This one’s a short summary of Masterplan (the JY Music Ministry) I put together for Marky our drummer to organize Chirstmas Caroling contracts at hotels and clubs in Dubai – needed the money to buy some good sound equipment for the group.

WARNING: Blatant trumpet blowing, apologies 🙂 

Defining MasterPlan is going to be tough without first defining our origins and what we believe in. Our evolution, origin, and existence have always been around the local church parish Youth group we are all a part of. The thin, often misunderstood line between a Music Ministry Choir and a Rock Band is what we call the crux of MasterPlan. We’re quite new in the scene (around 3 years old), but we have all, at some point of time unanimously wished we existed during the Woodstock 60’s era when music and peace supposedly coexisted – we probably would have felt more at home then than now.

Now let’s get this straight. We dare not pump up guitar overdrives and hit harder and call it Thrash or play some random clueless chords and call it Jazz. The staple of MasterPlan has always been Ron Kenoly, Matt Maher, Don Moen, Hillsong and the likes which can be categorized under CCM (Christian Contemporary Music Label), and Delirious, Petra and other acts coming under the semi-crossover stream. In plain secular terms, we (try) do music to uplift the soul in genres of clean country acoustic Rock, Reggae, Gospel and maybe even R&B and playable pop. A penchant for keeping sing-along melodies amongst complex alternative arrangements has given us a moderately large fanbase in and outside the local Church youth and young at heart throughout all the Emirates. Our signature sound is a derivative of the varied influences we have individually, and a very recognizable harmony coming from our choral overtones.

Frontman Bibin never knew he could sing until he hit 20. Since the revelation, he has sang in Radio shows, umpteen albums, backed up industry giants at harmony – let’s just say he has not looked back ever since. His livewire showmanship on stage could be one of the reasons he has the crowd in hand everytime he mans the microphone. And if that was not enough, the very vivacious Mini takes charge of all the frills and adlibs the female vox calls for. Mini is scarily perfect pitched like Bibin and that ensures great singing even during Bad sound days. Sony on the Keyboard is more of a computer-scientist with all his freaky programming, sampling and tone mixing. Sony is our one man army of all brass and string sections, which he reproduces near-perfect second to only the original. Then there is George who handles the Piano, EPs, Rhodes, and Hammonds with the upper hand of a Classic die-hard Rock enthusiast. George also doubles up as a fill-in rhythm guitarist and back up singer for select songs. Gentle giant Diago is fondly known within the band as the broken chord prodigy with his uncanny prowess with the Acoustic 6strings. Well respected among his peers for his intricate strumming, Diago also provides backup voices and harmony for most of the set. Sherwell the axeman takes care of the Lead Guitars with nimble and sure fingerwork, adding that essential colour and texture over the octaves, and pulling off sophisticated lead-work when it calls for. For the added harmony, Nigel – the youngest among the lot pitches in with his natural-alto voice, also making sure the most-important sound mix and equalization is right for on-stage and the PA. Yes, we are a rowdy bunch, except for Maestro Mark and Edwin who prefer their Drums and Bass do most of the talking. Mark holds us all together with his steady thump and snare, along with Edwin on the Bass. Mark is a Jazz freak and his sheer awesomeness is quite a phenomenon we admire and enjoy. Edwin roots in all the chords with his naturally quantized bass riffs that drives the drums home into the songs we sing.

MasterPlan are a peculiar bunch who in the quest of regular gigging have not yet had an opportunity to put together originals, save a couple of unfinished arrangements and around 20 or so impromptu-penned lyrics lying in our Drum hardware box. However, we are a gang passionate about live-playing and free-jamming and that essentially is the golden cord that binds us together. With all passion and love of music and creativity, don’t be surprised if you find our very own originals coming out in the form of an album, signed record and all,  in the recent future!

PS: Catch us live at the iREFLECT Youth retreat at Al Ain this weekend (November 4,5,6).


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