anugeraHitz.sg Review…

I have been besieged with enquiries as to when this entry is gonna be up by good friends in the industry. I believe I’m the last amongst my fellow blog-mates who have published an entry on the anugeraHitz.sg proper, even if I had posted two filler entries before this as teasers. I did point out the various responsibilities and commitments I have before this, with blogging somewhere at the back. The advantage my fellow peers have over me is that most, if not all of them, are still swinging singles, so time, as I presume, is basically on their side. But it’s a good thing that more of them are around. At least you’ll get to read different perspectives and interpretations and not wait for mine to be up so soon. So for those who had been waiting patiently for this entry, your wait is over. Better late than never right??? So where do I begin??? Seems like I have to start with a bit of history, being the long-winded storyteller that I am. 🙂

Between the 50s and early 80s, even though I did not experience it, I guess it is safe to say Singapore was the hub of the Malay entertainment industry both sides of the Causeway, thanks in part to the success of the Jalan Ampas era. A lot of household names came from this country or crossed the Johor Straits. It was just sad that when the Jalan Ampas studios closed down, it was also the signal that those good old days had run its course. A shift in power thus began in Kuala Lumpur and naturally our talented musicians, composers, lyricists, actors and producers chose to spread their wings and fly the nest where the grass is greener. Whisper it softly but I strongly believe the Malaysian entertainment industry is where and how it is now, thanks to our people, who have mostly given up their nationalities and made the place their home. If one bothers to do a bit of  history investigating, you would be surprised by the number of movers and shakers there who were born here.

Calm before the storm…

But sadly even in the past when the entertainment scene was booming over here, I believe there wasn’t any form of awards ceremony, most notably in music, to reward and recognise the efforts of these talented people. Even in Malaysia, the very first music awards show to recognise the best songs of the year only began in 1986 (Juara Lagu). The more prestigious Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) event only began slightly later in 1994 to recognise the efforts of the music makers. Right now, they have so many awards shows that I’ve kinda lost track on each and everyone of them. They can afford to have that many seeing how big their industry is, with a consumer base about four times more than our total population. Making a full-time career out of the industry is also feasible. Over here, it is difficult to do so. Most of our artistes are doing it part-time and having day jobs to sustain a living. For those doing it full-time, I really take my hat off to them for having the will, faith, patience, perseverence and belief to succeed. May their efforts bring them the rewards they so deserved.

Thanks to Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) and the efforts by Mediacorp Radio‘s Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM, over the past nine years we have seen a renaissance of sorts, with more local acts coming to the fore and being brave enough to venture where most wouldn’t have dared in the past. The birth of Singapore Idol in a way, also provided a platform for young upstarts to showcase their talents. For those who did not succeed in their Idol journey, some have disappeared, while others have built on their existence, adding colour and to the growing industry. And so, it was definitely the right time to have our very own music awards ceremony, albeit it took a long time to materialise, and break away from having to latch onto the APM franchise, which has mostly been dominated by the other regional acts. Seeing how difficult it was for it to even begin in the first place, with the postponement of the event scheduled to be held last year, I certainly did not have high hopes nor expected too much out of it. Even this year’s event had its own pitfalls and obstacles to overcome, but am just glad that it finally took off.

No prizes for guessing who they’re rooting for…

The month leading up to the event, mini controversies arose as I observed quite a number of dissenting voices from the various artiste fan clubs on why so-and-so were nominated when their albums were released in 2008 but still qualified, when the press release clearly stated and I quote from it, “Nominations are open to singles, EPs or albums that were released in Singapore from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009.” Then there were also unhappy voices on why certain artistes were nominated under the Best New Artiste category when they have been around for years in the local entertainment industry. There were also artistes who have had hit singles in years past being included in their albums released in 2008 / 2009. I took the opportunity to ask the good people at Suria and also RIA 89.7FM‘s Programme Director, Mr. Hassan Salleh, as to why such dissent could arise in the internet forums, with all the mudslinging being bandied about. More or less what was answered were quite satisfactory in my opinion.

Even though the press release stated as I had mentioned above, the qualification process was actually based on songs being played on air. So if for instance Artiste A released an album in 2008, his / her song would have to be played in 2009 to qualify. I know it sounds a bit confusing, especially since certain songs I know only started airing this year, but I’m not part of the judging panel to dispute. Anyway if I were to look at it in the bigger picture, this is afterall the very first music awards show that the respective organisers had worked hard to realise. Looking at the small industry of ours, we should not be too rigid on our first attempt, which was why I said I did not have too high an expectation on this show. If my memory does not fail me, I thought I remembered reading / hearing Ms. Zakiah Halim saying that those who were assessed for last year’s postponed event would also be able to qualify again for assessment in this year’s event. So I guess for those who are still sore over it, to try and exercise a wee bit of leniency.

I know awards would raise one’s favourite artiste to another level, but at the same time we want the whole industry to have the opportunity not to be left out, which was perhaps why there were quite a lot of nominations, 152 if I’m not mistaken. Even then, some of our local artistes like Aliff Aziz, did not even send their applications for consideration. Maybe for future events, the rules would be tightened slightly. I’m sure they will learn from the experience. For those who think that the experience of co-organising APM all these years would help in producing a better local version, I believe, both are different ball games altogether. So we should not be too quick to rant and cry foul just because we feel that certain things that were done reeked of injustice. We could go on and on debating but at the end of the day, the idea of having an awards ceremony like anugeraHitz.sg is to honour the hard work done by our artistes.

Yes, I know there are still voices that complain of having to “invest” $20.00 per application / nomination and wondering what happened to all that money at the end of the day, moreso if the artistes had sent many applications only to see themselves not being nominated in the end. This same complaint has been going on since APM (from what I read in certain blogs) and why it is only restricted to our local acts and not imposed on the regional ones. Truthfully, I’m not in the right position to answer nor defend the allegations made as this is also news to me. Maybe this niggling problem could be discussed through the proper channels. I’m sure with the advent of Malay Artistes Association (MAA), this could be discussed diplomatically between the artistes and the organisers of the awards shows on any problems the artistes might have, especially when it comes to the touchy topic of money. I could be wrong as I’m just an entertainment blogger who blogs based on personal observations. Which is why the MAA has a responsibility to bring up this problem to the relevant authorities to quell the feeling of uncertainty and unhappiness being felt by the artistes.

All these years, I keep on hearing the same thing on trophies awarded should be supplemented with monetary awards, when the artistes had invested so much in producing their EPs, singles or albums. As much as I would like to see monetary awards being introduced and given out along with the trophies, personally my take is that the money they “invested” all these while, could have been channeled to the various administration matters pertaining to the awards show. We also have to be realistic in that we’re not like Malaysia where they can have one telecommunications company sponsoring an event and reaping benefits afterwards. Over here, we might have two major telecommunications companies, but even they are finding it difficult to secure broadcasting rights for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in South Africa, which shows that even with a large consumer base, it is not easy as it seems. On the topic of sponsorship, there are possibly politics involved (again I could be wrong), and I do not want to take up the extra space talking about it.

For now, let’s just set aside our respective grievances and be thankful that we finally have an awards show we can be proud to call our own. Even the Anugerah franchise started off humbly and look how far it has grown with such good prizes being offered to the winners. Let’s just pray that our industry will grow, attract the good sponsors so that we can finally realise our dreams of better-produced shows and better prizes on offer. Right, I guess I’ve blabbered and sidetracked a bit too much than to discuss what I had set out to do. My thoughts on the show as well as captioned photographs of the performances that night will follow henceforth. For the record, the two-hour live show was graced by Mr Raymond Lim, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs

Up for grabs, the trophy which was designed by Meyvi Wedelia, a year 3 Visual Communication student from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). Its design symbolised reverberation – a reflection of sound and echo signifying the awards show’s fluid music expression. Somehow, it didn’t go down too well with me nor my fellow blogmates. Heck I think a lot of people were not that into the design. Cos it looked woodenish, and does not have elements of music or related to the event. At least the Anugerah and Anugerah Planet Muzik trophies were nicer on the eyes. But what do I know??? I’m not an arty farty person in the first place…


The theme for the night was “Rock Nation” and it was only apt that they began the show singing Lovehunter‘s old pop rock hit back in the 90s, “Berpindah Minda“, with a hip-hop twist of its own performed by advocates of the genre in Sleeq, Roze Kasmani, Afwan of Juz-B, Zul Mystroe and Daly of now-defunct Ahli Fiqir. They were ably backed up by Styles From Beyond, or at least a few of its members whom I recognise from the dancers on stage. Though I liked the fresh arrangement and updated lyrics to suit the occasion and hip-hop performers, I could not help but notice that everyone was trying to outperform the other, making it a mish-mash of sorts. Being part of the live audience, I initially thought Syarif, Afwan & Roze had forgotten their lyrics. However upon watching the repeat telecast, I realised it was due to the music being a bit too loud and drowning their voices in the process. Still, due credit should be given to all for opening the show with much-needed zest and energy.

Fauzie Laily & Fiza O – Hosts for the night’s event…

The accompanying live band being orchaestrated by none other than Mr Indra Shahrir

And the back-up singers consisting of Anugerah 2009 alumnus Ize SulimanNani Sulaiman, Afiqah and Azhar Raz

Presenters of the first two awards of the night – Nity Baizura of RIA 89.7FM & Art Fazil

Revalina shocked many when they won the Anugerah Duo / Kumpulan Baru Terbaik (Best New Duo / Group award). Industry observers had picked Diorama for their fresh and stable musical direction whereas yours truly had gone for The Sallys. This win showed that we had underestimated the potential this trio have as a unit. However, they need to work hard to establish the promise that comes along with winning this award. They can do it since Ross (centre) & Shah (right) are credible music writers in their own rights as seen by their showing over the past two years’ Rentak Singapura, where the former won for best composition (“Novela Cinta“) in 2008 and the latter coming in second for “Setia Menanti” at last year’s event.

As expected, Sarah Aqilah won the Anugerah Artis Baru Terbaik (Best New Artiste award), staving off stiff competition from dark horses Zaibaktian and Hyrul Anuar. She needs to build on her singing career fast while her Anugerah 2009 win is still fresh in our minds and polish the rough edges away if she hopes to create a name for herself in the industry across the Causeway. She has to maintain a disciplined level of consistency in her performances and most importantly eradicate her knack at forgetting lyrics to the songs she sings.

It’s always nice to see faces seldom seen on stage, especially on television, being given their opportunities to remind us of their existence and Salma is one such artiste. That night she sang “Irama Rindu” from her album…

If there is hope yet for a female singer to soar and dominate over this male-dominated industry of ours, personally I feel Nana has the right credibilities to sweep the mat off the floor, given the right support and astute direction. She has always been a feisty performer and when she sung her hit “Lafaz” that night, the hairs were still standing for a good 10-15 minutes after she had left the stage. That’s the impact she had on me and perhaps those who were in the audience as well…

The ante was upped a bit higher when Hanafie Warren and Yantzen, two legendary rockers from these shores came on stage to perform “Rintangan Hidup Dunia” & “Sampai Bila“. They were ably accompanied by the Anugerah Band All-Stars line-up consisting of Putra‘s Aliff, Helven‘s Romey, Cucu Datuk Merah‘s Anis and X-Tech‘s Shahril bringing the house down with their excellent musicianship.

Mawar Berduri & Moliano were tasked to present the awards for Anugerah Penulis Lirik Terbaik (Best Lyricist award) and Anugerah Komposer Terbaik (Best Composer award)…

The award for Anugerah Penulis Lirik Terbaik (Best Lyricist award) went to Erza of Diorama for the group’s song “Anti-Romantis“. Other than the award which Revalina won, this was another surprise of the night as Aqmal was heavily expected to win this. Kudos to Erza for a job well done and may this young songwriter continue to produce more quality lyrics for the group as well as sharing it with other aspiring singers / bands out there. 

What was impressive about this win by Taufik Batisah for Anugerah Komposer Terbaik (Best Composer award) was not the category in which he won, but his winning speech which left me astounded. We all know when he first took baby steps after winning the inaugural Singapore Idol competition, one of his challenges was to speak and converse in Malay fluently. More than five years down the road, he has exceeded all expectations and went beyond what he had set himself. His words were deep, they were inspiring and truly nobody should begrudge him of all his wins that night. An example to follow for sheer hard work and determination paying off big-time.

It was heartwarming to know that someone as talented as Allahyarham Haron Abdulmajid deserved his posthumous accolades at anugeraHitz.sg.

The unsavoury part was the fact that Elfee Ismail, who has a reputation for forgetting his lyrics, was chosen to pay the late lyricist the perfect tribute. As those who had watched the show live would note, he opted to slyly look at his palms for the lyrics. The difference between him and Sarah Aqilah is that he has years of experience under his belt and should by now know what is the meaning of professionalism. For a tribute segment, I’m sure a lot of people would agree and if it’s not too strong a word to use, his performance was downright “rude”, even if his voice suited the songs, “Dalam Kenangan” (made famous by Wheels) and “Dulu & Sekarang” (popularised by Black Dog Bone), he sang that night…

Hafeez Glamour & Ann Hussein presenting the awards for Anugerah Duo / Kumpulan Terbaik (Best Duo / Group award) and Anugerah Artis Terbaik (Best Artiste award).

As I had correctly predicted, Sleeq walked away with the Anugerah Duo / Kumpulan Terbaik (Best Duo / Group award). They deserved it for not only establishing themselves in the scene but composing for other artistes as well…

The recipient of Anugerah Artiste Terbaik (Best Artiste award). Was it any surprise to us all???

Sezairi Sezali in his first television appearance after his Singapore Idol win last year. He gave a good account of Art Fazil‘s “Merindu Kepastian“. Nice job, even though I detected some tiredness in his voice…

Nice to see the forgotten young man, Aliff Aziz, again. He sang his current hit “Cinta” that night. Looks like his National Service stint has been doing him some good judging by his buff body…

Nana and Eiss were given the honour of performing the songs that were made nominees for Anugerah Lagu Terbaik (Best Song award). Their chemistry was irresistably sizzling and my word, some of the songs they sang were much better than the original versions, with all due respect to the original singers…

Presenting the Anugerah Lagu Terbaik (Best Song award) were RIA 89.7FM‘s Aura Shai and one of my favourite local singers, Zubir Abdullah

Another prediction I got right that night was this win by Hady Mirza for “Angkasa“. Need I wax more lyrical on the song which has just won the top spot on RIA Chartz for a record 20th week in a row??? A well-deserved win for Hady most definitely.

Sarah Aqilah was given the honour of paying Rahimah Rahim the tribute for Anugerah Primera, the special award which was established to recognise individual(s) who have made significant contributions and impact to the local Malay music industry. She sang “Hati Yang Rapuh“. a song made famous by the veteran diva. Sarah was also guilty of forgetting her lyrics and she would do well to know that this reputation of forgetting is going to cause her more harm than good if it’s not nipped in the bud sooner rather than later. During the Anugerah 2009 competition when she forgot twice, they were forgiven as she was still raw. Now that her status has been elevated, she must cut down on these niggly problems.

She has had an extremely distinguished career in the entertainment industry as a singer, actress and host, and is well respected on both sides of the Causeway. Rahimah Rahim, or otherwise known as “Kak Girl”, is undisputably the correct recipient of the Anugerah Primera award.

Quite a few people were surprised at how slim Hetty Sarlene was that night. Here she’s seen presenting the popular awards categories with Warna 94.2FM‘s TG

Another feather in the cap for Taufik as “Nafasku” was cast as one of the top 3 popular local songs on RIA Chartz in 2009. His other song “Kepada-NYA“, a duet with Hady Mirza, also bagged one of the other two remaining spots..

The other popular local song was bestowed upon Didicazli‘s collaboration with Sleeq through the song “Impianku“, a song which for the first half of 2009 received a lot of airplay…

The awards presentation for the Anugerah Lagu Paling Popular (Most Popular Song award) preceded the performances by the artistes for their respective winning songs.

It’s always a joy seeing Nurul Aini being paired up with Najip Ali. They will always poke fun at each other without fear of upsetting one another…

Taufik Batisah, Hady Mirza & Didicazli – the award recipients for Anugerah Artis Paling Popular (Most Popular Artiste award). While the first two were expected, the third could have come as somewhat of  a surprise since Sleeq were on third place right up till the voting lines were closed.

It was truly a historic night for Taufik Batisah as he grabbed the Anugerah Album Terbaik (Best Album award) to complete a double hat-trick…

Young child star Mujahid, who stole the hearts of the audience, was a welcome addition to the stable of hosts on the show. But it would be better if his script was fine-tuned or at least briefed beforehand on words he should use and should not use, so as not to sound crude. The word “kencing” could definitely be softened by the usage of the softer-sounding phrase “buang air kecil“. Some of his “innocent” antics should also not have been done. This was one of the risks that the producers had to take when they tasked someone so young for a big occasion like anugeraHitz.sg

They could have had a better finale than just inviting the winners on stage and subjecting them to clapping and waving to the cameras / audience for a good three to five minutes. It was so bland that I felt it didn’t do the show a lot of justice since they had such a resounding start to the show. Hopefully future similar awards shows would close with a bang or at least have some sort of proper finale to it…

And so, the first and inaugural local Malay music awards show was realised after much dreaming and hoping for years. Though it wasn’t as spectacular as how some of you might have hoped for, nor were the list of winners a source of surprise, at least it brings hope that the industry is able to look forward to a more thriving one in the years to come with more composers, lyricists, bands and individual artistes coming to the fore. As I had mentioned before, we do not have dearth of talents. It’s just that our own people, the consumers, tend to place those that do not come from these shores on the pedestal more than look at our own acts as quality ones they should be supporting.

The wins that night showed that the pop and R&B genres are very much the in-thing here, even though the artistes championing the rock genre deserve some mention for jobs well done on their parts. Yes this was our first awards show and I know that certain quarters are a little uneasy on Taufik‘s dominance. Perhaps the awards could be tweaked in future and separate the categories through genres and in due time through genders as well. Seeing Salma, Nana, Sarah Aqilah and Roze Kasmani performing that night gave me good vibes that with concerted support by music lovers here, the female singers would give their male counterparts a run for their money. Give the girls a chance people, they too are equally talented as the boys. They just need your time and support.

Congratulations to all the winners of the respective categories. You guys deserved it for all your hard work and for those who did not win nor get nominated, it should not dampen your spirits to add more vibrancy to our growing industry. A big thank you also goes out to the combined efforts of the organisers of anugeraHitz.sg namely Mediacorp Suria, Mediacorp Radio‘s Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM and Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS). It was a commendable start and hopefully in years to come, we would be able to honour more acts in our industry. With more success, hopefully the sponsors would come in and inject much-needed boost to the awards…

anugeraHitz.sg Post-Event Reception…

This entry is gonna be shorter than the previous one. I did say that another filler was in store and so here it is, albeit it’s just another filler before the main one which I’m taking ages to type. Surprisingly I did not take as much photographs during the post-event reception, partly because I was extremely famished, partly because I was mingling around and chatting with the who’s who of our local Malay music scene and also due to the fact that I could not get hold of the winners as they were completely swarmed with photo-taking with the other guests and doing interviews with the various media representatives. Wished I could have taken photographs of them posing with their respective trophies. Oh well, another day, another event perhaps, God willing. In the meantime, enjoy the few photographs I took of the post-event reception…

The guests tucking in the lavish spread…

Anugerah 2009 judge Eddy Ali, being flanked by two of the back-up singers that night, Afiqah (extreme left) and Nani Sulaiman (right). To his right is up-and-coming actress Lydia Izzati

Singapore Idol 2009 teen heart-throbs Faizal Isa & Farhan Shah. Both are under the Labels of Love management…

Host of the night, Fiza O, along with her good friend, part-time actor Rafil Kamaruddin

Eddy Ali together with Diorama who looked extremely chuffed after winning the Best Lyricist Award for “Anti-Romantis“…

Rancour might not have won anything but I’m sure they’ll be out to produce better quality songs in future. They should be able to as they have a lot of potential still not realised…

Hyrul Anuar along with the young lady making waves and whose stock is rising on Suria of late, Azzah Fariha, and his cousin Shasha

Ms. Zakiah Halim (second from left) with three of RIA 89.7FM‘s female presenters: Fiza O, Aura Shai & Nity Baizura

Fauzie Laily with mother-to-be Nurul Aini

Here’s Lydia again with the group that I predicted would win the Best Duo / Group Award – Sleeq

Last but not least, this is the new cast of Cinta Ixora 2… Kidding… These are the good people of Suria (Wati Kasim, Farah Lydia & Siti Zalinah), Eaglevision (Netty Fiona), Gumbira.com (Fadly Ahmad), Izone.sg (Izarr), Hyrul Anuar & his cousin Shasha

Till the next entry… Be patient please… 🙂

Xpedisi Siswa Auditions Promo…

For approximately a decade, Forum Universiti (University Forum), an MOU programme between MediaCorp Suria and Radio Television Brunei, have seen the congregation of undergraduates from both countries. It is a platform for young innovative minds to discuss important issues affecting them, share their concerns and sharpen their thinking. The past decade has brought with it other learning and sharing opportunities, which will be leveraged in the new reality TV programme entitled, “XPEDISI SISWA”.

XPEDISI SISWA (Uni Expedition) is a one-hour reality TV programme telecast in both Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. It is an experiential learning experience where a group of undergraduates from both Singapore and Brunei Darussalam travel to an Asian country for a few days. There, they will be ‘adopted’ by a local family, experience the local culture and lifestyle of the community and will be put through two challenges which will test their teamwork, general knowledge and other life skills. The world is your classroom.

XPEDISI SISWA is programmed to allow the participants and also the audience to learn about the language, culture, history and geography of the location where the participants call home for five days. Being in a foreign land, participants will have to rely on their soft skills to adapt, more so if they are put through challenges. Thus they have an opportunity to learn about themselves and each other. The participants will be 4 undergraduates from each country. Each team of 4 members will comprise of both Singapore and Brunei representatives.

In light of this, Mediacorp Suria will be holding an audition for FULL-TIME STUDENTS aged 18-25 from SMU, NTU, NUS & SIM at 2pm at Caldecott Broadcast Centre this Saturday 10th April 2010. Interested individuals will need to email the organisers their particulars (name and IC number) for security clearance purposes. Emails can be sent to nettyothman@mediacorp.com.sg or zulina@mediacorp.com.sg, latest by Friday 9th April 2010 12pm.

anugeraHitz.sg Red Carpet & Pre-Event Cocktail Reception…

The blog stats rose yesterday with people coming in here anticipating to read something about the show / just to view the photographs I might have uploaded for your eyes. Based on previous events / shows / concerts I attended, I would take days, weeks even, to put up my thoughts. By then the euphoria would have died down. So to keep the momentum going, I have decided to split the happenings of the inaugural anugeraHitz.sg into three parts beginning with this entry.

This was another first for me and the wife, in that we were invited to attend the pre-event cocktail reception cum Red Carpet event. As compared to the post-event receptions which we have been attending in the past, this felt so much better, very private and personal, as we could get the artistes to pose for photographs without having to clamour with the other guests. If I was a journalist, this kind of setting is heaven sent as we have the artistes all to ourselves, literally speaking. It was also the perfect opportunity to get to know the artistes better. And so with camera in hand, I went on a shooting spree. Enjoy the photographs…

The top 2 Anugerah 2005 finalists: Syed Azmir & Hyrul Anuar

Kraton in the house!!!

Revalina & Shahril Bahri

Setia Vegawati (Vega) & Shenthy Feliziana (Elly) – The new faces to grace our television screens through the recently-concluded Cinta Ixora series. Both are also one half of female quartet Dynda. Based on early observations, the group looks set for a promising career under the tutelage of Cat Farish. I hope they will work hard and make an impact, especially since our local Malay music industry is crying out for more female singers to rival their male counterparts.

The Sallys…

Verbalise FloA’Trez (right) & Phalique (centre), with the latter’s wife. Based on their official MySpace page, the group has since undergone an upgrading of sorts and is now known as X-Clusive, which answered my question how come I see A’Trez appearing in both X-Clusive‘s and Verbalise Flo‘s performances over the past month or so. Surprisingly, Phalique is not in X-Clusive (as he wishes to concentrate on family commitments from what I just learnt, thanks to A’Trez) and in his place are Ize Suliman of Anugerah 2009 fame and Razlyna Ajis, who is also an Anugerah 2009 alumnus, even though she only made it to Top 50. Was wondering if X-Clusive would be considered a new or old group when the next anugeraHitz.sg event comes around???

Four of the Anugerah 2009 semi-finalists: Wawan, Catty, Kunjung & Chirul

I’m definitely sure this hunk needs no further introduction…

Sleeq– The dynamic duo whose stock continues to rise with every hit composition that rises up the music charts…

Sound Salvation & Singapore Idol 2009 Sezairi Sezali. This was my first time meeting the young man in the flesh and what you see on television on his likeability factor is definitely not a show of act. I can’t explain it in words but the aura he exudes, screams of genuine and humbleness, even before I opened my mouth to talk to him and wished him all the best in his music career. Singapore or rather, the voters who made him Idol, me included, definitely made the right choice in granting him his deserved coronation… Stay that way bro… You’ll definitely go far…

The glam man himself – Hafeez Glamour

Shah, Ross & Aidil – Revalina…

Hady Mirza – Our Asian Idol… Funny when I’m typing this, his monster hit Angkasa is currently being played on the airwaves…

A baby in the industry who holds so much promise to lift the standards and likeability factor of the female singers, Sarah Aqilah

Award presenters of the night, Nity Baizura & Aura Shai of RIA 89.7FM

Revalina with Aqmal Noor & his partner…

This looks like a new band in town but actually it’s Zaibaktian, Rafaat Hamzah, Amin Salleh, Suffian (Crossover), Adha (Ard Bhumiband) & Tengku Adil hemming it up for the camera. Fun bunch I know since the Festival Melayu Ada series…

This is Konspirazy, who were up for the Most Popular Artiste award…

Roze Kasmani – She is one with huge potential. Expect her newly-released single “Harum” composed by Imran Ajmain & Alyph from Sleeq, to rise up the charts pretty soon…

That’s all I manage to upload even though I did take more photographs during the pre-event cocktail reception, but the photos are either blurred or too bright for me to feature. Hope this is a good filler before I publish my thoughts on the event proper. I need to watch its repeat telecast again on 9th April 2010 at 10:30pm for me to gather more thoughts and critic the show as a whole. So I hope you guys will be patient. In the meantime, expect another filler pretty soon…


anugeraHitz.sg Predictions…

 

We’re just one day away from arguably, the most anticipated event of 2010 in the history of local Malay entertainment. Over the years Anugerah Planet Muzik might have piqued our interest on who are the current movers and shakers in this baby industry of ours. With the advent of anugeraHitz.sg, it has shown that there is progress being made, that there are more talents here in Singapore whose qualities and talents cry out to be heard and accepted by their own people, who sadly are more inclined to listen, idolise and worship acts from overseas. It also shows that from a stage of crawling, we’re now at a stage of learning to walk on our own. Yes there are shortcomings in many aspects but one cannot expect so much so soon. One cannot expect a baby to run even before he learns how to stand up unassisted. 

What is a lead up to an awards show without the customary predictions by so-called “know-it-alls” aye??? It has to be said that I’m not much of an expert and past predictions on Anugerah Planet Muzik winners proved that I have lots to learn on what is quality and what goes through the minds of the appointed panel of jury judging the potential nominees. The latest issue of Manja magazine had Hafeez Glamour coming up with his own predictions. He did ask me a few weeks ago if this blog had any predictions in store and I told him I would be doing an entry on it a few days before the event. A word of caution though. Whatever I predict are based solely on my own observations. Any wrong information that is shared or wrong prediction made is very much regretted. So without further ado, I present to you my humble predictions on the potential winners of anugeraHitz.sg

CATEGORY 1: ARTIS BARU TERBAIK (BEST NEW ARTISTE)

 
No. Artiste Album
  1  Hyrul Anuar Popular (Single)
  2  Maiya Rahman Pengganti
  3  Sarah Aqilah Biar Hati Mencintai (Single)
  4  Shahril Bahri Yang Teratas
  5  Zaibaktian Ejen Cinta

  

My pick:  In terms of overall package like voice range, quality and looks, I look no further than Sarah Aqilah, though it has to be said that Hyrul Anuar & Zaibaktian will themselves be worthy winners should they win this award as they too are no slouches. Shahril Bahri seems a bit too raw for me and Maiya has been a bit of a yo-yo in terms of watching her perform live over the past year. But these awards if I’m not wrong, are based on their studio recordings and I believe Sarah has an edge in terms of both package and promise. 

CATEGORY 2: DUO/KUMPULAN BARU TERBAIK (BEST NEW DUO/GROUP)

 
No. Artiste Album
  1  Diorama From The E-Motion Picture Soundtrack
  2  Rancour Rancour
  3  Revalina Pertandingan Cinta
  4  The Sallys An Unlikely Story
  5  Verbalize Flo Yok Goyang Yok (Single)

 

My pick: I think for this category, it is a straight fight between the two indie bands Diorama & The Sallys. What gives The Sallys the nod for me is that their ska-infused music is fresh and something that not many (the mainstream ones that is) in our small industry are brave to do. It is also not easy to have so many members in the group synchronising their respective musical elements to give their music a rather sexy appeal to the listening ear. Diorama though they have a clearer direction and vision, they have so far been disappointing when I watched them perform live, as the lead singer’s voice just could not reach the pitching level found in the album especially when he hits the high notes. This feeling of being kinda “shortchanged” is also partly why I pick The Sallys over Diorama. No disrespect to Diorama but I hope they could improve vocally so that they could match the standards that they have set. 

CATEGORY 3: ARTIS TERBAIK (BEST ARTISTE)  

 
No. Artiste Album
  1  Didicazli Diari Cinta
  2  Hady Mirza Sang Penyanyi
  3  Syed Azmir Aku Bukan Sempurna (Single)
  4  Taufik Batisah Suria Hatiku
  5  Imran Ajmain Punca dan Tindakan

 

My pick: The man with the midas touch – Taufik Batisah. This guy can do no wrong with every single that is being played on radio. Each one is sure to top the charts. If Malaysia has Dato’ Siti to be proud of and its number one singer, then over here, Taufik takes the accolades. He has shown maturity in every aspect of his performances since the day he won Singapore Idol in 2004. Little wonder that most local music fans I observe still see him as THE idol, with all due respect to Hady Mirza & Sezairi Sezali

CATEGORY 4: DUO/KUMPULAN TERBAIK (BEST DUO/GROUP)   

 
No. Artiste Album
  1  Diorama From The E-Motion Picture Soundtrack
  2  Rancour Rancour
  3  Revalina Pertandingan Cinta
  4  Sleeq Classiq
  5  Sound Salvation Rock & Roll Milik Sama

 

My pick: When I was watching the names of the nominees being flashed on the screen for this category during the anugeraHitz.sg Media Conference back in late February, I only had these two talented young men in my head as the winners. Like Taufik, they too have the Midas touch and their services have been hotly sought after by other local acts like Syed Azmir (Aku Bukan Sempurna), Aliff Aziz (Cinta), and Didicazli (Impianku) which are all hits on the airwaves. They even composed the theme song for the recently-concluded Cinta Ixora series, which goes to show the quality in their music has branched out even wider. You just have to listen to any of the songs they compose and without being told the names of the composers, you can clearly hear the distinct sounds that they produce belong to the magic touches of the people from Magic Potions.  

CATEGORY 5: PENULIS LIRIK TERBAIK (BEST LYRICIST)  

 
No. Artiste Album Song Composer Lyricist
  1  Aqmal N. Warkah Cinta Dunia Warkah Cinta Dunia Aqmal N. Aqmal N.
  2  Diorama From The E-Motion Picture Soundtrack Anti-Romantis Erza Erza
  3  Hady Mirza Sang Penyanyi Angkasa Hady Mirza Hady Mirza
  4    Shahridzuan Selamat @
Shah Revalina 
  Setia Menanti    Setia Menanti    Shahridzuan
Selamat 
  Shahridzuan Selamat 
  5    Taufik Batisah    Suria Hatiku    Nafasku    Taufik Batisah    Taufik Batisah 

 

My pick: Aqmal‘s subtle message found in his song seems to be the favourite amongst observers and I tend to agree with them. It is a beautiful song, one of the best I’ve heard from a local act and I really hope he clinches this award.    

CATEGORY 6: KOMPOSER TERBAIK (BEST COMPOSER) 

 
No. Artiste Album Song Composer Lyricist
  1  Aqmal N. Warkah Cinta Dunia Warkah Cinta Dunia Aqmal N. Aqmal N.
  2  Diorama From the E-Motion Picture Soundtrack Sanubariku Erza Erza
  3    Shahridzuan Selamat @
Shah
Revalina 
  Setia Menanti    Setia Menanti    Shahridzuan
Selamat 
  Shahridzuan
Selamat 
  4  Didicazli ft Sleeq Classiq Impianku Alyph Sleeq Didicazli
  5  Taufik Batisah Suria Hatiku Nafasku Taufik Batisah Taufik Batisah

   

My pick: Again I’m plumping for Aqmal to win this category for the simplicity and beauty of “Warkah Cinta Dunia“. He certainly married the words and melody into a delectable concoction.

 

CATEGORY 7: LAGU TERBAIK (BEST SONG)  

 

No. Artiste Album Song Composer Lyricist
  1    Diorama    From The E-Motion Picture Soundtrack    Sanubariku     Erza    Erza 
  2    Hady Mirza    Sang Penyanyi    Angkasa    Hady Mirza    Hady Mirza 
  3    Shahridzuan Selamat @ Shah Revalina    Setia Menanti    Setia Menanti    Shahridzuan Selamat    Shahridzuan Selamat 
  4    Syed Azmir    Aku Bukan Sempurna (Single)    Aku Bukan Sempurna    Alyph Sleeq    Alyph Sleeq 
  5    Taufik Batisah    Suria Hatiku    Nafasku    Taufik Batisah    Taufik Batisah 

   

My pick: I was actually very surprised that for all of Aqmal‘s deserved nominations in the Best Composer & Best Lyricist categories, “Warkah Cinta Dunia” did not even make it to this list. Or even Imran Ajmain‘s “Jika Engkau Pergi” which achieved a gold medal for Best Original Composition at last year’s World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) held in Los Angeles, USA. Hady Mirza‘s “Angkasa” gets my nod for this. Though this is not a popularity award for topping the local charts since the end of last year and hasn’t been knocked off its perch, I believe the simplicity in its melody and Hady‘s own mesmeric delivery of the song is a killer combination. A definite winner for one of the three most popular songs in next year’s anugeraHitz.sg event if the organisers decide to hold it again.

 

CATEGORY 8: ALBUM TERBAIK (BEST ALBUM)  

 

  1  Didicazli Diari Cinta M. Nasir & Didicazli
  2  Hady Mirza Sang Penyanyi Hady Mirza
  3  Sleeq Classiq Magic Potions Pte Ltd
  4  Taufik Batisah Suria Hatiku Taufik Batisah, Ken Lim, M. Nasir
  5  Imran Ajmain Punca dan Tindakan Imran Ajmain

My pick: This category has deserving nominees in my opinion and it is difficult to pick out the winner as all five albums scream of quality, which any decent local Malay music lover should go out and purchase them. These five nominees are the standard bearers of our industry with their professional mastering, mixing, sound engineering, and overall package with hit songs to boot. But if push comes to shove, I’m going for Imran Ajmain‘s “Punca Dan Tindakan” album as it is both accepted by local and Malaysian fans for Imran‘s brave and unique experiment on old-school music marrying live strings, as compared to the mainstream pop, hip-hop, ballads and R&B, which the other four nominees are known for and have done in their respective albums. I’m also inclined to choose Imran not because I have always been a firm believer of his music and talents, but because based on what happened at APM 2004 where crowd favourite Hazrul Nizam was upstaged by Ferhad. I believe an album which is accepted by more people and also the jury (Azmeer who sits on the judging panel should know too well what the Malaysian industry is all about), should clinch it over more popular fan votes.

CATEGORY 10: ARTIS PALING POPULAR (MOST POPULAR ARTISTE)

My picks: This award will go out to the three most popular artistes by fan votes through calls-in and sms-es. Without having to scratch our heads thinking about the winners, I can safely say Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza are definite shoo-ins. The tricky part now is guessing who is the third recipient of this award. Based on my observations and previous APM winners, Sleeq and Didicazli have every reason to have their hopes raised on clinching this award. Though I heard that Sarah Aqilah‘s fans are making a concerted rally, I think Sleeq would just about clinch it. The young ladies out there would make sure that the dynamic duo would get it.

I’ve heard rumours on artistes voting for themselves in the popular award category. Though it is not morally wrong, but ethically the popularity votes should reflect on the majority’s say. That is why in a country’s general election, even though a politician can vote for him / herself, he / she can only vote once and leave it to the masses to decide his / her own fate in the ballot box. All I can say is, to those who are hard up for this award, all you need to do is be more sincere with the fans and to yourself. You won’t die or get your career killed if you do not win this award anyway.

So there you have it, my predictions on tomorrow night’s grand affair, which sadly coincides with the big match between Manchester United & Chelsea. Football always takes precedence in my life but not tomorrow unfortunately. I hope no one blurts out the results to me during or after the event, unless it’s good news. I’m also gonna switch my handphone off to avoid spoilers as I’m only watching it when I get home. As usual, please accord me the time to write my review at my own pace and time. To those I would be meeting tomorrow night at Caldecott Broadcast Centre, I’ll see you there…

Happy 2nd Birthday Syadiyah Asyura Darling!!!

I seldom talk about my family, especially my two princesses in my blog, unlike most bloggers I observe. Not that I’m not proud of them. I really do, especially when I see their antics, how they progress and how they grow in front of my eyes. Contrary to popular beliefs, I’m actually quite the private person and I would also like my children to stay away from the limelight as much as possible. The photo of them that greets you every time you enter this blog is my way of showing how much I love and adore them. To say that they are the symbols of my pride is an understatement. They’re more than that. Being the protective father, I guess I’m just doing my part to shield them from the outside world.

However, once in a blue moon, I would break away from my apparent “uptight rein” and accord them their rightful mention in this blog and today 1st April 2010 marks a special day for my second daughter Syadiyah Asyura. It might be April Fools Day to many, but to us, we have been honouring this day since 2008 as she celebrates her birthday, and today she turns two. Time sure flies in the blink of an eye. But I’ve never felt the two years have been a waste of time seeing her grow into the cheeky girl that she is and joker of the two apples of my eyes. Between the two, she is closer to me though it has to be said I love both with equal measure. Little wonder, cos she knows how to soften and pacify my heart when I’m angry with them.

Happy 2nd Birthday sweetheart…  May Almighty Allah continue to bless you with good health, knowledge and intelligence, as well as being our source of humour and focal point of entertainment when we feel down or tired. May you grow up also to be a good, if not better, Muslimah and SolehahAyah, Ibu & Kakak will always love, cherish and treasure you with all our hearts…