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Te:RaSeh! 2.0 Prelude @ SG Expo

1897016_10152106043672893_579599265_n(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

2014 seems like a boring year in this domain of mine. I know cos this is only the third entry I am doing so far. I could have done more entries like covering celebrity weddings that happened last month, but I was overseas due to work commitments, which meant I had to miss the weddings of Didicazli & Eliyana as well as “Step Puteri‘s” Ateeqah Mazlan & Effendie (DJ Effen). Congratulations to all of them including bro Hady Mirza & Nur Jannah, SG‘s Siti Nurhaliza lookalike winner Mahirah Yasin & Herdeno as well as Anugerah Skrin 2010 alumnus Mariah Mahfar & Isbahi who have all tied the knot within the last month or so. 2014 is indeed a year filled with celebrity weddings in our local Malay entertainment scene. And it’s still only March. More to follow in the months ahead…

TeRaSeh 2014 @ SG Expo 2014-03-22 004The guys (from left): Warna 94.2FM‘s Tahar Ghalib (TG), Suzairhe Sumari, Hyrul Anuar, Danial Ashriq, Fadhlur Rahman, Hasif Nasir, Taufik Salleh, Khairudin Samsudin and Fauzie Laily. RIA 89.7FM‘s Dzar Ismail was getting ready when this shot was taken…

This past Saturday 22 March 2014, in conjunction with the Halal Food, Weddings & Lifestyle Exhibition organised by Mega Express Pte. Ltd., a segment that was a crowd puller happened to be the prelude event to the upcoming TeRaSeh programme which will make its return come 8 April 2014 on Mediacorp Suria. For those who had been watching or following the first edition last year, you will know that it is a highly entertaining programme with all the crazy and spontaneous antics by all the participants and the hosts. The programme is also an educational one as viewers would also learn general knowledge, culture and and history of the local entertainment scene as well as our country through the questions asked. I did not cover a single episode last year as I was tied down with reservist and family commitments, but I do hope I can cover on a weekly basis this time round, which will be known as TeRaSeh 2.0.

TeRaSeh 2014 @ SG Expo 2014-03-22 005The damsels (from left): Dalina Jaapar, Syirah Jusni, Izyan Mellyna, Nurfarhana M Noor, Mastura Ahmad, Nurul Aini, Nurul Nabila and Siti Hajar Gani

Which was why I attended the event last Saturday to get a feel of what this year’s list of participants from the radio and television fraternity have in store for us. For one, they gave a glimpse of what might transpire in the upcoming episodes with a Boria performance for the audience at the start and end of the show. Last year, there was a spontaneous Dikir Barat performance at the end of every episode of TeRaSeh. Perhaps this year, they will inject the Boria element just to spice things up further. For one, the participants had to undergo an intensive training prior to the show just to learn the coordinated dance steps and lyrics to the song they were performing. Kudos to all the artistes involved last Saturday for learning within a few hours before having to perform them live for the watching audience.

TeRaSeh 2014 @ SG Expo 2014-03-22 003The fantastic Sri Warisan performers who accompanied and trained the artistes for the Boria segment…

Playing games with the audience, maybe we’ll get to see more of the same this year. We’ll just have to wait for the first episode to air, but one thing’s for sure, this will not be a Radio vs. Television affair like last year. The rules have been changed and it will be the radio and television fraternity combining and duking it out between the two genders. Based on what happened last Saturday, you are guaranteed to have a rolling good time and definitely will get sore facial muscles due to too much laughing at the antics of all the participants and hosts. It is also good that the show will see several new faces who will add on to the entertainment and eye candy factors. For the record, TeRaSeh 2.0 will be hosted by Khairudin Samsudin and AB Shaik


Farisha Ishak’s “Aligned” Album Launch Media Conference…

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It’s been almost half a year since her coronation as “The Final 1” on Mediacorp Channel 5‘s reality singing competition held last year. Over the past five months or so since her win, she has been working hard behind the scenes, recording her debut album which finally made its way in local music stores (CD RAMA) on 28 January 2014. However the media conference held in conjunction with the album launch was held slightly later, about a week after the CDs have been made available, on 6 February 2014. The event was held at The Star Loft, situated on the eleventh floor of The Star Performing Arts Centre in Buona Vista. In a way, it was a full circle for Farisha as she was conferred the title of “The Final 1” at the same building on 21 August 2013.

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Farisha being interviewed by Elliot Danker

Those who had followed “The Final 1” competition since the start would note that Farisha was a model of consistency week in and out. I remember being very impressed by her showing since the very first episode. Besides Farisha, I had other favourites as well but when one by one got eliminated in the competition in the early stages, I felt that the competition was hers to be won at a canter, no disrespect to the other participants. And she did!!! I was mesmerised by her rendition of “Tonight” during the Grand Finals cos I never thought she could pull off a song with an upbeat tempo as well as when she sings ballads and slow numbers. She was a worthy winner that night and the final result was never in doubt.

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Farisha performed three songs during the event…

Back to her album launch. Titled “Aligned“, the album consists of nine original compositions, six in English and the remaining three in Malay. Of note, three of the songs found in her album, “Life Is Beautiful“, “Hidup Ini Indah” and “Stranded“, were penned by this talented 19-year old. During the media conference event, I was intrigued by how calm, confident and eloquent Farisha was when posed with questions from host Elliot Danker. Some new artistes need a bit of coaxing to describe themselves or even their songs / albums, but Farisha displayed the kind of confidence seen in seasoned professionals.  Of course I will not describe in detail what went on during the event as you can view highlights of them in the short clip I have managed to put up and included at the end of this entry.

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Farisha being interviewed by RIA 89.7FM‘s Aura Shai

All I can say after observing Farisha, how she tackles the media and most importantly, how she enjoys herself onstage is that generally, I am excited to see how far she can progress in this small music industry of ours and whether she can push on and make waves abroad. With her willingness and determination to improve on her shortcomings, her confidence in being bilingual (even though she admits she could improve on her mother tongue), I feel that over time, the regional audience would warm up to her and she could be our best female export. Though her looks remind me of Malaysia‘s Nurul Wahab, her talent if nurtured well and she reaches diva status, a comparison with Dato’ Sheila Majid cannot be too far away.

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Get Farisha‘s “Aligned” album at all CD RAMA outlets now!!!

To Farisha, congratulations Adik on your album launch. I really, really hope that your career will take off from here, that the masses will receive your songs and album in kind, and of course, lend you their utmost support, even more than the one they gave during “The Final 1” competition. Keep your feet on the ground, remain humble as you already are and continue to improve on all aspects so that you can be an all-rounded performer. Wish you nothing but success in your music career and maybe someday, you will be willing to spread your wings and soar to even greater heights. As your mentor Taufik Batisah would say, “The sky’s the limit…”

P.S. Thank you to Hype Records and Artiste Networks for the kind invitation to this memorable event… :)

Snapshots of Farisha’s Album Launch Media Conference Event…


Hafeez Glamour – End of an Era with RIA 89.7FM…

Demi Adriana Book Launch 2012-03-25 193Thank you for entertaining RIA 89.7FM listeners, bro Hafeez!!!

The start of the new Gregorian calendar year normally brings with it fresh hope and optimism for what is to come in the next 365 days. But somehow I am starting the new year in this domain of mine a little solemn as I try to come to terms with the fact that one of my favourite radio deejays and one-time mentor during my radio internship back in 1998, none other than Hafeez Glamour, ends his time with the only station that he has been with since its formation on 1st December 1990. This past fortnight, rumours had been swirling that there will be major shake-ups between the two local Malay radio stations for the coming year ahead and this is normal amongst all the Mediacorp-owned radio stations as they inject and infuse new ideas to attract the listeners into tuning in to their daily programmes.

Today 3rd January 2014 marks his final day on RIA 89.7FM, ending a twenty-three year long association, for which he has been the mainstay throughout, whereas those who had joined the station when it first formed, had all gone over to sister station Warna 94.2FM or left for pastures anew. So the question is, where is Hafeez Harun a.k.a. Hafeez Glamour heading to come 6th January 2014??? Of late he had posted several teasing photos of him on his personal social media platforms, some depicting him possibly going the way of our Asian Idol, Hady Mirza. The truth is, Hafeez will still be heard on radio, but will be moving to Warna 94.2FM, where he will team up with wacky deejay Dyn Norahim for the 10pm-2am slot. I did not get the chance to talk about his “Demi Adriana” book launch back in 2012 due to my busy schedule, but here I am dedicating this entry to thank him for his past twenty-three years with RIA 89.7FM.

Fiza O Ritabella Collection Launch 2012-02-25 007 - CopyHafeez Glamour – A brand name that needs no further introduction nor elaboration…

He had been the last one standing amongst his fellow peers who had transferred over to Warna 94.2FM, but he has been standing proud and tall with RIA 89.7FM all these years, winning the “Most Popular Deejay (Malay)” award for eight years over the past decade, beating his younger colleagues. His success can be attributed to his drive, positive outlook to life, honesty and above all, sincerity in delivering his daily responsibilities to entertain the masses tuning in to him. Mention the name “Hafeez Glamour” and people already know who he is and his infectious personality. It is a brand name in our local Malay community that needs no further introduction nor elaboration. An icon that also shares the same birthday as the station he is leaving.

Me and bro Hafeez go back a long, long way since 1996. Our acquaintanceship began when I took part in one of his daily phone-in karaoke segments back then and won myself a couple of CDs for winning that particular week’s contest. The following year, me and my two buddies entered “kRIAtif 97“, in which bro Hafeez was the producer, and we won the Impersonation Category, mimicking our favourite group KRU. But it was in 1998 that our acquaintanceship grew into a friendship, when I did my polytechnic internship with both Malay radio stations. Bro Hafeez was a good mentor like all the other deejays back then, teaching me the ropes of radio broadcasting and even bringing me out to observe some of their outdoor activities like his Kafe-Teh-RIA segment, whereby there were days when he and co-partner Morniyati Tukimin would be visiting listeners at their work places.

D (7)Bro Hafeez seen here entertaining the guests during my wedding dinner back in 2005…

During the period when sending sms to the radio station to air our views or dedications was the in-thing (circa 2003-2006), my nick was a constant mention in his daily radio programme with bro Syah Ibrahim (RIA Jamm). I have to admit back then, I was given plenty of opportunities to get my messages and opinions across, contributing to the success of his daily show, even when I ran the risk of upsetting the other listeners with my no-nonsense and honest-to-goodness comments. Even though my comments bothered on being provocative towards the mentality and mindset of our community, bro Hafeez was always there to see the positive aspect and reiterated my views, to the point others felt he was guilty of favouritism and bias towards yours truly. I can say, thanks to his daily radio programme back then, that is where I learned to be more vocal and more confident in expressing my views, which in turn led to the birth of this blog of mine.

What I admire most about bro Hafeez is his level of patience in entertaining listeners, always having that sense of empathy towards those who might be a little slow in putting their points across or those who might be a little difficult for us to understand, especially the Indonesian domestic workers, who count as his biggest fans. Which is why till today, he is no doubt someone they look up to and the go-to guy when it comes to hosting events involving these foreign workers. Another unforgettable memory I have of bro Hafeez was how, at such short notice before my wedding in 2005, he agreed to host my wedding dinner along with bro A B Shaik. I was surprised to secure his services but I knew, even before asking, that he would never disappoint me on my big day. Till today, me and the wife are so thankful to him and bro Shaik for entertaining the guests who had waited for our arrival almost an hour later than scheduled.

Demi Adriana Book Launch 2012-03-25 240Writing and producing his second book “Demi Adriana” in 2012 was another highlight of his career…

During his time with RIA 89.7FM, bro Hafeez had always encouraged listeners to increase our knowledge through inculcating the culture of reading into our lives. A prolific writer himself having done stints with Manja magazine and other external writing projects, the highlight of his twenty-three year career as a radio presenter has to be when he produced two books, “Diari DJ” and “Demi Adriana“. Again, I am thankful to bro Hafeez for dedicating one of the characters potrayed in his book “Diari DJ“, to me, a form of recognition to several listeners who have added colour to his daily radio programme and segments. When most listeners were always up in arms over my direct and often-brash comments on air, he stated in his book that he found my comments “meant for the good of the community”. High praise indeed!!!

During his time with RIA 89.7FM, bro Hafeez could be attributed to giving the opportunity to up-and-coming acts to display their potential and talents via his segments like “Karaoke 897” and “Opening Act Go Glam“. The likes of Hetty Sarlene, Malaysian singers Fazli Zainal and Izzla, and of late, Aisyah Aziz, Sufie Rashid and Kamsani Jumahat are just a few names I can think off-the-cuff, who have benefited from being spotted through his daily radio programmes and have reaped the rewards of currently being known or have established themselves in the scene, either locally or across the Causeway. Hopefully RIA 89.7FM will continue this legacy to introduce and help push through new talents through segments like “Singa Maksima” and “SG“.

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News of his impending transfer to Warna 94.2FM might shock many, especially since he has a very strong fanbase of followers, but I think there could be positives in the long run. Of course, new changes need time to bed in, but overtime I guess he will be a valuable asset to the sister station. Again I thank bro Hafeez for taking the trouble to call me up last weekend to confirm his transfer, even though I had heard the rumours and made my own deductions through several veiled status updates on Facebook both by bro Hafeez himself and his soon-to-be new sparring partner, Dyn Norahim. To bro Hafeez, thank you for everything you’ve done both on a personal level as well as entertaining us all daily for twenty-three years on RIA 89.7FM. May your new posting give you more joy and satisfaction to what you have achieved all these years and I wish you nothing but more success in your upcoming endeavours!!!


More Photographs of Fauzie Laily & Nurul Huda’s Wedding…

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I promised this particular entry after my APM2013 review and looking at the date, which is almost two months after the wedding, I was in two minds whether to publish this or just put it on the back burner. But a promise is a promise, and since people are still searching for photographs of Fauzie and Nurul‘s wedding, from the search terms I see that people keyed in before entering this domain, I guess there’s no harm sharing. Anyway, this domain is devoid of activity, so it badly needs an entry to keep its existence going. Apologies if this entry is a bit too late or feels a bit stale, but better late than never I guess. The photo gallery below are photographs taken on both the first day (over at the bride’s) as well as on the second day (at the groom’s). I did not stay long for both events so I might have missed out on snapping more photographs of the guests who attended. I was also not invited to the exclusive wedding dinner so forgive me if I have no photos of them. Just hope that the photos are enough to satiate your thirst to view the photographs, no matter how belated this entry is. Enjoy…


Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 Review…

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(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It is exactly a fortnight since Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 (APM2013) was held successfully at the newly-refurbished Suntec Singapore Convention Centre. Over the years, and with the increased participation on social media by the masses, this event has slowly come to the fore and made its presence felt with the regional audience. One can see how the event has created a buzz positively and negatively, when you see comments flying around on Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks, especially in the last three years when the show caused a lot of unhappiness amongst the regional audience for being “boring” in terms of entertainment aspects (their subjective criticisms) and for being biased towards our homegrown artistes in the popular award categories. Well, you can’t win them all, but it was indeed pleasing to hear after the show that “#APM2013” was the most trending topic on Twitter on the night of 18 October 2013, in both Singapore and Malaysia.

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Wacky hosts who lifted the show with their nonchalance – Adi Rahman, Sarah Sechan and Dato’ AC Mizal

As for this year’s edition and before I proceed on with this review, let me first congratulate the good people behind Anugerah Planet Muzik for a job well done and for improving the standards of the show as most of you who had witnessed it live would agree. This was indeed the very first project since the Mediacorp-owned Malay radio stations (Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM) and television channel (Suria) merged together to form the Malay Broadcast Division of Mediacorp. Officially this was not their first project or APM together, but one can see that since the merger, the cooperation and working in tandem has resulted in a more concerted and synergised effort with more interactions now being done online to engage viewers of the event. Ok I know there will be those who would disagree based on individual preferences and personal judgments, but I believe if there are any, then maybe they are of a minority clique. Let’s start off with all the good and positive stuff that went on that night.

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S4 of Indonesia pumped up the audience with their hit single “She Is My Girl“…

For years I had been complaining of the poor state of affairs over at Max Pavilion Singapore Expo, where the event was held in 2006 and as recently as the previous two editions (2011 and 2012). For all the star-studded cast that had performed in those editions, it did not bring justice to their pedigree and reputation as outstanding acts in the region, since the sound system and acoustics of the venue were absolute letdowns. Like a bad record, I had appealed on an almost annual basis for the event to return to Suntec Singapore Convention Centre where the best edition was last held in 2005. Eight years since it was last held there, I finally got my wish and God knows how elated I was upon hearing the news as personally I feel that Suntec offers a far better dynamics than Max Pavilion. What made it even better was the fact that Suntec had undergone a major refurbishment recently and it definitely promised a far-better viewing experience, not to mention the crystal-clear sounds. What’s more, no matter how far you are seated, the stage still seems near enough to you. With a potent combination like this, you simply cannot go wrong with any production, as those who had purchased tickets to watch the event live would agree with me.

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Jamiel Said, Citra Scholastika and Jazz Hayat performing “Sahabat” made popular by Syamkamarul, Najwa Latif and SleeQ

Performances-wise, I personally don’t think there was one performance that was bad or boring, but it has to be said however, that the closing performance by Amy Search and Bunkface felt a bit weird for the fact that the song they performed together towards the end (“Rentak Laguku“), did not quite resonate with the watching audience as most had not heard it before on our local airwaves. As a result, the energy levels and anticipation which were felt earlier when Amy Search sang “Isabella” and Sam, Bunkface‘s vocalist, performed “Situasi“, went down slightly and the audience were not bobbing their heads as much as before. Perhaps both could have finished off with their respective fast-tempo hits like “Isi & Kulit” and “Panik“, just to name two examples. Still, if you were to ask me, this was a much better ending to the awards show when you compare it to recent years. At least the show still went out on quite a high.

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Jazz Hayat was the sole Brunei representative that night. Previously, his compatriot Faiz Nawi performed in the 2005 edition, which was also coincidentally held at Suntec Singapore Convention Centre as well. Let’s hope to see more Brunei acts in upcoming editions!!!

My personal performing favourites of the night were S4, W.A.R.I.S., Awi Rafael, Altimet and The Trisno Trio, to go along with crowd favourites Judika, Shila Amzah, Hafiz Suip, Cakra Khan and of course Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. S4 of Indonesia, born from the reality show, “Galaxy Superstar“, might have been strangers to viewers or music lovers in Malaysia and to some in Singapore, but they certainly announced their presence in definite style when they kicked off the show excellently with their hit single “She Is My Girl“, complete with their slick dance moves and all. It is not easy to perform and sing live like them and even though one can detect that they had accompanying vocals in their track, I believe they sang live throughout even though some members looked a little unwell, judging by the constant coughing I heard when I met them backstage an hour before the event started. It could be an unexpected technical fault cos when I witnessed them during the soundcheck the day before the event, the group breezed through their rehearsal and sang live immaculately.

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The rapper who hails from Negeri Sembilan, W.A.R.I.S., performing his debut hit “Rembau Most Wanted“…

I was extremely pleased to see a very much under-rated talent performed that night and he is none other than Malaysia‘s Altimet. I have been a silent fan of his for years, always loving his new singles that touch upon social issues and relate to our everyday lives. It strikes a chord with the listening audience and his lyrics allow us not only to self-reflect, but to self-improve on our personal level. It was unsurprising that he was nominated for the Best Collaboration and Best Duo / Group awards for “Dunia“, his collaboration with The Trisno Trio. I did say back in 2007 when he last performed at APM, that I was not too impressed with his opening act that night, but everything about his performance a fortnight ago oozed class, attitude and confidence. He is like the Pitbull of Southeast Asia, a master collaborator with so many local and Malaysian acts and churning out radio-friendly hits after hits. And who is to say “Kalau Aku Kaya” will not be among the five nominees for Best Collaboration or Best Duo / Group in APM2014??? I’m confident enough that the song will be one of them. The only complaint I would have would be that he should have performed with The Trisno Trio and Bushmen that night, as “Dunia” is still technically his song as well. Two to three minutes of him rapping to “Kalau Aku Kaya” was just not enough.

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Altimet and Awi Rafael performing “Kalau Aku Kaya“…

This was the first time since the advent of our local reality singing competitions like Singapore Idol, that none of the touted local Big 4, namely Taufik Batisah, Hady Mirza, Sezairi Sezali and SleeQ, took to the stage to perform at Anugerah Planet Muzik. I dunno if this was a calculated decision made by the organisers wanting to feature other local acts or the fact that both Taufik and Hady had their own personal commitments on the same night (the latter was out of the country performing his Hajj from what I heard), but it was a decision I personally felt was a good one, a fresh perspective, even if some of their fans had complained that it was the same faces every year. I wonder where some of these fans have been all these while when the likes of Taufik, SleeQ and Hady have been performing in APM since 2007 on an almost annual basis. Even Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza skipped the last one to attend to her husband’s well-being from his motorcycle accident last year and the show still went on smoothly.

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Adi Rahman and Sarah Sechan…

With all due respect to the touted Big 4, Singapore‘s talents are not limited to them alone, as we still have other acts crying out to be featured every year. We are definitely not short of talents as we all know by now the success and strength of our community when it comes to performing and winning national talent competitions. And now with Youtube giving birth to indie talents and wannabe artistes, it has become another platform to display their talents to the world. I was extremely proud of our local contingent who performed above themselves and showing that they were worthy to be featured that night. Maybe a little gripe I might have, was the non-availability of a female singer from our shores, as I had at least expected The Final One winner, Farisha Ishak to be invited to perform. Even Audionauts, by virtue of being last year’s Best New Duo / Group award winners and this year’s Most Popular Singapore Artiste award recipients deserved an invitation to perform.

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Syahrini was joined onstage by Aliff Aziz, singing the former’s debut hit “Jangan Memilih Aku“…

Speaking of the latter group, I believe their win in the Most Popular Singapore Artiste category caused more than a ripple that night. In fact it caused shockwaves on social media accounts asking who were they and questioning if they deserved it. Well one could hear a pin drop in the arena when their group name was mentioned by award presenters Syirah Jusni and Dzar Ismail. To the detractors, wake up and start smelling the many roses in the garden. For the past two years, Audionauts have been churning out hits after hits on local radio. Quietly, their fans have done their job to put them up where they currently belong. Accept their win and take it that the fans from the other nominated artistes in the popular category were complacent and sitting on their laurels. The idols will always be respected and deemed of a higher status, that is a given, but we should also not begrudge the winners of their achievement as it was their fans who had been instrumental in their win. For me at least, it gives the group the opportunity to reintroduce themselves to the regional as well as home audience and showing that we have more talents on our shores than our Big 4.

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Sarah Sechan and Dato’ AC Mizal hosting next to the front row audience…

The three hosts that night I felt carried their responsibilities down to a T. Before the show, just by looking at the promotional poster of the event and seeing their faces, I had a good vibe that they would do the show justice and I was not disappointed. Sarah Sechan being the chilli padi that she is, and Dato’ AC Mizal being quickfire with his jibes are a common sight on television in their respective countries. The newly-wedded groom, Adi Rahman, is also no stranger to dishing out witty punchlines in his daily morning show on radio. The chemistry between the three was certainly evident, but I just felt Adi was perhaps a little too cordial to his fellow presenters. While Sarah and Dato’ AC were trading barbs at one another, Adi was a little laidback and played more of the “good guy” card. Which perhaps prompted some people to comment online that Adi was “boring” that night. But somehow people dunno that the characters and traits of personalities differ onstage or the deliberate roles that they are supposed to play to keep the momentum of the show to a considerate level.

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Trisno Ishak (The Trisno Trio) and Mohammad Izaar (Bushmen) did Singapore proud that night with their performance…

In years past, people have complained that the script was either too “in-your-face”, vulgar or redundant. I think credit should go to Adi Rahman, being the script writer, for keeping it simple, eradicating the sexual innuendos (even though the other two hosts did slip their tongues once or twice, probably taking the mick out of Adi‘s newly-minted status) and without being too excessive. Speaking to him after the show, he did say that it was a huge challenge to write the script as he first had to study the characters and backgrounds of not only his fellow presenters but the award presenters as well. For them to click, he had to find a common theme or subject for them to talk about (the small talk and banter between the presenters). He found it especially challenging to blend the conversation between Aura Shai, Mike Kasem and Dato’ Rossa (I am still getting used to the title which was recently conferred to her). While Aura Shai did not look out of place, the latter two did look a bit uncomfortable, at least from my own observations. Which made me wonder whether Mike Kasem‘s presence was relevant at all, no disrespect to the guy. But I was all too happy not to hear the “Gerek Seh!!!” phrase being mentioned at all, cos seriously nobody in Singapore uses this on a daily basis anymore.

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Stacy Angie always packs a punch in her livewire performances…

I would like to reserve a special mention to the “Radio Ultras” (or also known as the “Singamania” group that attends football matches involving Singapore / Lions XII) who came in numbers and filled up the rear seats. I thought their presence lifted a rather subdued atmosphere (what’s new anyway about Singapore audience???), but prompted the audience to clap and cheer along to their chants before the show began. Those at home were unfortunate not to witness this spectacle of a performance and I doubt it was shown on television. It was typical of what you might see if you were to watch a Malaysian Super League match at the Jalan Besar Stadium. But this felt much better as perhaps the arena is enclosed and their singing was heard loud and clear. I think the foreign delegates from Malaysia and Indonesia were very impressed, judging by the smiles on their faces upon witnessing it. The rousing applause that accompanied their performance was testament to that.

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Sarah Sechan and Dato’ AC Mizal were poking fun at one another the whole night…

Every year, the same complaint has been made time and time again of the lack of a Red Carpet segment or the “poor standards” of it whenever it was held. If one were to observe similar segments in other countries’ award shows, you would note that this separate segment alone has either a main sponsor or several sponsors attached to it. Unfortunately, even for a progressive country like us, sponsors are hard to come by when it comes to supporting our local Malay entertainment scene. There is only so much the organisers are able to budget and rental of the auditorium alone is expensive. Add to payment of artiste appearances, performers, accomodation, flight tickets etc, certain aspects had to be dropped and unfortunately they saw no need to have the Red Carpet segment, which was fine by me and one I have come to accept over the years. Even some of the other acts I talked to said they were ok with it.

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Art Fazil and Imuda with their hit “Rilek Brader“…

People always complain that the organisers have no budget and that if they did not, then why do up such an event??? Sometimes people fail to look at the big picture and sometimes too it is a matter of “damned if they do, damned if they don’t“. This is an event that honours the best in the region as well as our own cos we certainly do not have our own awards show save for Pesta Perdana and the only Anugerah Hitz.Sg event back in 2010. For all the success and more hyped-up entertainment industries of our neighbouring countries, do not expect them to do something similar to what Mediacorp has done. Yes, they might have one separate category for foreign artistes in their award shows, but that’s it. This event brings together big names from the region, a chance to collaborate and network, honour the best and it is because of that you see the likes of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza lending her support on an almost annual basis, either through performing or just making an appearance as a guest, bar the 2012 edition. It is not about payment, but endorsing the credence of the event. Mediacorp I think has done well to work within their means and funding. Of course we would all like to see all the other razzmatazz associated to award shows but it’s also how best they can come up with something that others might not / do not want to do.

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Judika and Shila Amzah put in a memorable performance singing “Aku Yang Tersakiti” together…

However, I did not quite like the “Walk of the Stars” segment that much, which occurred half an hour prior to the show. This somehow replaced the Red Carpet segment, with the artistes who were either performing or presenting awards coming out from the back to be introduced to the audience. It seemed a bit too rush for me as only the big names were stopped by the hosts, A B Shaik and Fiza O, to be interviewed. As a result and as mentioned in my entry before last, I could not get good shots of some of those who had walked onto the stage for their introductions. I think if they were to do this in future, they should extend it by another fifteen minutes or so, interview each and every artiste that walks onstage and not only that, include the other award nominees who did not get the opportunity to perform nor present an award. I think it is only fair to include them as this is a day to honour each and everyone of them. Especially the local artistes, am sure the audience too would like to catch a glimpse of them and get themselves acquainted to their own homegrown acts.

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Another thing that baffled me was the post-event reception or lack thereof of one. I actually heard about its non-availability when I came for the sound check a day before the event, and I thought perhaps my informer had pulled my leg. But there wasn’t any, much to the surprise and disappointment of the other artistes and industry people who had come to watch the event, either as nominees or guests. They had told me that they were indeed looking forward to the reception as they had wanted to use it to do some networking with their neighbouring counterparts and of course to catch up with one another, seeing their respective busy schedules. Confusion reigned when ushers showed them to the back once the event ended, but there was no reception nor instructions telling them where to go and the waiting area was pitched black before the lights came on about ten minutes later. Some ended up walking aimlessly at the back before they were able to go out from where they first came from. I knew because I was there too.

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Dato Siti Nurhaliza with her duet partner, Hafiz Suip, performing “Muara Hati“…

For all the hype and star-studded cast on show, I was surprised that the auditorium was only about two-thirds full. I mean, don’t people want to pay and watch performances from artistes you know exude professionalism, charm, charisma and not to mention quality anymore??? I think gone are the days when the likes of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza are able to perform to a sell-out audience. In the past, just one big name alone was able to fill up an entire arena. In recent years, it has been quite a struggle. I dunno if it’s due to the ticket prices, timing (Friday night is actually the start of a weekend so what excuse do we have???) or the lack of knowledge on some of the other neighbouring artistes, but if it’s Anugerah Planet Muzik, one should know by now that the quality on show has never been compromised since its inception in 2001. The problem with us is that we want quality but are not receptive enough to want to pay for it. And like what I had often mentioned in the past, I blame those monthly expo events for devaluing the artistes.

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Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza joined Cakra Khan in singing “Harus Terpisah“…

One thing I’ve been quite consistent in pointing out yearly is the lack of time for the winners to give their acceptance speeches. Bar the recipients of the Special Achievement award, all the other winners were only accorded about thirty seconds to express their gratitude to the people that matter. I know that they are afraid of the show being over-run as they had only allocated two-and-a-half hours, but such an event demands at least an extra fifteen minutes to half an hour’s grace for any unexpected occurrences. Just imagine, the winner is busy preparing himself / herself backstage or perhaps granting an interview with the media scribes and they have to rush to the stage to accept their awards. By the time they reach the stage, at least fifteen to twenty seconds (half a minute in some cases) would have been wasted and they are only left with about ten seconds worth to thank the people behind their success. I think the thirty seconds rule should start the moment they open their mouths to speak.

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I had a major peeve that night with the lack of decorum and self-respect of some artistes towards the event. Even if you are not performing or presenting an award, the least you could respect the event was by turning up and wearing something presentable other than donning t-shirt and jeans. At the very least you could have done was wear a jacket over the t-shirt or put on some simple / fancy accessory to go along with it. As an artiste, I am sure you want your works to be noticed and in turn gain recognition. I think we are living in an era where making music alone is not enough and consumers would look to see if their favourite artistes would be presentable or have no sense of style at all. Am not asking you to play dress up, but such an event has not only the eyes of those in this country watching, but the region as well. If artistes like Raven, Northbound, Seyra, Diorama, just to name a few, could look presentable or stay true to their genre, why can’t you??? It reflects badly on not only you, but the other acts in your country as well, as it only shows that you don’t care at all. And when you don’t care, do you expect others to do the same towards you??? It works both ways. Never forget that impression counts or you remain forgettable / not worth being featured if you do not have any self-worth. Think about it and don’t be selfish!!!

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A great tribute performance to Black Dog Bone by Awi Rafael, Judika, Jatt Ali and Hafiz Suip

I remember beginning last year’s review by hitting out at the brickbats of this event. This year, am pushing it towards the end. Simply because, I am heartened to say that they belonged in the minority. I think majority of viewers were quite pleased with the performances on show as well as the winners. Though it has to be said that I still saw a few sour grapes / wet blankets / spoilsports who questioned the credibility of the winners in the popular categories. In recent years, our Singapore Idols were the subject of their ire. This time the “honours” went to Hafiz Suip and “Muara Hati“. And the ones making all the noises are the ones in Indonesia, well to be fair, just a few of them. As usual, the common complaints we hear are, “Who is Hafiz???” and “Why haven’t we heard Muara Hati before???” I’ve been monitoring the Facebook page of Anugerah Planet Muzik and there is one particular guy whose name starts with a calendar month, who has been consistent in putting down the show, its credibility and the winners, while saying how good his countrymen and music industry are. He obviously did not realise that the judging panel for the best categories also included a few of his own countrymen and that the popular categories were voted by people from outside his country (and perhaps some from his own, cos c’mon Dato’ Siti is extremely popular in Indonesia as well!!!). This is one example where you get too big for your own good and disrespect those outside your sphere. Continue living under your coconut shell, pal!!!

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Rousing end to the show by Amy Search and Bunkface

Overall, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013 was not too bad, certainly not shabby at all, even when you have the shortcomings I mentioned in the latter paragraphs. In fact I would rank it the best within the last six or seven years. In terms of entertainment, esthetics and sound quality, I think the organisers have done extremely well to stop the rot and improved different aspects of it. For that alone, they deserved full marks cos simply put, an event of this magnitude demands quality, the audience paid for it and they got it and more. Of course in a live event, there will be the unexpected technical glitches but other than the botched video clip during one of the awards presentation, it was a smooth one throughout. To those who had attended and watched the event live, I salute you for coming to support. I am sure most of you brought home sweet memories of the event. Here’s looking forward to APM2014, hopefully a better one than this year, or at least maintaining the standards that it has set this year. Congratulations to all the winners and to the organisers once again on a job well done, not to mention, for the kind invitation as well… :)


APM2013 Award Presenters and Winners Snapshots…

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This is gonna be a brief entry because the photographs that will be featured will speak for themselves. I have yet to start on the review of APM2013 but already have some points in my head, waiting to be typed in this domain of mine. I actually wanted to dump all the photographs under one entry but that will be too lengthy and will take several days to complete and I do not wish to keep my returning readers waiting. Seriously, editing 3400-odd photographs and selecting the best few hundreds to be featured here has been quite a tedious affair. Hope that you will not mind waiting a wee bit more for the review, which I will try to post before the week is out. Till then, enjoy the photographs I snapped of the award presenters as well as more photos of the winners and their victory shots… :)


Miscellaneous Photographs @ APM2013

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Due to the fact and norm that I traditionally post my annual Anugerah Planet Muzik reviews about a week or fortnight after the event has passed, I would normally fill the waiting time by posting photographs of the Red Carpet event as well as during the post-event reception afterwards. But somehow there was no Red Carpet segment and even more surprisingly, there was no post-event reception this year, which I personally felt was a disappointment, as I had planned to take more photographs and even dedicate a separate entry for it. Still I believe visitors to this blog have been looking forward to viewing photographs I snapped during the event. Well here I am with all the miscellaneous shots I took during the “Walk of the Stars” segment (which replaced the Red Carpet), backstage about an hour or so before the event begun, during and after the show. Enjoy!!!

P.S. I was not able to snap more and better photos of the “Walk of the Stars” segment due to the speed that the artistes were walking out and some were not even stopped to be interviewed by the hosts, due to the lack of time before the event commenced. Hence I did not get good photos of the likes of Bushmen, The Trisno Trio and Altimet:(