Rock to a sensational beat

SINGAPORE - With chairs, walls or even just their bodies, they can drop beats that will get you bopping your head.

This drumming group are set to rock the house at The New Paper's 25th Anniversary Mardi Gras-themed party on July 26.

Sensational Six are a group of percussionists who devote themselves to a style of samba music called batucada, an African-influenced Brazilian percussive style.

Five of the six members whom The New Paper met on Monday said that when they are not performing at corporate events, they teach young percussionists the art of drumming.

When batucada is mentioned, one may think of famous local percussion group Wicked Aura, which is where some of Sensational Six's members originally performed.

The 12-man Wicked Aura have been around for the last decade, making their name locally and at international gigs and competitions.

But Sensational Six say they are made up of a "less intense" group of "buddies that get together as and when time permits".

They perform at a wide range of events, from corporate functions to festivals, sometimes with percussionist friends from the music industry.

"It's more of a fun thing where friends from different parts of the music industry come together to perform as and when we have events," said Mohamad Rizal, 30, a former member of Wicked Aura.

"Most of us teach young drummers in different schools, so this group allows us to practise our love for percussion in a more relaxed setting, outside of work.

"It's a chance for us to do what we love and have fun at the same time."

One fan of percussion groups is co-founder of local dance school Mosaic Dance, Mr Wee Tze Yi, 29, who will also be partying at the upcoming Mardi Gras-themed event. Tickets to the event on July 26 are available at the Mosaic Dance school in Bugis.

Impromptu music

Mr Wee has been dancing for the last decade and was one half of the first Singaporean couple who won the Asian leg of the World Salsa Championship in 2007.

He said: "I think these percussionists will really bring out the Mardi Gras vibe at the party.

"You don't have to know the samba to be a part of a Mardi Gras. It's this kind of impromptu music that will evoke the festival vibe. "You will be moving to the beat before you know it."

He co-founded Mosaic Dance with long-time friend and partner Derrick Lye in July 2011. The school now has more than 200 members learning dances such as New York salsa, West Coast swing and Tango Nuevo.

One of the school's instructors, Miss Crystal Goh, a 27-year-old public relations executive by day, said: "The biggest thing about samba is the energy. It's really fast and the music is heavily percussion-based."

Added Mr Wee: "I can't wait for the Mardi Gras party. It's going to be a blast!"

FYI

WHAT: TNP Mardi Gras @ The Courtyard

WHEN: July 26, 7pm

WHERE: Robertson Walk

TICKETS: $25 per couple

HOW TO BUY:

1) Log on to pbp.sph.com.sg/tnp25 or

2) Visit Mosaic Dance at 520 North Bridge Road Level 5, Wisma

Alsagoff, Singapore 188742 (opposite Toastbox at Bugis Junction)

Weekdays: 6pm to 10pm

Weekends: 12pm to 6pm

Nearest MRT: Bugis

Buses (at North Bridge Road): 7, 32, 51, 63, 80, 145, 175, 197

Buses (at Victoria Street): 2, 12, 33, 130, 133