Dearth of Local Female Talents???

The euphoria of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2007 has since died down, but judging from various blogs I visited and also replies I received from my last entry, I felt compelled to touch on one particular topic that one of you had brought up. It definitely is worth pondering upon and I for one agree with most of what one particular visitor, “Ryan“, had to say. Here, I’ll re-publish what he had said:

“Recently, i read in the papers about the male singers dominating the local music scene. No doubt, its true! But HELLO!! WE DO STILL HAVE FEMALE SINGERS! Norazela for example. If they really want to bring out the local singer, why the repeated faces over the years? Similarly, why the repeated songs from the same singer in the radio? Norazela’s album came out way earlier than Syed Azmir but…..hear it, think it and reflect it. Very disappointing indeed.

Where is the responsibility of radio management(whatever you call it) to play their songs? Too much attention on the non-local artist and the male local singers don’t you think? Think about Imran Ajmain. If the radio people can put Norazela’s songs as much as his songs, i do not see the reason why she is not as popular as the 2 singers i mentioned. For Hyrul Anwar, i share the same sentiment as him. Being the winner for Anugerah, where is his share and publicity?

This is not about biasness but is about equal fairness that we have to give to our local artist. When can we give the others to shine? Is it when the one performing being recognize then replaced a new artist, if not they are invited to perform again until they get recognized?

Alright, i write enough. Sorry if i hurt any parties involved but do you it is time we should change? For the better? For the local music industry at least?”

First of all, in case you guys misinterpreted my profile, I’m not working with radio nor have any affiliations with them other than the fact I used to be an intern and that I have always supported their programmes and segments. So this opinion put forth I hope was not meant for me specifically, but for all of us to ponder and reflect. Speaking of misinterpreting, I had a few readers thinking I deemed this year’s APM2007 as “The Worst“. No, if you read my review again, I clearly referred that title to last year’s event. As I had mentioned in it, there were significant improvements this year. Even though there were shortcomings, the organisers still deserved credits for putting up a show of that magnitude cos it’s never easy to bring together artistes from the three countries to perform under one roof.

Ok, on to my thoughts on what “Ryan” had said. Other than Eka Mairina, Rosalina, Salma, Norazela, Lady E, Norfasarie amongst the notable ones who have recorded their own albums, who else do we have??? A jog down memory lane and we seemed to have forgotten Haryani Hassan Bakri, Elfeeza Ul-Haq (she had quite a few nominations at APM2002) and Lela Anjani. I’m not even going to mention that singer who cannot sing for nuts and have since migrated to be with her husband. Quite a number of female singers we have here don’t you think??? But why are their talents not being recognised or received by listeners??? From my own observations, the fault lies with us, the consumers and music lovers.

I am not trying to defend the local radio stations, but I think they are not to be blamed fully for what’s happening. I remembered clearly when Eka, Salma, Rosalina and Norazela launched their albums, the deejays played their songs daily and hoped it would invoke the listeners to request for them in future so that these songs could at least enter the charts. However, the listeners did not deem their songs as hit materials which in turn affected the singer’s popularity and mass appeal. When these things happen, how can they attract people to come when the stations do outdoor shows??? In any business, if something appeals to the masses, it gets sold pretty fast. But I for one think, the radio people have done their part to include local acts, including the female ones, whenever they have shows outside the conty and also play their songs regularly.

As for Hyrul‘s treatment being an Anugerah winner, let me just refresh our memories and refer to Aqmal, Rudy Djoharnaen and the inaugural winner of Anugerah 12 (Apologies as I’ve forgotten his name). I think Suria‘s management have been taking laudable steps since 2005, in not repeating the same mistakes they made with the previous winners. Hence the signing of several talents from Anugerah Skrin and Anugerah itself, for them to be groomed and realise their potential under their Artiste Management Unit. I don’t deny Hyrul‘s vocal talents is one of the best we have but at the same time, I feel intrigued myself at how come Syed Azmir and to some extent, Fauzie Laily‘s stars have been shining brighter than him. No I have nothing against them, in fact I am happy they add more colour and competitiveness to the local scene. Could it be the fact that Hyrul is serving his National Service, thus resulting in a lot of red tape??? Or is it because he still has not recorded a full album??? Other than that, I have no answer to this question other than having to agree that Hyrul is being “overlooked” for reasons best known to the right people. And for the record, we cannot deny the others of their better fortune as this is after all the entertainment industry. In fact in life, everything is competitive and God has dictated each person’s success story according to their destinies.

As I had mentioned earlier, the mistake lies in us, the listeners and music lovers. We have this mindset that whatever comes from abroad is always good, unlike our own local products. If you were to go to outdoor shows or concerts, more often than not, the screaming, shrieks and shrills come from the females – from the teenyboppers to the aunties. You don’t get that from the gentlemen and the guys watching. At the most you’ll hear will be whoops and limited cheers. This was clearly translated in reality shows like Anugerah and Singapore Idol. Look at the two seasons of Singapore Idol and the finalists. All of them were guys. Anugerah 2005 was no different. All 4 finalists were also guys and we all know these reality shows were decided by the masses and I am definitely sure the bulk of them who voted were from the female fans. In general, females as we all know, don’t quite like to support those from their own gender and the guys mostly can’t be bothered with these sort of thing, me included. I guess that’s why this current season of Anugerah was divided into male and female categories, so as to have fairness for both genders competing.

Then there is the issue of looks over talents. In this part of the world, we seem to be very engrossed with looks being marketable over talents. Look at the current season of Anugerah, I won’t mention names, but some who are good-lookers but can’t sing for nuts still go through week in and out while the good ones drop out one by one. Anyway, I have not seen that many outstanding ones that have caught my eye for me to do a review week in and out. Maybe I’ll start doing it after the Wildcard round but really, it’s quite a turn off to see people voting based on how cute the wannabe is rather than how talented he / she is. Call it blind loyalty but these people who vote have no idea that they too have a huge responsibility in shaping the local scene here. Will they be proud to see these guys perform on big stages like Muzika Extravaganza or in future APMs with the kind of quality they possess???

I’m not going to blame the likes of Siti Nurhaliza, Ning Baizura, Ziana Zain, Kris Dayanti etc either for “spoiling the market” of our female talents. In a way, they have set such a high standard for our local girls to follow right from the word “go”, that our listeners seem to prefer them anytime over our gals. Perhaps the saying, “The most popular don’t have to be necessarily the best, and the best don’t necessarily have to be popular” best describes the local scene. This was clearly seen in the popular and best categories at APM2007, save for Siti Nurhaliza. After all of my reasonings, can we now blame our local girls for lack of trying or the radio stations for not playing their songs or Suria for not pushing their appearances further???

If you are hoping for a change, it should come from us, the very core recipients of music. First of all, we have to start embracing our local acts, then we break this wall between males and females and see them equally. Only then can we see slowly, a revolution in the making. Right now, only the male singers have taken huge steps in making that revolution a reality but we all know, this takes a lot of effort and tears along the way and without the girls, the circle or jigsaw puzzle will never be completed. The female singers too have a part to play but at the end of the day, it still goes back to us to make the industry better by accepting and supporting their existence…

To “Ryan“, thank you very much for your comments. Indeed they are thought-provoking and I certainly welcome more of such opinions from my readers. We are all here to exchange ideas and share our thoughts, no matter how diverse or different they are from the other. The best part is that we all put forth our thoughts in a rationale and civilised way, and not just rant and rave for the sake of it. It goes to show that we are all educated and intelligent people who still care for our local entertainment industry after all, which is most definitely heartwarming…

Author: Pujangga Malam™

Well-known on RIA 89.7FM as a controversial and sensational critic able to invoke thought-provoking and sometimes, fiery responses from fellow listeners. Have since evolved into a distinguished blogger of reputable claim with takes on the Malay entertainment industry and football-related matters. Brutally honest and believes in only reporting the truth as I see, hear or experience it. Self-styled critic who does not mince his words and is definitely a non-conformist.

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