Well-known on RIA 89.7FM as a controversial and sensational critic able to invoke thought-provoking and sometimes, fiery responses from fellow listeners. Have since evolved into a distinguished blogger of reputable claim with takes on the Malay entertainment industry and football-related matters. Brutally honest and believes in only reporting the truth as I see, hear or experience it. Self-styled critic who does not mince his words and is definitely a non-conformist.
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 2014and 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 Zainand 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 www.apactix.com. 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!!!
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 Malaysiaand 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 / BahasaIndonesia. 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…
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.
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…
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: Omar K, Ezra Kong & Ishazee Ishak
Kolaborasi Terbaik (Lagu) / (Best Song Collaboration)
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 October2017) 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 MediacorpSuria, 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 toggle.sg/apm. 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 www.sistic.com.sg 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).
Yes I know this is stale news by now and it’s more than a month since this prestigious awards show was televised live on our screens. This particular post was supposed to be up a few days after Pesta Perdana 14 had ended. Somehow I was faced with a few personal obstacles and challenges and focused on editing other photographs of the event that I shared on my own personal social media accounts. I was also involved with the coverage of the inaugural Singapore Modest Fashion Weekend over the recent Good Friday weekend. All that took a considerable amount of time, not to mention juggling daddy duties with the children’s examinations happening as I speak, till the end of this week.
So I really apologise if April 2017 had been an extremely quiet month on this domain or if you had entered just to view photographs of Pesta Perdana. I did not even have time to cover the weekly TeRaSeh programme, since I was active covering it during its first two editions, nor last weekend’s Projek Kasih charity show. Like past editions of the prestigious awards show, I will not make any reviews but just list the winners and photographs of their winning speeches. Hope this will kickstart a series of posts that I have postponed over the weeks due to my erratic schedule. Congratulations once again to all the deserving winners at Pesta Perdana 14!!!
Pesta Perdana 14 Award Recipients
Beto Kusyairi – Kisah Tok Kadi
Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Utama – Drama Bersiri
(Best Actor in a Leading Role – Drama Series)
Ariati Tyeb Papar – Kemelut
Pelakon Wanita Terbaik dalam Watak Utama – Drama Bersiri
(Best Actress in a Leading Role – Drama Series)
Sufian Ahmad – Kisah Tok Kadi
Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Bersiri
(Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama Series)
Mastura Ahmad – Interns Sr. 1
Pelakon Wanita Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Bersiri
(Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Drama Series)
Pelakon Terbaik dalam Watak Komedi
(Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy Role)
Izzat Md Yusoff – Dua Wajah
Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Utama – Drama Khas / Antologi
(Best Actor in a Leading Role – Drama Special / Anthology)
Dimensi Ke-4 Sr. 3
Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Khas / Antologi
(Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama Special / Anthology)
Siti Aishah Ahmad – Suara Takbir
Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Khas / Antologi
(Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama Special / Anthology)
Norsiah Ramly – Anakku Duniaku
Pelakon Wanita Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Khas / Antologi
(Best Actress a Supporting Role – Drama Special / Anthology)
Fazlyna Aziz – Kisah Tok Kadi
Pelakon Harapan Terbaik / (Most Promising Actor/Actress)
Khairudin Samsudin – Show Malam Ini
Pengacara Terbaik – Hiburan / (Best Host – Variety)
Rilla Melati – Rudy & Rilla Sr. 6
Pengacara Terbaik – Informasi / (Best Host – Info-Ed)
Freda Mel – Hari Raya Haji… Lagi
Bintang Cilik Terbaik / (Best Young Star)
Mediacorp Eaglevision – Aduh… Bibikku!
Drama Terbaik / (Best Drama Series)
Papahan Films – Anak Bulan
Drama Khas Terbaik / (Best Drama Special)
Filmat 36 – Kembara Kasih Sr. 2
Rancangan Informasi Terbaik / (Best Info-Ed Programme)
M. Raihan Halim – Anak Bulan
Arahan Terbaik – Drama / (Best Directing – Drama)
Skrip Terbaik – Drama / (Best Writing – Drama)
Fadila Abdul Wahid & Samri Badi – Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016
Arahan Terbaik – Hiburan / (Best Directing – Variety)
Linilidia Abdul Hamid – Projek Kasih 2015
Skrip Terbaik – Hiburan / (Best Writing – Variety)
Mediacorp Eaglevision – Anugerah Skrin 2016
Rancangan Hiburan Terbaik / (Best Variety Series)
Sinar Lebaran 2016
Rancangan Hiburan Khas Terbaik / (Best Variety Special)
Ruzaini – Anak Bulan
Suntingan Terbaik – Drama / (Best Editing – Drama)
Mimi Jasmine – Bunga Tanjong
Reka Imej Terbaik / (Best Image & Styling)
Jiwa Juara – Saga (Mediacorp Eaglevision)
Composer & Lyricist: Reyza Hamizan, Singer: Iskandar Ismail
Lagu Tema Terbaik (Best Theme Song)
Kisah Tok Kadi – Thinkplate
Rancangan Paling Popular / (Most PopularProgramme)
Personaliti Lelaki Paling Popular / (Most Popular Male Personality)
Personaliti Wanita Paling Popular / (Most Popular Female Personality)
Anugerah Perdana Emas
Nama Saya Kassim Selamat Sr 2 (Dua M)
Rancangan Kanak-Kanak Terbaik (Best Children’s Programme)
Ole Ole Temasya Sr 1 (Dzulkifli Sungit)
Skrip Terbaik – Informasi (Best Writing – Info-Ed)
Kasih Tiana – Noorman Noordin
Videografi Terbaik – Drama (Best Videography – Drama)
P.I.Z (B.O.S Pictures)
Desain Pembukaan Terbaik (Best Opening Title Design)
Mohammad Shahfiq was instantly mobbed by his fellow competitors when the cameras stopped rolling, but as this shot was being taken, I could hear him tell them in Malay, “Hold on for awhile, I would like to meet my parents first…” Just look at where his eyes were looking at and you will realise the humility, gratitude and class that he possess. The judges truly crowned a deserving winner…
As the title above suggests, I am not doing any reviews at all for this particular entry, as I still have 4000-odd photographs that I still need to edit from last Tuesday‘s penultimate episode. In case anyone is waiting for me to speak about the final results or summarise the competition as a whole, well you just have to wait a wee bit longer as the fourteenth instalment of Pesta Perdana, happening this coming Friday, takes precedence. This entry is more of a filler to bridge the empty void between last week’s Grand Finals and Pesta Perdana. Here are some miscellaneous photos from the night whereby Mohammad Shahfiq became the latest winner of the Anugerah competition. These shots were taken pre-show, during the commercial breaks, post-show as well as the dinner reception afterwards. Enjoy!!!
For the past ten weeks, I believe this entry is the one that is the most late that I have published, even though I had two weeks to type this out since the semi-finals episode two weeks ago (7th March 2017). Thank God for the extra week away from having to attend a live episode as my life suddenly went a little crazier than anticipated. Thank God too for this flu that I am currently nursing as I finally have time to sit down and type this entry out. As I am typing this entry right now, we are only less than five hours away before the Grand Finals beckoned. How fast has the past ten weeks go by??? Seems like yesterday that I got acquainted with Groups A and B during the very first episode of Anugerah 2017. Since I am again pressed for time to post this up, I will avoid doing any individual analysis and just summarise collectively.
Hosts Suzairhe Sumari and Huda Ali welcomed us to the show…
We have all known by now who are the four finalists who make up tonight’s penultimate episode. In case you have been living on another planet over the past fortnight, the four are Liwani Izzati, Nor Shafiq Ridzwan, Mohammad Shahfiq and Syakirah Noble. I dare say three of the four finalists have been quite consistent throughout the weeks of competition and their respective spots were justified. In fact even before the semi-final episode began, I more or less expected Liwani, Syakirah and Shahfiq to progress. The surprise finalist for me was Nor Shafiq Ridzwan. For those who had watched the semi-final episode, we would have noted that the final spot was between him and Elza Rahim, who wowed the audience with a different side to her capabilities as a performer from the usual play-safe performances that she dished out week in and out previously.
The judges had a thankless and difficult task that night and throughout the competition. We might disagree with their final decisions but I believe they had considered and deliberated before making them, no matter how painful…
I have to say it was a very tough decision for the judges to decide that night. On one hand, they had a contestant who suddenly transformed and became a performer no one anticipated nor expected she was capable of doing before this. On the other hand, there was a contestant who has been consistent with his performances but still remaining quite relaxed in his comfort zone. When I was watching it live, I remembered how disappointed I felt for Elza when she was eventually eliminated, because even if her efforts were too late to save her, she has shown throughout the competition her willingness to learn and to steer away from being compared to Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, in terms of her voice and singing style. She even took risks to show another aspect to her performance. In the end, the one aspect that brought her down was vocal technicality issues.
Elza Rahimwas extremely unlucky to be eliminated that night. Given the right guidance and having the positive attitude to learn, she will hopefully be a better performer after this…
Don’t get me wrong, I like Nor Shafiq‘s soothing voice and control. Given the way he had better control of his pitching, I finally agreed in the end why the judges felt he was a better choice for the Grand Finals over Elza. However I feel that his vocal range is somewhat limited and he is only strong in the ballads department. I remember the judges said before that they were on the lookout for someone who is willing to take risks, to go out of their comfort zones and do something out of the ordinary. For Nor Shafiq to ace tonight’s Grand Finals, he has to push himself further because the other three contestants, the two young ladies especially, are more accomplished and experienced performers having performed on big stages like the annual Child Aid Concert and other external competitions or showcases.
Nadia Nadhirah and Azhar Aziz exited the competition having gave their all but it was not to be…
On a night where almost everyone performed above their usual capabilities, small issues and details separated them from progressing and getting eliminated. My only grouse was Azhar Aziz let the expectations of progressing weighed heavily on him and that he looked as though he was fearful of everything that were on his shoulders. I thought Nadia Nadhirah gave her best performance of the competition initially when I watched it live, but when I got home and watched her performance again via the Mediacorp Suria‘s Facebook page, her low notes were still a bit suspect and there were no emotions displayed when she sang Sufi Rashid‘s “Aku Sanggup“. I think for Nadhirah, she needs to work on having a certain bond with the lyrics she sings, to understand the emotions, to portray it, so that the audience will feel the resonance as well. It was a good performance overall, but in terms of connecting with the audience, the performance felt a bit empty.
For the first time in the competition, the contestants performed with an accompanying live band, led by Syawal Kassim (left)…
I have nothing more to add about the other three finalists. They have shown admirable consistency week in and out. The two young ladies, Liwani and Syakirah, are streets ahead in terms of showmanship and vocal prowess. One thing that they also have is fearlessness, both of them. Either one would be a deserving champion given how well they have performed throughout the competition. However they need to be mindful of overconfidence or be bogged down by expectations from people around them or even themselves. There is a dark horse in Mohammad Shahfiq, who was the semi-final stage’s outright winner and walked away with $800 that night. If he replicates his semi-final showing, we’re gonna have a hard time deciding who deserves to be champion tonight. I will not even discount Nor Shafiq Ridzwan, as evident with the 2007 and 2011 editions, Wildcard Round contestants could also win the competition if they perform above expectations. The little to no pressure on him could also work to his favour.
Down to the final four – Syakirah Noble, Nor Shafiq Ridzwan, Mohammad Shahfiq and Liwani Izzati…
So it is anyone’s guess who will be the newly-crowned winner tonight and the one walking away with the $20,000 grand prize, even if many are not looking beyond Liwani or Syakirah. Of course the smart money is on them, but I am sure the other two gentlemen will not hand the title to any of the two young ladies on a silver platter. Anugerah 2017 will finally draw its curtains tonight and we are anticipating a thrilling fight to the finish. Tonight’s penultimate episode will also feature Sufi Rashid, Maiya Rahman, Eiss (Iskandar Ismail) and Aisyah Aziz who will perform with the contestants in a special duet segment. The newly-minted Anugerah Juara Lagu winner, Dayang Nurfaizah, will also be performing as the guest performer of the night. It is the last episode for this year’s competition. Expect sparks and fireworks as I believe the four finalists will put on their best performances tonight. It’s going live from Studio One at the Mediacorp Campus at 8:30pm and you can catch it on Mediacorp Suria…