A Little Clarification…

Regular visitors of my blog will note that I’ve been on a one-man crusade towards seeing a more balanced treatment towards our local artistes when it comes to performing on the big stage like Anugerah Planet Muzik. Past entries have also seemed to have shown some gripe towards the blessed dynamic duo, Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza, who can do no wrong in the eyes of their ardent fans. Before I move on, let me first apologise for creating a sense of unhappiness towards their sets of fans with the comments I made. It has to be made known that as performers, I have every ounce of respect for these two talented individuals who did not earn their revered reputations by accident.

Some have kindly pointed out the fact that along with Aliff Aziz, they are currently the top 3 popular Malay artistes we have at the moment, which makes for their appearance at APM2008 a mere formality. Coupled with the fact that each has his own set of influence to entice the Malaysian and Indonesian audience, it made perfect sense to have them performing to create more awareness towards our home-grown product to the watching regional audience. Also, their presence would pull the Singapore fans to travel up to Kuala Lumpur to watch the awards show live. These are business / common sense that were not lost on me, but ones which I did not bring up, preferring to rant instead on having the same people performing again and again.

If you were to scheme through the current line-up of performers, we seem to only have four representatives from our industry, while Indonesia has five and Malaysia has double the number of performers. In a regional awards show like APM, it is only common sense that each country brings out their big guns to attract the audience into tuning in, either on television or radio. However, it has to be said that for every top-tier artiste, there should also be space for second-tier ones. They need the exposure and it’s only through a stage like this that their talents can be noticed.

I bring you a good example in Syed Azmir. Who was he to the regional audience, prior to performing at APM2006??? By the time he performed again last year, he already boasts a quality album which is nominated this year under the tutelage of renowned composer Ajai, with a lot of rave reviews coming from the Malaysian side. Likewise, look at Hady. He might be Singapore‘s latest Idol but his progress was somewhat stagnant until he performed at APM2007 and subsequently the Asian Idol. I browsed through online forums and blogs after APM2007 and many were blown away when he sang Hijau with Zainal Abidin and began to realise that there is another Idol other than Taufik who deserves to be noticed. It was just the foreign press who gave him bad press for being tight-lipped. So as you can see, how influential being on a big stage like APM could do to our other artistes who have been waiting patiently for their opportunity to shine and have a slice of the pie, and it’s not that we lack quality in that respect. We seem to have an abundance of them.

This was the essence of my gripe, not hitting out at both Taufik and Hady on a personal level. The reason why I named them as examples of recycled performers was the fact that they sang in more than one item last year when the mantle could have been given to other artistes. Likewise, Kris Dayanti and Irwansyah were also “guilty” of singing in two items last year when in fact the latter’s vocals were mediocre to say the least. I hope people out there would read my comments and see things in a bigger picture, rather than jump to conclusions that I have an axe to grind with the two boys. I still respect them for their achievements and their immense talents, which is why I also said that I hope that they would achieve the breakthrough that they need in Malaysia after this APM, to show that the current Singaporean invasion are not mere flash in the pan. They need that wee bit rub of green to boom just like how some people said that Imran Ajmain got lucky over there with Seribu Tahun. You need every ounce of luck to make it in life and one should not take anything away from Imran for hitting it.

Speaking of creating awareness, there is so much radio could do to promote their event. Imran pointed out how the print and broadcasting media should join forces in a newspaper article that he was invited to do on 17th February 2008. You can read his thoughts here. There is some truths in what he said and this event is a fine example of how promotion could help it being made aware by the masses. Cos really our local papers have not made much of a mention on APM2008 and not many people are radio savvy. If there is a short write up every other day on the artistes involved either through nominations or performing, it would most definitely be a good advertisement for the event and for people to get to know our local artistes better. And not wait till the day before the event to hype it up. Maybe that’s why I take it upon myself to update my readers on APM2008 as much as I can in this blog, even if what you read are rants on why things are being done like this, or why things are being done like that… 🙂