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Sing-Song Wonderful

6 Aug

Albert & Edwin churned out beautiful music.
Albert & Edwin churned out beautiful music.

Local talents made it an evening to remember at the KL Sing Song 2008, writes SHUIB TAIB.

THE setting was intimate, the melodies soothing and the vocals were commendable.

KL Sing Song 2008 was an evening to remember, thanks to the wonderful performances by our local talents.

Back for its fourth year, the three-day event was held at the KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPac).

With just their instruments, the performers (who performed in English, Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia) gave acoustic performances which mesmerised the audience.

Some of the talents may be relatively new but their performance belie this.

For instance, Rendra Zawawi, who performed during the second night alongside Albert & Edwin as well as Estrella (who comprises Liyana and Adzwan – or Yob as he is fondly known), had the audience demanding an encore.

Interestingly, all the performers stayed onstage while the others performed so that no time was wasted.

Rendra’s music is best described as folk rock. He blames the English weather for whatever “mellow sentiments” one may find in his music. To date, he has recorded over 20 songs.

That evening, Rendra also showed that he was just as able to write songs in Bahasa Malaysia when he rendered Jalan Jalan Cari Kawan, much to the delight of the audience.

Albert & Edwin also did not disappoint. Although the duo apologised to the audience that their songs were mainly in Mandarin, no one complained as their music was simply beautiful.

Before they performed their numbers, the funny and talented duo explained to the audience what each song meant.

Then, the audience was treated to the sweet and soulful vocals of Liyana of Estrella.

For the uninitiated, Estrella was formed in 2006. It originally had three members but bassist Ashraf later left the band to concentrate on his other band, Sakti.

Estrella released its eponymous album late last year. During the KL Sing Song 2008, it rendered several from its debut album which again had the crowd eating out of their hands.

The eponymous debut features 10 tracks with the first radio single, Stay, already making the rounds on local airwaves. That evening, the crowd had the rare opportunity to hear it “live”.

Although each performer brought with him something of his own, it was the spontaneous bantering between the bands that made the evening interesting.

Liyana was full of praise for Albert & Edwin after the duo’s performance.

She said: “I don’t know what it is that you guys have, but it sure sounds beautiful!”

Albert & Edwin often had the crowd in stitches each time they translated the title of their Mandarin songs into English.

“This song is titled Tou Tou. In Mandarin, “tou” means steal. So it means, steal steal!” explained Edwin much to the amusement of the crowd.

Other performers included Mia Palencia, Reza Salleh, Paolo Delfino, Jerome Kugan (Most Promising Young Artist Cameronian Arts Awards 2005), Otam, Izzy Mohamed and Pete Teo (winner of three AIM awards in 2007 and the producer of the Malaysian Artists for Unity Project).

There were also performances by Shanon Shah (Most Promising Young Artist Cameronian Arts Awards 2004 and Best Male Vocalist AIM 2006), Karen Nunis, Meor (former Luncai Emas artiste), Yuna, Peter Hassan & Markiza (founders of Acoustic Jam), Nan Blues, Sherry, Azmyl Yunor, Sei Hon, Ian Chow & Tracy Wong and Panda Head Curry.


New Straits Times

Name It, She Sings It

29 Jul

Angelita Li performing at Groove Junction, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.
Angelita Li performing at Groove Junction, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.

DENNIS CHUA spends an evening listening to one of Hong Kong’s most versatile and accomplished singers.

THE name Angelita Li may not ring a bell when the topic of successful Hong Kong recording artistes is mentioned.

While she may not be a high-profile artiste like household names George Lam, Beyond, Eason Chan, Coco Lee and The Wynners, the 38-year-old Li has performed with all of them and has come up with three solo albums in her three-decade singing career.

Of Hong Kong and Malaysian Chinese, Indonesian, Filipino and Sri Lankan ancestry, she excels in Brazilian jazz, fusion funk, soul and R&B.

The diving enthusiast also speaks English, Mandarin, Cantonese and a little Portuguese and has performed in Malaysia almost annually since 2003.

Li recently performed for four evenings (July 23 to 26) at Groove Junction Bistro in Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, accompanied by the nightspot’s regular musicians, which included guitarist Jose Thomas and his son, drummer John Thomas.

In her two-hour mightly shows, Li performed 16 songs made popular by European jazz group Bossa Electrica, Portugal’s Maria Joao, The Beatles, Sergio Mendes and Tania Maria, George Gershwin, Fertile Ground, George Duke, Boney M, Chaka Khan and Pat Metheney and Japan’s Yutaka.

Her suave vocals and interplays of improvisatory rhythm, best demonstrated in The Beatles’ Come Together and Yutaka’s Brazasia, showed Malaysians why she is described as one of Hong Kong’s best kept musical secrets.

Li gave every song her very own interpretation, and was best when she delivered Chaka Khan’s monster hit, Ain’t Nobody, in a soulful Latin manner reminiscent of a Brazilian crooner.

Likewise her interpretation of Boney M’s hit Sunny, which she executed in flawless and sensual Portuguese.

Li started her singing career in 1979,at age nine. Back then she performed jingles on television commercials.

She later spent five years in Bangkok beginning 1990, honing her musical skills with various jazz groups. She was also invited by top Thai fusion group Infinity to guest on their 1993 album Together Again.

The following year, her talent was spotted by leading Thai recording label Grammy Entertainment which signed her up for her debut English album The Eyes Of Love.

In 1995, Li moved to Los Angeles where she studied music in Pasadena City College and also worked as a computer graphics artist. She also explored her musical boundaries at the renowned samba school Unidos De Los Angeles.

In 1996, Li returned to Hong Kong and recorded her debut Chinese jazz album Mystery, backed by the territory’s top jazz luminaries such as Eugene Pao and Dave Packer.

For the past five years, Li has worked with musicians on music projects and jazz festivals throughout Asia which have included the 2006 Jakarta Jazz Festival in Indonesia and the 2003 Sunrise Jazz Festival in Kuala Lumpur.

In 2002, she was invited by European jazz label Stunt to record her international solo album Caminhos Cruzados.

She has also given lectures, written articles on jazz and hosted jazz programmes on Radio Television Hong Kong.

Li aims to compose and write her own materials soon.

Among the Malaysian-based artistes she has collaborated with are Lewis Pragasam, Michael Veerapen, Pete Teo, Steve Thornton and Greg Lyons.

Li said: “I’d love to write music and record an album with them in the near future.”

“The audiences are much more open-minded and receptive. No matter what we play, they are really supportive and pay close attention to the music,” said Li on the local jazz scene.

Li said she was passionate about Brazilian music as it “made her move” and was melodically heavy.

“Jazz music is a culture, a freedom to improvise and express oneself. This is why I identify with it strongly,” she said.

The nightspot’s co-founder, Jennifer Thomas, said Li “added a new groove” to the local music scene and they were glad to combine credible local artistes with one of international calibre.


New Straits Times

Yasmin, A True Malaysian

22 Jul

Yasmin and some of her works in posters.
Yasmin and some of her works in posters.

When you see an out-of-the-ordinary commercial or film, you can bet your bottom dollar that Yasmin Ahmad would have had a hand in it. FARIDUL ANWAR FARINORDIN talks to the celebrated director whose works transcend racial boundaries.

The award-winning advertisement Tan Min Hong in Love.
The award-winning advertisement Tan Min Hong in Love.

RENOWNED film-maker Yasmin Ahmad’s heart-warming TV commercial, Tan Hong Ming in Love, has amassed a total of 21 awards.

The commercial which was part of last year’s Merdeka campaign picked up top awards at reputed advertising events in the Asia-Pacific region as well as those in the United States (Andy Awards, One Show 2008, Clio Awards Festival) and United Kingdom (British Design and Art Direction awards), among others.

More recently, it became the first local work ever to be honoured with Gold Lion at the Cannes Advertising Festival 2008 in France. Another Petronas advert under the same campaign, Race, bagged Bronze Lion at the same event.

Yasmin, who was delighted when she heard the news said: “InsyaAllah, it is still travelling the world and picking up awards. It now has a life of its own.”

Tan Hong Ming in Love is a simple yet heartfelt interview by primary schoolchildren, Tan, and the girl he has a crush on, Ummi Qazrina. One of the most captivating scenes in the commercial is the look on Tan’s face when Ummi announces that Tan is her boyfriend.

In April, nine months after the shoot, Yasmin had the opportunity to have lunch and catch up with the two talents.

“They have grown so much! He still fancies her, but she tak layan (ignores) because there’s another boy who’s interested in her,” Yasmin said, adding that both Tan and Ummi are now very famous in school, especially Tan.

“My friend, film-maker Ho YuHang, wanted to feature him in his upcoming commercial. But Tan just refused to speak! He just sat there and said: ‘I don’t want to talk’. I was lucky that I caught him for the Petronas ad when he was in a good mood.”

While Tan Hong Ming captivated the world with a simple story about a boy-girl crush, another of Yasmin’s work which is taking the world by storm is Mukhsin, a tale about adolescents’ first love.

Mukhsin was recently screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was part of a special series on Asian cinema called ContemporAsian and also featured Ling Yi Ban (China) and Senkyo (Japan).

Following the screenings, Mukhsin received a thumbs-up from film critics, with the New York Post writer saying: “I am so taken by Mukhsin that I’m going to hunt down the two previous movies”.

“And I also received news that Mukhsin is still playing in France and it has already been a month.”

The film’s distribution right was recently sold by Grand Brilliance to a French company.

Her recent work Muallaf has been picked by the prestigious Lucarno Film Festival. Finas (National Film Developmet Corporation) has offered to help with the 35mm film transfer as well as making film prints and Dolby audio transfer which could cost up to RM200,000.

She said the film is currently with the National Censorship Board and that Media Prima has the distribution rights.

As to how the deal with Media Prima was inked, she said: “I showed it to ntv7 so that it could be screened on TV because I gave up on that film going anywhere.

“I have made it with help from a friend in Ipoh and all they have to do is finish it. But then I was told that Media Prima wants to push it for a cinema release. The first thing they have to do is submit it to the Censorship Board.

“As for the Lucarno which will be held next month, I don’t think I can make it because we are rehearsing for my upcoming film, Talentime. We will shoot the film on Aug 17 in Ipoh,” she said.

For Talentime, she said Sharifah Amani Syed Yahya, who was understandably Yasmin’s muse for her earlier works (Sepet, Gubra, Muallaf), will not star in it.

“She wants to learn film-direction and production, as the movie’s third assistant director. Replacing her is Pamela Chong, know for her stint in Amazing Race Asia.”

She said meeting her reminded Yasmin of meeting Amani and her sister, Sharifah Aleya, for the first time. They were smart, witty and intelligent. She said Chong will star alongside a newcomer, Mahesh Jugal Kishore.

The two have met during rehearsals and “the chemistry is electric”. Other stars include Mohd Syafie Naswip, who made his debut performance in Mukhsin, Jaclyn Victor and Azean Irdawaty.

“It’s a story about family and a talent competition in a rundown school. Mohd Syafie plays a teenager whose mother is suffering from brain tumour. It moves in tandem with Mahesh’s story whose sister is played by Jac and then there’s Chong’s family who comes from a mixed parentage,” she said.

“There’s a lot of ‘mud’ in these stories, from which comes the most beautiful lotus,” she said, adding that she has also been rewriting the script since the rehearsal began. “It’s interesting how you discover new things at rehearsals.”

Talentime will feature a beautiful soundtrack O Re Piya, taken from Bollywood’s acclaimed love story last year, Aaja Nachle, starring Madhuri Dixit and sung by classical singer Rahat Fatheh Ali Khan, the nephew of legendary Indian artiste, Nusrat.

Other composers for Talentime include Pete Teo who composed three songs, two of which Yasmin penned. There are other compositions including one by Yasmin’s parent’s which was written in 1957 called Kasih Tak Kembali. The others are by New Zealand TV commercial composer Anton, a local band Silent Scream and a Sydney-based songwriter Azhar.

“InsyaAllah there will be a soundtrack from Talentime. We will have to wait and see,” she said with a smile.

How did Azean come on board?

“I have always been a fan of her work. Who hasn’t? And the more bad press she receives, the more I admire her. When I met her, she told me that she wanted to act in my film some day. I was surprised. ‘Azean wants to star in my film?’. She said she wouldn’t mind playing a woman suffering from brain tumour.”


New Straits Times

Cinta Ya! Politik Tidak!

25 May

PETE TEO muncul dengan magis MAFU dan ambisi ini disambut ikhlas Atilia dan Afdlin.

BERKAT Pete Teo yang terlewat jatuh cinta dengan tanah air sendiri, maka terlahir sebuah projek Malaysian Artistes For Unity (MAFU). Ia sebuah muzik video yang memberikan mesej yang jelas iaitu untuk memupuk perpaduan bangsa di Malaysia.

Penggambaran klip video untuk lagu ciptaan Pete Teo bertajuk Here In My Home itu dibuat di studio KLPac, Kuala Lumpur. Lebih 120 individu hadir termasuk selebriti walaupun mereka tidak dibayar satu sen pun untuk menjayakan projek ini.

Yasmin Ahmad dan Yu Hang bertanggungjawab mengarahkan klip video ini, menginterpretasikan lirik lagu kepada sebuah visual yang jelas.

Semuanya bertitik tolak kepada menyemai maksud heterogen kepada rakyat Malaysia. Here In My Home menyemarakkan rasa cinta yang tidak berbelah bahagi dan berdiri di bawah satu bumbung yang sama tanpa hadir rasa perbezaan bangsa dan agama.

Klip video ini ditujukan khas buat rakyat Malaysia dan ia boleh didapati secara percuma dengan memuat turun dari laman web

Ia bermula daripada satu panggilan telefon dan kemudian merebak mendapat lebih 120 penyertaan selebriti dan krew, apakah yang menyebabkan idea MAFU tercetus?

SEBAHAGIAN rakyat Malaysia yang terlibat di hadapan tabir Here In My Home.

P: Saya akui saya jatuh cinta terhadap Malaysia pada usia 28 tahun. Beberapa tahun saya habiskan masa di luar negara tanpa mengenali Malaysia dengan lebih dekat. Dan apabila saya pulang, saya dapati Malaysia mempunyai bakat yang bagus-bagus.

Saya terfikir kalaulah kita semua dapat bersama dan bersatu. Saya mahukan sesuatu yang segar, seronok dan jujur. Bukan dengan cara berpegang tangan memakai pakaian kebangsaan. Ini satu penyampaian yang jujur dan realistik.

Tapi bagaimana pula anda menepis kata-kata yang menggelarkan ini projek syok sendiri atau mempunyai motif tertentu?

P: Soalan ini relevan. Secara jujur, daripada 100 orang yang terlibat dalam projek ini, hanya 10 orang yang saya kenal rapat. Awie, Ning, Jac adalah antara orang yang saya pertama kali bekerja dengan mereka.

Dan bagaimana ini boleh dikatakan projek kawan-kawan atau syok sendiri? Saya banyak lakukan perkara sendiri, jadi saya tak kenal ramai orang. Sekarang baru saya menggelar mereka kawan saya. Ini bukan hanya bidang muzik tetapi untuk semua.

AH: Ida Nerina pun menawarkan diri sendiri.

AS: Katakan pada mereka yang berkata itu, tunjukkan sesuatu dan jangan hanya berkata-kata. Sekurang-kurangnya buatlah sesuatu yang boleh nampak hasil dan bukan hanya tahu bercakap. Buat sesuatu yang menunjukkan uniti.

P: Kalau tidak sempurna apa yang kami lakukan, buat sesuatu, saya bukan bersikap sarkastik tapi buktikan! Dan kalau mahu, kami boleh bantu. Kami melakukan peranan kami sahaja.

AS: Lebih banyak hasil lebih meriah. Kita hanya mencipta. Dan kita beribadah kalau dilihat dalam konteks agama. Tak perlu ada dengki, bukannya dapat keuntungan atau satu ‘permainan’ kami. Kami hanya mahu masyarakat tahu yang kami ada berbuat sesuatu untuk perpaduan.

AH: Seorang individu mampu melakukannya, ini terbukti dengan kerja Pete. Niat dan ketulusannya telah menjadikan ini satu hasil kerja ramai orang. Uniti.

AS: Percaya diri dan percaya akan uniti itu wujud dan ini membolehkan projek ini berjaya.

P: Saya ingin katakan di sini bahawa saya bukan mahu menjadi seorang superhero. Ia lahir daripada hati yang tulus.

Saya tahu mereka yang terlibat dengan produksi ini juga ikhlas memberi sokongan. Mereka jujur dengan mata mereka dan menghabiskan masa bersama-sama di bawah satu bumbung yang dipanggil muhibah.

Dari satu sudut yang lain, kita nampak ramai yang sudah mula sedar dan memberi respons yang sangat baik, bukan?

P: Saya boleh katakan bahawa saya sangat terharu dan terkejut dengan sambutan yang diberikan oleh para pengunjung laman web dan mereka yang menonton klip video kami.

Mereka memberikan sokongan yang positif. Sudah lebih 20,000 mengunjungi laman web kami. Maxis juga telah setuju untuk membenarkan muat turun percuma untuk klip video ini.

Ada artis yang takut untuk terlibat?

P: Ada kerana mereka takut akan perkara politik dan perkara-perkara yang melibatkan isu sensitif. Ada yang pihak pengurusan mereka yang menolak. Saya hormati itu.

Saya bangga dengan mereka yang hadir dan faham akan mesej yang mahu disampaikan. Ada yang lihat dari sudut politik dan takut menjejaskan jualan mereka. Projek ini tidak ada kena mengena dengan politik mahupun keuntungan.

AS: Ada yang tidak pasti dan malas untuk mengenal pasti. Pada kami saya harap satu hari mereka akan sedar motif projek ini dan lakukan sesuatu untuk uniti. Kami hanya sebagai penggerak dan melakukan peranan kami sebagai yang memulakan. Ini bukanlah satu jenama.

Adakah kerana adanya ketidaksamaan dalam industri, maksudnya masih ada yang majoriti dan lantas kaum minoriti tidak mendapat sesuatu yang dipanggil kesamaan?

KATA-KATA dan melodi diiringkan bagi menyampaikan satu mesej.

P: Masalah kita apabila satu bangsa membuat acara, ia cuma dihadiri oleh bangsa yang sama. Ini masalah yang bukan hanya menimpa politik tetapi secara keseluruhan. Kita perlu crossing line. Memperkenalkan setiap bakat tak kira apa bangsa kepada umum. Kita boleh lihat ia berlaku dalam industri muzik kita.

AS: Kita bercakap tentang perkara asas seorang manusia yakni kita orang Malaysia. Orang Indonesia boleh bersatu sebagai bangsa Indonesia, mengapa tidak kita?

P: Malah dalam industri perfileman juga masih begitu. Ada yang masih tidak dihargai dan diberi biaya untuk pergi ke sesebuah festival yang penting. Dalam industri muzik, ada band-band indie kita yang bagus tetapi tidak dihargai di sini sebaliknya digemari di negara luar. Kenapa ini terjadi?

AH: Saya pernah membuat satu pertunjukan di Jakarta Java Jazz. Mereka memberi sokongan padu kepada saya. Sewaktu mereka bertanyakan saya tentang penjualan album di Malaysia, apa yang boleh saya katakan? Ini semua tentang minda, ada yang masih belum terbuka.

AS: Jujur saya katakan selama ini hanya industri muzik Melayu. Sebenarnya ramai orang Cina kita menaikkan nama Malaysia dalam industri di Taiwan. Saya mahu seperti Piala Thomas, kita bersatu dalam pasukan Malaysia. Begitu juga dalam industri. Kita bersatu sebagai Malaysia. Di sini, selalunya apabila kita mampu menjadi ‘besar’ baru kita dihargai.

Bagaimana kamu mahu sampaikan pada orang luar yang mungkin belum dapat menerima konsep yang inovatif ini?

A: Mesej itu simple cuma lagu dalam bahasa Inggeris yang menampakkan ia urban. Mesej itu tidak urban sebaliknya jelas. Kita cuba sampaikan pada orang luar desa. Lirik akan saya buat dalam bahasa Melayu. Biar mereka dapat semangat itu.

Atilia mewakili pejuang muda, apa yang boleh disampaikan untuk generasi yang akan meneruskan perjalanan mesej ini?

AH: Apa yang penting adalah kejujuran. Saya berbesar hati ada yang berbuat sesuatu untuk bersatu. Saya juga gembira ada yang nampak akan kemampuan bakat-bakat indie yang sedang membangun. Mulakan langkah anda dengan sikap ikhlas. Semuanya bermula dari hati.

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IAC Platform Band Indie Bebas Berkarya

22 May

Oleh Rozdan Mazalan

BERTENAGA: Band Steeltoe Solutions ketika membuat persembahan.

Kelab untuk pemuzik tempatan perjuang industri hadapi saingan dari luar negara

BAND indie atau underground semakin menunjukkan kehadiran mereka dalam industri muzik tanah air. Ini satu perkembangan yang baik kerana ia sekurang-kurangnya memberi satu harapan bahawa negara tidak ketandusan pemuzik.

Hakikatnya, kebanyakan kumpulan ini sudah lama bertapak tetapi hanya dikenali di kalangan pengikut mereka saja. Malah, sejak akhir-akhir ini mereka semakin mendapat perhatian dan semakin mengukuhkan kedudukan dalam kelompok pemuzik arus perdana.

Kumpulan Hujan, Meet Uncle Hussain, Pop Shuvit dan Estranged adalah contoh kumpulan muzik bebas yang semakin mendapat tempat di kalangan peminat dunia hiburan tanah air terutama remaja. Karya dan muzik mereka juga segar dan mudah diterima peminat muzik.

Kebangkitan semula band tempatan ini sebenarnya mampu mewujudkan saingan kepada band luar terutama daripada Indonesia dan memberi pilihan kepada peminat hiburan tanah air.

Hujung tahun lalu, band indie ini melangkah setapak lagi dengan menubuhkan Independent Artiste Club (IAC) bagi memberi peluang kepada band tempatan untuk mengetengahkan karya bebas mereka. Kini lebih 70 band tempatan sudah berdaftar dengan kelab itu. Bayangkan jika 50 peratus daripada mereka adalah band yang berkualiti, industri muzik tidak lagi gersang dan terpaksa mengimport band luar negara.

Sejajar dengan usaha mereka untuk menyediakan platform kepada band indie untuk mengembangkan karya mereka, IAC menganjurkan Nokia IAC Live @ Zouk KL untuk memberikan pengalaman sebenar kumpulan pemuzik bebas yang juga ahli IAC.

Majlis itu bukan saja menampilkan 22 persembahan pelbagai aksi namun turut menganjurkan enam klinik kemahiran muzik bersama tokoh pemuzik terkenal.

Vokalis kumpulan Steeltoe Solutions, Maya berkata, penganjuran program itu memberi pengalaman menarik buat mereka selain mengenali pemuzik lain yang turut memperjuangkan muzik yang sama.

“Saya berbangga kerana IAC menjadi platform kepada band seperti kami mengetengahkan hasil karya seni muzik kami yang datang dari pelbagai latar tetapi memperjuangkan matlamat yang sama.

“Secara jujur bukan kita tidak mahu memasuki arus perdana tetapi realitinya muzik kita sukar untuk diterima kebanyakan orang dan kita cuma mempunyai pengikut yang minoriti saja.

“Bagi kami ego juga bukanlah persoalannya, namun agak kecewa apabila kemasukan artis luar seperti dari Indonesia mendapat jalan mudah untuk memasarkan karya mereka di negara kita.

“Kami bangga kerana band seperti Meet Uncle Hussain, Hujan, Silent Scream dan The Times yang dulunya turut dikenali sebagai band underground kini menjadi pelapis kebangkitan semula band tempatan,” katanya selepas mengadakan persembahan malam itu.

Selain Steeltoe Solutions, pemuzik lain yang turut membuat persembahan ialah Pete Teo, Auburn, The Times, They Will KIll Us All, Azmyl Yunor, DJ Fuzz dan Point Blanc manakala kesan bunyi oleh Stonebay, Alaling dan Brainhead.

Pada malam itu, Zouk Club KL dibahagikan kepada tiga ruang di mana bilik utama menjadi tempat persembahan aksi persembahan rock, bilik Velvet Undrground memberi ruang buat deejay dan aksi hip hop manakala Terrace Bar menampilkan melodi indah nukilan pencipta lagu.

Sambutan yang menggalakkan dan sokongan kumpulan pemuzik bebas ini dapat dilihat dengan kesungguhan dan bilangan penyertaan yang diterima. Zouk Club juga ingin sekali menjadikan acara ini sebagai persembahan tahunan di mana misi utama adalah menyediakan landasan bagi artis bebas ini berkarya dan berhubung dengan peminat mereka.

Peminat muzik bolehlah mengakses ke dan mendaftar untuk membolehkan muat turun rangkaian lagu secara percuma.

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Rocker Rocks AIM Awards

5 May

Faizal Tahir “flies” at the AIM awards show this year.

The recent AIM awards took some unexpected turns with reality show runner-up Faizal Tahir bagging the most trophies. DENNIS CHUA writes.

BANNED for three months for flashing a sprayed-on “tattoo” on his bare chest, a dashing rocker returned with a vengeance not unlike his favourite superhero from Planet Krypton.

The “Terengganu Superman”, better known as Faizal Tahir, emerged as the biggest winner in the 15th Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) last Saturday.

In the awards ceremony broadcast live over ntv7 from the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur, 30-year-old Faizal bagged four out of the 19 awards – Best Vocal Performance In An Album (Male), Best New Artiste, Best Rock Album and the top award of Album Of The Year for his debut album Aku.Muzik.Kamu.

Faizal, the runner-up of the first season of 8TV’s popular reality talent show One In A Million (OIAM), was also nominated for Best Engineered Album, Best Musical Arrangement In A Song (Non-Bahasa Malaysia) and Best Song which he lost to this year’s winner.

Accepting his first award of the evening from his fellow GangStarz Season One host Putri Andreanna (Anne) of Hot FM, Faizal joked that perhaps it was his luck to be seated next to pop queen Datuk Siti Nurhaliza in the concert hall.

He also apologised to his fans in Perlis for being unable to attend the Karnival Jom Heboh of TV3 in Kangar the following day, after an objection against his presence by the Perlis Mufti Dr. Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

“On a more serious note, I dedicate my trophies to my loved ones and the wonderful team of musicians, producers and lyricists who helped me achieve my dreams.

And to prove that he was all-out to “fly higher” as a singer, composer and songwriter, Faizal “flew” off stage and soared above the audience with help from a team of stage assistants who harnessed him to the ceiling.

Pop queen Datuk Siti Nurhaliza continued her reign in the women’s categories of the AIM.

She took home three of the five awards she was nominated for namely Best Vocal Performance In An Album (Female), Best Pop Album (Hadiah Daripada Hati) and Best Musical Arrangement In A Song (Bahasa Malaysia).

Siti was also nominated for Best Album Cover and Song Of The Year.

OIAM Season One champion Suki Low won her first AIM award for Most Promising Artiste, beating crowd favourites such as Dafi Ismail Sabri of Akademi Fantasia 5 and Mentor Season One champion Fiq Abdul Halim.

“It’s my biggest event since OIAM. It will go a long way in helping the promotion of my coming album,” she said.

Suki said her debut album would be out next month and would have a mix of English and Bahasa Malaysia songs with a pop-rock flavour.

Another first-time AIM winner was jazz singer Melissa Indot who bagged the Best Local English Album for Eclecticism.

“I’ve been singing since I was three and my parents are very musical. They encouraged me to learn the piano when I was a kid, but I only became seriously interested in a recording career four years ago,” she said.

Acclaimed rock and hip-hop act Pop Shuvit finally gained its biggest recognition from the Malaysian music industry. AIM15 organising chairman Freddie Fernandez presented the group with the Anugerah Kembara for promoting Malaysian music abroad.

The seven-year-old band comprising Moots, JD Wong, AJ, Rudy and Uno has had three successful albums under its belt and a sizable fanbase in Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

Pop Shuvit was also nominated for Best Engineered Album, Best Music Video and Best Local English Album, for its latest album Freakshow Volume 1: Tales Of The Travelling Tunes, a collaboration with Thai singer Dandee.

Lead singer Moots said: “We’ve always loved making music and we believe the sky’s the limit.

He said the band had plans to market and launch its albums in Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong.

“That’s the essence of Pop Shuvit, we always do things differently and love taking risks,” Moots said.

Veteran composer and producer Fauzi Marzuki was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award or Anugerah Wirama for his contributions to the music industry.

A respected mentor of major artistes such as Sheila Majid, Raja Ema and Jamal Abdillah, Fauzi thanked his fellow producers, composers and lyricists who collaborated with him successfully over the years.

He paid special tribute to the late Mike Bernie Chin, Fernandez, Jenny Chin and Mac Chew among others.

Fauzi, who started playing music at age 12 said his journey in the music industry was endless.

“I’ve never stopped and have no plans to retire,” he said.

Actor-comedian Afdlin Shauki and soul singer-cum-actress Adibah Noor proved a winning team as co-hosts for the awards. The Perak duo had great chemistry, cracked jokes that were not over-the-top and showed impressive knowledge of the various nominees.

They also showed off their skills in speaking Chinese, Tamil and Hindi, in line with the awards’ regular theme of creating national unity through music.

A veteran comedian made perhaps his first major public appearance in years during the intervals. He was none other than Yusof Hamid also known as Mr Os who was a household name in the 1980s.

Mr Os, who traded light-hearted barbs with his old pal Acappan, had lost none of his mischievous wit, and readily flashed his trade-mark toothy grin.

The awards were given out by singers, radio and television personalities Diddy Muhid, Aliff Aziz, Anne, Farawahida, Ezlynn, Daniel Lee, Pete Teo, Shebby Singh, Harith Iskander, Kartini Ariffin, Sohaimi Mior Hassan, Mila Jirin, Ben Loh, Sean Ghazi, Elyana, Dina Nadzir, Lah Ahmad, Fazley Yaakob and Datuk Julie Sudiro.

Backed by an orchestra led by music director Aubrey Suwito, Faizal, Hazami, Suki, Fiq, Dafi, Karen Kong, Boomerangx, Estranged, Pop Shuvit, Siti, Dayang Nurfaizah, Raja Atilia, Mawi, Anuar Zain and Rahim Maarof were the artistes who gave performances for the evening.

The stylish and sassy trio of Siti, Dayang and Atilia proved the best female act, when they performed a medley including the late pop king Sudirman Arshad’s moving hit song Warisan with soul and passion.

The same could be said for the best male act for the evening comprising Rahim, Anuar and the snow-capped Mawi. They jointly performed Man Bai’s kau Ilhamku, a moving tribute to recently departed members of the entertainment industry (including former New Straits Times entertainment journalist Azman Ahmad).


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