Domicile of Da' KRUsader's Mind Crafts…

Posts tagged “Warna 94.2FM

PujanggaMalam.com – Ten Years On…

DKM

I actually typed this entry way back in 2010 and left it in the Drafts section because I wanted to make a victory speech of sorts as a means to hit out at my haters and detractors who were undermining me for my entries, commentaries and analysis. This was initially meant to be an entry to silence and show them, “Hey, if the mainstream media has finally recognised my work for them to invite me to cover their events, then I must have been doing something right all along!!!” Also I did not realise I have reached this milestone till the recent Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza concert, which dawned on me that I have been blogging for the past ten years since February 2004. It has been a long journey, filled with ups and downs, joy, bliss, rejections, and for the first time at Dato Siti‘s concert, embarrassment and humiliation in the presence of my fellow media counterparts (more on that in my upcoming review of the concert).

Sinar Lebaran 2013 2013-07-05 1270The Mediacorp Suria staff (whom I share a good working relationship with) with the Ratu Suria contestants post-Sinar Lebaran 2013

I used to and still feel small whenever I am invited to cover any entertainment events, for the fact that I am mostly a one-man team. There is nothing spectacular about my blog either, as I do not have the expertise to create a more vibrant design, nor add adverts or frilly scripts to make it more pleasing to the eye, being the tech idiot that I am. I also do not have the luxury of a fellow writer, photographer or videographer tagging along with me. My wife helps me out from time to time with recording video snippets but even then, I find it tedious and time consuming having to edit and upload them afterwards. Already editing photographs take up a lot of my personal time. Through entertainment blogging, I find joy in attending live shows, getting to know people in the industry as well as learn and understand why certain things are what they are, especially when the general public demands to know why certain things cannot be done or impossible to execute, for instance.

Another set of people I enjoy working with, the radio fraternity…

Through such learning experiences over the years, I developed a more empathic approach towards producing a balanced entry. I now try to be more understanding why certain things transpire and even when things go wrong, I am able to forgive and give benefit of doubt. I am very sure those who have followed this blog for the longest time would note how much I have mellowed down since when I first started out with all guns blazing whenever I see something to my chagrin. Bombing away and forming seething (and sometimes wild) observations, used to be the hallmark of my entries, but I still maintained decorum and without the need to use vulgarities to get my points across. I believe this was partly why I was finally received by Mediacorp Suria to cover their events beginning with Anugerah 2009. I am also honoured to be the first Malay blogger back then to have broken barriers and opened the doors for more to join in covering entertainment events.

Covering one of my close friends’ wedding (DJ KC & Fiza O) was one of the highlights of the past ten years…

This blog has indeed come a long, long way since I first started out using Blogspot as my host. Not to sound calculative with what I had done to increase the stature and reputation of this blog, but this domain of mine has witnessed evolution from its humble beginnings. From grainy photographs taken from my Nokia handphone, to buying a high-end DSLR camera, complete with extended zoom lens as well as a video camera, these were my commitment to the cause of providing quality pictures and video snippets of events and shows I attended. Oh and how can I forget how my domain’s logo and watermark changing over the years to give it a more professional outlook??? Previously it was just a simple word on photographs before I realised they were ugly and spoiling them. That’s when I made trials and errors on the watermark logo before finalising what you see today.

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I did not get to blog on bro Hafeez Glamour‘s “Demi Adriana” book launch due to my busy schedule back then, but I did share photos I took that day in my Facebook account…

You can regard whatever evolution or small changes I’ve done to improve or increase the reputation and quality of my blog, or even whatever promos or reviews I’ve done all these years, as my community service to provide useful information on our local Malay entertainment scene, introducing new acts, reacquaint others with established ones, providing differing views from mainstream media and providing a useful resource in general. From time to time I have people working in the scene thanking me for what I have done, assisting them with valuable information in the process, and it fills me with pride that I have gone in someway to help others, even though I felt like I have done nothing much. It has been a joy so far covering events, helping out with promos and fundings, sharing joyous moments of celebrity weddings, attending concerts and awards shows, book / product / album / single / music video launches, behind-the-scenes filming etc., even if they sometimes come with pain and heartache which most are unaware.

Sri Warisan, very forthcoming and easy to work with when I helped to promo their Bendahara: The Musical event…

Like all those who dare to tread on whatever paths they deem as right or answering the call of passion / challenge, I have faced numerous obstacles and heartbreaks, some of which have affected my relationship with friends I once regarded as siblings. Like anyone who has dared to venture in this line or in this industry, I too have had my fair share of doubters, haters, brickbats and detractors over the years, from comments left in my entries to smses on radio segments, in blog posts right down to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and the now defunct Multiply site. People questioned my credibility and qualifications in pouring forth my thoughts across, not to mention those that have bitched about my flawed interest in the entertainment scene and how I was just trying to fit in and make a name for myself. Cos truth be told, I’m not cut out to be a singer / actor / host / radio presenter - possible career paths which at some point of time in my life I had tried to be involved or had some interest in, but did not work out. But what did not kill me only made me stronger.

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Covering the whole edition of Ratu Suria was an unforgettable experience for the fact that I had to defend the contestants alot in the face of online criticisms, bombarding them from their looks down to their level of intellect…

Call me arrogant or conceited for dedicating an entry reminiscing my past ten years in entertainment blogging, but I believe I have come a long way to proving that what I have been doing for the past decade have always been genuine, sincere, honest, patient, responsible, having self-belief and having loads of passion for the media / entertainment line - seven important traits you need to possess to survive in this harsh industry. The good people who have kindly invited me to cover their events, other than the Malay Broadcast Division of Mediacorp (Suria, Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM), might have taken notice of those values and principles I so dearly hold on to, and for that I’m extremely thankful to them for acknowledging the work I had painstakingly put up all these while. Even though I am unable to attend all of these invites to launches or shows due to work and family commitments, I still appreciate the invitations and feel honoured that people do recognise my efforts.

I was honoured to have covered Rita Zahara‘s heritage cookbook launch back in January 2012

Unlike other famous entertainment bloggers across the Causeway, I’m not paid to do what I enjoy doing and even though I’m only doing it as a hobby during my recreational time, I try to give off my best, every single damn time. Most of the concerts I had reviewed so far in my domain, I paid with my hard-earned money and received no sponsorship whatsoever nor official accreditation from the respective organisers. Even when I try to get accreditation, most of the time, my requests were turned down or comes with certain limitations. Which is why till today I am a bit peeved with certain concert / show / event organisers, why they can invite foreign entertainment bloggers and even pay them to cover their events when a small fry like myself who is trying to help and promote new acts for free featured in their concerts, did not even receive any invite to cover and still had to pay to enter the concert venue.

And Fiza O‘s beauty product launch a month after, possibly the first Malay personality to lend her name to a beauty product…

There is something seriously wrong with the local Malay entertainment industry when foreign journalists / bloggers are being paid to cover events and shows, yet the local ones are not being considered or thought of. Also I find it perplexing till this day when I got to know some of our local acts had to sell tickets to one of their concerts to earn their rightful commissions, whereas the foreign acts featured together did not have to go through that form of treatment. While I appreciate the organisers wanting to instil a sense of business-minded tact in our local acts, it creates a form of quiet discontent, that there is a form of double standards being practised, especially when the foreign artistes were being paid and provided lodging without having to sell the concert tickets. And I do not blame them for feeling low and down as a result. Over the years, I’ve been like an Agony Aunt to some of the problems faced by our local acts, and from time to time, will highlight their plights in my entries.

Another momentous moment in 2012 was covering Siti Zahidah‘s album launch and showcase…

Another gripe I have with some local event organisers is their lack of gratitude. Back in 2012, I had planned to cover an event which showcased solely on upcoming local acts. It was a free concert held outside a community club. Out of respect, I just messaged the organisers to say I would like to cover their event and record video snippets of the performers. The plan was to introduce some of these acts on my domain, so people would be made aware of their talents. The reply I received was the event was not theirs per se, but the community club’s so they were unsure if they could allow me to record any video snippets. I was extremely fine with that till I came and saw so many in the audience recording away via their smartphones and iPads. In addition, I did not see any staff from the community club overseeing the whole event or anyone stopping these people from recording.

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Another event I covered but did not manage to blog about was the Te:RaSeh! Road Tour last May

Here I am trying to do a kind service for our local acts, yet my intentions got knocked back just because of a trivial reason and lack of responsibility. Suffice to say, I have refrained from attending any events or shows organised by this event organiser till today. I just cannot understand people turning down free promos online, when they have to fork out hundreds for a space on mainstream media. For the longest time, I have refrained from charging a fee to do promos and write-ups. Because I know our local industry does not pay as well as that across the Causeway with production houses and other organisations limited with fundings. I have been asked by people close to me, why have I not charged or earned anything out of what I enjoy doing??? There is simply no market for it over here, sad to say, or companies would be loathed to part their money for a simple promo.

Den Sabari and Huda Ali‘s wedding back in July 2010 was the first celebrity wedding I covered in this domain…

Speaking of promos, I’ve had over the years event /expo organisers taking my photographs on the Net without asking for my permission, even if my watermark is there for all to see. I will not go as far as saying they “stole” my photographs, even though the promotional photos used have clearly wiped them out, or just a cutout image of the artistes featured. I cannot blame the organisers fully, as from one classic example recently, I found out that the ones doing their promotional poster design was from an external department, a case of communication breakdown somewhere during their planning stages. Something they could have avoided doing when they agreed on what photos that could be used. But me being the ever-forgiving one, will always give others the benefit of doubt and accept people sometimes overlook these sort of things.

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Another one of those events I covered, but only shared in my Facebook account, Fiesta Suria 2013

If I want to be extremely anal about this, I could even bang on their doors and ask for a cut of their earnings, cos seriously expo events are a business windfall to some of these organisers and helping them promote via your photographs, you definitely feel that you deserve at least a little token of appreciation. For concerts and shows, it’s 50-50. One can earn a lot if your show is a sell-out, but what if only a handful turn out??? Even I won’t be so mean and damning as to want a certain cut from their earnings, cos I’ve heard some companies closing down after organising a big-scale sell-out concert in Singapore. Strange fact but true. Maybe I’m too nice or feel the legal route can be messy. But we are a small nation with an even smaller community. I don’t wish to kill or create ill feelings out of such matters, but sometimes people don’t realise that being the big fish, they forget simple ethics and courtesy. Sometimes I wonder, is it so difficult to seek permission or reward in kind???

A significant landmark for me was attending Hyrul Anuar‘s “Mata” music video launch back in September 2011, possibly the first of its kind in our local Malay entertainment scene…

I have to admit that I cannot be a journalist as I’m never able to meet datelines or type in a brief and concise manner. My entries are testament to how long-winded I can be. This entry is no different than the rest. I cringe and feel extremely uncomfortable when the term “celebrity blogger” is used on me, nor like to be called and considered one, cos to be one, you need to get thousands of hits daily and doing it on a full-time basis. My domain’s visitorship is not even 400 on most days. Being a celebrity blogger also means you have to share your private life or what you do on an almost daily basis. I am not prepared to be scrutinised, have my privacy exposed and subject my loved ones to be ridiculed or ogled at, especially since I have two young daughters. Some quarters have also labeled me as a “photographer”, but I am just comfortable being known as an “entertainment blogger”, thank you very much!!!

Thanks to Mini Monsters, I was able to cover the launch of their “Lagu-Lagu Kita CD”, aimed to preserve the heritage of songs we grew up with and to continue its legacy for the coming generations…

When this blog first started out in 2004, I did talk about my life just like any decent blogger out there. I think I also shared some of my photographs taken with famous personalities. I was also more vocal and critical when it came to reviewing and assessing shows / concerts I attended. But as my blog statistics rise over the years, I began to shy away from talking about my private life or putting up photos of myself, or with personalities, preferring instead to highlight the real stars themselves on this blog. With more eyes glued on this domain, building networks with people in the industry, gaining some form of respect through my brutal honesty, as well as being aware of the implications I might run into because of my often-harsh comments, I believe over the years, I have matured as a blogger and being more responsible and tactful with what I say or put across. I believe that nowadays I blog more with my head than my heart.

(Photograph courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

I will forever be thankful to Mediacorp Suria for inviting me to keep goal for them in the tournament that honoured my late uncle, the legendary Dollah Kassim from 2010-2012

Which might explain why some people have wondered of late, how come I’ve gone soft and less scathing for the past three or four years. Perhaps fatherhood has changed me to be more understanding, to be more forgiving, to be more tolerant and of course to be more accepting of what is presented in front of me. I know I began as a gun-toting, trailblazing, devil-may-care writer (or typist), but it is only effective to a certain extent. People respect views when it comes from the heart, but at the same time, the head needs to balance the emotions so that one does not become too critical or damning. Anyway, my network has grown over the years. Any criticisms that I dish out henceforth, needs to be laced with a certain degree of empathy or at the very least, giving others that benefit of doubt. I don’t just look at things from my point of view but also from the points of those I am commenting on. This holistic approach might soften my style, but I am sure you know I will not mince my words when I experience the red mist.

Am glad to say I was physically there when Fiza O celebrated her 30th birthday and simultaneously announced she was getting married to her colleague, DJ KC

Being popular and mentioned in the same breath as artistes is not what I had intentionally set out to do. Unable to realise my dreams as a singer / actor / host / radio DJ were also not the main reasons why I became a blogger whose entries are focused on our local Malay entertainment scene, mostly on the musical side of it. I believe there is only so much we can rely on our print media as they have their own limitations and space constraints in terms of monthly / daily publication release, what they can talk about and how much they can feature. Personally, I would like to see more people doing what I’m doing, cos it would be nice to hear differing views and opinions on our local entertainment industry. It would also add more colour and vibrancy since our industry is slowly growing and expanding. I became a blogger who types on local Malay entertainment stuff because there was a dearth and general scarcity in people doing it. I hope more would be inspired to follow my path, given that blogging at one point of time, was quite in and spread across the generations.

Attending events like Sinaran Hati makes one appreciative of the efforts of the artistes who set aside time to give back to the community…

Hand on heart, I would rather remain in the background than be what my haters claimed me to be, and to quote one comment I stumbled upon years ago, that I am “feeling-feeling artis gitu“, probably due to the fact that I dressed to the nines on a number of occasions that I attended previous music award shows. I was merely respecting the occasion and since my weight was ballooning, I couldn’t fit into my old shirts and had to rely on my kind outfitters. If people have a big problem with that, then so be it. I might have uploaded some of my personal photographs in my Facebook account, which I apologise is only limited to those I know personally, but to share them in my blog is a bit too much to ask for. I do not understand where these people get the idea that I’m using the blogging medium as a means to prostitute myself and be famous. If people appreciate what I do as a yeoman service, then it gives me as much pleasure to provide them with news, promotions and reviews of events, concerts and shows which some of them did not manage to attend, or for those who did, to relive them all over again. What I wear to these events are very much secondary.

One of the events I enjoyed covering – the outdoor Festival Melayu Ada gigs, organised by Cokelat Events and Zaibaktian

This entry was typed not only to celebrate and reminisce this blog’s journey over the past ten years, but was typed both as a means of defiance to the brickbats as well as to give hope to aspiring writers / bloggers out there that if your intentions are genuine, sincere in your approach, passionate in what you do, honest in how you think, responsible in what you say, having faith in yourself and being patient in the face of adversity, one day your efforts will eventually be recognised, people will begin to respect your views, readers will learn to accept and trust you, knowing full well that you’re not merely running your mouth off for the sake of it. People will be able to discern whether you command respect or lack thereof. It took me five years to finally receive official credibility from a very distinguished national media, a long time frame that perhaps could break one’s resolve if your intentions are flawed or you are chasing after personal agendas, fame or glory.

If not for celebrity blogger, Diah Mastura, who could not make it to this event, I would not have been able to feature this exclusive showcase of Anuar Zain in my blog back in 2011

Even if I’m not invited again to cover future events after this entry is published and people think I’ve suddenly grown too big for my own shoes by harping about my personal achievements, I think I would be happy and assured to know that future Malay entertainment bloggers, if there are any others in the first place, could always hang on to the hope that anything is possible so long as they stick to the seven traits I stressed upon in the earlier paragraphs. I would love to have added an eighth trait which is humility. But I’m afraid some of you out there would gleefully point out that I am being hypocritical by talking about what I have achieved so far in this entry, which of course would undermine everything I’ve mentioned. However, I believe people who meet and get to know me personally would be better and wise judges of that. Cos words typed on screen have an eerie tendency of having double meanings or tones, which in turn can sometimes mislead into swaying one’s judgements of a person, since you do not know if he is being serious or joking.

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My very first album launch event I covered back in December 2006, Imran Ajmain‘s debut album “Dengan Secara Kebetulan“…

I’m more or less a grounded person, and I don’t believe in holding extravagant parties just to celebrate the anniversary of this blog or my existence in the scene. Heck I even forgot that I have reached this milestone till I was on the verge of covering Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza‘s concert last weekend. That’s how much I feel that such celebrations are unnecessary. Even if I can afford to do that, I will still not do it. I think the money is better off spent somewhere or donate to charity / welfare organisations. Anyway, am just considered a “Kucing Kurap” in the scene, which is why sometimes when I cover events, I get restricted privileges or am limited with the things I can share or feature in this blog. I don’t expect nor want anyone to do any celebrations for me either, cos every entry for me is a celebration to those that I feature, the real stars themselves.

The very first media conference I attended – Suria Elektra – in February 2010

I know too well that over the years, I have ruffled a lot of feathers with my honest-to-goodness comments, be it in my blog entries or even comments made on radio segments. I am naturally a very opinionated person and a non-conformist. I can be tactless sometimes and too brutal, to the point I do not mince my words when I am really pissed off. Which is why, it is best that sometimes I cool down before typing my coming entry with a clear head and with a better choice of vocabulary I can use to describe what I feel. To those who have been at the brunt or wrong end of my lambasting words, insinuations, points of reference, examples and felt small, angered or even disappointed, I am taking this opportunity to apologise for words that might have hurt you. I am only human, and I try all the time to improve on how I address things as they come. I cherish every friendship and acquaintanceship I make along the way.

Covering Anugerah Planet Muzik, an event very much close to my heart, is something I look forward to annually…

To all who believed and have placed your trust in me for the past ten years, and continue to be loyal and silent readers of this domain, words cannot describe how thankful and appreciative I am to you. I will continue striving to provide good reviews and better quality photographs of events, concerts and shows, launches, celebrity weddings etc. I attend in time to come, and I will always be thankful to those I had worked with and continue to be sharing a good working relationship like the Malay Broadcast Division of Mediacorp (Suria, Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM), Manggiz, Sri Warisan, Cokelat Events, Gridmedia Productions, ATeR | ReTA, Mini Monsters, WorkHeart, Gumbira, amongst many others I am unable to mention thanks to my ageing memory. Also, to all the lovely celebrity couples who have allowed me the privilege to cover your respective wedding events and shared the joyous moments with my readers. This blog is nothing without your kind support… :)


Viva Elektra 2014

Viva Elektra

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s been awhile since I did a review on an event that I attended at the Mediacorp TV Theatre. Simply because when I accepted the invites from Mediacorp Suria to attend these shows or events, more often than not, I did not see the need to review as they are either a light-hearted affair or for charity. I was there to just snap photos of the event and during the reception afterwards without seeing the need to comment much. Sometimes I don’t need to voice my thoughts as others have done it for me on social media. Anyway there are so many keyboard warriors out there too quick to jump on the bandwagon of criticising without giving substantial suggestions. I guess it’s a favourite pastime now to use one’s handphone keypads to comment every single thing they see on the google box, be it good or bad. I’m guilty of it sometimes when I watch football and passions are running high.

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I note from several people I’ve met of late that this blog has somewhat stagnated and that the writer (or should I say, typist???) behind the words on this domain has lost his zest and panache to hit where it hurts, or to put it kindly, give a wake up call when it mattered. Over the years as I mellow down and become less confrontational and got to know more people, I find that it is a challenge to be as hard-hitting as before. I had to tweak and fine-tune my style so as not to be too cynical or cause frictions with others in the long run. Maybe fatherhood has made me more forgiving, understanding and giving others the benefit of doubt but I like to think I type better when I’m having that red mist and I don’t quite experience that as often as before. Wish I could post more entries but like I said from time to time, I am not paid to blog and this is something I do as a community service as and when I am free from my work, family and personal commitments.

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The front row audience consisting of bigwigs in the local media industry as well as guest of honour Dr. Mohd Faishal Ibrahim

Anyway, I was honoured to be invited again to attend the recent Viva Elektra event at Mediacorp TV Theatre. The two-hour variety special was the fourth instalment by Suria and was previously known as Suria Elektra (2010), Rock Elektra (2011) and Bandstand Elektra (2012). The show belatedly celebrated the formation of MediaCorp’s Malay Broadcast Division, the merger between television channel Suria and radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM, hence there was an eclectic mix of performers from radio presenters to television personalities and established recording artistes that night. Viva Elektra in a way, symbolised the division’s hopes to establish a commitment to continually bring high quality programmes to their audience, be it on radio and television. Expect to see more of such shows in the near future involving the radio and television personalities. We are already anticipating cross-platform programmes like TeRaSeh 2.0, R&D and the sixth season of infotainment show JUS! this month. Viva Elektra was just the start!!!

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The men who made the night ticked – Dyn Norahim and Khairudin Samsudin

Looking at how the radio and television personalities collaborated on stage, I had a feel-good feeling that we can expect more entertaining shows on television and radio as well. Yes, I will not deny that I’ve heard rumours going round that certain gigs and jobs are affected due to the merger, but I would like to call upon all the artistes who might feel a little slighted that their places and roles in television programmes might be taken up by their radio counterparts, to treat this as a healthy competition. Granted we might not be like our next door neighbour where there are so many channels one can tune to and for radio and television personalities to still do well when they cross platforms, but there are possible avenues that can be explored. Radio could possibly have seasonal guest hosts like what Fauzie Laily did co-hosting Skoolz with Nity Baizura a few years ago. Or if they were to have a shake-up of personnel, who knows, they might just rope in some of these television personalities into their stables??? Let’s not see it as a form of hindrance to one’s rice bowl, but to work as a unit to lift the standards of our local Malay entertainment scene.

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The cast of Tak2ut (from left): Ashmi Roslan, DJ KC, Fadhlur Rahman and Wan Haddad

Maybe a little criticism I would have of Viva Elektra was that feeling of imbalance in some of their segments. While the skit involving the Tak2ut cast (Ashmi Roslan, Wan Haddad and Fadhlur Rahman) and DJ KC seemed a bit short, the Bangsawan and Pentas Radio segments felt a wee bit too long for my liking. I just feel that the song performed by Eiss, “Arjuna (Mencari Cinta)“, was redundant and only served to prolong the segment, even though the audience and myself were tickled by the humour presented by all the performers involved. It is nice to see new faces on television like Wan Haddad and Nurfarhana M Noor given their big break on a big scale event as this. Also Junaidi Sali who often plays a supporting cast to be given the limelight he deserves after all these years.

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Fauzie Laily (left) seldom gets comedic roles but when he gets them, he excels…

Nurfarhana it has to be said, is a name and face to watch this year. Her stock is rising and it is not easy to score a lead role in one’s debut drama series (Rima Hatiku) and subsequent ones like Follow Fasha, unless one has the potential and package to succeed. She is currently seen in the new season of Di Luar Garisan and will be one of the participants for TeRaSeh 2.0. I won’t be surprised if she scores a hosting gig in the near future cos she has that bubbly personality to do it. You heard it first on this domain. Another one to impress me was RIA 89.7FM‘s Dzar Ismail. I’m a big fan of his daily Singa Maksima programme and from one karaoke session we had some months ago, I could see his hidden talent and passion in rapping, which was displayed that night when he performed “Cerita Kedai Kopi” with Tukangkata and Sezairi Sezali. I know some people do not quite like his sometimes excessive energy levels, but I think he is a breath of fresh air on radio. And yes I still claim credit unashamedly for saying he belongs in radio when I assessed his performances when he entered Anugerah Skrin back in 2010.

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The one to watch this year – Nurfarhana M Noor. A flower blossoming at a continued pace…

Another criticism I would add on will be the choice of performing artistes and some of the songs they performed. Before the show, I saw on social media how people lamented that it’s basically the same faces over and over again. To some extent, I would agree with them as I too felt the same way when I saw the list of performing artistes slated to perform. No I am not attacking or blaming the singers who performed cos they are all excellent in their own respect. My complaint would be a lack of more variety than what we’re used to. Take for instance we have so many bands producing good quality music in Singapore. The likes of Diorama, Tujuh, Klutz are some of the bands that are under-rated here. And if you speak of individual acts, there’s Reyza Hamizan, Sufie Rashid, Chomel, Aidil Akmal, Nurdiana Saad, upcoming acts who deserved to be given their dues and be introduced to the masses.

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The hosts replicating Ellen Degeneres at the recent Oscars and taking a selfie photograph with the audience…

I appreciate that we would want to entice people to watch as their favourites would be performing but it does not send a message that the artistes feel appreciated, even though radio plays their music on a daily basis. There is no point having your songs known on radio when people still dunno who you are. Just ask Audionauts when they won at APM2013. There were still people asking on social media and on newspaper reports wondering who they were. “Rentak Laguku“, the song performed by Aliff Aziz, Eiss and Sezairi Sezali, was another one that I felt was a bit redundant as it was only as recent as last October that we witnessed Amy Search and Bunkface performed the song at APM2013. And even though I love Taufik Batisah‘s “Sesuatu Janji” amongst all his songs to date, I think that was the fourth or fifth time he performed the song at a Suria event, in addition to APM2008.

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Group photo with all the performers that night once the cameras stopped rolling…

Overall, Viva Elektra was an enjoyable show, even if it did overrun by about eleven minutes. The choice of having Khairudin Samsudin and Warna 94.2FM‘s Dyn Norahim was a good one, with both trading barbs at one another and the latter being the brunt of many of the former’s jokes. At certain points, Dyn looked jittery but it should be forgiven as this was afterall his first live television hosting gig. Speaking to him afterwards, he said that it was nerve-wrecking and a very different experience compared to his daily live show on radio. Like many others before him, I am sure he will grow into the role and be better. Am certainly looking forward to seeing him host the new season of JUS! alongside the gorgeous Ainon Talib and Nurul Akhmar come the end of April. For now I can’t wait for TeRaSeh 2.0. It’s gonna be an absolute riot!!!


TeRaSeh 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


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!!!


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… :)


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.

APM2013 Press Conference 2013-09-03 012The event was hosted by AB Shaik and Aura Shai

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


Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 Review…

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As promised, I am back with my review on the recently-held Anugerah Planet Muzik event held at Max Pavilion Singapore Expo on 15 December 2012. Unlike previous years, I did not scour through internet forums and social media as much to read through the thoughts of viewers and the media from our neighbouring countries. I only skimmed through Twitter (#APM2012) after I came back from the event and spent a good two hours just reading what people had to say. Not surprisingly, the show was slated by our neighbours (what’s new???) but generally the local viewers were the more happier lot, especially when our local heart-throbs walked away with the popular category awards. Of course I saw the word “boring” being bandied about, but it’s subjective from person to person. Even the recent awards shows in Malaysia like Anugerah Industri Muzik and Anugerah Blokbuster were not spared by the so-called “armchair critics”, but these criticisms are difficult to be taken seriously as most of these comments were made by people who know nuts about the industry nor what goes on behind the scenes.

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The hosts – TG, Sophie Navita and Dato’ AC Mizal

Of course, not every production or show is bound to be perfect, but in terms of entertainment value, I feel that this was one of the better editions of Anugerah Planet Muzik we have had in years, much better even than last year. It has to be noted that this was the first time that Mediacorp Radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM were holding this event without the support of Beyond DDB Events Sdn. Bhd. after the passing of its late Managing Director, Mr. Amin Hussen. In the past ten editions of Anugerah Planet Muzik, the company, along with the two local Malay radio stations had worked hand in hand and had been a great supporter of this prestigious awards show. At the first time of asking and doing this on their own, I think the two local Malay radio stations can hold their heads up high, and that the previous ten editions have given them good experience and know-how to stage the event better, bar all the internet talks and complaints.

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Awi Rafael, Anji and Aliff Aziz performed “Aishiteru“, made popular by Zivilia

What the social media critics constantly fail to see is the intention of what Anugerah Planet Muzik stands for and why it is held. Unlike our neighbours (both in the industry as well as those watching on the sidelines) who still think based on nationalistic lines / boundaries and still comparing whose artistes / entertainment industries are better (Shame on you Julia Perez & Zed Zaidi!!!), music and entertainment are probably a few things that unite people of different cultures, background and interests. There is a reason why Dato’ Sheila Majid ended her thank-you speech that night with “May music keep us together” and Gigi‘s frontman Armand Maulana had said “Keep the peace, love and respect for music” in his winning speeches at the 2006 and 2008 editions of Anugerah Planet Muzik. The event is all about our regional acts converging and coming together, build networks, share ideas, plan future collaborations and at the same time introduce / reacquaint themselves to the viewers in the region. Sadly, we are still seeing sourgrape comments and slating our neighbouring artistes, especially on the subject of the popularity awards.

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Taufik Batisah and Shila Amzah performing “Aku Bersahaja“…

The most common gripes I heard were the awards won by both Taufik Batisah (Most Popular Regional Artiste) and Hady Mirza (Most Popular Regional Song). I believe when the organisers held media conferences at both Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta to announce the nominees and details of the awards show, the media over there would have reported as well how viewers could vote for their respective favourites via the official Anugerah Planet Muzik page. No matter where you are in the world, you were given the opportunity to vote for your favourites from 5th November 2012 till voting ended on 5th December 2012. You guys had a whole month to vote for your favourites, but when the winners were announced, you claimed that the artistes are not popular in your countries and you have not heard of “Ku Tetap Kan Menunggu” on your respective airwaves. Well suck it up guys, time to start learning who your regional acts are and what songs are popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. YouTube always helps, it is a question of whether you have the initiative to look up on your own or not. Stop living in your coconut shells and start seeing the quality acts around you, not just where you are based at.

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Aweera of MOJO showing his vocal finesse performing “Andai Ku Bercinta Lagi“…

I admit before this I knew nuts about Ridho Rhoma, Maria Calista, Anji, Soo Wincci, and a few others, but thanks to Anugerah Planet Muzik, I now appreciate their talents and understand how they came to be household names in their respective countries. Likewise I hope our regional neighbours would also feel the same way towards our local acts like Awi Rafael, Audionauts, Siti Zahidah, Aliff Aziz, SleeQ and our two idols Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza. I thought our local brigade who performed that night were excellent and did not let themselves down at all. They definitely stood tall with their counterparts. My only complaint is that Zahidah should have been granted more minutes than she was given when performing “Malam Ini“, cos Najwa Latif was given a slightly longer time to sing her hit “Kosong” (which by the way, she went flat and admitted to it on the entertainment magazine show “MeleTOP” on Astro Ria) and her massive hit single with SleeQ, “Untuk Dia“.

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Maria Calista – A name that needs to be remembered from now on…

Speaking of Maria Calista, I unashamedly say I am a big fan of her voice now. Every time I watch reruns of her singing Kotak‘s “Apa Bisa” during the Best Song nominees segment, my hairs will stand on its end. It was even better watching her singing it live. That night when she performed the song, I could see she was making constant eye contact towards Kotak, her eyes and facial expressions were seen as though they were asking the group for their approval. As I was seated on the floor next to the group, I could see all three members of Kotak (Tantri, Chua and Cella) nodding their heads in approval and when she broke into chorus, the group just stood and whooped. In fact the Indonesian contingent gave her a standing ovation. Such is the spirit and camaraderie being shown for their countrymen that I secretly hope could be replicated here as well. Ridho Rhoma‘s “Let’s Have Fun Together” is also now stuck in my head, yes yours truly who does not have a liking for Dangdut initially.

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Following in his father’s footsteps – Ridho Rhoma

It was a no-brainer when I heard Dato’ Sheila Majid‘s name being added to the list of performers that night, that she would be the rightful recipient of this edition’s Anugerah Khas Planet Muzik. A deserving recipient for her achievements for the past twenty-seven years and a legend in her own right, she is still the same humble, intelligent, articulate and immaculate person that she is. And it seems that she is quite ageless. Her skin is flawless and looks like she is still in her late 30s. Her songs will always be evergreen in our hearts and the tribute that Hady Mirza and Shila Amzah gave her was commendable, if not an excellent one. Of course the diva herself did not disappoint, as always, lapping up the accolades that came her way but still retaining that sense of humility, which all up-and-coming artistes should emulate if they dream of longevity in the scene. And her speech was sharp, concise and brought so much deep meaning to what it means to love music.

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Style and Elegance personified – Dato’ Sheila Majid

The hosts, all first-timers at this awards show, did their best to liven up the crowd, though I felt the energy dropped slightly when it was Tahar Ghalib (TG)’s turn to speak. Don’t get me wrong, I simply love the tone of his voice and still feel he is the best person to helm a show with a love / sombre theme but when the three of them were together onstage, I could sense a certain energy imbalance between him and Dato’ AC Mizal. I dunno, I could be wrong with my assessment, but I did feel that way that night. However, I could definitely see that TG was determined not to let his two counterparts, Sophie Navita and the wacky Dato’ AC Mizal upstage him, by dishing back some punchlines of his own. Maybe it is the difference in the personalities of the hosts, with Dato’ AC being more extrovert and zany, naturally providing more spark to the proceedings. I do however have a little grievance with the hosting script when it came to the part on Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. I felt that at a time when she is going through a personal family problem, any jokes on her or her husband is a bit insensitive. Not too sure if they knew what had happened to Dato’ Khalid Mohd Jiwa during or before the event, but for the benefit of doubt, my guess is they did not know till much later.

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APM is all about friendships, collaboration and cooperation between artistes of the three neighbouring countries…

Unlike previous editions of Anugerah Planet Muzik, this one ended much earlier than expected, a sign that showed the organisers have learned from their past experiences of over-running the show. Performances and segments were generally compact and enjoyable and these I felt contributed to a very enjoyable show as a whole. Of course there will always be grievances about repeat / recycled performances by the same artistes year in and out, but I think this is what Anugerah Planet Muzik has come to be known for, as they try to showcase artistes from the three countries coming together and sharing the stage, but as always, more artistes could have been featured. I’m sure more of our local acts would love to display their talents onstage. If I were to make some noise about what I find kinda odd about the performances is that maybe Kotak should not have performed a slow number to open the show and “Beraksi” to introduce the hosts afterwards, as they had already performed the same song during the 2009 edition, which was held in Jakarta. Also, we could have had a different closing to the show, rather than a repeat performance of “Let’s Have Fun Together” by Ridho Rhoma. Unsurprisingly, those seated in the first few rows got up and left for the post-event reception before the show ended proper.

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Another enjoyable performance that night between Teacher’s Pet and Judika

We can all complain and vent our frustrations till the cows come home but it has all been done and dusted, the awards audited and given away to their rightful recipients. I sometimes do not understand why our neighbouring counterparts can sound so vengeful when it comes to competition of any kind, be it in sports or even music. I mean let’s face it, they won most of the Best category awards but still made snide remarks over who is more popular. Can’t we just live and let live and share the awards all around??? This is afterall not Anugerah Planet Malaysia or Indonesia. And for those who are saying that the organisers are making a profit out of this event, me being the biggest critic of this event since I first started blogging on our entertainment scene, will say that they are not. Economic conditions and circumstances in our entertainment industry do not allow us to hold our own awards show for our acts, which is why we have separate award categories during the show to honour our Singapore artistes. Singapore does not have the privilege of having mega sponsorships from big companies as what is being enjoyed by our regional counterparts.

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The finale…

I hope that after all is being said by the critics out there, the know-it-alls to the fellow professionals in the industry, the organisers can take stock and continue the good momentum that they have done and even lift the standards further for future Anugerah Planet Muzik events. I for one would love it if Max Pavilion, as a venue, is scrapped once and for all if the show is to be held here again. This was the third time that the event was held there and all three times, the sound system was a major letdown. I have heard and experienced myself how bad it was and am not too sure if it is the sound system or the acoustics of the venue which hinders quality acts from being heard and enjoyed by the audience. Aliff Aziz‘s performance when he sang “Jangan Ganggu Pacarku” was the one most glaringly heard from the speakers, with the crackling sounds being emitted, a major distraction. The Red Carpet event, though slightly better this time, still had the audience coming into the area meant for media and artistes to sit and I don’t think it was a comfortable affair for them with the audience clamouring and jostling forward to snap photographs of the artistes. Some jokes made by the award presenters also went a bit flat and did not resonate with the audience (the panda jokes come to mind, even though it was meant to be an educational / tourist promotion thing) so perhaps something that the region can relate to would be welcomed the next time. Still, it does not take away the fact that this was a much better event than last year, and for that I commend the organisers and thank them for kindly inviting me to the grand occasion…