They don't stop. They keep going. They continue to keep their passion alive.
They are Brunei's local artistes, and their mission is to play on since they love and live for it.
Our local artistes find ways and means to keep us in tune, follow their dreams, and sing out their inspirations.
So we had to ask, how do they do it?
How is it, despite the lack of performance opportunities, limited exposure, and little or no financial gain, do they continue writing, recording and doing what they do best?
Meeting and listening to the variety of artistes, including producers, singers, a rap group, songwriters and musicians who were all more than willing to give us some insight into their world, was awe-inspiring to say the least.
Syarif, who is well-known as the pianist and keyboardist in the band D'Hask, now also a music producer and sound engineer, runs his own music production studio, Attunes, was the first on our list.
He opened up to us saying, "We got the opportunity to perform in Kuala Lumpur just to expose our talent, but that was just a one-off thing because it is so hard to get that contact again or even get paid.
"This is because it needs a lot of paper work, which we're not familiar with and it's also hard for all of us in the band to get some free time to go there at the same time.
"We were approached by Madre Records, who ended up supporting and helping us to do music videos in the UK and US. It was amazing. This helped us to go back to KL once again and promote the video and our music to the Malaysian market.
"Nowadays, many charities have got involved with local artistes and musicians too by having them contribute either by lending a helping hand or sharing their talent to make a difference for those in need.
"I myself have helped Smarter Brunei record a few songs for a mini album from their play, ODDY's Quest II, to raise money for the charity."
Speaking about D'Hask, he said that they are just on the lookout for any opportunity to perform at functions or public shows or gigs.
For Attunes, however, Syarif has managed to keep busy by not only recording songs for bands, but also for solo artistes, as well as making jingles for Radio Television Brunei (RTB) and participating in their events.
The hip hop group Micbandits were met with an incredibly positive reception when they burst onto the scene with their 2009 hit "Cantik Rupamu (Hello)", a song about wanting to woo someone.
We decided to find out exactly how it is they keep their music alive, and how they keep going.
"Writing songs and making music will continue to be a hobby of ours although we would be more than grateful if there were more gigs or shows being organised where we can simply turn up and perform live," said Zed Peace, one of the group members.
"As it is, we get together as a group to record songs or tracks and put them online for our listeners to download as a means of keeping the music going," he continued."There has generally been a lack of activity in Brunei's music scene particularly because there are no longer real incentives to organise shows or mini-concerts."
They long for the days when event organisers or music groups would contact one another and say "Hey would you like to have a slot at our show this weekend?" as the case was in the past.
"I would not say that there is a lack of venues either as there are a lot of cafés and restaurants in town where live music can and should be accommodated," Zed said. "It is up to both organisers and musicians to start communicating with each other to keep the music scene alive."
Zed expressed belief that there is no shortage of talented local musicians who write and record original songs, as is evident from radio and Internet releases.
He said that it's just a matter of getting in touch with them (for example, by sending messages via Facebook) and inviting them to sing two or three songs for a show someone has organised.
"Micbandits certainly wouldn't mind performing," he added, with a smile.
Local songstress Juju rose to prominence in the Bruneian music scene with her catchy R'n'B hooks, and at the moment has been actively covering international hit songs and posting them up online through YouTube.
Juju spoke to the Weekend Bulletin about why she continues to do what she does, despite what appears to have been a decline in the local music scene.
"The sole purpose of me still doing what I'm doing, still making music and sharing it is because it is my way of expressing my feelings, as it relaxes me and makes me happy," she said. "Music is my route to escapism."
She also shared some insight into what life as a local artiste is like, saying that her highest paid performance was B$400 per song for a private function, and explained that payment varies depending on the hiring company's budget.
"For school events such as gala dinners and proms, the payment is usually much less," she said. "Sometimes it is said that artistes are overpaid, but when compared with foreign performers, we are paid 1/10th of what we are supposed to get."
She also said that charity performances aren't supposed to be free of charge and that there is in fact a specific charity rate for that.
"Charity organisers in Brunei think otherwise," she said. "How are we going to profit from that and be respected for the things we do."
"We perform because we love doing it, but as artistes we too have got to make a living and earn that respect," she explained.
"But then again," she added, "for the love of music I still do charge pretty much a lower rate for each performance than what I am supposed to be getting and sometimes I don't charge at all, depending on the event."
One man who knows Brunei's music scene well is Hans Anwar - a familiar name amongst Bruneians as his presence in the local scene spans more than a decade.
A singer and producer at PhuturePhase Productions, one of his more recent achievements was being invited to be one of the judges for the MTV redAMP competition, which searched for Asean's best band.
"First of all, what drives us is passion," he affirmed, when asked about keeping the music alive. "The work is from the heart and not from the mind."
"With this driven passion, creative work from these artistes somehow keeps on coming," he continued. "As you may have noticed, almost every week there are new songs premiering on RTB's Pelangi FM."
He said that it has become a platform for artistes or new artistes to showcase their latest compositions or performances.
"Of course there are advantages and disadvantages," he said.
On the standard of some of the local music that has been coming out recently, he said: "Quality is compromised as not all artistes have the accessibility to good quality recordings and for the 'newcomers' and 'wannabes', the apparent lack of vocal quality has been the number one criticism that we have to look into seriously."
Speaking about PhuturePhase productions, he explained that performing in private corporate functions has been our number one source of income for the artistes under their label and the company.
Other than that, they also do international competitions and friendly Asean programmes with organising countries that they have good relations with and through this networking they are able to send their artistes abroad to compete and perform internationally.
"I myself as a music producer have been able to make good income by writing music for themes, songs, jingles and drama soundtracks for RTB, various government departments and schools," he said.
"I work with my team of artistes to continuously write new songs and collaborate more with the artistes and my pool of composers and musicians," he added.
On the flip side is the young Aziz Harun. Known for his soulful voice and effortless rhythm guitar playing, 13-year-old Aziz's profile has risen significantly among local music lovers, particularly his fellow youths.
His most recent endeavour was his participation in the Fourth Marketplace of Creative Arts in Bandung, Indonesia last April, where he performed in front of thousands of people alongside a number of other young musicians.
Aziz told us that at the moment, he does private gigs, such as weddings, corporate events and dinners, but only once or twice a month. In his free time he likes to stay at home with a guitar and just sing.
"I'm also undergoing vocal classes to improve my vocal skills," he said. "The Internet is where I would settle to reach people with my music ... either by posting videos on YouTube and Facebook or uploading audio recordings on Sound Cloud."
He also pointed out that he's working on writing a few original songs.
Another rather well-known artiste in Brunei is Fakhrul Razi, a singer who has made it his goal to ensure that his music is heard, be it locally or abroad.
He aims to not only keep his music alive, but also to stay in the game, and he does everything he can to perform in neighbouring countries such as Kuala Lumpur, Manila and especially Indonesia where he is followed by many.
"I have performed at an event overseas where I paid for the airfare and accommodation, just to be able to do what I love, my passion - singing," he said.
"I have performed at the renowned Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia, a Berita Harian event in Kuala Lumpur and several other big events."
"I even have recorded a song for an album featuring Indonesian singing sensation Glenn Fredly and Maliq and d'Essentials."
Fakhrul also expressed his hope of having the ability to organise more frequent gigs and shows just so that artistes and bands can showcase their talents.
"It doesn't even have to be a paid show, because when an artiste is starving for a chance to perform, passion drives them all the way," he said.
So there you have it; Brunei's local artistes, keeping their music alive.
They're not hugely famous.
They don't rake in millions, and they haven't sold multi-platinum albums.
Well, not yet.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin