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The Big Heart Design-A-Shoe Competition by Mediacorp

Am back so soon after my recent entry, something that I am quite unaccustomed to in my soon-to-be fourteenth year of entertainment blogging. I was recently approached by a Mediacorp representative to help promote the following charity initiative. For the uninitiated, The Big Heart Design-A-Shoe competition is part of the SG Care national movement to promote volunteerism and civic culture. It was launched back in November 2016 by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). Mediacorp being a strong partner for the cause, roped in seventeen artistes and personalities from different backgrounds to design their very own pair of shoes, sponsored by international brand Timberland, which are currently up for bidding. All proceeds from the bidding of the shoes will go to the Community Chest and are now currently on display at Raffles City Atrium from 15th-28th January 2018.

Amongst those from our very own Malay community, we have RIA 89.7FM deejays KC and Dzar Ismail, singer Aisyah Aziz and also Natasha Faisal from 987FM. In-depth details of their respective designs as well as the different thought processes that they put into them are shared via the following link (please click on the link). I was initially asked to help promote specifically KC, Dzar and Aisyah, but I felt it won’t do me much harm helping Natasha as well, as personally my family regards her like a little sister already. Even before I was approached to help promote their designs, I had heard how some of them had painstakingly stayed up all night to do them. In the case of KC, he had to make changes to his originally planned design, as the paint dried up too quickly before he could even add on additional touches to it.

Looking at all their designs, I didn’t expect all four of them to really have that inner artistic talent in them. I personally do not have any personal favourites amongst them as each had their own reasonings behind their respective designs. You should definitely see what they had come up with and if you like and would like to own these shoes, just do your part in bidding for them for a good cause!!! Details are provided in the link provided and bidding for each shoe starts at S$299!!!



Konsert Planet Akim & The Magistrate Promo

Graphics promo poster courtesy of Rosevalley SG

A good three weeks into the new calendar year and this is only my first entry. Been so busy of late I have not even had the time to update this domain with quite a number of events that I attended since way back in December 2017 and the past fortnight. This particular entry however, takes precedence seeing that the event is only less than a week away. As the title header of this entry implies, award-winning and popular Malaysian band Akim & The Magistrate will be performing this coming Friday 26th January 2018 at the Esplanade Theatre Hall at 8pm!!! This is the band’s first concert outside Malaysia, a landmark event for them ushering the new year. This concert is also special for the organisers, Rosevalley SG, as this is also their very first foray in organising a concert event, when the general public remember them more for their successful flagship biannual CelebFest expo events since 2016 and of late, the three-day Twilight: Flea & Feast event as well as the Singapore Modest Fashion Week.

For starters, for those who do not know who Akim & The Magistrate are, they are a seven-piece super group made up of members from different bands (Sofazr, 6ixth Sense, Hyper Act, New Boyz) and Akim Ahmad, the lead vocalist himself, a former Akademi Fantasia finalist, who came in third in the seventh edition of the popular reality singing competition in Malaysia. The group first introduced themselves to the music scene in 2014 and released their debut hit single, the haunting “Mewangi“, which topped the radio charts on both sides of the Causeway. This was swiftly followed by their second single “Potret“, which went on to win the 30th edition of Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2016. The group also won Best Performance on that unforgettable night and yours truly was fortunate to witness it live at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam. Since then, they have produced several radio friendly hits like “Obses“, from their debut album “Patriot“, and “Lygophobia“, an official soundtrack single recorded for the movie “Bisik Pada Langit“. Of late, “Lagu Untuk Laila” has been given a lot of airplay on our local airwaves. This is the first single recorded for the band’s upcoming second album.

Mr. Fadzly Aziz, Media & Communications Manager for Rosevalley SG, hosted the media conference...

A media conference was held at Kaw Kaw SG on the afternoon of 19th December 2017 to promote the concert. The small event was attended by our local media representatives from Berita Mediacorp, Berita Harian, radio deejays from RIA 89.7FM, which is also the official radio station for this upcoming concert, as well as yours truly. We had to wait more than an hour for the band to arrive as they drove down straight from their base in Kuala Lumpur. With the rainy December weather, coupled with the erratic traffic conditions at the Causeway, it was inevitable that the band was late, but it did not quite matter that much to me, as I had a lot of time to mingle and catch up with my friends from the other media brigade as well as the good people at Rosevalley SG. Not all of the group’s members made their way down to Singapore. The ones who came for the media conference were vocalist Akim Ahmad, guitarist and group leader Zimi, as well as fellow guitarist Gjie and Afiez, who acts the keyboardist of the group. On a personal note, it was nice to meet Gjie again for me, as we both participated in a charity football match between Singapore and Malaysian artistes back in November 2016, in aid of cancer-stricken victims.

Zimi, the leader of the band (seated right), sharing microphone duties with Akim Ahmad (left)…

The media conference itself did not last more than fifteen minutes as most of the information needed were already found in the media release and with the group not wanting to reveal more than they had wanted to, as it would have eliminated the element of surprise that they intend to display for the upcoming concert. They were actually fresh from a two-day concert event at Shah Alam along with the likes of Faizal Tahir, Anuar Zain and KRU on the day of the media conference, so it was a good warm-up session leading up to their much-anticipated Esplanade display. An expected playlist of between fifteen to eighteen songs have been planned for the night, amongst them, their radio hits since 2014, a probable mix of covers as well as Akim‘s very own solo singles. Another song that they have recorded for their upcoming second album titled “Stereotaip“, will also make its debut during the concert. I was blown away when I watched them perform at Anugerah Planet Muzik in 2015 as well as Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2016. I am expecting nothing less than quality performances this coming Friday!!!

Group members (from left) – Akim, Gjie, Afiez and Zimi, cannot wait to perform at the Esplanade this Friday!!!

Tickets to the concert ($48, $68, $88, $108 and $148) are still available for purchase at For those purchasing the $148 tickets, you are entitled to meet-and-greet the group post-concert. Concessions of 5% are given to students, full-time National Servicemen and senior citizens who purchase Category 1 & 2 seats. Those of you who are coming in groups of four, you will enjoy significant discounts for Category 1 & 2 seats ($140, $102 and $83 each) and discounts are only applicable with every group bundle purchase from the same category. All prices mentioned do not include booking fees. Hurry!!! Get your tickets today!!!

Snapshots of #PlanetATMsg Media Conference


Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017 Review…

Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria…

It’s been three long years since I last did a proper Anugerah Planet Muzik review entry. I personally did not expect not posting any review entries to be this long, given my previous penchant and eagerness to share my views and thoughts on the annual event. Personal commitments got in the way and time wasn’t kind enough for me to post them up. By the time I entered the second month after each event with photographs still not properly edited, I already lost that momentum and passion to type something out. Anyway, I had this feeling that I was recycling and rehashing my thoughts year in and out, to a point I felt like a broken record. I hope that the time I had been keeping my thoughts to myself would do me good, to evaluate the show with as much fairness and giving benefit of doubt where shortcomings are concerned. The question I have in my mind right now is, where do I even begin??? Hahahaha gosh it does feel a bit rusty after three years…

Ayda Jebat opened the show with “Nakal Nakal Nakal“…

I think for a start, let’s talk about the slogan for this year which came with the hashtag “#GilerTakGerek“. I tried to hark back to previous APMs before this, but I struggle to remember if they ever had a slogan or theme such as this. I believe this year was the first time they had an additional hashtag to go along with the usual “#APM“, followed by the event year (#APM2017 being the latest for this year). I think it was a fresh move to inject a bit of hipness to the event, in line with how much technology and social media have taken much of our attention on a daily basis. I initially didn’t like the usage of the word “Giler“, being the language Nazi that I am, moreso when they first announced it, we were still in the midst of our annual Malay Language Month. However, to put it into the context and lingo of today, the spelling reflected a fun factor rather than a serious element to being crazy. The usage of the word “Gerek“, even though we seldom hear people here using it now, is still synonymous with us Singaporeans as compared to our neighbours. I think generally this was a uniqueness of its own, to highlight a Singaporean flavour to the event.

The addition of Dzar Ismail and Nabila Huda to the line-up of hosts for this year, gave the show a certain freshness…

Since my last review in 2014, we’ve had a change of venues, from the rather spacious Suntec City Convention Centre, to the relatively spanking new MES Theatre @ Mediacorp. This year’s event was its second held at the new Mediacorp Campus at Stars Avenue. I do have a well-documented love-hate relationship with this new theatre, more hate than love actually, as my close circle of friends can testify. Well “hate” is actually too strong a word for me to use. I would probably use the word “dislike” to express my thoughts on this matter. For one, it is further away from previous locations like the earlier-mentioned Suntec City Convention Centre, Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo, and Singapore Indoor Stadium. North or east-siders like myself will find travelling here a bane, which is also partly a contributing factor why I have slowed down my commitments to cover events and answering invitations to attend a particular programme or show by Mediacorp Suria.

One of my favourite performances of the night, Gloria Jessica teaming up with Aisyah Aziz and Haikal Ali

My main gripe with the theatre is that it resembles a lot like a typical school hall setting, and I know I am not alone in having these same thoughts. The stage also looks smaller and limited than previous venues. The opening performance that featured Ayda Jebat and her dancers, as well as Maher Zain and his accompanying vocal group, felt a bit overcrowded. I observed the dancers especially, had to hold back some of their moves so as not to bump into one another. The one thing I dislike the most about this theatre is that I am no longer able to sit on the floor in front of the first row to capture close-up shots, just like in past APMs or even the times I covered shows at the old Mediacorp Theatre at the now-vacant Caldecott Broadcast Centre at Andrew Road. At this new place, photographers now either have to stand behind the sound engineers somewhere in the middle section or sit on the floor along the aisles by the side.

I know for one, the audience enjoyed this particular segment featuring Hael Husaini, Virgoun and Sufi Rashid

The positive thing I can say about this theatre is that it boasts a sound system which is very good. The acoustics and clarity is as good as the Esplanade, if not better. Well it is certainly much better than the one at Star Vista Theatre, a stone’s throw away. I also observed with this new place, the organisers save quite a bit on their budget, not to mention having the autonomy to dictate how the additional segments like the Red Carpet segment would pan out without having to splurge more than they should. I noticed that even with a venue as good as Suntec City Convention Centre, there were trade-offs, in that certain things had to be compromised or made do without altogether. The ones that come to mind were the “Walk of the Stars” segment, where the nominees / award presenters / performers were introduced to the audience by walking to the stage from the back and to their seats, which I personally felt was a poor man’s version of the Red Carpet segment and the lack of a post-event reception afterwards, which had a number of local and overseas guests / performers grumbling quietly afterwards, as they were famished after a long night. With the event held at the MES Theatre, these factors were taken care of and the event looked to be proper as it should be.

Award presenters Hannah Delisha and Izzue Islam

Speaking of the Red Carpet segment, there was a notable difference between last year and this year. Last year, we saw the nominated artistes as well as the performers and award presenters arriving via limousines with both sides of the fences teeming with screaming fans like any typical Red Carpet segments you see around the world. This year, they did away with the limos but made the concourse level a long and winding stretch going into the MES Theatre. The Red Carpet segment literally began when the nominated artistes, performers and award presenters appeared from the lift just next to the escalator on the third floor. From there they had to pass by the specially-erected stage for the fans to see them clearly, as they were interviewed by newly-minted radio presenter, Kyrul Ashrie and Nity Baizura. After that it was stop after stop as they were greeted by a horde of waiting media brigade, eager to interview or photograph them, yours truly included.

Malaysian heartthrob Farid Kamil and Singapore‘s up-and-coming Sofia Dendroff

I must say I was surprised by the number of media people that attended this time around, not only from Singapore, but Malaysia and Indonesia as well. I basically had to jostle for a comfortable position so as not to block their view when they were filming, taking photographs or recording short clips. Previously this Red Carpet segment or a lack thereof, was one of my main complaint agendas whenever I do up any reviews of Anugerah Planet Muzik. Not anymore. The organisers have done very well to make this a much-hyped affair with live Facebook updates and online screenings via Toggle. For that they deserved much of the accolades for the effort to make the show as colourful as it should be. I saw the improvement being made since 2015 when the show was still at Suntec City Convention Centre, but I think with the venue of the event being at their homeground, more improvements and upgrade in outlook were able to be executed without running foul of the venue management, if any. They even have what I call a “battle command centre” for all the live social media updates as the show went on.

Actress-singer Kilafairy and another newbie to the local Malay entertainment scene, Zachary Ibrahim

Looking at the list of performers that night, I was surprised that this time round, there was a distinct lack of star names, save for those whom we know from our own respective countries or maybe the few established ones known to the three countries like Afgan, Ella and Maher Zain. For the very first time in the history of Anugerah Planet Muzik, there were no performing bands featured. Hard to believe but it was the reality. Up till the last moment, I had expected the organisers to pull a last-minute surprise and have at least one band performing, but that was not to be. Even though we were devoid of distinct star names, the ones who were onstage did not disappoint at all, at least to yours truly. The surprising thing was, even with a lack of stellar names, it was a sold-out event!!! The last we had a sold-out APM was back in 2014, when the event was at Suntec City Convention Centre, of which the main draw were legendary group Wings and Noah, plus a bevy of household names like Cakra Khan, Judika, Dato’ Rossa, Taufik Batisah, Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Joe Flizzow, Sezairi and more.

My personal favourite pairing of the night, the gorgeous Janna Nick and my “twin”, Fakkah Fuzz

I am not sure about those at home cos last year, I observed comments made online that the show was boring. I think there is a lot of difference watching at home and seeing it live. I do agree to some extent when I watched the repeat telecast much later, that visually it looked a bit plain. If I were to make a comparison with last year’s and this year’s editions, I think the latter was much better. Last year’s instalment had Caliph Buskers and Sufi Rashid to thank cos their respective performances individually and collectively together, were the highlights of the night, while the rest were forgotten in a hurry. Also the stage setup made it looked as though we were watching a variety show like Rapsodi or Muzika Extravaganza. However, I noted that the organisers had made visual improvements to the stage design, layout and backdrop for this year’s show. Maybe the show itself is meant to be appreciated by watching it live with our very own eyes and not via the television screens. We have to give the organisers a bit of leeway as it was their first time afterall doing it at the MES Theatre last year. I believe this year it was much better, as most online comments I monitored were kinder and more on the positive side.

Afgan doing what he knows best, making hearts flutter with his voice, smile and dimples…

I was surprised that Desta was called upon again to host this year’s APM. As I recalled his performance hosting last year, he was a bit lost and tried too hard to match up with the energy of his co-hosts Suhaimi Yusof and Sherry Alhadad. I was ok with the initial selection of the other hosts, Dzar Ismail and Nabila Huda, as I know both exude energy and fire. But lo!!! Desta proved me wrong on the night and emerged the “Man-of-the-match“, in the words of his co-host Dzar. He had the audience laughing to all his jokes and while those that were made at last year’s event looked a bit forced or unnatural at times, his punchlines this year were absolutely spot-on. He even had time to poke fun at several members of the audience unannounced. I was proud to see Dzar Ismail given the honours to co-host the awards show, representing Singapore. It gave the show a bit of freshness instead of the usual faces. He also has come a long way since being the raw and wide-eyed newbie in the scene. A word of advice to Dzar, he might want to slow down his talking pace, as at times he sounded a bit rushed and his words lost on our ears. At least no one tried to outdo the other like some of the previous editions and there was a nice balance of energy between the three. The best host so far for me in recent times, who gave their co-hosts equal limelight to shine was, and still is, Jihan Muse back in 2015. She’s adorable and I’m a big fan!!!

A beaming Ms. Zakiah Halim presenting the International Breakthrough Award

I would like to touch upon the award presenters. I assume, based on the reactions of the audience, the only ones they and probably those at home enjoyed watching were Janna Nick and Fakkah Fuzz and slightly later on, Afgan and Fiza O. With all due respect to the other presenters, I think generally the audience didn’t know who they were or there was hardly any chemistry or relevant banter between them. I remember there was one award presenter who presented twice in previous editions, but you could hear a pin drop when they were on stage with murmurings around me asking them to be quick with the award presentations. The same thing happened a few times on the night, and I don’t think the audience could tolerate the antics of some of the presenters, who tried to act cool but only served to turn them off judging by the silence or non-reaction. I also noticed a certain lopsidedness in the pairings which, save for the Afgan and Fiza O award presentation segment, were all from Malaysia and Singapore. There were other Indonesian acts seated amongst the audience, I doubt it would hurt to let them have a bit of the limelight as well. On a sidenote, I personally think Fakkah Fuzz just put his name into the hat to present either Pesta Perdana or future editions of APM. Twice he presented awards at both events this year, both times he had the audience in stitches and enjoyed his presentation style.

Maher Zain performed the Malay version of “For The Rest of My Life” right after his acceptance speech…

Winners-wise, I will not debate who was worthy and who was not, but there was one award which had me a little perplexed. In retrospect, I think all the winners and nominees are much deserving of their positions, lofty or otherwise. It has to be said that it is lost on many people’s minds, but we cannot take away the landmark achievement made by “Senyum Saja” at #APM2017. For the first time in its 16-year history, a Made-in-Singapore song finally managed to win the Best Regional Song award!!! This win was the fourth for The Lion Story in the space of seven years and their third in a row, cementing their status as prolific and respected songwriters our country has to offer. For the longest time, it has been something that we have come to accept, that the Malaysians and Indonesians are far superior than us. The glass ceiling has finally been broken. I hope this win will inspire more of our local songwriters to come up with more quality music because they definitely have the talent to match up with their regional counterparts. However, the Best Male and Female categories remain elusive till this day and I hope some day one of our acts can finally reach that pinnacle and recognised by the jury from the three countries.

I just realised when I looked at this photo, the last time Dato’ Adi Putra presented awards at APM2011, his partner was also Nity Baizura

I don’t care what the online brickbats might say till this day or have questioned ever since, if they had not listened to the song or never heard of it before, and there are many of them out there, the ones commenting and criticising for the sake of it. The beauty of awards shows is that you look at the nominees and you try to do your own research by listening to them on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify and what-have-you. The best is not necessarily the most popular. Likewise the most popular might not necessarily be the best. You only see the regional dissenters up in arms when a Singaporean comes on stage to win the regional awards. I observed some sour grapes who are definitely not from these shores, commenting this was a “Shiok Sendiri” show by the organisers when the Best Song category was announced. If it was, I think Singapore would have won more than they had expected to. It has always been that way but the best awards are judged by a panel of jury from the three countries. So it is definitely sweet when you see your own local product be recognised by not only your own, but from others. And for that we can only “Senyum Saja” at the haters.

Isyana Sarasvati showed her prowess at playing the piano prior to getting off and dancing along with her accompanying dancers when she performed “Kau Adalah“…

It was just one big award and suddenly the “My country’s song is better than yours” mentality reared its ugly heads. This village mentality obviously needs to go, but it will never be eradicated fully, not when online and social media is filled with irresponsible and brainless keyboard warriors. People keep on forgetting that this awards show is about forging friendship, extending ties and network amongst people in the entertainment and media industry between the three countries. It is never meant to be a competition per se, but a celebration of the best. Obviously people who were watching and commenting negatively afterwards, paid scant respect to some of the winning speeches calling for unity and ties to be strengthened. Sad to think that in this current day and age, people tend to form opinions and act upon what comes out from their nether regions rather than whatever rationale that is processed in their heads. It is difficult to educate these country bumpkins when they already have this mentality that theirs is better than others.

Another one of my favourite pairings of the night – Afgan and Fiza O, who showed off her multi-functional outfit created by celebrity designer Raffiey Nasir

I did say I will not debate who was worthy and who was not, but that I was a bit perplexed by the decision to award one of them. It did not take a rocket scientist to predict that Maher Zain would pick up the International Breakthrough Award when his name and photograph appeared on the promotional poster. I can accept the reasons given for him receiving the award when Ms. Zakiah Halim presented the award to him that night. However, I question his current relevance to the entertainment industry of the three countries. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, and I love his positive-infused songs, but his last sold-out concert here in Singapore was back in 2011 when his debut album hit killer heights. Since then his songs have seldom been played on our airwaves. Other than “Ramadhan” which is played during the annual fasting month, we do get the odd airing of songs like “For The Rest Of My Life” being played, either in its original version or the one in Malay / Bahasa Indonesia. I might be wrong, but I highly doubt his latter albums have been well received nor promoted extensively here as compared to his debut offering. If I remember correctly, he recently held a concert here last year and the attendance paled in comparison with his first one, which was quite regrettable, given his standing in the eyes of many.

A very proud moment for our local Malay music scene, finally clinching the biggest award at APM after 16 long years…

If he had been the first recipient when this award was introduced three years ago, then probably I would not be dedicating two paragraphs on this matter. Cos I sincerely thought this awards show is specifically to honour those from the three participating countries who have introduced our lingua franca to the rest of the world through their songs. I am not sure how his Malay or Indonesian song versions have made people from the other countries sit up and learn the Nusantara languages, cos I believe he also has different versions of some of his popular hits in other languages as well like Urdu and Turkish amongst others. I had expected someone like Shila Amzah, and to a lesser extent, Anita Sarawak, to be getting this particular award. I foresee this particular award will probably not be able to stand the test of time (I give it five more years), unless more acts from this part of the world spread their wings and fly abroad and create a name for themselves wherever they are. The organisers probably wanted to have a slight difference in handing out the awards this time round, but it does feel a bit odd, and gave the impression that we have forgotten our own people from this part of the world. Take nothing away from Maher Zain. He probably did not ask nor expected to be awarded the accolade. His acceptance speech at least soothed my aching heart for the rest of our Nusantara acts who might have felt slighted as a result. He has always been a very humble person with no airs and you could see and feel for yourself through the message that his words or lyrics bring.

Our zany hosts closing the show by giving props to legend and rock queen, Ella

In the past I would usually compare which editions were good, which ones were forgettable, which instalments were memorable. I think for this time I will not make any as I observed each single one brought with them different sets of challenges and obstacles, difficulties and hardships of their own, not to mention which ones left indelible impressions on the mind till I can remember to this day. Take for instance, the great number of no-shows from some of the award recipients. I know for one the likes of Anuar Zain, Dayang Nurfaizah and Khai Bahar were invited to perform but they could not make it as each already had their own prior singing commitments in Malaysia and Hong Kong (Khai Bahar). Probably no one seemed to have noticed this particular trivia, but this year the event was held on a Saturday evening, when usually it is held on a Friday evening. I think had the event been held on a Friday evening, we probably could have had those earlier-mentioned names in attendance and probably had more star names to the line-up. For the show itself to be a sell-out event a good two months before the actual date, spoke volumes of its reach and that we can have confidence that not having stellar names can also attract bums to seats. But for how long???

The question remains, how will the awards benefit the winners in getting known by the neighbouring countries??? For example, will winning the Best Song Award open more doors for the likes of Haikal Ali and The Lion Story to venture into unknown territory in Malaysia and Indonesia if they eventually choose to move in that direction??? How much collaboration and acceptance do artistes, songwriters, producers and such stand to gain from the exposure??? For one, they cannot rest on their laurels and to proactively churn out new works and release them, strike while the iron is hot and not sit on their laurels or just expecting our local radio stations to play their music. They also need to invest some time and money to go out and promote their music, to be heard on airwaves abroad. I really hope that our local acts who were nominated or those who have won, will continue the good work that they have, to always strive for perfection, to improve on shortcomings, to be better performers, songwriters, producers and what-have-you. We have seen good nominations from Singapore this year. Where there’s a need to complement one another, do so. Where there’s no need to compete to bring down the other, don’t bother. Your sincerity and passion will eventually reap its rewards, one way or another. This is my parting shot for my #APM2017 entry…

Snapshots of APM2017

APM2017 Red Carpet & Post-Event Reception Snapshots

I’m back with the second instalment of my APM2017 series. Apologies for making you wait this long for this entry as I was juggling editing the rest of the photographs I took that night and revising with the kids for their final-year exams which will end this coming midweek. Even though I have finished editing the photographs, the proper review entry is still in the pipeline and will not be up till probably next weekend or slightly later. So I hope you can wait a bit more. I’ll try to do it as soon as possible as it has been three years since I last did one. Anyway, I have come to observe that people usually come to this domain of mine to view photographs of recent event happenings, or to look out for photographs of local personalities they would like to get to know, especially the new faces. You might also have stumbled upon my page cos you were Googling for some personalities and this page happens to be one of the top search hits.

For the regional readers, they might not know who is who in the Singapore Malay entertainment scene, so in a way I am providing that yeoman service of assisting your queries. I’ve even had feedback from production companies that my blog has been of great help for them to scout for talents. Just glad I am able to help in any way I can, that too without hoping for any rewards or payments. This is also another reason that gave me that wee bit of drive to continue blogging when I recently felt I wanted to pack it all in. I’ll stop blabbering for now and just share with you some selected shots I took during the Red Carpet segment and Post-Event Reception at Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017. Didn’t take that many shots but I guess they will do for now before I come up with my last instalment entry.


Rossa – The Journey of 21 Dazzling Years Concert Promo…

I know I have at least two entries on the recently-concluded Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017 music awards show pending, with one halfway being typed out, but that one can take a back seat for a few days more. The best part about having a blog domain of my own is that I am not constrained by deadlines nor having to post entries according to events that occur chronologically. So what is so important with this entry you might ask??? Well in case you have not heard from the grapevines, Dato’ Rossa will be back at the Esplanade Concert Hall after six years since her “Harmoni Cinta” concert, this coming 4th November 2017. The slated 90-minute concert, titled “The Journey of 21 Dazzling Years“, is scheduled to start at 7:30pm.

Dato’ Rossa seen here in a file picture performing at Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011

Dato’ Rossa (born Rossa Roslaina Sri Handayani) needs no further introduction for music fans in this part of the world. Mention her name and you will think of chart-topping hits like “Hey Ladies“, “Tegar“, “Atas Nama Cinta“, “Hati Yang Kau Sakiti“, “Ayat-Ayat Cinta“, “Aku Bersahaja” – her famous duet with our very own Taufik Batisah and many more, which also include duets with Malaysia‘s Hafiz Suip – “Salahkah” – the award-winning song at APM2014 for Best Duo / Group category and “Terlanjur Cinta“, another massive hit duet with Pasha of Ungu fame.

File picture of Dato’ Rossa at Anugerah Planet Muzik 2013

Dato’ Rossa remains one of the most popular artistes in the Nusantara, and one of the all-time best-selling Indonesian artistes based on album sales which has sold approximately 5 million copies in the region. Dato’ Rossa was conferred the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) award, which carries the title “Dato’“, in conjunction with Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang‘s 83rd birthday celebration, back in October 2013.

File picture of Dato’ Rossa at RIA 89.7FM‘s 27th birthday bash held at Kaw Kaw SG

Fresh from her recently successful concert at Jakarta‘s JCC Plenary Hall on 13 April 2017, Dato’ Rossa will bring the audience in Singapore this 4th November 2017, a walk-down memory lane over the past 21 years of her involvement in the music scene, performing most of her radio-friendly hits that were mentioned earlier. She is also most likely singing some hits from her latest album, “A New Chapter“, which was launched earlier this year. The album not only included her first English single titled “Body Speak“, but also introduced a fresh different sound to the usual sappy ballads she is known for.

Tickets are sold via SISTIC at $58*, $78**, $98, $128^, $158^. There is a limited concession for students, NSFs and seniors priced at $48* and $68**. For the VIP Experience, tickets are sold at $188 and this includes one box seat ticket, meet-and-greet with Rossa and an autographed poster. For Esplanade&Me card holders, the prices of the tickets are: White Card$120 and $150, Black Card$115 and $145


Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017 Roll-of-Honour

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s been a good five days since Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017 ended, but the euphoria of seeing our home country finally winning the biggest regional award for Best Song, for the very first time in the 16-year history of this prestigious awards show is still fresh and unforgettable, at least not anytime soon. I have lots to say since I have not been doing a proper review on APM since 2014, but I guess I will keep it and snowball them in another entry and yes, this year I will finally post a review entry. It has been that long but it has to be done. Of course as always, my first entry after an awards show will be to honour the best and the most popular who were awarded on the night itself. So without further ado, here’s my Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017 roll-of-honour’s list…

P.S. Additional graphic posters of winners who did not attend the awards show are courtesy of Mediacorp Suria. Photograph of Sonaone courtesy of Glam Malaysia


Gloria Jessica – Dia Tak Cinta Kamu

Artis Baru Terbaik (Wanita) / (Best New Female Artiste)

Virgoun – Surat Cinta Untuk Starla

Artis Baru Terbaik (Lelaki) / (Best Male Artiste)


Faizal Tahir & Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza – Dirgahayu

Duo / Kumpulan Terbaik (Best Duo / Group)


Afgan Syah Reza Feat. Sonaone – X

Kolaborasi Terbaik (Artis) / (Best Artiste Collaboration)


Tanda Tanya – Aisyah Aziz

Composers: Omar K, Ezra Kong & Ishazee Ishak
Lyricists: O
mar K, Ezra Kong & Ishazee Ishak

Kolaborasi Terbaik (Lagu) / (Best Song Collaboration)

APM2017 708


Armada – Asal Kau Bahagia

Band Terbaik / (Best Band)



Anuar Zain – Andainya Takdir

Artis Terbaik (Lelaki) / (Best Male Artiste)



Dayang Nurfaizah – Lelaki Teragung

Composers: Natasyah
Lyricists: Iman Imran

Artis Wanita Terbaik / (Best Female Artiste)

Lagu Terbaik (Malaysia) / (Best Malaysian Song)




Isyana Sarasvati & Raisa – Anganku Anganmu

Composers: Isyana Sarasvati & Raisa
Lyricists: Isyana Sarasvati & Raisa

Lagu Terbaik (Indonesia) / (Best Song – Indonesia)



Aisyah Aziz & Haikal Ali – Senyum Saja

Composers: Aisyah Aziz, Haikal Ali, Haramain Osman & Judah Lyne (The Lion Story)

Lyricist: Aisyah Aziz, Haikal Ali, Haramain Osman & Judah Lyne (The Lion Story)

Lagu Terbaik Singapura / (Best Singapore Song)

Lagu Terbaik APM / (Best APM Song)


Sufi Rashid – Aku Sanggup

Lagu Singapura Paling Popular / (Most Popular Singapore Song)

APM2017 2453



Hannah Delisha

Artis Singapura Paling Popular / Most Popular Singapore Artiste

APM2017 2125



Ayda Jebat

Ikon Media Sosial / Social Media Icon

APM2017 2228


Khai Bahar – Bayang

Artis Paling Popular APM / APM Most Popular Artiste

Lagu Paling Popular APM / APM Most Popular Song



Maher Zain

Anugerah Rentas Planet / International Breakthrough Artiste




Anugerah Khas Planet Muzik / (Special Music Planet Award)

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017 Media Conference

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

I usually start off my entries after a long hiatus with an apology to my readers for making them wait so long for my return. Seeing how in the past I’ve been doing it, only to repeat the cycle again and again like a bad record, I have decided that I will not be doing any at all this time. Some of you will be extremely surprised to read this, but this entry almost became my final entry announcing my retirement from the scene. Yup you read that right!!! I was heavily toying at the idea of retiring as I had lost interest in doing write-ups and reviews, not to mention my time-consuming photo-editing process. In addition, this is a job that is not being paid but out of my passion for the local / regional Malay entertainment scene. There is only so much time and effort I can afford to put in at the expense of quality time with family. Why I decided to put the idea on the back-burner is because there is still that wee bit ounce of passion which I managed to coax out of me. For how long more??? That itself is a question to be answered. I feel jaded really to be honest.

Local artistes and representatives of the local Malay music scene who turned out in force for the media conference at Orchard Hotel

I wish there were more like me out there, the ones who write / type with sense and rationale, not too emotional when critical, who will give benefit of doubt as much as they can. I just feel that it is time for a new generation of writers to take over but sadly also, blogging seems to be passe these days. I will not promise anything, but I guess from now, any entries on this domain should be regarded as “Heaven-sent”. I will pick and choose what events I attend henceforth and will not be bogged down by having to put entries or photos up as soon as the events end. Well it has always been that way, hasn’t it??? Just that I cannot commit to attending events (mostly at Mediacorp) on a regular basis henceforth, with its current location a bit far for my liking being the North-Easterner that I am. It is also to be fair to those who have kindly invited me to cover their respective events. With that out of the way, let’s begin this entry in earnest.

KC and Dzar Ismail were the hosts of the media conference in Singapore

Anugerah Planet Muzik has always been THE event that I most look forward to annually since its inception on 20th January 2001, so much so I am willing to forgo watching my beloved football club Manchester United, when they face our sworn enemies Liverpool on the day of the event (14th October 2017). Part of the reason I’ve decided to continue blogging was also because of this event. It is afterall the Grammys of the regional music scene, whereby the four countries, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei come together to celebrate the best amongst them for the year. I know I have not been doing any reviews since the 2014 edition, but it also gave me some breathing space to observe changes that were made over the last two instalments. I noted a lot of improvements along the way which many at home do not have the benefit of knowing nor seeing, and there were also shortcomings, mostly because of a change in venue and having to adapt to new surroundings. I am hoping that with the event once again returning to the MES Theatre @ Mediacorp, the visual experience will improve, especially for those at home, because watching it live in the theatre and at home are two extremely stark contrasting experiences.

Nurul Isnina performed her debut hit single “Buaya“…

Just like the previous year, the media conference announcing the nominees for this year’s edition, was held at Orchard Hotel, albeit at the smaller Lavender Room a fortnight ago (22nd August 2017). Where A.B. Shaik, Aura Shai and Fiza O have always been the usual hosts at previous APM media conferences in Singapore, this year saw a somewhat refreshing change with Dzar Ismail and KC anchoring the proceedings. The media conference was also graced by the performances of eventual nominees Nurul Isnina, Iyaad Salleh, Arus Band & Sofia Arissa. Where previous media conferences were used to showcase upcoming young talents our local industry has to show for, there was a distinct upgrade of quality with those nominated being invited to perform and to show the audience why their names are up there along with the regional’s best. The event also saw the performance of Aidil Akmal and Dzar Ismail with their Malay rendition of the global hit “Despacito“, titled “Incognito“, which has since garnered their music video more than ten million views!!! I was telling Dzar afterwards, if only one view could be converted to a dollar, he could afford to retire by now. Such is the outreach of social media these days, that through creative works such as these, one can make it viral worldwide.

Arus Band, along with Sofia Arissa, were one of the few performers that day. Here, they’re seen singing their current hit song on the airwaves “Terlalu“…

A minor controversy emerged when I was viewing the live Facebook feed of the media conference at Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur on 24th August 2017. I noted that Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza who was initially nominated in the Best Female Artiste Category for her song “Menatap Dalam Mimpi” was missing as compared to the one announced in Singapore just two days before. I only got the answer after seeing reports that the organisers had indeed acknowledged and apologised for their error during the media conference in Kuala Lumpur itself and that all was fine between them as well as Dato’ Siti, and her management who were the ones who had alerted the organisers about it. I think this is a fine example of years of good working relationship between both sides as well as honesty and integrity being practised. The management could have kept quiet about it, but they did not. Thumbs up to Siti Nurhaliza Productions for the highlight and Mediacorp for acknowledging their error and apologising for it!!!

Ms. Zakiah Halim, Head of Mediacorp Malay Community addressing the floor along with CEO of COMPASS, Dr. Edmund Lam and Mr. Hassan Salleh, Senior Programming Director, Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM, Mediacorp

A special first concert road tour for this year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik was announced by Mr. Hassan Salleh towards the end of the media conference. For the first time in the history of the prestigious regional awards show, Mediacorp is partnering with the organisers of the Formula 1 Petronas Grand Prix Malaysia for a concert road tour to close the race in Sepang, which will see it hosting for the 19th and final time. The concert will be the penultimate show on the final day of the race (1st October 2017) and will feature some of the regional award nominees of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017. At the time of typing this entry, I still do not know details of the concert and who exactly will be performing till perhaps closer to the date. My guess is that we will have big names from Malaysia, Indonesia and also Singapore to grace the concert. Will I be covering the concert??? That depends if some kind soul or organisation will be kind enough to sponsor my trip up north. Anyway I’m sure there will be some live streaming or at the very least, some live Facebook feed of the concert for us to view the proceedings if we are unable to physically watch it live.

The APM trophies are up for grabs again…

A total of 19 awards will be presented at this year’s event, the same as the previous year, with no tweaks nor changes made to any of the categories. Viewers and listeners can catch the ‘LIVE’ simulcast on TV channel Mediacorp Suria, radio stations RIA 89.7FM and Warna 94.2FM as well as online streaming via Toggle LIVE. APM 2017 will feature a new generation of artistes discovered largely from social media platforms and is set to entertain and dazzle with a stellar line-up such as Ayda Jebat, Aisyah Aziz, Isyana Sarasvati, Virgoun, Gloria Jessica, Aiman Tino, Hael Husaini, and many more. Music fans and enthusiasts are also given the opportunity to vote for their favourite songs and artistes in fan-driven categories from 22nd August until 14th October, 10.00pm on Toggle at The categories are Most Popular Artiste (Singapore), Most Popular Song (Singapore), APM Most Popular Artiste, APM Most Popular Song and Social Media Icon. Tickets are priced at SGD $28 and SGD $48 (including GST and excluding SISTIC fee) and can be purchased at all authorised SISTIC outlets and online at from 22nd August 2017 onwards. At the time of typing this entry, the $68 seats are already sold out!!! APM 2017 is supported by Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) and Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS).

Snapshots of APM2017 Media Conference