Fender Custom Shop 1956 Heavy Relic Ash Strat & “Sorry I’m Late”

11 Sep

Fender Custom Shop 1956 Heavy Relic Ash Strat. 
Drums – Keyjohan Ismail 
Bass - Hamid Ahmad
Keys - Gavin Cardoza

It’ll never be the same again.

This combination was suggested by Keyjohan after he heard the early version of this song “Sorry I’m Late”.
He said it would be good to bring aboard Abang Hamid for bass and Keyjohan’s band mate Gavin Cardoza for keys.

True enough, this was one of the most wonderful combination of melodic musicians I’ve ever worked with.

Making music will just never be the same again without Keyjohan.



Farewell September

3 Sep

It’s hard to pen in words which only the heart can feel so acutely.

The past few days have been one of the most difficult in my life.
My dear friend Keyjohan Ismail passed on after his hard-fought battle with cancer.

Diagnosed with nose cancer a few years back, he fought hard to stop the disease in its tracks.

His passing is hard for many of us to take.
To his band mates and friends, they’ve lost a timekeeper, Mr. Groove or Pocket Man and a friend.
To his family, they’ve lost a son and a brother.
To his wife Suzy and his 3 young sons, she has lost her soulmate and they have lost a wonderful father.

For me, I’ve lost a long-standing friend of 25 years, a brother, producer, and most importantly, an immaculate musician. Jo’s the perfect musician that I am so blessed to have worked with.

Jo is one of my closest and unwavering supporter and friend. I felt confident whenever Jo performed with me, simply because he always had my back.

He was a dedicated and talented drummer who had the grooviest knack. While working on my album Deeper Than Purple where Jo was the producer, he dedicated his attention and time whole-heartedly and professionally throughout the countless late nights we spent in the recording studio. And this was despite having to juggle his huge role as the sole breadwinner to his young family (his wife was pregnant with their third child then) and his full-time job as a drummer with his band Energy.

Even when he was sick, he never stopped to think about music. I visited and texted Jo often, our conversations often about his recovery and him looking forward to work on my 3rd album. A few times he said if we have enough funds, he will ask Steve Gadd to do one of the songs. But after that we’ll laugh it off knowing it’s only a wistful thought.

I missed the times we spent chatting and laughing over teh tarik, Jo.

Here I want to share a conversation I had with Jo the night before he passed away.

I was by his bedside together with 3 other friends and his wife. He was so weak then it was difficult watching over him. Yet he mustered enough strength to whisper to me, about a CD he had played on and had asked me to listen a month ago. I leaned in really close, putting my ears to his lips. No one knew or could hear our conversation.

“I miss you, sidekick.”

“I miss you too and I’m here.”

“My chest is heavy and it’s hard to breathe.”

(I rubbed his chest but stayed silent)

“How was my drumming in the CD?”

“It was perfect.”

Sounding slightly frustrated, he replied, “I haven’t got the chance to listen to it.”

“But you played on it. That’s the beauty.”

Then he closed his eyes.

I struggled not to cry. I don’t know what went on in his mind at that point in time, but what I saw was that even on his death bed, he was still so concerned about how well he had done his work.

Jo’s not a perfectionist, he’s a perfect musician.

I lost both parents to cancer, and now Jo.
Cancer is a terrible disease, so let us pray for those who are going through it and also for those who have lost their loved ones to cancer. If possible, please support the various cancer societies and foundations we have in Singapore.

To our fans and friends, we can never fully express our thanks and gratitude towards your support of our musical journey all these years.
And especially to Jo for being so amazing and a wonderful blessing in our lives.

In return, we want to help Jo’s wife Suzy and their 3 young sons get through this difficult time in whatever ways we can.
If you like to help them via monetary donation or other means, here are the details:-

Suzyana Bte Sulaiman
Bank Account: (OCBC) 528-8-045130

Farewell and thank you, Jo.
Till all of us see each other again hereafter.

- RM


Blazing The Trail With Jackson Custom Shop Soloist Guitar

18 Aug

With a solid rock guitar that’s embellished with the striking and detailed graphics of Johnnie Grez, how can one not blaze the trail with it?

Especially so when you play the guitar along to the tunes of “Portrait Of Fading Faces”.

And did Rosli blaze the trail in all instrumental fury as he showcases Jackson Custom Shop Soloist Johnnie Grez Guitar in this latest video presented by Swee Lee’s By Appointment Only (B.A.O.)

Asking Rosli his impression, he has nothing but praises for the guitar that reminds him so much of the rocking eighties.

“It’s my first time handling a Jackson guitar. And I find the neck to be slick and comfortable to hold, while boosting a stable floyd rose.

The headstock reminds me of the 80′s when rock was all the rage and dive-bombs. There’s no doubt that this is truly a rock guitar.”

He concluded,

“This guitar sings, screams and growls!”

Do you not agree?


A Dance With The White Lady

20 Jul

Elegant, sexy and bold.

It’s hard to fault if you’re thinking it’s the description of a lady. To be more specific, the description of a Gretsch White Falcon guitar.

Hearing this lady sing while holding in his hands, Rosli can’t help it but to say,

“The song and the feel of the guitar in my hands…then the tone and depth of reasonance puts me in such a mood that I wish I had it when recording ‘Venice’.

Like how I like to have a dance now. Anyone?”

Remember that romantic and dreamy love song ‘Venice - The Love Story‘ from Rosli’s album Deeper Than Purple?

Put your finger to the mouse button and click ‘Play’ to the latest video presented by Swee Lee’s By Appointment Only (B.A.O.). Then close your eyes, relax and let Rosli and the Gretsch White Falcon’s alluring sweet tone transport you to one of the most romantic places on earth called Venice.

Or make a date with this white lady at B.A.O. today and let the guitar sweep you off your feet.


Running With “The Beast”

4 Jul


The Beast.

There’s no other apt name for this Collector’s Choice #8 1959 Les Paul that came to life, thanks to a collaboration between Gibson and British guitarist Bernie Marsden.

Rosli was so glued to this guitar that for 2 hours he couldn’t take his hands off it. As Rosli described it,

“The separation of the strings is perfect, making the tone neither muddy nor fuzzy-like. It has a very balanced weight and the beefy neck loves to scream whenever I dig into the frets. I was relishing so much the guitar’s tone but it was plugging into the EVH amp that blew me away to a level higher than cloud nine. One word – JUICY!

“The Beast” truly lives up to its name with its delicious tone & playability.”

For a chance to run with this beast, make an appointment with Swee Lee’s B.A.O. (By Appointment Only) today.

(Song: “My Heart Has Spoken”, from Rosli’s album Deeper Than Purple)


Rosli Mansor Performs At The Fender Custom Shop Roadshow

2 Jul

June 24 was such an exciting day!

Not only did Rosli find himself in the presence of several wonderful Fender custom-made guitars, he also had the opportunity to meet the Fender guys who came all the way from USA for the roadshow.

From L to R: Joe Reynoso (Director of Global Sales, FMIC Custom Shop), Rosli, Justin Norvell (VP of Product Development), Paul Waller (Master Builder)

Meeting the guys was one thing, but the crème de la crème was Rosli getting to play on the Jeff Beck signature strat, since Jeff Beck is one of his major influences in music. Rosli also had the honour to play on the Master Design Strat.

Rosli got to play two songs from his Deeper Than Purple album, ‘Last Man Standing’ & ‘Sorry I’m Late’ to a packed theatre at The Substation. And Rosli has this to say about the event.

“I’m very happy and proud to be part of the Fender Custom Shop Roadshow yesterday. It is not just a story about music history but about American history.

Every piece that comes from Fender, from the entry level range all the way to the Masterbuilder models, is a product of the artistry of the human mind and it has redefined the sounds we hear.”

Rosli’s expression said it all…

Rosli had a blast at the event and we hope those of you who went had enjoyed yourselves too! For more images of the event, follow the link here.


Rosli Mansor Pairs Up With Fender Custom Shop’s Mike Landau 1963 Relic Strat

19 Jun

Oh that sweet tone from a very delightful guitar under the most deft of hands!

Under Rosli’s gentle coaxing and nimble handling, the Fender Custom Shop Michael Landau 1963 Relic Stratocaster sings out its soulful tone in this video presented by Swee Lee’s By Appointment Only (B.A.O.)

I asked Rosli about his thoughts on the guitar and he said,

“I feel totally connected with the guitar, especially the neck profile. I’ve fallen in love with it.”

For many who have been following Rosli may notice he hardly appears with a Fender guitar. In actual fact Rosli has owned & played Fender guitars over the course of his career, with 3 of them hanging on the walls of his home.

Interested Fender guitar lovers can head down to B.A.O. to experience this sweet strat or join Rosli at the Fender Custom Shop event taking place this coming Tuesday. For more details, go to

Fender Custom Shop Roadshow


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.