Michael Veerapen is the Chief Executive of PETRA Music. While music composition plays a major part, PETRA Music with Michael at the helm was formed to also complement the needs of the other members of The PETRA Group by curating signature tunes, incidental and background music, recording voice talents, sourcing of actors, singers, voice-overs and to create sound effects and sound design for corporate videos, branding, sales and marketing projects. Michael wears many hats – composer, producer, record studio head and music teacher, among others.
The venerable musician who prefers intimate club gigs than concerts or festivals, is one of the strongest driving forces behind the jazz scene in Malaysia. He was the prime mover behind Malaysia’s first Jazz Rock concert in 1978, which brought about the interest in the music in Malaysia. The Seremban-born artiste has also worked with local legends such as Sudirman for whom he composed “A Thousand Million Smiles.
In 2017, he was the music director, composer, and orchestrator for the 2017 SEA Games’s opening ceremony which was held in Kuala Lumpur and broadcasted live to all major ASEAN countries. He had also composed and directed several highly successful musicals including ‘SuperMokh’, ‘Lat Kampung Boy’ – for which he won the coveted BOH Cameronian Award for Best Composer.
He fell in love with jazz when he heard Canadian musician Oscar Peterson playing the piano as a child. His parents were instrumental in his success, where his father had enrolled him in Berklee College of Music back in the late ‘70s. He has released one studio album in 1995, and was mentored by the likes of the great Alfonso Soliano.
He owns a successful Music Production Company and Recording Studio. His Jazz Club “All That Jazz” was one of the most significant Jazz Clubs in the Asia region.
Besides a Diploma in Professional Music, from Berklee College of Music, he also pursued a Masters’ Degree in music at Universiti Sains Malaysia with a research paper focussing on local Jazz composers such as Tan Sri P. Ramlee, Alfonso Soliano and Jimmy Boyle.