Fourteen-year-old Malaysian musical talent Melvyn Gnai Zhi Yong has been strumming his name in the international scene since bagging the first place winner prize for acoustic guitar solo at the New York City American Protege Young Talent Music Competition in 2014.
He uses the fingerstyle technique – a playing-style where the guitar strings are plucked instead of using a pick, which is also the style used by another prominent international music prodigy, Sungha Jung from Korea.
This year, Melvyn got second placing for ukulele solo at the New York Music Competition. He has also participated in competitions in Taiwan and Singapore, and made guest appearances on TV in Amsterdam, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Malaysia.
Growing up with music and with strong encouragement from his parents, Melvyn honed his talents not only on the acoustic guitar and ukulele, but also other instruments including the violin, piano, drums, gu zheng (Chinese zither) and er hu (two-stringed fiddle).
This young talent has had the opportunity to receive guidance as well as perform with many renowned guitarists, namely Hikaru Tanimoto (Japan), Huang Chia Wei (Taiwan), Jeffrey Yong (Malaysia), Shun Ng (Boston, USA), Takeshi Sakasegawa (Japan), Agustin Amigo (Spain), Alex Van Voorst (Netherlands), John Goldie (Scotland), Sungha Jung (Korea), Petteri Sariola (Finland), Kotaro Oshio (Japan), Trace Bundy (USA), Masa Sumide (Japan), Akustik Republik (Indonesia), Sheikh Hady Basmeih (Malaysia), Grigory Novikov (Russia), Dai Niioka (Japan) and Roger Wang (Malaysia). He has also performed in Singapore, Taiwan, Netherlands, China and even Carnegie Hall in New York.