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Bergerak Solo

25 Feb

Oleh Zaidi Mohamad
zaidim@bharian.com.my

Mengikut jejak Malique dengan menerbitkan lagu, album secara bersendirian

JOE Flizzow atau Joe sudah meredah pelbagai kesukaran ketika mengharungi dunia seni selama hampir satu dekad dengan rakan seperjuangannya Malique Ibrahim (Malique) dalam kumpulan Too Phat.

Agak membanggakan juga kerana berkat kegigihan mereka itu, Too Phat pernah menimbulkan fenomena tersendiri suatu ketika dulu.

Malah, duo ini cukup diingati dengan lagu Alhamdulillah menampilkan aktres seberang, Dian Sastrowordoyo dan Dua Dunia bersama Datuk Siti Nurhaliza.

Namun begitu, selepas menghasilkan album Rebirth Into Reality, Joe dan Malique memilih jalan untuk tampil secara solo. Keputusan itu menimbulkan pelbagai spekulasi hingga ada yang menganggap kumpulan hip hop ini sebenarnya sudah berpecah.

Misteri kehilangan Malique juga mengundang pelbagai andaian dan paling mengejutkan tahun lalu apabila dia menamatkan zaman bujang dengan model dan pelakon jelita, Melissa Maureen Rizal di Indonesia.


LANCAR sudah album sulung Joe berjudul The President.

Bagaimanapun, bagi Joe, Too Phat belum berkubur kerana peninggalan seni kumpulan ini tidak akan berakhir dengan begitu saja.

Menurutnya, dia ingin terus melihat kumpulan itu melakukan kemunculan semula atau ‘come back’.

Katanya, apa yang terjadi kepada Malique memang masih meninggalkan tanda tanya biarpun rakannya itu sempat mengeluarkan album solo terbarunya menampilkan lagu hit, Mantera Beradu bersama M Nasir.

Berkat paduan itu juga sudah melayakkan mereka ke Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2008 bagi kategori Penyanyi Berkumpulan/Duo Popular.


KELUARGA tersayang tidak jemu memberikan sokongan tidak berbelah bagi kepada Joe.

“Sebagai aktivis seni, kami merancang untuk kembali tapi tidaklah secepat mungkin. Perihal kami berpecah sudah lama menjadi buah mulut orang hingga ada cerita yang mengatakan kami bergaduh. Ia hanya khabar angin dan Too Phat belum berkubur, cuma masing-masing memberi tumpuan kepada projek sendiri.

“Saya dan Malique menubuhkan Too Phat sejak usia saya 19 tahun. Kini sudah sedekad kumpulan hip hop ini bertapak dalam dunia muzik. Takkan semudah itu kami mahu membubarkan Too Phat. Kami berusaha keras mengukuhkan genre hip hop di Malaysia.

“Kami menunggu masa sesuai untuk mengembalikan Too Phat. Mungkin juga kami akan menggunakan pendekatan yang selalu menjadi pilihan penggiat seni sekarang iaitu melalui penghasilan lagu single. Lagipun kita semua tahu Malique sudah berkahwin dan dia kini dalam proses untuk menyesuaikan diri untuk menjadi orang sudah berkeluarga atau menjadi ‘family man’,” katanya sewaktu ditemui di Hard Rock Cafe minggu lalu.

Di premis hiburan terkenal itu, Joe mengikuti jejak rakannya Malique dengan melancarkan album solo sulungnya diberi judul The President. Album yang cukup bermakna dalam diari hidupnya ini mengambil masa dua tahun untuk disiapkan.

Bagi album itu, Joe bekerjasama dengan teman seperjuangannya dari luar negara seperti Hady Mirza & TerryTyeLee (Singapura), Thaitanium (Thailand), Joeniar Arief (Indonesia, Jin (Amerika Syarikat) dan Phlowtron (Malaysia).

Istimewa juga single pertama daripada Joe atau nama sebenarnya Johan Ishak ialah memuatkan lagu Isabella yang pernah dipopularkan kumpulan Search.

Menurutnya, selepas mendapat keizinan daripada kumpulan Search, dia tidak membuang masa untuk menyanyikan semula lagu itu dan terus memasukkan dalam album The President.

“Dia (Amy Search) memberi sokongan penuh atas apa yang saya usahakan ini terhadap lagu Isabella. Atas keizinannya, saya melakukannya sepenuh hati. Umum juga tahu nama seperti Search, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza dan Datuk Sheila Majid mencipta fenomena di negara jiran kita, selain Indonesia. Mereka sentiasa diingati dan atas alasan itu juga saya ingin menembusi pasaran sana.

“Kejayaan Amy memberi inspirasi kepada saya kerana selain dianggap lagenda, dia juga cukup berjaya sebagai usahawan. Selalu kalau berpeluang bertemu dengannya, dia tak lokek memberi nasihat dalam apa yang dilakukan. Saya juga ingin mengikut jejaknya.

“Akhir bulan ini saya akan ke Indonesia kerana terbabit dengan persembahan dan apabila sudah berada di sana, saya akan berbincang mengenai usaha membawa album ini ke pasaran negara itu. Jika dulu, saya di bawah label EMI, sekarang mendapat kerjasama Warner pula untuk edaran. Semuanya belum dapat dipastikan,” katanya yang sudah mempunyai kekasih hati.

Tiada lagi imej budak hip hop

MELIHAT kepada imejnya kini nampak lebih kemas dan tiada lagi imej budak hip hop yang gemar memakai topi, berbaju besar dan seluar pendek yang labuh hingga paras lutut. Malah, ada yang mula melabel dirinya sebagai Jay Z Malaysia.

Katanya, seiring dengan usianya yang bakal menginjak 30 tahun pada Oktober ini, ia dilihat sebagai antara peralihan transformasi dunia barunya.

Sambil berseloroh, Joe berkata, wajahnya mungkin sekali pandang seiras dengan Jay Z tapi seboleh-bolehnya dia enggan dibayangi dengan jolokan itu.

Tambahnya lagi, wajahnya mungkin sedikit kacak daripada penyanyi rap dan usahawan berjaya itu.

“Saya tidak boleh menidakkan suami kepada Beyonce Knowles itu banyak memberi inspirasi dan pengaruh bukan kepada saya saja, malah orang lain.

“Kesannya cukup besar terhadap saya. Memang saya berharap suatu masa nanti dapat berjumpa dengannya. Mana tahu, saya dapat berkongsi muzik dan ideologi dengannya,” katanya yang tidak kisah berimej memakai kot.

Ditanya mengenai kebangkitan band indie yang semakin mendapat perhatian sejak tiga tahun kebelakangan ini, Joe melihat ia sebagai satu perkara yang positif.

Katanya, ia juga menandakan bahawa masyarakat Malaysia sudah mula terbuka menerima pelbagai genre muzik.

“Ia satu impak yang positif dan sebelum kemunculan Estranged, Meet Uncle Hussain, Hujan dan Bunkface lagi, kita sudah ada kumpulan seperti Butterfingers dan OAG yang juga bermula secara underground.

“Perjuangan mereka dalam tempoh yang lama tanpa sebarang perhatian ramai akhirnya berubah serta merta seiring dengan perubahan evolusi muzik di negara kita,” katanya yang masih yakin peminat muzik hip hop masih ada.

INFO: Pemahaman Joe terhadap judul albumnya, The President

Albumnya diterbitkan oleh syarikatnya sendiri iaitu Kartel Records yang ditubuhkan sejak 2006.

* Dirakamkan ketika negara sedang sibuk menghadapi pilihan raya.

Katanya lagi, kerana Presiden Amerika Syarikat, Barack Obama, dia hampir menukar judul album ini.

Ia ibarat luahan hatinya dan tidak bermaksud untuk mengatakan dirinya sebagai raja atau presiden kepada Hip Hop.

Ia merujuk kepada diri, seseorang yang boleh mencipta perubahan, melaksanakan sesuatu dan setiap butir bicaranya sentiasa didengar.

Simbol kepada impian Joe sendiri yang mahu mengukuhkan hasil kerja seninya tidak pudar dalam sanubari hatinya.

Dalam usaha untuk mencapai kejayaan dan kesempurnaan pasti akan ada halangan yang datang. Sebagai contoh, sewaktu mula menyanyi lagi, isu cetak rompak mula menular. Begitu juga sekarang, dengan kecanggihan teknologi hingga berlaku penyalahgunaan seperti muat turun lagu secara haram.

Album ini melakukan proses mastering secara maya di California membabitkan dua studio di Hollywood dengan kos harga RM10,000.

Lapan lagu dalam album ini menggunakan teknik muzik yang dipanggil 808s yang sering digunakan penyanyi rap, Timberland.

Penerbit yang terbabit untuk album ini tidak pernah langsung terbabit dalam penghasilan album Too Phat sebelum ini.

Lebih 80 ke 100 lagu dipilih sebelum ia dikecilkan menjadi 14 lagu pada akhirnya.

INFO: Joe Flizzow

Dilahirkan di Kuala Lumpur pada 16 Oktober 1979.

Menyertai Too Phat pada usia 19 tahun

Album ini diciptanya ketika Joe ‘keseorangan’ dan ketika kisah ‘kehilangan’ Malique mula diperkatakan.

Masih menghubungi dan bertemu dengan Malique. Malah, Malique antara orang pertama ditunjukkan hasil akhir album ini.

Anak kepada bekas pembaca berita TV3, Ishak Nengah dan wartawan, Aishah Ali.

Berita Harian

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Football Stars, Celebrities Play In Charity Match

7 Feb

SINGAPORE : Singapore’s famous footballer Fandi Ahmad and other soccer stars from the past donned their football boots once again – this time for charity.

Fandi was joined by other ex-internationals like Malek Awab, Nazri Nasir and Dollah Kassim, and celebrities like Singapore Idol winner Hady Mirza.

Proceeds from the match at the Woodlands Stadium will be donated to four Muslim charities.

Organisers hope to raise about S$20,000 and there are plans to make the event an annual affair. – CNA /ls

Channel News Asia

250,000 Revellers Usher In 2009 At Marina Bay

1 Jan

SINGAPORE: Over a quarter million people ushered in the New Year at Singapore’s new downtown Marina Bay.

There was high energy to reflect the troubled times, but there were also quiet moments of peace and hope for 2009.

The specially-choreographed fireworks at Marina Bay took spectators’ breath away.

“Fantastic fireworks, great show, all good,” said a man in the crowd.

An Indian woman added: “It’s definitely something different compared to New York, so it’s great to be out here.”

More than 10,000 spectators came to watch the very first full-length concert out on Marina Bay.

Revellers were entertained with 90 minutes of song and dance by local celebrities from Singapore’s MediaCorp Channel 5, Asian Idol Hady Mirza and Filipino band ‘River Maya’.

As much as many would say that 2008 has been a rough and unforgettable year, many more celebrating at Marina Bay would hope for 2009 to be a much better one. – CNA/de

Channel News Asia

Rocking With The River

30 Dec

SINGAPORE: Being in a rock band can be a dangerous thing for your reputation – especially if you’re Japs Sergio, bassist for Philippine rock band Rivermaya, and your bandmates are the ones jerking your chain because you’re not present for an interview.

Drummer Mark Escueta, guitarist Mike Elgar and singer Jayson Fernandez were on the phone with TODAY from the Philippines and they jokingly rattled off a laundry list of Sergio’s bad habits: “He snores really loud”, “He’s always drunk”, “Whenever we go on tour outside the Philippines or maybe just outside Manila, he tries to do everything in one night” and “Sometimes he wakes up late for interviews”.

The band is in a jolly mood not just because it’s the Yuletide holidays, but also because they’ll be performing at the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown to ring in the New Year.

The show will be broadcast live on MediaCorp TV Channel 5 and will feature performances by Taufik Batisah, Hady Mirza and Superband winners Rabbit, among others.

Rivermaya’s last gig in Singapore was in April 2007, and the boys can’t wait to come back to show off their new vocalist.

After former singer Rico Blanco left the band last year, they organised an American Idol-like audition process that was televised in the Philippines.

Over 500 candidates turned up to be Rivermaya’s new singer, but in the end it was 18-year-old Fernandez who got the slot.

“We had two days of auditions and… we narrowed it down to the final 13 and, ironically, Jayson was number 13,” said Elgar. “Lucky 13, actually.”

And what was Fernandez’s winning factor? “I think it was because he seemed to have lots of money!” said Escueta, laughing. “No, I’m joking. You could feel the excitement and the energy from him, like you know he really wanted this.”

Added Fernandez: “I’ve always been a fan of the band, and now I’m one of them… I feel so blessed to be here. I’m so excited to go (to Singapore) – it’s my first time.”

As for plans in 2009, the band said they’re looking to work on their new album, and they want to collaborate with more artistes.

“We did a song with Electrico two years ago (All the World) and we’d like to do more of that,” said Escueta. “Maybe people like Peter Pan from Indonesia or Agnes Monica – she’s amazing. And of course, Electrico again. We love Electrico!”

Catch Rivermaya at the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown, Dec 31, 9pm. Tickets at S$18, S$25 from Sistic. –

Channel News Asia

19 Mercy Relief Volunteers Honoured For Disaster-Relief In Myanmar, Yemen

13 Dec

SINGAPORE: Nineteen Mercy Relief volunteers who travelled to cyclone-hit Myanmar and flood-stricken Yemen to help victims and survivors were honoured in a special ceremony on Saturday.

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong presented the volunteers with certificates of honour.

The volunteers include Member of Parliament, Dr Fatimah Lateef and Asian Idol, Hady Mirza.

The event was held in conjunction with International Volunteers’ Day. – CNA/vm

Channel News Asia

Don't Forget Your Lyrics

19 Nov

SINGAPORE : Half a million dollars – that’s how much a forgotten lyric might cost you if you are a contestant on new Channel 5 game show, “Don’t Forget the Lyrics”.

Hosted by local celebrity, Gurmit Singh, contestants are required to sing out – karaoke style – the words to fill in the blanks in the song. And if you can keep singing it right for 10 songs, you’ll walk away with S$500,000!

Easy peasy you say? Well, not quite.

“These people who come along thinking they know the song and when the music stops, the lyrics go away, they get stumped!” Gurmit said.

“My theory is this, when people see blanks, dashes, their minds go blank as well.”

Each game consists of three tiers which are divided into nine levels. The difficulty of the challenge increases with each tier and the tiers dictate how many blank lyrics contestants have to remember and sing within a stipulated time.

Contestants have to get every exact lyric correct to pass the stage, and like “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, they can get help if they wish to.

Each contestant is entitled to three lifelines also known as “backups” that they can use when they are stuck at any point of the competition. But each backup can only be used once.

“Backup Singer” allows the contestant to bring a friend or family member on stage to help sing the missing lyrics.

If contestants opt for “Two Words”, they can choose any two words they have filled in to check if they are right.

The last, “3 Lines”, allows contestants to pick the correct answer from three multiple choice options.

“Every time you answer correctly, you keep going up (the different levels), higher and higher. But every time you lock in the words and they are wrong, any single word, any single punctuation is wrong, you go to either zero or S$10,000 threshold level,” Gurmit explained.

The game show also features celebrity contestants like MediaCorp actresses Fiona Xie and Jade Seah, characters from Channel 5 sitcoms such as Phua Chu Kang (Gurmit Singh), Sergeant Dollah (Suhaimi Yusof), Adrianna Wow and Barbarella Chanel (both played by Michelle Chong) and even “Singapore Idol” winners Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza, as well as runner-up Jonathan Leong.

But the one to look out for is actress Andrea Fonseka who is “really good”. “She knows many songs, she’s like a walking encyclopedia,” said Gurmit.

“Don’t Forget the Lyrics” premiered last year in the United States, and Singapore is the 30th country in the world to showcase the popular game show. It premieres Thursday, 27 November, at 8pm on MediaCorp’s Channel 5.

– CNA/km

Channel News Asia

Mercy Relief Upbeat Singaporeans Will Continue To Give Generously

10 Aug

SINGAPORE: One of Singapore’s largest humanitarian organisations, Mercy Relief, is optimistic that Singaporeans will continue to give generously.

This is despite the recent scandal affecting Renci Hospital and Medicare Centre, one of the country’s biggest charities.

Following its numerous relief efforts overseas, Mercy Relief is now turning its attention back home.

Mercy Relief received donations worth over US$700,000 from Singaporeans for Myanmar’s Cyclone Nargis and Sichuan earthquake disasters. Every cent, it said, went towards the relief efforts in Myanmar and China.

It also said it is confident Singaporeans will continue to be charitable.

T K Udairam, chairman of Mercy Relief, said: “I think the population is able to differentiate between what the money is going for and what some of the leaders are doing a bit out of the way.

“I really think we have not been affected that way, because we have been very clear that every bit of money we have, we give out to charity. So it has not been an issue.”

The organisation also limits each chairman’s term to two two-year periods.

On whether the prosecution of Renci’s former CEO for fraud will make donors wary of giving, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed feels the impact will be short-lived.

He said: “I suspect it will have an effect on Singapore minds… When you have charitable organizations subject to scrutiny and investigations, people will tend to be a bit cautious.

“But we see also, in the case of NKF (National Kidney Foundation), people are now coming round, responding to it – because people know there are a lot of people needing help, needing that touch of mercy, needing that touch of graciousness.”

He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Mercy Relief’s latest campaign to promote a more grateful and gracious society in Singapore.

The Senior Minister of State noted it would take some time for Singaporeans to be truly gracious as it is not their second nature.

The campaign features Singapore Idol Hady Mirza as its ambassador.

– CNA/ir

Channel News Asia