Hop about 2 years ago and I didn't feel like it really reflected my reality.  I wanted my own band to say what I want to say and reflect my own feelings.  I knew Conroy since we're both into similar sports -- I'm into skateboarding and he worked on the X-Games -- and I talked with him about it.  Then we went on to meet 4 other people and they became the other 4 members of 24 Herbs!

It's great being able to sing my own songs.  Even more wonderful is being able to express myself in my own songs. 

Ghost Style (Brandon Ho)

In 24 Herbs my role is rapper/producer.  Our song writing process is; I make a couple of beats that the group can choose from. Once the group is feeling a beat we try to come up with a hook. Then, everyone goes off to write their own lyrics to the song. DorYuk (Eddie Chung) is the other producer in the crew and our processes are relatively the same.

I was born in Montreal, Canada. Moved back and forth between there and Hong Kong and eventually settling here in '97. During my school years, I was an average student and unfortunately I didn't care to study much. Instead, spent a chunk of my time in bands and partying. This was a theme throughout my student life until eventually, there was a point where I was forced to drop out of University due to financial difficulties. My parents wanted me to return to Hong Kong and help them, however, I took my chance to run and went AWOL to pursue a 'rockstar' dream. That left me out of favor with the folks and in turn had to fend for myself. Which meant I was literally homeless for a

couple of years. Someone once asked me if I regretted my decision.

"No," I said. Actually the feeling in my heart was "I'm free!" But, freedom comes with a price and there were harrowing moments no doubt. However, without that experience of rock-bottom, I probably wouldn't have found my creativity or love for music.

When I was a kid I remember writing down my future which was either I'd become a businessman or musician. So far, it's been the latter. I dj, produce, rap and play around with music. So, I'm happy that 24Herbs marks another milestone of my musical journey.

Conroy

I really enjoy hanging out with Brian.  We're both "just do it" type of people.

We were talking about our sports and our music during one party and we both felt that Hong Kong was lacking it's own Hip-Hop flavor.  He wanted to form a band and I felt the same way.  Later we found 4 music-oriented friends and 24 Herbs was born!

Kit and Phat are from the first generation of Hip-Hop.  They were members of the group LMF (Lazy Mother Fuckers) before.  They also worked on "The Heavenly Kings" as camera men, editors and on sound recording.

It's a great feeling to do things with your brothers!

We listen to songs together and develop a topic from that.  We each deliver 8 lines, combine them and select the best.

Ghost composes the music.

Eddie provides his most luxurious studio.  Plus he produces.

We're 24 Herbs!

Why are we named 24 Herbs?  My dad is an old-fashioned person, always taking me for medicinal herb cold team to help me cool down and detoxify.  It tasted really bitter, but it was good for the body.

I like that.

You feel sweet after the bitter taste.  So, it's not bitter.  It's very sweet! 

Ah Kit

To be honest, I was not a very good student.  I was never satisfied with the way society works.  That's the reason I wanted to form the group "LMF" with Phat.  We enjoyed delivering our feelings of dissatisfaction with society through our music. At the time we had a total of 10 members.  4 singers and the rest were musicians.

24 Herbs and LMF are cast from similar molds.   They both speak speak directly about issues.  But LMF dissolved in 2003.  Why?  Everyone ran to make a living.

I worked as a TV editor and in an insurance agency but I'm unemployed now.

Well, not unemployed.  We have 24 Herbs!

24 Herbs still has a long journey ahead.  I think the best approach is to first develop ourselved in the Hong Kong market and then branch outside of Hong Kong after that.  We don't dream to be famous, but just to build some fans and provide more musical choices for Hong Kong.

Now I'm also learning to be a DJ in my friend's home.  Many of my DJ friends have been supporting me!

Ah Phat

Before I was 20 I used to be very fat, so people called me 'Ah Fat'!  Back then I weighed 180 pounds with long hair and was very unhappy.

So I was fat but unhappy.  Everyone says that fat people are jollier than thinner people, but I was the exception.

'Ah Fat' suffered from depression and sealed himself up.  But more than that, he lost his long hair due to stress.  It sucked.

I can tell you now that I had some bad experiences trying to lose weight using the worst methods, just to try to make myself happy.  I would eat less than one bowl of rice every day for 3 months.  I know that people's digestion suffers when they are unhappy, but it's a scary way to lose weight.

But I made it.  I went from 180 to 140 pounds.  My friends and family were not used to my new "slim" shape.  But my health became my weakness after that.  Luckily for me my family, girlfriend and friends didn't stay away.  They provided comfort and took care of me, helping me to face society.  After 9 months my long hair finally grew back.

My girlfriend told me not to be pessimistic -- that I should always look at the bright side of every situation.  I made the band LMF with my childhood friend Ah Kit and found a way to release my feelings.  That process helped me grow up.

The slim 'Ah Phat' became happy from then on out.

Plus, we have 24 Herbs now and we can speak our minds to each other since we are good friends.

'Ah Thin' today is extremely happy!

Eddie (Dor Yuk)

I started learning guitar at the age of 14 - cause I love music and chicks dig guitar players. I soon formed a band, I was of course the only chinese guy I know in a band. We did pretty well, won some band competitions and got regular gigs, played at loads of parties. They were fun times but I could see what the band could achieve was limited.

I was not a very good student, I did however learn to drink quite well. I was too busy having fun. After completing courses in advertising and sound engineering, I had managed to get a job in advertising but it was really tough to get in.  I had to beat out 200 other candidates.  In the beginning I started out in lowest position; I was like an office-boy who delivered the mail and prepared the coffee, etc.  As it was trainee position, I got to work in all departments.  From that experience I was able to figure out which department fit me the best.  Once I joined the TV production team, I got to see a lot of post production houses. Than I'd realized that I can work in music and advertising. I was soon offer a position in the a music studio as I was very keen. While visiting relatives in Hong Kong, a friend introduced me to a similar company to the one I was working in Sydney. I was offered a position there and decided to take it as HK offered more opportunities than Sydney.

As a music producer, I get to compose all sort of tracks. Orchestral, pop, rock, metal, lounge, electronic, punk, industrial, retro, jazz, gospel, salsa, samba, hip hop, house, R&B, techno, Trance, you name it. I have got some almost 2000 piece of music published and on air. Most of these are tv commercials. I fully enjoy my work but for fun I don't want to make music for other people, I want to have some fun and working with 24 Herbs has been nothing but fun. My drinking skills have been put to good use also. What more can I ask for !

about 17 years ago 0 likes  9 comments  0 shares
Ghoststyle
Shout-out to the "Ho Clan Kids"! If you've read my part, I think some of my interview got lost in translation, 'cause you guys are definitely not 'docile!' peace! Keep your dreams alive! Love & Respect always to my Mom & Pop too.
about 17 years ago

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Hong Kong
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Male
Member Since
April 10, 2007