Finally… Our Very Own…

Reading through Berita Harian on Saturday and seeing the announcement being made on Singapore‘s very own inaugural local Malay music awards show, a wind of change is certainly blowing in the direction of our local Malay music scene. To be called ““, the show is expected to honour the best in our country’s small music industry. This landmark event is a first collaborative effort between MediaCorp Suria, Warna 94.2FMRIA 89.7FM and Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS).

Extracted from the official website of “” – This awards show will be presenting a total of 10 award categories and a special “Lifetime Music Achievement” award. It aims to recognise recording artistes, composers, lyricists and album producers who have excelled in the music field. An interactive element will also be integrated where Suria viewers and Warna and RIA radio listeners will have the chance to decide and vote for their favourite songs and artistes through the “Most Popular Song” and “Most Popular Artiste” categories.

Yes, finally after years of complaining how local artistes are being shunted at Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) or how they’re made to look like second class citizens, we finally have something which we all can be proud to say is our own and solely for our local artistes and the people who work behind the scenes to make it happen. Looking through the ten categories up for grabs, I believe that there could be room for more awards in upcoming years. We should not forget the sound engineers as well as the album cover designers for starters. This could then be followed up by separating the male and female category, which sadly is not available due to the lack of credible female singers to challenge the current status quo of male domination. Then when hopefully the industry grows, we can then have separate awards for different genres.

It has to be said that one should not expect too much from this awards show. Yes, I’ve read about monetary rewards and stuff. Unless big sponsors come in and are willing to pump in the cash, the hope to have monetary rewards should not be put too high. Deep down, I feel that it’s high time that we have it cos it is not cheap to produce an album. Too many of our local artistes have toiled sweat, blood and tears to have their works produced, some were known to have used their life savings. Cash tokens would go a long way in rewarding their hard work and remind them that it was all worth the effort that their works have been appreciated. But it is still early days yet. For the sake of the local industry, I hope that someone is willing to cough up the cash to reward the winners. However, it has to be said that money should not be the be all and end all to rewarding the winners. There could be other alternatives as well. If travel agencies are willing to sponsor them trips abroad, it would also be quite worthwhile, wouldn’t it??? But yeah in this life, money makes the world go round. People are more inclined to work harder and push to their limits when the carrot is dangled in front of them. An apt reward for quality I might add.

One should also not have too high an expectation on the show. This is afterall a different ball game than APM. The decision to have it at Mediacorp TV Theatre is in a way, an inkling as to how well the show would be received by the local audience. If ratings shoot through the roof, and entice more sponsorships in the coming years, I’m sure the event will be held on a bigger scale and at an even bigger venue. For now, we just have to say thank you to the organisers for coming up with this brainchild, as it has been a long wait. Too long in my opinion. But better late than never. The only other question is, what is to become of APM now, will it still go on and if yes, will it be before or after ““, in Jakarta as was rumoured last year, and if no, will it be canned temporarily or for good???