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Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 Soundcheck / Rehearsal…

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I know I promised you guys in my last entry that I would upload more photographs of Fauzie Laily and Nurul Huda‘s wedding by last weekend, but I was caught up with several unexpected stuff happening that I did not have the time to upload them. Looks like I will have to push it to a later date once the Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 fever is over. Speaking of which, I just came back from attending the soundcheck and rehearsal for tomorrow’s event proper over at Suntec Singapore Convention Centre. I have never attended a rehearsal / soundcheck session and stayed on for about two to three hours observing the proceedings before, and this was a very new experience for me. The reason I came down was also to fine tune my camera settings which somehow have gone haywire over repeated tests and meddling on my part!!!

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Indonesia’s S4 in action

I only knew the soundcheck schedule sometime around 4pm this afternoon. Initially I thought the rehearsal proper would be done at night but it seems that they staggered all the items in stages so that the artistes can have ample rest and also to do some promotional work on their own. I thought I could make it and watch Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza rehearsing but by the time I left home, she was almost done. When I reached the event venue, I was fortunate enough to catch her leaving and returning back to her hotel. You can view the three photographs I took of her below. I was pleased that I managed to catch two acts I so wanted to watch in this year’s edition, in action – W.A.R.I.S. and S4. The latter especially had me dancing along whilst snapping their photographs. They really make you want to get up from your seats and join them.

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SG‘s very own The Trisno Trio and Bushmen rehearsing their segment…

I tried to get a feel of the venue by standing at the back tiers and I must say even when seated far away, the stage seemed close enough. And the sound quality, oh my God!!! The event has been crying out for such good quality sounds for the past few years and finally, we are getting crisp and crystal clear sounds. But you can only appreciate it best if you are watching it live at the venue. Some acts are gonna make your hairs stand with their vocal prowess and showmanship and with a good sound system, the effect is amplified even more. So for those who are still in two minds whether to catch it live at the venue or on television, I say, ditch the thought of staying at home and come enjoy an excellent array of performances. At the price you are paying, it will be worth it!!! Tickets are still available at $48, $68 and $88 at all SISTIC outlets and Muzika Rekod

 


Fauzie Laily & Nurul Huda’s Marriage Solemnisation Ceremony

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Not surprising, my blog stats jumped these past three days with people searching for photographs of two celebrity weddings happening this past weekend. While one has been publicly known for quite some time and even made known in this month’s issue of Manja magazine, the other has been relatively low-profile and not even announced or mentioned on radio where the radio presenter works, other than subtle hints being dropped by the other presenters. I know there are still question marks out there with regards to Adi Rahman‘s marital status, but yes, indeed he got married over the weekend to Ms. Sharifah Mukminah. Apologies if you entered this domain hoping to view pictures of the wedding, but yours truly was not invited as the event was low-key and attended by those close to the groom and bride. But fret not, cos I’m here to share photographs of Fauzie Laily and Nurul Huda‘s marriage solemnisation ceremony and will share more photographs of their event at both sides of the family in the days to come. So be sure to return sometime at the end of the week for more.

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5th October 2013 was indeed a memorable day for both Muhammad Fauzie Laily Bin Ramlaily and Nurul Huda Binte Abdul Khalid, a day they both, and the people around them, have been waiting for ages. The couple have known one another since primary school but only got closer together about five years ago. Finally they have tied the knot and I could see from the faces of all the guests who attended on both days, how happy they were for Fauzie, a person who is very likeable and adored by those who know or have worked with him. I am sure most, if not everyone, who has rubbed shoulders with him only have nice things to say about him. Likewise for yours truly who has known him since before he joined his first Anugerah competition back in 2003, I only have positive things to say as his personality from the first time I got to know him, never changed nor waned till today. He is still the same humble, down-to-earth, friendly, goofy and affable guy I knew. Fame certainly has not changed him for the worse, but make us all respect him even more. He is afterall the local Malay entertainment scene’s favourite younger brother to most of the established personalities.

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In truth, I have known about Fauzie‘s wedding date on the day Fiza O announced her wedding date to DJ KC on 12 September 2012. He told me to keep it low for the time being and out of respect for his wishes, I complied to the point I nearly forgot all about it. But as the days neared, we could see the couple getting excited on their respective social media accounts, and who can blame them??? I’m sure anyone in their shoes would be equally excited. Some of us have been through it before and we all know how exciting and stressful it was at the same time for all of us who have gone through our own wedding events. It’s a happy experience afterall and one that we would like to go through again if given the opportunity, but of course with the same person we’re married to. Kudos to Nurul for inspiring me to get back on the healthy lifestyle regime I have somehow stopped-started over the past year.

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The couple solemnised their marriage in front of a crowd of about 200 guests, made up of mostly close friends and family members at the multi-purpose hall of Blk 316 Tampines St. 33 at about 12:10pm on 5th October 2013. The setting itself was like a page out of a fairytale wedding and credit should go to the bride and groom’s wedding planner and team for making it possible. Ustaz Syed Ahmad Bin Syed Mohamed was the Kadi who solemnised the marriage. What caught my eyes that day were the wedding gifts which were simple, but an honest reflection of both bride and groom who are down-to-earth people. Instead of a wedding cake by the dais, they had Pulut Kuning instead, in line with the traditions of our Malay culture. Though the groom was nursing a very bad cold that day, he was still upbeat and cracking jokes from time to time to ease any tension felt from within.

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Fauzie & Nurul, congratulations once again on your union!!! May Allah bless you both with good health, more happiness, patience, guidance, love and understanding to go through the trials and tribulations, the challenges and cinches, the good and the bad times in a marriage relationship and subsequently parenthood. Also for HIM to grant you both beautiful, filial and pious children. I’ve seen with my very own eyes how you both adore kids, especially how Fauzie‘s eyes light up when he sees my kids. Always touches my heart whenever I see him greet my children with so much warmth and candour, to the point I feel that he already has the attributes of being an excellent father-to-be. All the best guys in your new life chapter as husband and wife!!! Praying for the best for both of you… :)


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Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 Info…

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Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 Media Conference

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It’s been a very dull 2013 indeed on this domain. Simply because I have been extremely busy on the family and personal front and blogging has been the very last thing on my agenda. Heck, I have not even been helping my good friend, DJ KC, update the Misteri Jam 12 Official Blog for quite some time as well. Logged into this blog for the first time in more than a month, and I realised that I only made six further entries right after the RATU competition ended in January 2013, with at least half being simple single promos for our local acts, Fauzie Laily, Sezairi Sezali and the SHR Menage production – Mega Lawak 2013 (You can scroll down to see the previous entries). I dunno if I should call this a “long rest”, a “hiatus” or “hibernation”, but it does feel that I have retired from the scene.

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All that changed when I received an invitation to attend the media conference of Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) 2013 towards the end of August. And I thought, what a great timing to make a long-awaited return. Of course, I accepted the invite with open arms, as regular readers would note that APM is close to my heart since it began in 2001, following it religiously on an annual basis. You can say that this is definitely one event I look forward to yearly. I got wind of sketchy details of this latest edition of our regional music awards event sometime during Ramadhan. Just hearing the name of the event venue made me bristled in anticipation. For those of you still wondering where it will be held this year, it will be at the newly-refurbished Suntec City Convention Centre Hall 601-604 on 18 October 2013.

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The coveted trophy to be won come 18 October 2013

You might ask why the excitement all of a sudden. If you have been following this blog since years ago, you would note, like a bad record how I have been championing for the event to return to the venue that provided the best APM throughout its twelve years of existence. It has been a long wait. Eight long years to be exact. And I am ready to be swept off my feet once more. The moment I heard that Suntec City Convention Centre will play host this year, memories of the 2005 edition began playing through my head. From the opening performance by Gerhana Ska Cinta, to the debut of PeterPan, the great performance by Dewa19, our own Bhumiband, the humourous medley of songs sung by Saiful Apek as well as the three Divas – Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Melly Goeslaw and Kris Dayanti belting away each others’ hits, from the start till the end, it was a definite joy to watch that edition.

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What made that 2005 edition the best in my opinion, was also the acoustics of the venue as well as the sound system that was crystal clear. Something that did not do justice to such a prestigious show when the event was thrice held at Max Pavilion Singapore Expo. I remember watching SLAM‘s reunion concert on 24 February 2012 at the same venue and had secretly wished that APM would return some day, such was the rich sound quality that we got to enjoy that night and how close we were to the stage, that watching the monitor screens was a bit irrelevant. Ok am speaking on my personal experience sitting in the first three rows so it doesn’t count especially to those who were seated behind but for those who went to that concert, am sure you got my drift about the sound quality we enjoyed that night.

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And then there was the Red Carpet event during the 2005 edition, a proper one whereby the artistes came in limousines with fans clamouring by the sides wanting to snap photographs with them. My hopes of wanting to watch another good show this time around, were further raised when I heard that the current newly-refurbished venue makes the fans feel closer to the stage no matter how far they sit. That alone my friends, is why you need to purchase the tickets to watch this upcoming edition of APM2013, which already promises acts like Indonesian crooner Cakra Khan and our own Jamiel Said to show their worth to the regional audience. I do not have the names of the performers yet, but you might like to check out the official APM2013 Facebook page for more details as well as the voting mechanics on how you can vote for your favourite / popular artistes.

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Group photograph before the event proper began…

Speaking of voting, I hope that our regional neighbours would take the time to vote for their favourites and not complain afterwards when the awards go to “less-deserving winners”, according to them. I think in the past, they were given the opportunity to vote for their favourites or respective acts in their countries but did not do so. In the end, when the likes of Hady Mirza and Taufik Batisah won, there was uproar on social media like how a particular artiste or song was not popular in other countries but yet still able to win something, citing favouritism by the organisers and questioning the legitimacy of the wins. The voting game is simple, you vote more, your favourites have a higher chance of winning. If you don’t, be prepared to suck thumb and whine away. Heard that this time there will be a limit of 20 votes per voter. I think that’s a fair means to level the playing ground since we all know how “hardworking” some of these fans are at voting for their favourites.

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Yaya Hamid seen here performing “Taman Hati“…

My goodness, I have been blabbering the past six paragraphs but have yet to talk about the media conference proper. This is what happens when you’ve been away for far too long from blogging and side-tracking way too much as a result. The media conference, unlike last year where it was held at Rendezvous Hotel, was once again held at the humble multi-purpose room at Mediacorp Caldecott Broadcast Centre on 3rd September 2013. APM2013 is special this year, for the fact that this is the first major project between Warna 94.2FM, RIA 89.7FM and Mediacorp Suria channel since their merger on 1st August 2013 to form the Mediacorp Malay Broadcast Division. As such, it would be very interesting to see what creative ideas can be exchanged between radio and television for this particular project and what viewers can enjoy come 18 October 2013.

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Sufie Rashid performed Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep“…

The media conference was graced by the performances of upcoming local acts Yaya Hamid and Sufie Rashid of “The Final One” fame. It was good to expose and introduce them to the invited guests though it has to be said that both of them still need to learn to be more composed and be wary of their pitching. I detected several flawed notes and going off-key from the two of them, but I attribute that to jitters, which is understandable since they were performing in front of more experienced performers as well as bigwigs from the local entertainment industry. I think I would have felt a little intimidated myself if I was in their shoes. Still, I hope that they will build on the experience and give off better performances in future.

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The addressing panel consisting of Dr. Edmund Lam, CEO of COMPASS, Ms. Zakiah Halim, Senior Vice-President, Mediacorp Malay Broadcast Division and Mr. Hassan Salleh, Assistant Vice-President of RIA 89.7FM…

Ms. Zakiah Halim, Senior Vice-President of the Mediacorp Malay Broadcast Division praised the efforts of our local acts who had submitted their entries, noting that a lot of improvements have been made to the extent that the judges had a difficult time choosing the nominees. One of the judges had also noted that the quality of our local music is almost on par with their regional counterparts, so much so that they could not distinguish which country they belonged to. Over the years, a lot of good music, quality ones, have been produced and our creative songwriters out there should take heart that they are on the right track and that their works have been recognised, not only by the judges judging their works for APM, but also the listeners have received and liked their songs on the airwaves as well. Long may their good work continue!!!

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With regards to the list of nominations, I am happy to see the likes of Tengku Adil and Jamiel Said getting their recognitions by their respective nominations. The former especially, who has been in the scene since he first came to our attention with his involvement in Anugerah 2003. Faced with many setbacks and pitfalls, all that hard work over the past decade has been worthwhile for Adil. Likewise it is difficult to break into the Best categories with our regional counterparts being stronger in many aspects. To see a local name in those categories, no matter if they win in the end or not, is already a positive sign that Singapore acts can breakthrough and be on par with those in Malaysia and Indonesia. And of course, we share their pride at being nominated. Another nomination I am pleased with was Sheikh Haikel‘s nomination for Best Collaboration (“Eh Lah“). I had expected it to be nominated last year but did not qualify for evaluation as the song was produced in 2012, not 2011, which was the qualifying criteria. However I am a bit disappointed that Diorama‘s “Hipokrasi” did not get nominated for Best Singapore Song at the very least, as I felt it had the right quality and vibes of a Top Five song.

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Tickets to Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 go on sale from tomorrow 16 September 2013, priced at $48, $68 and $88 at all SISTIC outlets.

Music consumers from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are given the opportunity to vote for their favourite songs and artistes in the fan-driven categories. Voting for the Popular categories began on 3rd September 2013 and will end on 10 October 2013 at www.facebook.com/Anugerah.Planet. APM2013 is with the support of the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) and Indonesian Music Award Foundation (Yayasan Anugerah Musik Indonesia). This year, viewers can catch the LIVE simulcast of APM2013 on MediaCorp Suria (Singapore), RIA 89.7FM and Warna 94.2FM (Singapore), Astro Ria (Malaysia) and Brunei Darussalam) and Net Media (Indonesia).

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 List of Nominees

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE IN A SONG (NEW MALE ARTISTE) PERSEMBAHAN VOKAL TERBAIK DALAM LAGU (ARTIS BARU LELAKI)

1. Ammir – I Love You

2. Bo Amir Iqram – Lagu

3. Cakra Khan – Harus Terpisah

4. Jamiel Said – Nafas Ku

5. Mosyi – Bulan

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE IN A SONG (NEW FEMALE ARTISTE) PERSEMBAHAN VOKAL TERBAIK DALAM LAGU (ARTIS BARU WANITA)

1. Asmidar – Biar Sampai Ke Bintang

2. Citra Scholastika – Everybody Knew

3. Giselle – Pencuri Hati

4. Kamaya – Terperangkap Cinta

5. Shae – Sayang

BEST COLLABORATION KOLABORASI TERBAIK

1. Aliff Aziz & Adira – Keajaiban Cinta, Komposer:Manusia Putih, Penulis Lirik: Manusia Putih

2. Art Fazil & Imuda, Rilek Brader, Komposer: Art Fazil, Penulis Lirik: Art Fazil

3. Najwa Latif, SleeQ & Syamkamarul, Sahabat, Komposer: Najwa Latif, Penulis Lirik: Ika Latif & SleeQ

4. Sheikh Haikel Feat. Ila Damiaa, Eh Lah!, Komposer: A’Trez, Penulis Lirik: A’Trez, Sheikh Haikel & Ahmad Tihamy

5. The Trisno Trio Feat. Altimet, Dunia, Komposer: Trisno & Altimet, Penulis Lirik: Trisno & Altimet

BEST MALE ARTISTE ARTIS LELAKI TERBAIK

1. Glenn Fredly, Malaikat Juga Tahu

2. Hady Mirza, Betapa Berat Cintaku

3. Hafiz Suip, Bahagiamu Deritaku

4. Judika, Aku Yang Tersakiti

5. Tompi, Waktu Takkan Mampu

BEST FEMALE ARTISTE ARTIS WANITA TERBAIK

1. Agnes Monica, Muda

2. Bunga Citra Lestari, Cinta Sejati

3. Maudy Ayunda, Perahu Kertas

4. Nicky Astria, Terus Melangkah (Carry On)

5. Shila Amzah, Masih Ada Cinta

BEST DUO/GROUP DUO/KUMPULAN TERBAIK

1. Black & Malique, Teman Pengganti

2. Hafiz Suip & Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Muara Hati

3. Tangga, Cinta Tak Mungkin Berhenti

4. The Trisno Trio Feat. Altimet, Dunia

5. Truth, Hati-Hati Dengan Hati

BEST BAND BAND TERBAIK

1. Bunkface, Panik

2. Gigi, Mutiara Yang Hilang

3. Kotak, Kecuali Kamu

4. Mojo, Andai Ku Bercinta Lagi

5. NOAH, Separuh Aku

BEST SONG (SINGAPORE) LAGU TERBAIK SINGAPURA

1. Akur, Dinodi Feat. 2kangkata & Erma Maulood, Komposer: Reyza Hamizan, Penulis Lirik: Reyza Hamizan, 2kangkata & Idi Hakim

2. Babak Cinta, Tengku Adil, Komposer: Tengku Adil, Hang Dimas & Awi Rafael, Penulis Lirik: Tengku Adil

3. Betapa Berat Cintaku, Hady Mirza, Komposer: Hady Mirza & Maman, Penulis Lirik: Hady Mirza

4. Jangan Ganggu Pacarku, Aliff Aziz, Komposer: Panji Sakti, Penulis Lirik: Panji Sakti

5. Jauh, Seyra, Komposer: Seyra, Penulis Lirik: Sarah Ismail

BEST SONG (MALAYSIA) LAGU TERBAIK MALAYSIA

1. Andai Ku Bercinta Lagi, Mojo, Komposer: Edry Abdul Halim, Penulis Lirik: Edry Abdul Halim

2. Bahagiamu Deritaku, Hafiz Suip, Komposer: LY, Penulis Lirik: Baiduri

3. Masih Aku Cinta, Shila Amzah, Komposer: Shila Amzah, Penulis Lirik: Shila Amzah

4. Muara Hati, Hafiz Suip & Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Komposer: Manusia Putih, Penulis Lirik: Manusia Putih

5. Pelangi Senja, Stacy, Komposer: Taja, Penulis Lirik: Tun Teja

BEST SONG (INDONESIA) LAGU TERBAIK INDONESIA

1. Harus Terpisah, Cakra Khan, Komposer: Aldi Nada Permana, Penulis Lirik: Aldi Nada Permana

2. Hati-Hati Dengan Hati, Truth, Komposer: Titi DJ, Penulis Lirik: Titi DJ

3. Kecuali Kamu, Kotak, Komposer: Pay, Dewiq & Kotak, Penulis Lirik: Dewiq

4. Perahu Kertas, Maudy Ayunda, Komposer: Dewi Lestari, Penulis Lirik: Dewi Lestara

5. Separuh Aku, NOAH, Komposer: David & Ihsan Nurrachman, Penulis Lirik: David & Ihsan Nurrachman

MOST POPULAR SINGAPORE ARTISTE ARTIS SINGAPURA PALING POPULAR

SG1: Aliff Aziz

SG2: Audionauts

SG3: Awi Rafael

SG4:  Didicazli

SG5: Diorama

SG6: Hady Mirza

SG7: Sezairi Sezali

SG8: SleeQ

SG9: Taufik Batisah

SG10: Zahidah

MOST POPULAR SINGAPORE SONG LAGU SINGAPURA PALING POPULAR

LP1: Babak Cinta, Tengku Adil

LP2: Belaian Rindu, Teacher’s Pet

LP3: Betapa Berat Cintaku, Hady Mirza

LP4: Dikalung Kasihan, Imran Ajmain

LP5: Diriku Dirimu, Wawan,

LP6: Hipokrasi, Diorama

LP7: Kalut, Audionauts

LP8: Nadi Simfoni, Raven

LP9: November Itu, Northbound

LP10: Untuk Dia, SleeQ Feat. Najwa Latif

MOST POPULAR REGIONAL ARTISTE ARTIS SERANTAU PALING POPULAR

AS1: Agnes Monica

AS2: Aliff Aziz

AS3: Bunga Citra Lestari

AS4: Cakra Khan

AS5: Hady Mirza

AS6: Hafiz Suip

AS7: NOAH

AS8: Rossa

AS9: Shila Amzah

AS10: SleeQ

AS11: Taufik Batisah

AS12: Yuna

MOST POPULAR REGIONAL SONG LAGU SERANTAU PALING POPULAR

 LS1: Aku Bersahaja, Taufik Batisah & Rossa

LS2: Anak Kampung, Jimmy Palikat Feat. One Nation Emcees

LS3: Andai Ku Bercinta Lagi, Mojo

LS4: Cinta Sejati, Bunga Citra Lestari

LS5: Harus Terpisah, Cakra Khan

LS6: Muara Hati, Hafiz Suip & Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza

LS7: Patah Seribu, Shila Amzah

LS8: Rindu, Agnes Monica

LS9: Separuh Aku, NOAH

LS10: Sudah Cukup Sudah, Nirwana

LS11: Teman Pengganti, Black & Malique

LS12: Terukir Di Bintang, Yuna

NEW MEDIA NOVA NOVA MEDIA BARU

NV1: Afie Khalid

NV2: Afrina Adnan

NV3: Ari Safitria

NV4: Fairul Adzreen

NV5: Hafiz Zainal

NV6: Isa Abdillah

NV7: Ivan Saputra

NV8: Norhafizah

NV9: Sufie Rashid

NV10: The Siti

SOCIAL MEDIA ICON IKON MEDIA SOSIAL
IK1: Agnes Monica

IK2: Aliff Aziz

IK3: Bunkface

IK4: Hafiz Suip

IK5: Imran Ajmain

IK6: Mizz Nina

IK7: Najwa Latif

IK8: NOAH

IK9: Sherina Munaf

IK10: Shila Amzah

IK11: SleeQ

IK12: Vidi Aldiano


Launch of Sezairi Sezali’s “Sayang”!!!

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The highly anticipated first single by the former Singapore Idol winner in three years!!! The song is available for pre-order now on iTunes, and will be released 6th August 2013, in conjunction with the artist’s birthday.

A preview of the song and the pre-order link is included in the new teaser video for #RoomToBreathe EP03, http://www.youtube.com/sezairisezali

Currently, Sezairi is relaunching his career in a different direction; with a focus on Malaysian and Indonesian market for his songs – including this first single “Sayang“.

This single also represents his first completely self-written and self-produced effort; all part of his new journey on expressing various aspects of love in his words, songs, and sounds.

His first album, “Take Two“, released by Universal Music Singapore had gone straight to number 1, and spawned three hit singles in the process.

About #RoomToBreathe:

RoomToBreathe has seen Sezairi take his music to NIYAMA resort in Maldives, and his grandmother’s living room! EP03 takes his fans to Moscow, Russia, where Sezairi performed at rAsia Festival in June 2013.

URLs Official site: www.sezairisezali.net

YouTube: www.youtube.com/sezairisezali

Instagram/Twitter: @sezairi


Mega Lawak 2013 Promo

Have you gotten your tickets yet???

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Celebrity Friendly Football Match: Mediacorp Suria vs. Persatuan Seniman Malaysia

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Due to personal health reasons and family commitments, I have not been involving myself with anything pertaining to our local Malay entertainment scene since Pesta Perdana ended, in fact harking back to the end of the Ratu Suria competition. You can safely say that I have been switching myself off from the scene. I had initially planned to attend and post weekly photographs of the current TeRaSeh competition which is currently underway, but the fact is, I have not attended a single weekly episode since its inception some seven weeks ago, no thanks to my schedule and also my reservist, which was during Episodes Two and Three. However, thanks to Mediacorp Suria, I was brought out of my “hibernation” for a memorable trip to Kuala Lumpur recently.

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Our kind sponsors for the trip – Orange Coach & Travel Pte. Ltd.

Close to four weekends ago, I was fortunate to be invited by Mediacorp Suria to be a part of the football team that took on Persatuan Seniman Malaysia at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, which is situated in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Similar to the last Piala Dollah Kassim tournament, the squad that travelled to Kuala Lumpur was more or less the same with Rafaat Hamzah again captaining the side and familiar faces like Shahril Wahid, Sahfuddin Mahfudz, Effandy Idris, Anugerah Skrin 2010 alumnus Md Idris Jamin, Aidil Jufri Jumari, Raja Razie, not forgetting the First XI players Alang, Mohd Helmi and Faliq Sudhir. This team also welcomed a few guest players namely Danial Ashriq, Izzat Yusoff, Hasyf Nasir, Hafiz Nasir, Noe Chicanoe (Opening Act Go Glam fame) and local singer Raja Izzuwin Shah, who also acted as the coordinator of this friendly match, along with his wife Lydia (Shootz 19).

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The Kelab Sultan Sulaiman pitch with the stunning backdrop of KLCC Twin Towers

It was initially advertised that some players from the opposing team were supposed to play, but the only ones I knew who took to the pitch were ex-members of Nico, Shades, KOOL (who are all known as the super group GX-4 by the way) and Kamal Adli. The rest were unknown to me, simply for the fact that I do not watch Malaysian dramas or shows to be kept abreast of who’s who. Acappan and Isma Aliff as well as the President of Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (you-know-who) were initially touted to play, but the former two were not seen and the latter did not change into his gear, but remained a concerned spectator by the sidelines. I was actually looking forward to meeting Isma Aliff, a legend in his own right for the number of comedy films he did back in the late 80s, as well as recording several parody songs which I remember till this day.

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Players warming up before the match…

Anyway, the match was a whitewash, played in three halves of half an hour each. I hope I don’t sound too pompous and arrogant when I used the word “whitewash”, but I cannot describe it any other way. It was too one-sided, even if our team had started the first fifteen minutes playing with a lot of jitters and making a number of basic, silly mistakes, myself included. We were tired as we only arrived in Kuala Lumpur two hours prior to the game, but the moment we scored our first goal through Razif Ariff, we began to dictate play and became more confident. Further goals by Raja Izzuwin Shah, Danial Ashriq, yours truly (yes I had a cameo playing upfront in the last ten minutes, scoring with my first touch!!!) and a brace by Alang, made the scoreline a bit too flattering. You can understand why I said a 6-0 scoreline is a bit flattering.

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Alang celebrating his first goal and the team’s fourth for the evening…

Much had been said prior to the game by well-wishers online, when they saw who was initially supposed to play in the opposing team (no prizes for guessing who). I know it is easy to get sucked into nationalistic feelings or be aggrieved by the constant sniping by you-know-who with regards to some of our artistes making a name for themselves across the Causeway. But the match was indeed a friendly match born out of goodwill and I was glad that it remained extremely cordial from the start right to the end. For that I am very happy that the players were all playing with smiles on their faces and never put ourselves in situations where things could get complicated. We were ambassadors of our country afterall and it was a great advertisement to show that we were professional, gracious and respectful towards our hosts. Let’s hope that we can return the same favour when the second leg returns in June, this time on our home soil.

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Both sets of players in a show of solidarity and friendship after the match ended…

P.S. Special thanks go out to bro Syah Ibrahim and his team from Orange Travel for kindly sponsoring our trip to Kuala Lumpur as well as the the accomodation at Sunway Putra Hotel. The service and hospitality rendered were first class. Thank you also to Mediacorp Suria for again inviting me to join the football team and team manager Ishak Jamid for allowing me to play upfront as a striker for the last ten minutes of the game. I enjoyed the trip very much and brought home memorable moments I could replay in my head from time to time. For the record, Alang was awarded the Top-Scorer trophy whereas Mohd Helmi was awarded the Man-of-the-Match award. Prizes were kindly sponsored by none other than popular radio deejay of ERA.FM and comedian, Johan (Raja Lawak). Last but not least, to the two busloads of supporters who made their way up just to support us, THANK YOU!!!

(All photographs and video clip featured in this entry are courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)


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