Zamaera stages historic performance at Malaysian venue Istana Budaya for ROUND Festival

The first time the Kuala Lumpur venue has hosted a hip-hop act since opening in 1999

Rapper Zamaera will stage a historic performance as part of the upcoming ROUND Festival, which brings together musical acts from Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Malaysian rapper’s performance – which has been pre-recorded for the livestream festival – took place at Istana Budaya, the long-running arts venue in Kuala Lumpur, and marked the first time the venue has hosted a hip-hop act since opening in 1999. In an Instagram post yesterday (December 3), Zamaera also hinted that she might have performed an unreleased track for the occasion.

ROUND Festival, which will be live-streamed, begins at 3pm on Sunday December 6. It will be free to watch on YouTube and will also be televised for Korean audiences through national broadcaster KBS.


In a press release, Zamaera explained the whirlwind process behind putting her pre-recorded performance together.

“It took me and my team about a week to plan, practice the choreography, designed by Ezra Tham, perform, and produce it, and it’s the shortest amount of time any of us had ever executed for a concert,” she states.

“We pre-recorded the live performance at Istana Budaya and was told that I am Istana Budaya’s first-ever hip-hop performance since its conception in 1999. I think that’s such a prestigious moment for me because we literally made history and Istana Budaya has hosted so many exemplary and accomplished artistes in the past and not many have the opportunity to do so.”

ROUND, also known as the ASEAN-Korean Music Festival (AKMF), was put organised to foster cultural exchanges through music between Southeast Asian countries and South Korea.

This year’s line-up is also set to feature Singapore’s Charlie Lim, the Philippines’ Ben&Ben, Cambodia’s Smallworld Smallband, along with a string of Korean acts including DAYBREAK, BOL4, Sunwoojunga and SORAN.