Pete Teo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pete Teo
(Chinese: 张子夫)
Born (1972-12-26) 26 December 1972 (age 49)
Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia
GenresIndie folk, indie rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician, film producer, music producer, actor
InstrumentsVocal, acoustic guitar
LabelsRedbag Music

Pete Teo (Chinese: 张子夫; pinyin: Zhāng Zifu, born 26 December 1972), is a multiple award winning Malaysian singer songwriter, film composer and filmmaker as well as a sought-after actor in what has become known as 'New Wave Malaysian Cinema'. His work is associated with non-partisan reform politics in Malaysia – in particular, using new media resources to promote wider democratic participation, press freedom, and racial unity. Teo's work has been featured on the BBC, CNN, KBS, NHK, as well as numerous international film festivals and arts events. He has made some of the most watched viral videos in Malaysia.

Life and career[edit]

Teo was born in Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia. He begun his career with two albums as a member of the cult Hong Kong indie duo "Mid-Century" 「中葉」. He subsequently released two solo albums – Rustic Living for Urbanites (2003 / produced by Ronan Chris Murphy) and Television (2006 / produced by Nick Lee & Pete Teo) on his own label Redbag Music. Rustic Living For Urbanites won the Best Music Video and Best Album Cover category at the Anugerah Industri Muzik Malaysia (AIM – Malaysian Music Industry Awards) 2004. His follow-up album Television – an alternative folk music album filled with reflections on a media saturated world and Americana – won all 3 categories it was nominated for at AIM 2007 – Best Album Cover, Best Music Video and Best English Album – where Teo emerged as the biggest winner of the night, the first non-mainstream indie artist to do so in the history of the awards. "Television" subsequently became the first Malaysian record to be licensed and released in South Korea. Teo was also the first ever Malaysian artist to play at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin Texas in 2007.

In April 2008, Teo independently produced a zero-budget, non-partisan, non-profit, multi-artists recording of his anti-racism composition 'Here in My Home'. Entitled 'Malaysian Artistes For Unity (MAFU), the project attracted pro bono participation from over 50 Malaysian artists, media personalities and arts activists – including Ning Baizura, Awie, Afdlin Shauki, Jason Lo, Maya Karin, Tony Fernandes, Jaclyn Victor, etc. and many others personalities and volunteers.[1] The music video for the song, directed by Yasmin Ahmad and Ho Yuhang premiered at the Malaysian Music Industry Awards 2008 to a nationwide television audience. In the weeks subsequent to its release, the video became one of the most viral videos in the world – reaching as high as no. 3.[according to whom?] Both the song and the video are available for free download on the project's official website.[2]

In 2009, Teo released 15Malaysia – an anthology of 15 short films themed on social political issues in Malaysia. The project became a watershed in Malaysian popular and political culture, not only by featuring politicians as cast, but also recording more than 15 million visitors on its project website in 60 days. The feature-length version of the films has since been exhibited worldwide including at the Pompidou Paris, Golden Horse Awards, Busan International Film Festival, Rotterdam International FIlm Festival and more. In the same year, his compositions for the soundtrack of Yasmin Ahmad's film Talentime became popular in Malaysia – with the song Pergi (performed by Aizat Amdan) winning the "Song of the Year" Award at the Anugerah Juara Lagu.

Teo released a music video promoting the vote entitled Undilah in 2011. Featuring celebrities and both government and opposition politicians, the video was banned for broadcasting by the Information Minister Rais Yatim shortly after release. In the subsequent media uproar, the Prime Minister Najib Razak "unbanned" the video and it went on to become ond of the most watched videos in the Malaysia for 2011. Teo was also listed by CNN as amongst the 135 Asians to watch.

16 September 2013 – Teo released "Hari Malaysia" – a music video funded by the public celebrating the 50th year of the formation of Malaysia. Made with archive news footage and extensive CGI visual effects, the video featured a cast of superstars and politicians including Michelle Yeoh, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Ambiga, Namewee and more. The video also featured the songs "Slipstream" (performed by Melina William) and "Kembara" (performed by Asmidar).

In February 2015, Teo was chosen to represent Malaysia in Art Midwest's Caravanserai project, where he undertook a tour of Texas, Georgia and Florida conducting exhibitions and workshops on his film work. In August of the same year, he shot a rare two hour interview with ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Tokyo as part of an ambitious documentary project on recent Malaysian political history. The project has as yet an undetermined release date.

Teo played Tony in Dreamworks / Paramount's Ghost In The Shell, a live action adaptation of the classic manga/anime. Directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Scarlett Johansson, the blockbuster film was released globally in March 2017.[3]

Together with Liew Seng Tat, Teo released “Citizens”, a remarkable 2017 National Day video with the Transport Minister of Malaysia Liow Tiong Lai playing both himself and a confrontational citizen. Rather than celebratory as was normal practice, the video was somber in its questioning of the country’s direction, unprecedented in its apologetic confessions and provocative in its use of visual imagery.

2018 saw the world premiere and Golden Leopard nomination of “A Family Tour” by emigre China filmmaker Ying Liang at Locarno Film Festival starring a leading cast of Gong Zhe, Nai An and Teo.


  • Rustic Living for Urbanites (Album – 2003 Redbag Music) – Artist: Pete Teo (Producer: Ronan Chris Murphy)
  • Television (Album – 2006 Redbag Music) – Artist: Pete Teo (Producer: Nick Lee & Pete Teo)
  • "I Go" (Single – 2008 Redbag Music) – Artist: Pete Teo (Producer: Pete Teo)
  • "Here In My Home" (Single – 2008 Redbag Music) – Artist: Malaysian Artistes For Unity (Producer / Composer: Pete Teo)
  • "Pergi" (Single – 2009 Universal Music) – Artist: Aizat (Producer / Composer: Pete Teo)
  • "Itulah Dirimu" (Single – 2009 Universal Music) – Artist: Aizat (Producer / Composer: Pete Teo)
  • "Angel" (Single – 2009 Universal Music) – Artist: Atilia (Producer / Composer: Pete Teo)
  • "Talentime Soundtrack" (Album – 2009 Universal Music) – Artist: Various (Producer / Composer: Pete Teo)
  • "Hari Malaysia" ('Kembara & Slipstream' – 2013 – Artist: Various (Producer / Composer: Pete Teo)



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Sanctuary Cameo
A Tree in Tanjung Malim
2006 A Company Of Mushroom
Before We Fall in Love Again
Gubra as film score composer
2007 Waiting For Love
2008 Papadom Uncle Lim
2009 Talentime as film score composer
Call If You Need Me
At The End of Daybreak
15Malaysia film anthology, as producer
2010 Malaysian Ghostly Tales
Year Without A Summer In sound design and audio post
Claypot Curry Killers as composer
2011 Stretch Mr Thong
Undilah! Public service announcement, as executive producer
2012 Be Quiet as producer and director
2013 Papadom 2 Uncle Lim
Stay Alive as director
Hari Malaysia Music video; as executive producer, director and composer
2015 The Beautiful Losers
2016 KL24:Zombies
2017 Ghost in the Shell Tony [3]
Citizens Short film, as co-writer and co-director with Liew Seng Tat.[4][5]


Year Title Role Network
2020 The Bridge (Season 2) Sylvester "Silver" DaCosta Viu/HBO Asia


  • Best Music Video & Best Album Cover for 'Rustic Living For Urbanites' – Anugerah Industri Muzik 2004
  • Best Music Video, Best Album Cover & Best English Album for 'Television' – Anugerah Industri Muzik 2007
  • Song of the Year for the song 'Pergi' [Composer] – Anugerah Juara Lagu 2009
  • CNN's Top 135 'People To Watch' in Asia 2011.
  • SHOUT! Awards "Best Youtube Channel" for Pete Teo Television (Nominee) 2013


  1. ^ Jo Teh (27 May 2008), "A song of hope and racial unity", The Star/News/Nation, Petaling Jaya, archived from the original on 22 June 2011, retrieved 6 April 2010
  2. ^ "Download/Here in My Home/MAFU". Archived from the original on 23 March 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b Yeoh, Angelin (10 January 2017). "Pete Teo has a part in Hollywood film 'Ghost In The Shell'". The Star. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  4. ^ "'Citizen Liow' plays dual role in National Day video". The Star (Malaysia). 28 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Liow Tiong Lai, the main character in 'Citizens' (VIDEO)". The Malay Mail. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.

External links[edit]