Sun, 10 Dec 2023



From breakdancer to emcee: Sabahan shares tips on marketability
Published on: Monday, September 04, 2023
By: Neil Brian Joseph
Text Size:

From breakdancer to emcee: Sabahan shares tips on marketability
Jason revealed that the way he marketed himself on social media played a big role on his career.
WHEN Jason Jonathan took a last-minute request to emcee an event, little did he know that it would become the starting point of his remarkable journey in the industry. 

He is now one of Sabah’s most established emcees (or masters of ceremony), being invited to host big corporate events nationwide. 

He has since worked with more than 300 reputable brands, which include the likes of Nestle, Grab, TGV Cinemas, Royal Brunei, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Shell, Petronas, Tune Group, Samsung, and more.

Believe it or not, when he took his first-ever gig, he had zero experience in emceeing.

“I remember my first event because it was the beginning of the story of my life. I was a breakdancer. We were supposed to perform for this birthday party but the emcee cancelled at the last minute.

As one of Sabah’s most successful emcees, Jason has worked with over 300 brands.

“The client panicked. I told the client that I can emcee as well when I didn’t know how to. I told the client that they just need to add RM30 to my payment. They agreed to allow me to emcee,” he told Daily Express.

After the event, he went to buy a new suit and he realised four things: he is naturally talented in emceeing; he likes doing it; people enjoyed what he did; and he can make money out of it.

Before he went to sleep, he set up a Facebook page and the rest was history. 

Just two weeks after that, Jason secured a gig at a mall in Kota Kinabalu. A month after that the mall called him up for another gig. 

His name skyrocketed and he went on to secure 11 gigs the subsequent month.

Jason revealed that the way he marketed himself on social media played a big role on his career.

He said a good emcee has to understand the chemistry between the “emceeing business” and “business of emceeing”.

“There are a lot of talented emcees hands down and many of them are better than I am, but the reason why they are not thriving like I am and getting all these jobs and high-paying gigs is because they don’t know the business side of the industry.

“They don’t know how to market themselves. They don’t have negotiation skills. They don’t know what are the business procedures. They don’t know how to persuade clients and how to set their price.

“If you have mastered the art of marketing and the art of emceeing and at the same time you are good at selling yourself to other people, then I would say you would achieve that peak,” said the 30-year-old.

His love for entrepreneurship dates back to his university days, when he would sell buns from door to door at his hostel, earning up to RM150 per night.

When asked about how he would prepare for his events, Jason said he would usually do his homework one or two days before the event because that way, it would be easier for him to digest and remember everything. Then on the same day, he would go through his script.

Even after all these years, Jason admitted that he would still get stage fright.

“I have been emceeing for eight years. I still get nervous. I got nervous during my recent event in Johor. 

“All emcees understand that being nervous is normal. If you get it, you get it. The difference between us and other people is that we have gotten used to not overcome it but to live with it.

“You know how you’re scared but you have the courage to face your fears? We have learned to actually live with it,” he said.

In a bid to nurture the myriad of talents in Sabah, Jason started his own talent agency known as Talent Shop. 

“Sabah has many talents but these talents don’t know the business side of what they do. They don’t know how to do invoices, quotations and how to get clients. Our agency fulfills the missing part – which is the business part.

“All the talents need to do is do what they’re good at and what they love. Our vision is to make Sabah known for its great talents. We will fill the gap,” he said, adding that his agency offers three pillars of services, namely talent management, content production, and event management.

Jason is also very generous when it comes to sharing his knowledge about emceeing. He has conducted several workshops on the subject.

His competitive nature also makes him hungry for healthy competition.

“I want better competition. I want my friends, who are also emcees, to be better so that they get more jobs and they can improve. 

“If there are a lot of good emcees, I will push myself even more,” he said.


* Follow us on Instagram and join our Telegram and/or WhatsApp channel(s) for the latest news you don't want to miss.

* Do you have access to the Daily Express e-paper and online exclusive news? Check out subscription plans available.



Top Stories Today

Sabah Top Stories

Follow Us  

Follow us on             

Daily Express TV  

Try 1 month for RM 18.00
Already a subscriber? Login here

Try 1 month for RM 18.00

Already a subscriber? Login here