Konsert Karya Agung Pak Ngah Bersama OTM & Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza Revisited…

The Finale… (Photo by Danial Halim, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay)

First entry of 2020 and funnily enough it has taken me two whole months to actually post this entry up when I was so excited to post it right after the show was done and dusted. Why it took me this long to publish this entry was because I was still waiting for photos of our local acts who had performed to be shared to my inbox and then after that I got busy with work and my own personal commitments, and its only now that I am able to post it up. Initially I did not plan to cover the concert at all and was just there to enjoy it as part of my belated post-birthday and wedding anniversary celebration with the missus. Had I planned earlier, I would probably had applied for media accreditation and would have been able to snap some photographs at my end. Anyway, before I move on, I hope the first two months of the year have been good for most of you, even though we are in the middle of a global health crisis as I speak. May we remain protected from harm and be blessed with good health cos we all know as we age, health is our most cherished and treasured blessing, above any material or financial factors.

Hyrul Anuar and Elfee Ismail performed Lesti‘s “Zapin Melayu“… (Photo by Danial Halim, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay)

Partly why I felt inclined to talk about this concert event was also because I wasn’t being fair the last time out Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza came to these shores for her sell-out concert last March 2019 and till this day the photographs I snapped are still half-edited due to my never-ending busy schedule, as well as my apparent loss of interest at entertainment blogging which I had explained some time back. Would really really like to apologise to the organiser of that sold-out concert, Shiraz Projects, for not coming up with a written review of that concert event, and even the Ruffedge one harking all the way back to November 2018. Since this new year and decade marks a new beginning, and with momentous events in the calendar including my pet favourite Anugerah Planet Muzik making its long-awaited return, this can be considered a mini-comeback of sorts for yours truly after what happened last year, which kinda killed my passion for the scene.

Yanni Bakri and Suryana Norddin completed the local quartet for the night… (Photo by Danial Halim, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay)

Konsert Karya Agung Pak Ngah Bersama Orkestra Tradisional Malaysia & Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza” (My goodness! What a mouthful!) kicked off the new decade, just like how Dato’ Sri herself kicked off the first day of the last decade along with Dato’ M. Nasir with their “Bagaikan Sakti” concert held at the Esplanade Theatre Hall. I did not realise ten long years had passed until Dato’ Sri mentioned it during a short break in between her sets that night. Esplanade has an uncanny knack of organising a big-scale Malay concert to kick off the start of a new calendar year and this concert followed those in recent years past like Lovehunters, Salamiah Hassan and Dato’ Zainal Abidin Feat. Headwind, just to name a few. This same concert was first staged in Kuala Lumpur in mid-November 2019 at the prestigious Istana Budaya venue. Where Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza was a constant fixture in both staged concert events, for the Malaysian leg, the other four who shared the stage with her were Syamel, Rojer, Asmidar and Ernie Zakri.

Suryana Norddin did not disappoint at all during the concert… (Photo by Danial Halim, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay)

For most people who attended this concert in Singapore, I think it was a no-brainer who they actually came for, but yours truly was more interested to see how our four local talents in the form of Hariani Hassan Bakri (Yanni), Hyrul Anuar, Elfee Ismail and relatively newcomer, Suryana Norddin would fare when they shared the limelight with Malaysia‘s “Number One Singer” onstage. I have been a fan of Hariani‘s voice for the longest time, and I also appreciate the unique vocals which both Hyrul and Elfee possessed in abundance. Their voices are the kind where you know who they are just by listening without seeing them. As for Suryana, she is actually not a relatively newbie in the local Malay entertainment scene, but is quite low-profile and more active in the theatre scene, which I admit I am not a regular attendee to know of her talents before this. However, it says a lot about her potential if Esplanade had given her the opportunity and absolute trust to grace such a grand production such as this concert event.

A Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza traditional performance is never complete without back-up dancers, who were from Sriwana (Photo by Danial Halim, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay)

A concert which was supposed to last for 90 minutes, ended up being stretched (I wouldn’t say “dragged” cos the whole concert hall didn’t feel it at all) by another hour. The first half of the concert was naturally taken up by our four earlier-mentioned local acts, taking turns singing individually and having a duet each with one another. Something inside me felt a certain sense of pride that these four talents gave their all and showed that they were the right choices to grace the occasion, even though I detected a few jittery moments. I wouldn’t hold it against them cos if I were to place myself in their shoes, I would be feeling the same way too if I knew I was performing on the same stage as Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza or even for the fact that I was performing in front of a sell-out audience, in a grand and prestigious venue, like the Esplanade Concert Hall. Something which not many can claim they have had the opportunity to do so in their music or singing careers. A feather in the cap which is worth a million memories.

Elfee Ismail had the honour of singing a duet with Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza that night… (Photo by Danial Halim, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay)

My only gripe if any, was that only Elfee Ismail, by virtue of being the only one of the four to have had the experience of working with the late Allahyarham Pak Ngah Suhaimi, who was given the honour to duet with Dato’ Sri herself when they sang “Bergending Dang Gong“, a popular hit made famous by the latter and the late Allahyarham Tan Sri S. M. Salim. I had expected Yanni, Hyrul and Suryana to have at least sang one song each with Dato’ Sri to really showcase the synergy between them as performers adding colour and verve to an already entertaining concert. Alas they only performed together during the closing of the concert. Oh and another gripe which I might add was the fact that none of the local acts were there during the post-concert Meet-and-Greet event. At the very least, have the four of them there to meet the lucky few who paid slightly more to meet Dato’ Sri, cos they too played their part in making the concert a resounding success.

Dato’ Sri ending the night with “Kudus Sinarmu“… (Photo by Danial Halim, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay)

The concert was true to its form, paying tribute to the works and songs composed by the late Allahyarham Pak Ngah Suhaimi, some of which I did not even know was painstakingly composed by him. He was truly a genius in his own right and was rightly called the “Father of Malaysia’s Ethnic Music“, as he fused so many cultures and instruments from the various Malaysian states into the songs he composed. Though it would have been nice to have another one of his muses, Noraniza Idris, to have graced this tribute concert in his name, just to have Dato’ Sri herself was enough to have made the sell-out audience gone home with satisfied smiles on their faces, yours truly included. Tears were shed and sniffles could be heard from the audience during the short video montage chronicling his death and funeral, a sign of respect for a man who had contributed to society through his various masterpieces. All in all, it was definitely a good start to my 2020 and hope that this calendar year will have more of such colourful entertainment on our shores!

Komedi Vaganza 2019 Promo

What do you get when you bring together the who’s who of Singapore‘s local Malay comedians like Suhaimi Yusof, Alias Kadir, Zaleha Hamid, BJ Kadir, Hamzah Adon, Arif Esa, Sahfuddin Mahfudz, Zainal Ihim, Husin Saaban along with our legendary national comedy icon, Kumar and Malaysia‘s world-renowned chef and funnyman, Dato’ Chef Wan under one roof? I am sure the roof will fall, literally so to speak, as these legends of comedy will tickle your bones and fancy in a two and a half hour extravaganza dubbed “Komedi Vaganza 2019“! What’s more, there will be special appearances by Ustaz Zahid Zin, no stranger to our Malay community, as well as a mystery entertainer. Your guess on the identity of this mystery person is as good as mine, but I kind of have an inkling who it is, which I will not spoil for the sake of maintaining that element of surprise.

A show that promises and guarantees to be a laugh-a-minute event, Komedi Vaganza 2019, is brought to you by local beneficiary organisation Jamiyah Singapore and will be held on 30 November 2019 at the Shine Auditorium from 7:30pm-10:00pm. Tickets which can be bought from SISTIC, are priced at $48, $68 and $88 and proceeds go to supporting Jamiyah‘s nursing home for the aged, food bank for the needy, orphanage home and halfway house for drug offenders. Do give this event your utmost support! Be entertained, for a good cause!

Reasons For Being Away…

Surprised to see this blog post? I cannot believe it myself! How long has it been since I last posted an entry on this domain? A quick check stated that it was way back on 28 March 2019, more than half a year of non-activity, to the point certain quarters have started labeling me “Pujangga Malap“, a reference to indicate the burning embers dying out of my long involvement in the local Malay entertainment scene, which probably hold some truths if I were to reflect back on the past seven months. Technically I am semi-retired. Officially, I am not, which is why you are reading this latest offering. But who reads blogs nowadays? Is there still a “market” or interest in reading blogs, with content producers now pulling all the stops in creating visual content to attract viewers? A short chat I had with my Malaysian counterpart Budiey Isma of Sensasi Selebriti fame when we attended the final of Gegar Vaganza back in 2017, had him explaining how he was into creating more vlogs and video posts, rather than traditional blog posts, as viewers now prefer these kind of content. Two years on, you can see how one is able to earn a living through just creating content on YouTube or podcasts and it is catching up amongst the tech and social-media savvy in our community. Which makes my blog feel even more obsolete and passe.

I can easily follow this route, but I have dabbled with doing video highlights of events I attended before circa 2010-2012, and I realised that I simply have no patience for video editing, what more have the creativity to shoot my footage. My photo editing already takes ages to complete and half the time, I ended up not even sharing them here. Honestly if you ask me, I have lost the zest to go on doing this. You know when you have done something for so long, there comes a time when you just feel jaded and want to give it all up, a combination of factors in my life contributing to it – priorities, responsibilities, commitments, personal interests, the age factor, as well as politics going on in the scene which make me feel detached and distant to the point I seldom listen to local radio stations nor watch locally-produced television programmes nowadays. No this is not boycott on my part, neither am I angry with any individuals nor companies in particular. It’s just that sometimes changes in our surroundings can make one change their personal interests as well. But previously I had actually planned on retiring when I turned 40 last December. Why I stayed on beyond my planned date was because I felt I could still contribute to the community, as my blog has helped production houses and even other media outlets know who’s who in our local Malay entertainment scene.

Speaking of changes, circumstances happening around us can also make one feel detached and distant. I just found out earlier today that I can no longer provide / snap photographs of events I attend at a certain venue due to recent changes implemented which disallow non-traditional media like my blog domain to feature photographs / video snippets of live shows I attend there. If I were to feature any photos, then I would have to use those provided by them. I believe this was probably why I was not invited to cover the recently-concluded singing competition event. This newly-enforced ruling reminds me so much of Esplanade and also those set by certain organisers of concerts and showcases I attended in the past, where photography / video snippets are limited solely for traditional media coverage or coverage allowed up till three songs performed by the artistes on stage. I initially found it hard to digest when I got to know about it. To say I felt extremely disappointed and mortified upon knowing, was an understatement. It felt like my wings were clipped and pushing me to retire from doing entertainment blogging indefinitely. I have however, had the time to think through the whole thing and tried to find positives from it, no matter how small. But really in this age of social media, shouldn’t any coverage from any form of media be welcomed as it creates awareness and outreach?

I’m actually fine with this new arrangement to a certain extent. At one end, I can now sit back and enjoy the show transpiring in front of me without worrying about the hundreds or thousands of shots I snap and how they will turn out. On the flipside, it kills me not being able to feature photographs of pre and post-event happenings which I know quite a number of personalities look forward to, judging by how some, in their excitement to share with their social media followers, pester me to upload them as soon as possible. These are the kind of photographs that I prefer to snap just seeing the many happy faces meeting their friends in the scene, some meeting for the first time in ages. Personally I will feel incomplete if I do not share photographs snapped by me or having my own personal touch and trademark framing. Even if I am not a photography enthusiast and know zilch about its technicalities, seeing my framed subjects happily sharing my photographs with their followers give me a sense of contentment and fulfillment. Little things like these make me happy and I feel that my joy has been taken away as a result. It definitely will feel weird attending such events in future without lugging my camera, not coming early to get good photography spots and not being one of the last to leave the venue waiting for the last few guests to leave knowing I’ve snapped their photographs.

You know, I was actually so looking forward to the coming year ahead, with quite a number of big events coming up – Mediacorp Suria celebrating its 20th anniversary with a certain number one singer from Malaysia rumoured to be performing, my much-beloved awards show, Anugerah Planet Muzik, making its long-awaited return after a year of hiatus and StereoFest Asia organised by Adi Media Pte Ltd, the good people who brought to you events like CelebFest and Twilight: Flea & Feast under the banner of Rosevalley SG, just to name a few. Unforeseen circumstances such as these kinda derail my plans on making a good comeback. I dunno if I had done something wrong in the past which might have contributed to this new rulings to be introduced and enforced, but I know I have always abide by whatever rules there were previously and apologised if I had in any way gone against them unknowingly. I just hope that the new rules will be uniformed and not just against me / other local non-traditional media outlets. I do not wish to discover the possibility of foreign non-traditional media outlets being allowed to do what we are not allowed to at shows involving regional acts and foreign coverage. That would be terribly unfair on us who also support an event by our own people.

I know too that I owe my readers photographs of Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza‘s concert back in March and Pesta Perdana, just to name two major events that had happened over the past seven months. And then there were a few other events in between and some other showcases which I attended out of my own personal enjoyment, rather than “working” my role as an entertainment blogger. Should I be apologetic about my non-activity? In the past, I tend to apologise for any late entries or no-show at my end partly due to guilt, partly also having that certain affinity with my long-time readers and not wanting to disappoint them for waiting so long. Upon reflection, I do not see the need to apologise for my hiatus these past few months, because at the end of the day, this is a voluntary hobby done during my free time. I may eventually call it a day when I feel I have no more value to contribute to our local Malay entertainment scene or I will let it end just like that and walk away. I have actually been leaning towards it for a good part of the last seven months. How soon? It’s anybody’s guess…

Pesta Perdana 2019 Media Conference

We are just a few days away from the actual Pesta Perdana event itself, relatively about 48 hours on the clock. Dunno why it took me this long to post this entry when the media conference event that took place to announce the nominees in the various award categories happened more than a month ago on 21st February 2019. A combination of being busy with several personal commitments, coupled with being lazy and procrastinating contributed somewhat to this very belated entry. I had half the mind to just skip doing it altogether seeing how short of a time I have to post this up with just a couple of days away. I just had to do it as the memory of the media conference itself, or rather its venue where it was held, was probably the best one I had attended in the history of this awards show. For the first time ever, the media conference was held at the beautiful Skai Suites on the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford, one of Singapore‘s iconic buildings and once billed as the tallest hotel in the world.

Mediacorp Suria’s prestigious television awards show, Pesta Perdana, will be held this year ‘live’ on Saturday, 30 March 2019 at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp. The event will be graced by Guest of Honour, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Manpower. The biennial awards show, now into its 15th edition, honours the very best in local Malay television. This year’s show will be hosted by multi-talented actor, director and host, Khairudin Samsudin. As a celebratory prelude, fans had the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite celebrities and nominees in a special event called Viva Pesta! that was held on Saturday, 16 March 2019 at Mediacorp Campus Town Square. Hosted by A B Shaik and Farhana M. Noor, the event featured an exciting line up of immersive and interactive activities with delicious food and many instagram-worthy moments for the fans. In addition, fans at Viva Pesta! also attended a special prelude TV show, Pesta Perdana Ekstra! hosted by recently-minted Elit Suria winners, Hans Hamid and Hana Rosli. This show will air tomorrow on Friday, 29 March 2019 at 9.30pm on Mediacorp Suria.

Warna 94.2FM‘s Aura Shai was the host at the media conference…

A total of 31 awards will be given out at the Pesta Perdana awards ceremony from over 300 entries received between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2018. Shortman Films’ social drama Bantal Buruk Saloma leads with 11 nominations while Mediacorp Eaglevision’s “Tujuh Hariis close behind with 10 nominations. This is followed by Flipside Stories’ “Mekah Di Hati and Millenia Motion Pictures’ “Tekan Minyak which are tied with 7 nominations each. In a nod to the budding new talents of the industry, this year’s Pesta Perdana boasts a total of 30 first time nominees in the performance and creative categories. Interestingly, for five celebrity families, it is all the more special as they are all up for nominations in the various categories and they are:

  • J.A. Halim, Aminah Ahmad, Helmindra & Fizah Nizam (Father, Mother, Son & Daughter-in-Law)
  • Sani Hussin & Rosita Hussin (Siblings)
  • Seriwahyuni Jaes & R. Azmann (Husband & Wife)
  • Faisal Ishak & Umie Isa (Husband & Wife)
  • Haslinna Ja’aman & Danial Nazim (Mother & Son)

Ms. Sabariah Ramilan, Head of Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Mediacorp addressing the guests at the media conference…

Other nominees include Papahan Film’s “SR115, winner of Best Original Screenplay at the Asian Academy Creative Awards 2018 and finalist at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019 for Drama and Best Screenplay categories; Xtreme Media’s “Swap Kerja Sr 2, finalist for Outstanding Variety Show category at the 4th Asia Rainbow TV Awards 2018, as well as Filmat36’s “Kembara Kasih Sr 3, nominee for Best Documentary category at the Venice TV Awards 2018 and finalist in the Community Service Programs category at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019. Two other nominated programmes, “Bonda and “Projek Kasih, are also recognised finalists at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019 for Drama Special and Variety Special category respectively.

Ms Sabariah Ramilan, Head of Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Mediacorp, said, “For nearly two decades, Mediacorp Suria has been working closely with local production houses and talents to ensure our programmes entertain, engage and remain relevant to our audiences. We are proud to see our programmes receive recognitions at the regional and international stage, but it is right here at Pesta Perdana that we celebrate and embrace the achievements of our homegrown talents.”

Hisyam Hamid being sandwiched by his missus, Mel Hanafi, and veteran actor, J.A. Halim

Though I agree with what was said, I did have a chat with several local personalities in different fields whom I will not name, who said a lot can be done after 15 editions of the awards show. For one and this has been mentioned extensively amongst the people in the industry, it would be nice to have monetary cash rewards to go along with the trophies they receive, something that we tend to see on some awards shows across the Causeway. However, to put things into perspective, Pesta Perdana is like our own local Malay version of the Emmy Awards. If we were to put it along parallel levels of such awards show (the Grammys and Oscars included), monetary awards are not given out, yet the prestige in winning speaks volumes for the artistes’ or production houses’ reputation, potential and quality. Monetary cash rewards means we need big sponsors pumping in big money. In reality, do we have that in the first place???

From left: Ryan Sufiyan, Razi Salam & M.K. Kash from Flipside Stories, and Fadhli Abdullah

For the Most Popular Male and Female Personality categories which are decided by voting, a prominent personality mentioned that it would also be nice if we were to take a leaf out of Channel 8‘s Star Awards show and crown the Top 5 or Top 10 from each category. Voters can have an initial choice of 30 from each category, 10 from the veterans, 10 from the current and the remaining 10 from the up-and-coming cohort. This particular system makes it an inclusive category and not leave the veterans forgotten or feel as though they are cast aside for younger, more good-looking and marketable personalities. I know for a long time, our local television scene has this tendency to favour looks over talents in the name of marketability, but I think it would not hurt at all to have the more veteran ones have their day in the sun. At least they know they have a place in the hearts of viewers and not just the young ones with better social media outreach. For the record, the public may cast their votes for the Most Popular Male and Female Personalities on toggle.sg/pestaperdana. Voting has been opened since 15 March 2019 and will officially close at 10.00pm on 30 March 2019.

Erwin Shah Dawson was seated next to fellow award nominees Aien Aksan (middle) and Batrisya Soffian

Another thing I would like to mention and this I feel is repeated like a bad record on my end cos I’ve said the same thing before in the past, is that certain categories can be expanded or introduced to include more production houses and not just solely limited to one. I have nothing against Mediacorp Eaglevision cos they, like all the other production houses, produce good and quality programmes on television. But when one category is dominated by just them, it doesn’t look quite good on paper as it looks as though it is favouritism, since they are producing this awards show after all, though I do note that this is probably an (only) avenue to honour their amazing in-house writers and producers. They can probably tweak the categories in future or as what I had mentioned in the past before, to have other production houses produce more of these Variety and Variety Special programmes on Suria, not just limited to them and being an in-house production company of Mediacorp. I think once in awhile, a different and fresh injection of ideas from others can produce a different kind of show on television. At least then we can deny the brickbats on social media that local television shows are one and the same.

From left: Atyy Malek, Endang Rahayu, Andy Idris and Huda Ali

With that said, I am looking forward to attending and covering this Saturday‘s event, as it is looking more likely that this will be the only awards show this year that local television will witness. I’ve heard and this has been confirmed by several people that my favourite awards show, Anugerah Planet Muzik, has been consigned to the history books, a big pity really, as this was an event that I looked forward to fervently every year, not only for the array of stars coming to perform and win the regional awards on offer, but also an avenue for our local musicians, artistes and songwriters to be recognised for their contributions to the music scene. My appeal to the powers-at-be is never to forget nor cast aside our local acts. Even if we were to resurrect the one-time Anugerah Hitz SG, I will be more than happy because this domain of mine was afterall first conceived, in the aim of supporting local music acts, though I sometimes blog on other regional acts on show here as well. Doing away with APM took a big chunk out of my interest in blogging and seriously speaking, I really lost interest and almost called it a day when I first heard the news. I guess that partly contributed to why I hummed and hawed before finally deciding to post this entry up.

A beaming Fadli Kamsani, who is now the latest face in Warna 94.2FM‘s stable, seated alongside his good friends, Danish Ashraf (left) and Farhana M. Noor

Pesta Perdana goes live on Mediacorp Suria at 8:30pm this Saturday, 30th March 2019. The Red Carpet event will be shown live on Mediacorp Suria‘s Facebook page from 6:30pm onwards.

Pesta Perdana 2019 Full List of Nominees

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Graphics Posters of Nominees courtesy of Mediacorp Suria…

Snapshots of Pesta Perdana 2019 Media Conference

Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza On Tour Promo…

We are exactly four weeks away from one of the most-awaited concerts of 2019! It’s also exactly 5 years since Malaysia‘s number one singer, Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza, held her last solo concert here in Singapore at The Star Vista Theatre, a sell-out event organised by Hype Records and featured our local acts, Farisha Ishak and Taufik Batisah. This time, Shiraz Projects, the same concert organisers of the successful Ruffedge 20th Anniversary Concert held in October last year at Zepp @ Big Box, returns with the concert many have been waiting for, ever since Dato’ Sri took almost a year off to savour the sweetness of motherhood for the very first time. I remember during last year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik, rumours of her having another solo concert was in the pipeline and it was more or less confirmed when Shiraz Projects flashed a teaser video indicating “SNP” (Siti Nurhaliza Productions) as one of their upcoming projects for 2019, just before the Ruffedge concert began. This time round, Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza will perform at Singapore Expo Hall 3 on Saturday, 2nd March 2019 at 8:30pm.

Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza performing “Anta Permana” at last year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik

This self-titled tour “DATO’ SRI SITI NURHALIZA ON TOUR, promises to be a musical journey that will take you down memory lane, with hit after hit, rearranged to make your heart skip a beat, reminisce the good old days of youth and get you on your feet. Each segment of the concert will feature the best of the best – an Ethnic segment, Ballads, Chart Toppers and an Unplugged segment; all musically produced and rearranged by music extraordinaire, Aubrey Suwito, with an All-Star band. Aubrey has personally hand picked this star-studded group of musicians, some hailing all the way from New York City as well as the crème de la crème of Malaysian musicians who have been with Dato’ Sri since the start of her career. Truly this upcoming concert is a celebration of more than twenty years of hits. An enthralling night of savouring the enchanting voice, the music, and the legend on her biggest tour yet in her illustrious singing career spanning almost twenty-five years.

I was there to witness firsthand when the #QasidahChallenge was started by Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza and Khai Bahar kicking the challenge off, watched by talented Malaysian singer-cum-beatboxer Raja Nur Syahiran

The concert will also be featuring the incomparable and award-winning Indonesian singer-songwriter, Tulus. The blend of these two amazing voices will surely make the night even more magical. Tulus will be the guest singer for the tour, performing his hit songs which should not be missed by any of his diehard fans. Who knows, you might probably be first-time witnesses to a new hit duet, before its official release. Speaking of releases, a special feature of this tour, a movie-cum-documentary will be released on the silver screens titled They Call Me SitiOne woman, two decades of music, ten thousand miles”. This upcoming release will take you behind-the-scenes of Malaysia’s Queen of Pop music’s biggest tour yet. From juggling between nursing her first born child to performing at prestigious and iconic venues. Watch how this mogul preserves her legacy for more than two decades.

There are special Meet-&-Greet packages available for Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza‘s die-hard fans. The Meet-&-Greet ticket gives you a chance to get up-close and personal with Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza the day after her concert. The package includes a concert ticket, a free t-shirt, CD and refreshments at the Meet-&-Greet session. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to rub shoulders with Malaysia‘s most iconic singer at this private event. Fans can also purchase special limited edition merchandise at the concert venue. “DATO’ SRI SITI NURHALIZA ON TOUR, is an ongoing tour with confirmed venues in Jakarta (21st February 2019), Singapore (2nd March 2019) and Malaysia (16 March 2019), with the much-celebrated Royal Albert Hall in London, another to be confirmed in the near future, a return to the venue where she held two successful concert showcases back in 2005. Tickets for the concert is available on sale at www.mytickets.asia since 19 January 2019. For further information, please visit www.shirazprojects.com or call +6590604439.

Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza On Tour Ticketing Details

Ticket price:    SGD 425 (Meet & Greet), SGD175 (diamond), SGD145 (Platinum), SGD95 (Gold), SGD65 (Silver)

Tickets:            www.myticket.asia

Ticket Hotline: +65 31651506

Info Hotline:    +65 90604439

Website:          www.shirazprojects.com

Instagram:       shirazproject.sg

Facebook:        Shirazprojects

Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo Gala Premiere Screening Event

We are slightly more than three weeks into the new calendar year. It’s been three months since my last post and I know I still owe entries on Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 as well as originally-planned reviews for Ruffedge‘s and Anuar Zain‘s concerts. Unfortunately, my home PC picked an inauspicious time to go bust, so I was rendered PC-less for some time, hence I was unable to do any updates till I’ve gotten myself a new one. However, it’s been a quarter of a year gone by, and frankly speaking, whatever I owe my readers are old news by now. So I’ll keep my thoughts on APM2018 till the next one comes around (if it does) or maybe I’ll hold my peace forever, if rumours of it being consigned to history books are true. As for the Ruffedge concert, all I can say is, it was a blast and one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended for the fact that I had absolute access to snap photos from close-up without having security or organisers stopping me from doing so. Even the fans had a whale of a night. How many sit-down concerts here can you say that audience are allowed to stand up, dance and sway without having security bugging you to sit down??? Can’t wait for the next Shiraz Project concert here in March with a certain number one singer from Malaysia

The cast of the “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” seen here with their executive producers, Safiyuddin Razif and Nusaibah Abdul Rahim (fourth and fifth from the left)…

Sorry for taking a whole paragraph rambling. Now that I got the explanation for my missing-in-action out of the way, let’s start 2019’s first entry with a gala premiere screening event I attended slightly more than a fortnight ago on 4 January 2019 at the Gallery Theatre of National Museum of Singapore. This screening event was jointly held by Mediacorp Suria and local production company, Poetry In Motion, to promote the blockbuster drama series, “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo“, which has already been aired on the national free-to-air channel since 9 January 2019. This drama series stars award-winning actor, Hasnul Rahmat, Nurul Aini, Norman Ishak, Jeff Catz, Hamidah Wahab, Fir Rahman, Adlina Adil, Shenty Feliziana, Bella Putri as well as sees the return of Rima Melati Adams on our television screens after a decade-long hiatus. The show also sees the introduction of Malaysian model-host-actress-rapper Amelia Henderson, who bears a very striking resemblance to international film star Gal Gadot as well as several Bosnian actors and actresses. This drama series is directed and written by the husband-and-wife team of Faisal Ishak and Umie Isa, no strangers already on these shores.

RIA 89.7FM‘s morning show presenters, Nity Baizura and Hans Ashrie, were the hosts at the gala premiere screening event…

Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” drifts between modern day and flashbacks from the 90s when Bosnia-Herzegovina was plunged into a civil war and mass ethnic cleansing. The aforementioned war serves as the backdrop to the story being told in this drama series, centering on its main protagonist, Rahman Iskander (played by both Norman Ishak and Hasnul Rahmat) and how he was separated from his Bosnian wife Zana (played by Alisa Brkic and Olivera Blazevic) when the war broke out in Sarajevo where he was based. He was tortured at the hands of the Serbs but was eventually released and returned back to Singapore after being found and rescued by the United Nations‘ peacekeeping force. He went on to rebuild his life and eventually got married to supermodel Ramona (played by Rima Melati Adams), but he continues to pine and yearn for his lost love, slipping into depression as a result. Well that’s the gist of the story that I can relate to you having watched the brief 70-minute screening on the gala premiere night where a bulk of the scenes shown to the audience were from the first three episodes.

Director Faisal Ishak relating to the audience some of the challenges faced during the filming. With him are Executive Producers, Safiyuddin Razif and Nusaibah Abdul Rahim

What I am impressed about the drama series are the breathtaking scenery of Sarajevo, the cinematography, the visual quality of the series which resembles more like a movie than a drama series and of course the pace of how the storyline is being told, which feels just about right. If there are some shortcomings or minor lackings, I would have to say, the CGI effects could have been done much better. But we all know to implement CGI-effects into a production is not cheap and will probably take several production or animation houses to get it right. I think with the budget that they were working at, it should be applauded that a local production house was able to achieve the kind of positive qualities that I mentioned at the start of this paragraph. The gala screening event also had several sections of displays showcasing some of the props used in the drama production as well as serving Bosnian delicacies to go along with the main spread. Truly they pulled all the stops for us to immerse ourselves into the drama series even before it was shown proper on television.

One for the album with the main cast, writer, director, executive producers, soundtrack singer, hosts of the event and new Mediacorp Head Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Community and Content Groups, Mdm. Sabariah Ramilan (centre)…

Some of my closest friends who know my character and how much I appreciate beauty might say I would have been smittened by Amelia Henderson. They might probably be right, having seen and talked to her up close and personal that night, but they are far from the truth actually. The one who caught my eyes the most with her innocence and honesty in delivering her lines was none other than young Bella Putri, the child star who is making her acting debut in this drama series, her first foray in the local Malay entertainment scene, having done several commercial ads and voiceovers for other productions. One could easily hear the audience warming to her with sighs of “Awwww…” every time she came onscreen to speak, moreso when there was a particular scene where she was scolded by her uncle Rahman for dropping his prized painting on the floor. I think this little girl’s career is just about to get a major upturn henceforth and we’ll probably be seeing more of her on television. Try looking out for the commercial advertisement on Changi Airport‘s Terminal 4 and you’ll see this cute little one prancing around in the trailer.

Marcell singing the official soundtrack titled “Cinta Tersembunyi“…

The gala screening of “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” was not complete without the presence of Indonesian heart-throb and soul crooner Marcell Siahaan, the singer of its soundtrack titled “Cinta Tersembunyi“. It’s like a nice package when you get Rima Melati to act in the drama series, you complete it by involving her husband to compose and sing the soundtrack to the series as well. And what a lovely composition the song is! I instantly fell in love with the song and as I watched the scenes unfolding during the screening as well as the first two episodes that have already been aired, I began to understand the meaning of its lyrics better. I won’t be surprised if this song is to be nominated in 2021‘s Pesta Perdana for Best Soundtrack. For the record, “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” airs every Wednesday evenings at 9:30pm on Mediacorp Suria.  Would just like to say well done to the whole production team at Poetry in Motion and let’s hope they will produce more good programmes like this! Thank you too Mediacorp Suria for inviting yours truly to the gala premiere screening! 🙂

Snapshots of “Hilang Kasih Di Sarajevo” Gala Premiere Screening

 

Anuar Zain “Cinta Takkan Berakhir” Live in Singapore 2018 Promo!!!


 

Graphics poster courtesy of Hype Records

Three years on from his last solo concert outing at Singapore‘s very own The Star Theatre, Malaysia’s singing sensation Anuar Zain returns with a brand new concert this 26th October 2018, specially for Singapore fans, at the same venue!!!

Most recently awarded Best Male Artiste at the regional Anugerah Planet Muzik Awards 2017 for his haunting hit “Andainya Takdir“, Anuar Zain is best known for his charismatic performances and soulful renditions of emotional ballads. It is not a surprise that he is widely touted as the “King of Ballads” on both sides of the Causeway. An extraordinary performer in the region, his popularity and creative standing in the music scene remains undisputed since breaking out at the tender age of 13 years old with his then-duet partner Ellina. Their massive evergreen hit “Kain Pelikat” is still remembered till today and their popular Hari Raya song, “Suasana Hari Raya“, is still a must-listen staple annually during the festive period.

Conferred with countless music accolades at various awards shows in Malaysia like Anugerah Industri Muzik, Anugerah Juara Lagu and the regional Anugerah Planet Muzik, Anuar Zain’s remarkable vocals and music talents have placed him in a league above the rest and cemented his status as one of the region’s most sought-after artistes. The royalty of the regional Malay music scene, whose illustrious music career spans over more than three decades, has also long established a strong and loyal fan base from all over the region.

Following the overwhelming response and turnout to his previous concert in 2015, the multi-award winning crooner is back to impress Singapore fans with new music materials from his self-titled album produced in 2016 like “Andainya Takdir” and “Cinta Takkan Berakhir“. The upcoming concert will also feature the continuation of the storyline to the previous two aforementioned songs, with the audience the first to watch the latest music video. As to which song from the 2016 album that will be featured in the music video, it remains a mystery and will be answered that night.

Be enchanted as he presents a memorable night of astounding showmanship, as well as popular mega hits such as “Lelaki Ini”, “Sedetik Lebih”, “Sempurnakan Aku”, “Bila Resah”, “Andainya Takdir” and more in this highly anticipated concert!

ANUAR ZAIN CINTA TAKKAN BERAKHIR LIVE IN SINGAPORE 2018” will be held on 26 October 2018, 8.30pm at The Star Theatre @ The Star Performing Arts Centre.

Tickets priced at $228, $188, $158, $128 and $98, (excluding SISTIC Booking Fee) are available at all SISTIC outlets, via hotline 63485555 and www.sistic.com.sg.

This concert is proudly presented to you by Hype Records. Log on to www.hyperecords.com and https://www.facebook.com/HypeRecords for more updates.

 

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 Pink Carpet Event

Back with the second instalment of my APM2018 photo series. Apologies you had to wait more than a week for this even though I had shared them more than a week ago if you’re following me on Instagram or even my personal Facebook account. My social media followers are usually more fortunate to be able to view them much earlier. Actually I wanted to post this entry on Monday but was tied down with work, as well as assisting Berita Harian in selecting the appropriate photographs for their article on Ruffedge‘s 20th Anniversary Concert held at Zepp @ Big Box, which I had the opportunity to have attended as well as provided photo coverage. I’ll be sharing more of that concert somewhere down the road, most probably after Anuar Zain‘s upcoming one at the end of the month. Without further ado, here are the photos I snapped during the Pink Carpet event prior to Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 held at the MES Theatre @ MediaCorp Campus on 28th September 2018.

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 Roll-of-Honour

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s been five days since Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 was staged successfully at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp Campus. Like years gone by, I tend to have the post-show withdrawals especially when I review and edit the photographs to be featured in this domain of mine. Though I have not managed to edit and look at all the 2700-odd shots I snapped that night, I must say how pleased I am with the quality of my shots this time round as compared to last year. Probably it helped that the backdrops were of a darker colour / tone. For those of you who follow me on social media, most notably on Instagram, you might have seen some of the selected photos I shared with my followers. For those of you who still remember, in previous years, I’ve shared only one photo of the winners in my roll-of-honour entries. This year I have decided to treat you with a bit more than usual, since my shots turned out quite good. In case you want to repost or share them with your own followers, do credit back to me. It’s just basic social media etiquette (those of you who follow my IG stories over the past few days would have noted why I’m reminding my readers this…). Congratulations once again to all the deserved winners of APM2018!!!

 

Sara Fajira Feat. DJ Kenny Gabriel – You Know

Artis Baru Terbaik (Wanita) / (Best New Female Artiste)


Adrian Khalif – Flawless / Merona

Artis Baru Terbaik (Lelaki) / (Best Male Artiste)

 

Gamaliel Audrey Cantika (GAC) – Suara

Duo / Kumpulan Terbaik (Best Duo / Group)

 

Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza & Judika – Kisah Ku Inginkan

Kolaborasi Terbaik (Artis) / (Best Artiste Collaboration)

 

Teman Bahagia – Jaz Hayat

Composers: Ramadhan Handy “Soulvibe & Asta Andoko “Ran”
Lyricists: Choki Cassandra & Gregorio L Kwen

Kolaborasi Terbaik (Lagu) / (Best Song Collaboration)

 

Sheila On 7 – Film Favorit

Band Terbaik / (Best Band)

 

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria FB page)

 

Judika – Jikalau Kau Cinta

Composers: Ryza Ahmad & Andi Rianto
Lyricists: Ryza Ahmad

Artis Terbaik (Lelaki) / (Best Male Artiste)

Lagu Terbaik (Indonesia) / (Best Song – Indonesia)

Lagu Terbaik APM / (Best APM Song)

Isyana Sarasvati – Lembaran Buku

Artis Wanita Terbaik / (Best Female Artiste)

 

Farhan Shah – Racun

Composers: Judah Lyne & Haramain Osman (The Lion Story)

Lyricists: Judah Lyne & Haramain Osman (The Lion Story)

Lagu Terbaik Singapura / (Best Singapore Song)

 

Ayda Jebat – Mata

Composers: Audi Mok, Ishazee Ishak & Ayda Jebat

Lyricists: Audi Mok, Ishazee Ishak & Ayda Jebat

Lagu Terbaik (Malaysia) / (Best Malaysian Song)

 

 

Sufi Rashid – Aku Sendiri

Artis Singapura Paling Popular / Most Popular Singapore Artiste

Lagu Singapura Paling Popular / (Most Popular Singapore Song)

 

Khai Bahar

Artis Paling Popular APM / APM Most Popular Artiste

Ikon Media Sosial / Social Media Icon

Haqiem Rusli – Tergantung Sepi

Lagu Paling Popular APM / APM Most Popular Song

Rossa

Anugerah Khas Planet Muzik / (Special Music Planet Award)

 

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 Media Conference


Graphics poster courtesy of MediaCorp Suria and designed by Budi Iskandar Sa’ad

We’re just a few days away from my annual favourite regional awards event, Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM 2018), and I finally got the time to share what transpired during the media conference which was held on 31st July 2018. I could have posted this entry much earlier but Elit Suria which was more concurrent back then took precedence and I didn’t want to hype this event too early as we were still a good two months away. Anyway, this year marks APM‘s seventeenth edition with the unveiling of notable nominees from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. Once again organised by Mediacorp Suria, Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM, the 2018 nominees were announced at Orchard Hotel‘s Grand Ballroom with performances by local artistes Farhan Shah, Izat Ibrahim, Liwani Izzati, Firwan Johan, Jagad Edge and Miiko the 13th. An estimated attendance of about a hundred local singers, musicians, producers and songwriters attended the event.

The APM trophies, which go through several revised changes in design and sizes over the years, again up for grabs this year…

What was intriguing about the media conference that day for me was the presence of Mimifly of One Nation Emcees fame, who is now a solo artiste. Seldom do we get a regional artiste attending an APM media conference here in Singapore in years past. Seeing her presence from a distance as I was going up the escalator, was an early indicator of her coming involvement in this year’s instalment. The moment I stepped off from the escalator, I met Ryan Sufiyan who let slipped that he is scheduled to perform with her at this year’s awards show. Instantly I knew that their song “Gila” would be up for nomination for one of the Best Collaboration categories. I guess years of following the event has more or less got me tuned in to the link between performing on the actual night and being nominated. Eventually when the nominations were officially announced, I was proven correct. Speaking of nominations, leading the list is Malaysian-based rapper-songwriter Alif Abdullah of former pop duo, SleeQ, with six nominations. This is followed closely by our local acts Aisyah Aziz and Sufi Rashid, Malaysia’s up-and-coming pop star As’ad Motawh, as well as Indonesia’s pop princess, Isyana Sarasvati with five nominations each.

DJs KC and Dzar Ismail returned once again as hosts for this year’s media conference. They were seen here with Farhan Shah right after his performance…

It is nice to see amongst the list of nominees a mix of young and the more experienced. Who would expect to see a legendary group like Search still churning out quality music in this current age of 90s revival music and social media sensations??? Or Brunei affirming their continued presence in the list with Jaz Hayat once again being nominated since his previous in 2016??? Indeed with the proclivity of social media as a daily staple for most of us, music has found a way for us to appreciate regional talents and for music producers to scout for budding talents. In the case of Bruneians like Aziz Harun and Jaz Hayat, they were fortunate to have Malaysian and Indonesian producers who saw the talent they possess, and now they are reaping the benefits of such collaboration. Which is what the Anugerah Planet Muzik brand is also about, getting to know talents from all four regional Southeast Asian countries, exchanging ideas, networking and eventually collaborating to make more good music for us to savour. As what former Lead of Mediacorp Malay Community, Ms. Zakiah Halim said, “As the only regional Malay music awards event, Anugerah Planet Muzik has always created meaningful opportunities and collaborations between artistes and musicians to raise their profiles in the region. We are proud that the APM 2018 nominees are trendsetters who are pushing the boundaries of creativity in their music.”

Ms. Zakiah Halim and Dr. Edmund Lam, CEO of COMPASS, addressing the attendees of the media conference…

Viewers can expect the hottest music acts and buzzworthy pop culture moments in this year’s APM that will be held at MES Theatre at MediaCorp Campus this coming Friday, 28 September 2018 from 9.00pm. The awards show will be hosted by RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O, Malaysia‘s Nabil Ahmad and Indonesia‘s Daniel Mananta. Another highlight of the media conference was the announcement of the performers for this year’s event, where usually they do not announce till much later due to confirmation of artistes availability. This time round, the organisers managed to secure the acts by the time the media conference came about. For the record, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 will feature hit performances by Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza who is making a comeback to the event after a three-year break, Dato’ Rossa, Judika, Isyana Sarasvati, Ryan Sufiyan, MimiFly, Khai Bahar, Ayda Jebat, Sara Fajira, DJ Kenny Gabriel, Adrian Khalif, Farhan Shah, Jaz Hayat, G.A.C. (Gamaliel Audrey Cantika) as well as local band The Pinholes. I for one am very much looking forward to seeing the trio of Gamaliel, Audrey and Cantika (G.A.C.) for the first time live as I have been quite a big fan of some of their hits over the past year or so like “Satu“, “Cinta“, “Never Leave Ya” and their debut single, “Bahagia“. I will not be surprised if they are slated to open or end the show with their catchy songs “Satu” and “Never Leave Ya“.

The local artistes, as well as Mimifly herself (front row eighth from right), with a group photograph for memories sake…

Music fans and enthusiasts are also given the opportunity to vote for their favourite songs and artistes in fan-based categories from 31 July to 25 September 2018, 11.59pm on toggle.sg/apm. The categories are Most Popular Artiste (Singapore), Most Popular Song (Singapore), APM Most Popular Artiste, APM Most Popular Song and Social Media Icon. The theme for this year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 is Tropics / Tropical with the hashtag #TropicLikeItsHot expected to trend on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, alongside #APM2018 and the returning #GilerTakGerek hashtags which caught on at last year’s event. Suffice to say, the next few days cannot come soon enough and I cannot wait to share with you photographs I will be snapping on Friday itself. Just so you know the usual drill, I will break down my posts and post them in instalment entries so you just have to come here every few days to check them out.

*Best APM Song and Special APM Awards will be announced on 28th September 2018

 

Snapshots of APM2018 Media Conference