“The very first guitar that I ever bought was from Swee Lee,” shares Meng Ru Kuok with a grin. “I must have been around 15 years old when I bought it.
“It was a beautiful American-made Fender Stratocaster, a Highway One model which I still have today.”
The newly-launched Swee Lee Music store at Lot 10 is an appropriate setting for our interview.
Surrounded by endless rows of new and pre-loved guitars with the synth-pop tunes of a live band cranked up in the background, Meng Ru is a picture of contentment, and rightfully so, given how far the brand has come.
It's A Swee Lee Life
From a humble store in Singapore selling guitar and audio gear, Swee Lee Music was bought by Meng Ru in 2012 and is nearly unrecognisable from its beginnings today.
The newly refurbished flagship store at Lot 10 feels less like a store and more like a laid-back café-cum-music-studio. One of 3 Swee Lee branches in Malaysia, the 4,995-square-foot store has a Swee Lee Café (with a designated stage area for live music and jamming sessions, of course), a vinyl section, an impressive line of instruments and second-hand guitars as well as professional audio equipment.