“Moving On“… It is a difficult thing to do when someone feels he or she have been gravely misjudged. I admit that sometimes I am trapped into mulling over something, wallowing in self-pity and dwelling over it for days and weeks. I’m sure many of you out there have experienced things which have put yourselves into thinking about it whenever you are alone or just before you go to sleep. It is not a nice feeling to have, it breeds contempt, it gives birth to hatred, it even clogs the heart into having ill-will towards the party that have grossly done injustice to you. But for how long do we let it rip our hearts and torture our souls???
I have been keeping my peace over the past month or so with regards to what a local artiste had complained in a Berita Minggu article sometime in early February 2008. In it, he lamented about the fact that a particular radio station had not been playing his songs over the past year unless the listeners requested them, nor granted him any interviews, nor included him in any promotional outdoor shows, ever since he made some comments about how good it was if local radio stations were to have a 60%-40% ruling on local / foreign songs being played on air and for voicing out his unhappiness about performing at last year’s non-televised APM2007‘s first half-hour segment (which was meant for local awards to be given away).
As I had mentioned in my entry dated 11 February 2008, I am on both sides of the fence and feel that both sides have their little flaws and niggly mistakes, which I had hoped that over time, might heal the wounds and bring them together to work as before. The artiste has already said his piece and moved on. Even though I am not close nor affiliated to him (even though I am a big fan of his talents and regularly attend his shows), I believe he has preferred to let his vocals do the talking from now on. Whilst watching TV3‘s Malaysia Hari Ini programme last Thursday (from the comfort of Syahindah‘s hospital room) in which he was a guest, the presenters tried to put him in a spot by asking how was his relationship with the media here like and whether they were still at odds with each other. Very confidently he said he believed that everything is settled and looking at his body language and facial expressions, I for one think that on his side, he has kept his part of the bargain by not commenting anymore on it publicly. However I am not sure of the media here.
I have the utmost of respects for radio presenters for the amount of work they do. It is a thankless task having to please thousands of listeners tuning in daily and not to mention the artistes who hope that their songs are aired by them. I should know cos I was an intern before and I learnt to appreciate their job more when I was learning the ropes. Most radio presenters I tune into are more or less immuned by the complaints made by this artiste even though I know they are all seething about it. They still continue to play his songs without making any mention of what he had accused them of. However, there are a select few who have chosen to make it a personal vendetta against him at almost every single opportunity available. I dunno, I could be wrong, but it could just be my luck when I tuned in to them that I heard all these disguised and veiled words being said. For the first few weeks since the comments were published, I thought it was fair enough for them to dispel his notions and that he was perhaps wrong with the statements that he made by continuing to play his songs and saying they still play them without any prejudice. But lately I’ve noticed that these select few presenters have made it kinda personal by insinuating that local artistes are not swell-headed every time they play a local artiste’s song.
Having seen his performances and making that little conversations I had with him after his shows, me being the person who loves to observe people and their body language, it is difficult to say that he has gone big-headed just because his single had boomed big time in Malaysia. I believe this pride of carrying the flag high and paving the way for more of our artistes to have a crack at the industry abroad has given him the satisfaction more than anything else and would like to see more following suit. From the way he speaks and the tone that he expressed himself, I believe he would like to replicate the amount of support he gets over there to here cos believe me, nothing is more satisfying for a local artiste than to be acknowledged by your own people. Look at Ferhad. Just because he upset fan favourite Hazrul Nizam at APM2004, he was booed by the audience when he went up to take his awards. Why??? Because he made his name in Malaysia and not in Singapore. I think I was one of the few who was brave enough to give him a standing ovation and applauded his win that night. And for all the success they get in Malaysia, Ahli Fiqir is still not given their rightful support by the fans over here. And it’s not even radio’s fault!!!
Personally I do not condone the comments that were made in the media. I consider it as career suicide on the part of the artiste even if some of the things he said might be true to some extent. He had his reasons for saying it and I believe if he could take back some of the things he said, he would or at least put it in a more tasteful way. I dunno, I have not been talking to him lately to understand what goes through his mind but as a fan of the local industry, it hurts for me to hear our own artiste and our own local radio station at odds with one another over something I regard as so trivial from a fan and listener’s perspective. Radio on the other hand were at first gracious enough to continue airing his songs and showing the masses who might have erred in their own personal judgement (something which I applaud cos our local stations do not ban artistes like those in Malaysia). But by saying most local artistes are not swell-headed on an almost daily / weekly basis thus insinuating a hidden propaganda, does not reflect who is the bigger person in this tete-a-tete. The listeners are smart enough to judge for themselves who is in the right and who is in the wrong. If this artiste was wrong with his words and radio continues to air his songs without making additional remarks / insinuations, then fair play and respect goes out to radio for coming out smelling roses. But by constantly hitting back when the artiste himself has chosen to clam up, it does not reflect well on them, granted because of the select few presenters who choose to speak out.
We know and we got the message already that the artiste might have erred but you don’t have to constantly harp about it. It’s turning into a broken record already almost two months after the comments were made. Being professionals, I believe both sides should sit down and thrash their differences out rather than taking it out in the open and subjecting loyal listeners like me to endless verbal joustings with no light at the end of the tunnel. Some of you might feel that after reading this entry, my allegiance have somewhat swayed towards the artiste involved. No, I still maintain I am on both sides of the fence having equal respect for both parties and their personal stands. I want to see this end, or at the very least made less of a mention about on national radio. I don’t hear radio stations abroad talk badly about their own artistes on air. At the most, they ban their songs from being played which I find a bit extreme. But they can afford to since their industry is so big with 64 stations compared to us (only 2 Malay radio stations). But I believe if our local radio stations were to ban this particular artiste’s songs, it would only make his comments about the things he had alleged spot-on, which I’m sure they will want to avoid at all costs.
Our local music industry need all the support from the radio stations, print media, online portals and what-nots to keep themselves alive. Too many acts have come and gone having been one-hit wonders. We need to get our acts together and lessen whatever niggly disputes we might have. “Support” is a big word that needs to be drummed across all platforms. I’ve heard of radio and television competing with one another, I’ve heard of the print media at odds with the broadcasting media, heck even between the two Malay television channels there is some form of hidden rivalry between them and at the end of the day, our industry is still small with nothing much to show for except Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza with all due respect to all local musicians and entertainers out there. Shouldn’t we all work together and make our local music industry an even more vibrant scene than the 60s-80s than concentrating on stabbing on each other’s backs just to see who comes out tops??? And at the end of the day, can’t we all learn to let go???
P.S. And what is this I hear rumours about APM2008 holding a separate awards presentation for our local artistes??? Kinda goes back to what we were all unhappy about at last year’s event isn’t it and wasting our time travelling up just to support our local acts…??? I hope I had heard wrongly cos it really defeats the purpose of honouring local acts on a regional stage…