Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 Post-Event Reception

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(Cover poster courtesy of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 Official Facebook page)

When it comes to big events such as Anugerah Planet Muzik, regular readers of this blog will know and expect that you will never get an immediate review here unlike other entertainment portals or blog sites. I think that sets my domain apart from the rest and complement those other sites, in terms of photos and content being shared. Anyway I still have not finished editing the 3706 photographs I snapped that night, but I have whittled them down to about 600 or so. And that was only the first cut!!! I still need to go through a few more QC rounds before I post the rest up along with my review, which might take days or even before the year is out, seeing that I am also doing my weekly Ratu recaps. Nonetheless I hope you guys have liked the photos I featured so far in my past two entries and I’m sure you would like the ones I snapped after the event was over at the customary post-event reception…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 Predictions…

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Less than 24 hours to go before Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 commences at Max Pavilion Singapore Expo. I know rehearsals are being done as I am typing this entry and slowly but surely, I am feeling the excitement of watching this annual music awards event. It is something that I look forward to since I ceased travelling across the Causeway to watch awards shows like Anugerah Industri Muzik and Anugerah Juara Lagu on an almost regular basis the past decade or so. And as is customary for me, here is something that I love to come up with a day or so before the event proper. No prizes for me if I get them right and hopefully no flaks either if I were to get them wrong. It is just something fun before the event descends upon us. I will be covering the event tomorrow, but please do not expect video snippets like last year, as my trusted videographer will not be attending this time round. For those in Singapore, the show will be telecast live on Mediacorp Suria at 8:30pm.

Predictions

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE IN A SONG (NEW MALE ARTISTE) PERSEMBAHAN VOKAL TERBAIK DALAM LAGU (ARTIS BARU LELAKI)

Anji – (Hatiku) Berhenti Di Kamu

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE IN A SONG (NEW FEMALE ARTISTE) PERSEMBAHAN VOKAL TERBAIK DALAM LAGU (ARTIS BARU WANITA)

Lala Karmela – Kamu, Aku, Cinta

BEST NEW DUO/GROUP DUO/KUMPULAN BARU TERBAIK

Audionauts – Maha Bisa Rahsia

BEST COLLABORATION KOLABORASI TERBAIK

Rossa & Taufik Batisah, Aku Bersahaja, Komposer: Taufik Batisah, Penulis Lirik: Taufik Batisah

BEST MALE ARTISTE ARTIS LELAKI TERBAIK

Sammy Simorangkir, Sedang Apa Dan Dimana

BEST FEMALE ARTISTE ARTIS WANITA TERBAIK

Yuna, Terukir Di Bintang

BEST DUO/GROUP DUO/KUMPULAN TERBAIK

Kotak, Tendangan Dari Langit

BEST SONG (SINGAPORE) LAGU TERBAIK SINGAPURA

Fatamorgana, Audionauts, Komposer: Malon, Ryzal, Sham & Zackey, Penulis Lirik: Malon, Ryzal, Sham & Zackey

BEST SONG LAGU TERBAIK

 Terukir di Bintang, Yuna, Komposer: Yuna, Penulis Lirik: Yuna

MOST POPULAR SINGAPORE ARTISTE ARTIS SINGAPURA PALING POPULAR

Taufik Batisah

MOST POPULAR SINGAPORE SONG LAGU SINGAPURA PALING POPULAR

Ku Tetap Kan Menunggu, Hady Mirza

MOST POPULAR REGIONAL ARTISTE ARTIS SERANTAU PALING POPULAR

Shila Amzah

MOST POPULAR REGIONAL SONG LAGU SERANTAU PALING POPULAR

Ombak Rindu, Hafiz & Adira

NEW MEDIA NOVA NOVA MEDIA BARU

Cassidy Anderson

NEW MEDIA ICON IKON MEDIA BARU

Shila Amzah

ANUGERAH KHAS PLANET MUZIK

Dato’ Sheila Majid

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 Media Conference

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012, the prestigious regional music awards show that honours the best in the regional Malay music scene, makes its return once again on our shores!!! Now into its eleventh year, the show promises to inject new elements to the award categories and also up the ante of the show’s entertainment value. If you don’t already know by now, the awards show will be held at the Max Pavilion Singapore Expo hall this coming 15 December 2012 at 8:30pm. Tickets to the show have already gone on sale at all SISTIC outlets, and are priced at $48, $68 and $88. A media conference was held at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel last Monday 29 October 2012, to announce the various nominees in the respective award categories. Before I go on, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mediacorp Radio Pte. Ltd. for the kind invitation to the media conference event.

The media conference kicked off with all the invited artistes from Singapore coming forward to take a group photo at the invitation of the two hosts A B Shaik and Aura Shai. Before the esteemed panel of industry bigwigs took the centrestage, the attendees were treated to two opening performances by up-and-coming acts Amni Musfirah as well as the teenage trio who call themselves SupamusiQ. Both set of artistes, under the astute management of S.Ria Productions, which also has local group Revalina under its wings, have been making their own waves in the scene, especially in the talent-spotting “Opening Act – Go Glam” segment helmed by RIA 89.7FM‘s Hafeez Glamour. Amni Musfirah performed Agnes Monica‘s haunting hit “Matahari“, whereas the boys from SupamusiQ performed “Cahaya“, their single taken off the recently-concluded “Kelas Detention” drama series.

The panel of industry bigwigs who then gave their respective speeches, comprised of Mr. Edmund Lam, Chief Executive Officer of Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS), Ms. Zakiah Halim, Vice-President, Malay / Indian / Expat Radio Programming, Mediacorp Radio Pte. Ltd. and Mr. Hassan Salleh, Assistant Vice-President, RIA 89.7FM & X FM. In his speech, Mr. Edmund Lam raised hopes that with the existence of Anugerah Planet Muzik, more of our local acts will be able to leverage on the latest technology trends and attempt headway into the digital music market in the region. He noted that over the past ten years, the local Malay music scene has improved and this is in due part to the local stations providing our local acts the platform and stage to air their songs to the masses.

The mood took a solemn and sombre turn when Ms. Zakiah Halim took over the microphone. Before she spoke about the awards show per se, she paid a glowing and moving tribute to the late Allahyarham Amin Hussen, the former Managing Director of Beyond DDB Events Sdn. Bhd., who was instrumental in helping the two radio stations in seeing the birth of Anugerah Planet Muzik and seeing it come to fruition for ten years. Allahyarham Amin passed away on 26 October 2011 after a long battle with cancer. I have to admit, I felt a lump in my throat during the short tribute as I had met and interacted with the man himself several times and knew him when he was still the manager of my all-time favourite group KRU back in the late 90s. A well-mannered and kind gentleman, he always had positive words even in the face of adversity and I’m sure till today, many others would vouch for his kindness in different measures and capacity.

I will not ramble along on what else was mentioned by Ms. Zakiah Halim nor Mr. Hassan Salleh, as you will be able to view them from the short video highlights I have done up. The decision to drop the “Album Terbaik” (Best Album Category), due to the lack of full albums being produced of late, and advancement of digital music technology was a drastic but well-calculated one, in my opinion at least. And introducing the new categories namely “Media Nova Baru” (New Media Nova) and “Ikon Media Baru” (New Media Icon), aims to acknowledge the influence the social media platforms have on new / up-and-coming artistes who are not contracted to any music labels as well as the ones already established.

Looking at the nominees for the respective categories, I am extremely proud to see more local acts in the mix this year. What you might describe as under-rated acts like Audionauts, Awi Rafael, Hyrul Anuar and Siti Zahidah, have all gotten their justified dues through their nominations. One look at the “Lagu Singapura Terbaik” (Best Singapore Song) category, you will see how much quality and substance each nominee brings to the fore. What’s more, all the songs nominated in that category were composed, written and performed by the artistes themselves!!! It definitely was a tough choice for the judges to pick who should be nominated. I personally thought Diorama‘s “Hipokrasi” also deserved a nomination, but the nominations were made for works produced between 1st January 2011 to 31st December 2011, and the song was only produced this year. Either way, it just goes to show how stringent the selection was, and what you have there are the cream of the crop.

The various nominees for the “Media Nova Baru” (New Media Nova) category acknowledges and honours the up-and-coming, hidden talents who have received more than ten thousand views on their respective Youtube channels / clips of their individual performances. In a rather balanced mix, Malaysia and Singapore have four nominees each and Indonesia has three. For the very first time, one of the nominees, Cassidy Anderson, who is a sensation in her own right after making a cover video singing “Ombak Rindu“, hails from Australia, a country outside the Nusantara region. Who knows, perhaps in future, we would be able to see more participants around the world singing Malay songs. By the way, you can start voting for your favourite artistes in the popular categories beginning 5th November 2012 at midnight and voting closes on 5th December 2012. For more details, do visit http://xinmsn.com/apm.

Armchair critics in the past (and the present) might pan it as a “shiok sendiri” event, but I think given the circumstances and difficulties faced by the organisers, they should be applauded for making do with what is in front of them, allowing the local acts exposure to the region and honouring the best the Nusantara has to offer. This show is never about who’s best or popular in their respective countries being given a definitive shoo-in and if the watching audience are wondering who the hell are some of these artistes, then it is high time the couch potatoes start to make full use of technology, do their homework and learn to appreciate what is outside the “coconut shells” they are living in. Me??? I’m just looking forward to the performances of the likes of Alyah, Shila Amzah, Judika, SleeQ, Najwa Latif and more soon-to-be-confirmed acts when the day comes…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 List of Nominees

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE IN A SONG (NEW MALE ARTISTE) PERSEMBAHAN VOKAL TERBAIK DALAM LAGU (ARTIS BARU LELAKI)

1. Anji – (Hatiku) Berhenti Di Kamu

2. Awi Rafael – Bila Aku Jatuh Cinta

3. Budi – DoReMi

4. Hazama – Cinta Teragung

5. Sandy Canester – Lelaki Dungu

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE IN A SONG (NEW FEMALE ARTISTE) PERSEMBAHAN VOKAL TERBAIK DALAM LAGU (ARTIS BARU WANITA)

1. Dhisa – Cintaku Kamu

2. Lala Karmela – Kamu, Aku, Cinta

3. Najwa Latif – Cinta Muka Buku

4. Raisa – Serba Salah

5. Zahidah – Malam Ini

BEST NEW DUO/GROUP DUO/KUMPULAN BARU TERBAIK

1. Armada – Mau Dibawa Ke Mana

2. Audionauts – Maha Bisa Rahsia

3. Hazama & Amy Search – Semitri

4. PULSE! – Tetap Berazam

5. Salam Musik & Altimet – Alamak!

BEST COLLABORATION KOLABORASI TERBAIK

1. Aliff Aziz & Hao Ren – Dilema Cinta, Komposer: Choo Hao Ren, Penulis Lirik: Sha Kalam

2. Dayang Nurfaizah & Tompi, Perlukan Cinta, Komposer: Audi Mok, Penulis Lirik: Ad Samad

3. Hyrul Anuar & Mimi Fly One Nation Emcees, Sudah Mengapa, Komposer: Andi A. Merican & Khairafik Khairudin, Penulis Lirik: Hyrul Anuar

4. Ramlah Ram & SleeQ, Sesaat Kau Datang, Komposer: ID Mifzal, Penulis Lirik: Zie Shafruddin

5. Rossa & Taufik Batisah, Aku Bersahaja, Komposer: Taufik Batisah, Penulis Lirik: Taufik Batisah

BEST MALE ARTISTE ARTIS LELAKI TERBAIK

1. Afgan, Panah Asmara

2. Anuar Zain, Ajari Aku

3. Hafiz, Ku Akui

4. Once Merkel, Hilang Naluri

5. Sammy Simorangkir, Sedang Apa Dan Dimana

BEST FEMALE ARTISTE ARTIS WANITA TERBAIK

1. Agnes Monica, Rindu

2. Alyah, Kisah Hati

3. Astrid, Tentang Rasa

4. Shila Amzah, Patah Seribu

5. Yuna, Terukir Di Bintang

BEST DUO/GROUP DUO/KUMPULAN TERBAIK

1. Geisha, Cinta dan Benci

2. Kesna, Pilihlah Diriku

3. Kotak, Tendangan Dari Langit

4. RAN, Mencuri Hati

5. Rausyanfikir, Rentak Hati

BEST SONG (SINGAPORE) LAGU TERBAIK SINGAPURA

1. Coba, Snowball, Komposer: Sid Isman, Penulis Lirik: Sid Isman

2. Fatamorgana, Audionauts, Komposer: Malon, Ryzal, Sham & Zackey, Penulis Lirik: Malon, Ryzal, Sham & Zackey

3. Maha Bisa Rahsia, Audionauts, Komposer: Malon, Ryzal & Sham, Penulis Lirik: Malon, Ryzal & Sham

4. Malam Ini, Zahidah, Komposer: Zahidah, Penulis Lirik: Zahidah

5. Pulanglah, Awi Rafael, Komposer: Awi Rafael, Penulis Lirik: Awi Rafael

BEST SONG LAGU TERBAIK

1. Apa Bisa, Kotak, Komposer: Pay, Dewiq & Kotak, Penulis Lirik: Pay, Dewiq & Kotak

2. Kisah Hati, Alyah, Komposer: Manusia Putih, Penulis Lirik: Manusia Putih

3. Ombak Rindu, Hafiz & Adira, Komposer: Nurzaidi Abd Rahman, Penulis Lirik: Sharad Sharan

4. Sedang Apa dan Dimana, Sammy Simorangkir, Komposer: Mario Ricardo, Penulis Lirik: Mario Ricardo

5. Terukir di Bintang, Yuna, Komposer: Yuna, Penulis Lirik: Yuna

MOST POPULAR SINGAPORE ARTISTE ARTIS SINGAPURA PALING POPULAR

SG1: Aliff Aziz

SG2: Aryan

SG3: Audionauts

SG4: Awi Rafael

SG5: Didicazli

SG6: Diorama

SG7: Fauzie Laily

SG8: Hady Mirza

SG9: Imran Ajmain

SG10: Sezairi Sezali

SG11:SleeQ

SG12: Taufik Batisah

MOST POPULAR SINGAPORE SONG LAGU SINGAPURA PALING POPULAR

LP1: Cinta Yang Lain, Arus

LP2: Gila, Tujuh

LP3: Ku Tetap Kan Menunggu, Hady Mirza

LP4: Maha Bisa Rahsia, Audionauts

LP5: Membenam Pagi Tanpamu, Diorama

LP6: Menanti Cintamu, Revalina

LP7: Mengapa Kau Harus Pergi, Farhan Shah

LP8: Pulanglah, Awi Rafael

LP9: Salahkan, Hyrul Anuar

LP10: Sally The Lion, The Lion Story & The Sallys

LP11: Terlalu Sayang, Didicazli

LP12: Yang Teristimewa, Sheikh Haikel feat. SleeQ

MOST POPULAR REGIONAL ARTISTE ARTIS SERANTAU PALING POPULAR

AS1: Afgan

AS2: Agnes Monica

AS3: Aliff Aziz

AS4: Alyah

AS5: Hady Mirza

AS6: Hafiz

AS7: Judika

AS8: Shila Amzah

AS9: SleeQ

AS10: Taufik Batisah

AS11: Ungu

AS12: Yuna

MOST POPULAR REGIONAL SONG LAGU SERANTAU PALING POPULAR

 LS1: Beribu Sesalan, 3 Suara

LS2: Bukan Dia Tapi Aku, Judika

LS3: Kalau Cinta, Aliff Aziz & Joanna

LS4: Kebahagiaan Dalam Perpisahan, Shahir

LS5: Kisah Hati, Alyah

LS6: Ku Pinang Kau Dengan Bismillah, Pasha Ungu & Rossa

LS7: Ku Tetap Kan Menunggu, Hady Mirza

LS8: Ombak Rindu, Hafiz & Adira

LS9: Paralyzed, Agnes Monica

LS10: Sedetik Lebih, Anuar Zain

LS11:Takkan Pernah Ada, Geisha

LS12: Tentang Rasa, Astrid

NEW MEDIA NOVA NOVA MEDIA BARU

MN1: Abdul Hamim Suleiman

MN2: Abdul Muttaleeb

MN3: Arien Nur Santi

MN4: Ayu Videlia

MN5: Cassidy Anderson

MN6: Fairuz Selamat

MN7: Muhamad Wazini Mohamed Taib

MN8: Muhamad Azri Syafiq Yusri

MN9: Muhammad Samsudian

MN10: Nurasya Abdul Rahim

MN11: Syazwiyanti Suparto

MN12: Yoseph Pradana

NEW MEDIA ICON IKON MEDIA BARU

MI1: Afgan

MI2: Alyah

MI3: Kotak

MI4: Najwa Latif

MI5: Sherina Munaf

MI6: Shila Amzah

MI7: SleeQ

MI8: Ungu

MI9: Vidi Aldiano

MI10: Yuna

Fiza O’s 30th Birthday Bash & Surprise Wedding Announcement…

It has been more than six weeks of inactivity in this blog and it’s not for the lack of materials. In fact I have quite a number of entries in store which I have yet to upload / post simply because I have been very busy with life in general. Coupled with the fact that I’m normally quiet during Ramadhan and the festive period afterwards, I thought I would let all the Hari Raya visits out of the way before plotting a return. And this return coincides with yesterday’s birthday bash held for RIA 89.7FM‘s “The O Show” anchor, Fiza O, at the Serangoon Gardens Country Club. It was no ordinary birthday bash as the birthday girl chose the event to announce her upcoming nuptials to none other than fellow colleague, Abdul Karim Sadali also known as DJ KC, whom we all know is the anchor behind the most popular weekly radio programme, “Misteri Jam 12“.

Here comes the groom-to-be…

In truth, the announcement was not a surprise to me, cos as recently as the August 2012 issue of Manja Magazine where he was on the cover along with Anugerah 2005 winner Hyrul Anuar, DJ KC had dropped hints that he would be holding a media presentation when announcing his wedding plans. As the days go by, it made sense to finally come out and announce to the world that both of them – sincere, honest and kind people that they are from knowing them – are finally getting betrothed. I think for some of us, it has been an open secret all along. I first got wind that they were together when I bumped into them twice in town circa 2005-2006, but I actually dismissed that as normal colleagues going out during their spare time. But messenger pigeons, metaphorically speaking, told me sometime last year that their wedding was imminent, and I cannot help but noted the care and attention KC displayed towards Fiza on a number of occasions.

Finally, the announcement that ended all speculations…

Kudos to the two of them for keeping things under wraps for so long. I have hung out with the groom-to-be countless times and God knows how many times I have probed him, subtly and directly, but he gave nothing away, out of respect and honouring a promise he made to his bride-to-be that when the time is right, they will announce it to the world. Even though it was not a surprise to me, I was still floored and had flutters in my belly when the announcement was made, such was the joy I felt that was being shared by them to the media brigade at the event which was attended by the couple’s colleagues from RIA 89.7FM and local celebrities Taufik Batisah, Fauzie Laily and Didicazli. The surprise on Taufik‘s face was priceless to say the least, as he walked into the event ballroom just as they were announcing who Fiza‘s groom would be. The only thing I am surprised about is how soon the wedding would be as I had initially speculated that it would be held somewhere in November, nearing KC‘s birthday.

Taufik Batisah and Fauzie Laily with the soon-to-be married couple…

For the record, the couple will be solemnised officially on 19 October 2012 at Sultan Mosque and receptions will be held over at the groom’s side the following day and the bride’s the day after. More than 24 hours on since their announcement, and I have seen hundreds of well-wishes on Facebook and Twitter for two of the most popular radio deejays on RIA 89.7FM. Their impending union is not the first amongst radio deejays in Mediacorp but it is indeed the first in the Malay radio fraternity since Warna 94.2FM‘s Ibrahim Jamil and Suharti Ali got together two decades ago. What is indeed a definite first is that this was the first media announcement of an upcoming wedding by a local Malay personality from the entertainment scene. I cannot think of other personalities doing this other than what Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza did back in 2006. But I think due to their popularity, the two lovebirds deserved to share it with their fans, listeners and supporters, and who are we to begrudge them of their happiness???

Congratulations KC and Fiza on your upcoming nuptials!!!

Thank you for inviting me to the event yesterday and for allowing me to be a part of the wedding as well. I pray that both of you will be in good health leading up to the event and it will be an event that will be most memorable in our hearts…

Ritabella’s “Fiza O Collection” Launch Event…

The days and weeks have been moving a little too fast for my liking, that I did not realise that it has been three weeks since this event was held at Joo Chiat Complex on 25th February 2012. I felt extremely honoured to be invited to this event, moreso when Fiza O herself called me up personally to invite me over. When someone has made the effort to invite you over personally given the time constraints they were facing in the lead-up to the event, it is quite difficult to say “no”. You feel very much appreciated and obliged to return the support in kind. That was how I felt. On hindsight, even if Fiza did not make the call, I would have been amongst the crowd, perhaps watching from the upper levels of the shopping complex. It was the same day that Imran Ajmain was supposed to have his showcase at The Arts House, but was postponed due to technical reasons. Having him performing that day made up for the showcase miss, since I was due to go had it gone on as planned.

Other than Imran Ajmain, the other acts who graced the event were all from Singapore. They include Aryan Band, no slouches themselves and slowly gaining a positive reputation across the Causeway, dance powerhouse Styles From Beyond and two participants who have been featured on Hafeez Glamour‘s “Opening Act” segment in his daily radio show, Sufie Rashid and Siti Syakirah Noble. I thought the idea of inviting Aryan Band to perform was a good choice, given the fact that they have not made any notable live appearances on these shores since their Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 debut, as they were busy touring in Malaysia promoting the soundtrack of the movie “Azura 2012” and making more good music. And good music was what we heard that day as the band introduced their new singles “Kasih Katakan Sesuatu” and “Tanpa Mu“, sandwiching “Azura 2012“.

Besides singing his hit song “Jika Engkau Pergi“, taken off his album “Punca Dan Tindakan“, Imran was also on hand to introduce his new single “Dikalung Kasihan“, a sappy ballad I have fallen in love with, which was composed by renowned composer Azlan Abu Hassan and lyrics written by Dato’ Dr. Fazley Yaakob, who needs no further introduction himself. I remember in one particular showcase I attended in the past, Imran said in jest that he was “sick of” singing “Seribu Tahun“, but one cannot deny that that is his signature song, especially when the audience clamoured for him to sing it again and Imran obliged by doing it twice, even if he had no accompanying music.  The strength of that song lies in its melody, the simplicity of its lyrics and the deep meanings attached to it, a potent combination which makes it one of the most beautiful love ballads and one I rank as one of my own personal favourites as well.

The two up-and-coming acts whose talents were first showcased on the “Opening Act” segment, Sufie Rashid and Siti Syakirah Noble gave good accounts of themselves. Of course there were jitters detected but that was natural to expect for newbies just starting out and having to perform to a large audience live. I was surprised to know that the latter, whose height and size belied her age, is only 12 years old!!! This particular radio segment is heaven sent for our budding local acts, as it gives them the platform for exposure and for event organisers and record producers to sit up and take notice of their potential. Since the segment was first introduced mid-2011, a number of these young upstarts who began their journey via uploading YouTube clips of themselves performing, have had the opportunity to perform at various events. This is one example whereby social and mainstream media work hand in hand to give them the opportunity to shine without having to rely on the next season of a reality show.

Forever Beauty Professionals Pte Ltd, which produces the Ritabella range of beauty, skincare and slimming products, launched the “Fiza O Collection“, belonging to the Illume Skin System set of skincare products, for those with sensitive, oily and dry skin amongst others. If I am not mistaken, a set costs about $80. I have seen the physical difference in Fiza since she became an ambassador of the Ritabella products. Normally she looks weary and tired after a hard day’s work, but since she started using them, she looks fresh and I do not see her eyebags. And what’s more, there is a certain glow about her skin, as well as Hafeez Glamour, the other ambassador of the products. Hafeez himself will be launching his own collection come 25th March 2012 at Joo Chiat Complex, as well as his second book, “Demi Adriana“, after “Diari DJ“, his first book which was produced in late 2005.

Till this day I am still struggling to find a particular product which is named after a local Malay personality in our entertainment industry. Back in the 90s when the Malaysia Cup was so popular, two of our national players, Hasnim Haron and Zulkifli Kartoyoho had boots named after them and produced by Umbro, the sports manufacturer which sponsored them. But that was in the arena of sports. Correct me please if I am wrong, but I believe Fiza O has made a history of sorts by being the first Malay personality in our local entertainment industry to have her name embedded to a particular product. And that itself is cause for joy and pride for the bubbly radio presenter and television host, whose daily radio show has one of the highest ratings. Congratulations to Fiza O once again on the launch of her own beauty and skincare product!!!

Konsert Misteri Jam 12: Jangan Takut Hantu…

For regular readers of this blog, I know this comes as a massive surprise to you, but no, I was not at The Float @ Marina Bay for Countdown 2012, even though one of my favourite singers, Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, was performing on my 33rd birthday. I was happily relaxing and watching the show from the comfort of home, and I would have probably gone had my favourite team not played that night. But the night of rest did me good as I welcomed 2012 by attending the RIA 897FM-organised “Konsert Misteri Jam 12: Jangan Takut Hantu” event held at Fort Canning Park on the first day of the new Gregorian calendar. I have been delaying this particular entry for the fact that I have been quite busy, to the point I was reminded to post this entry as soon as possible by none other than the creative mind behind the success of the most highly rated programme on the radio station, none other than DJ KC himself.

Speaking as the co-administrator of the official blog of the said programme, I have witnessed first hand how the show has evolved since he took over the helm some four years ago from the previous incumbent Zan Sofiyan. KC has done such a fantastic job to lift the quality standards of the programme to the point that his occasional absences through leave or sickness is lamented by fans on the station’s official Facebook page Wall. Even when there were occasions he was not feeling well, he soldiered on, or came back just to do the two hour programme, its popularity spreading across the world with the availability of internet radio and via radio applications on smart phones. I know how popular it is just by looking at the number of emails received by fans of the programme who shared their personal experiences, a bulk of them coming from across the Causeway, as well as as far away as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, even Dubai. The show is such a hit that to have a concert was a good way to show the station’s appreciation to the fans.

This popularity was very much evident on the day of the concert, when 6000-odd fans thronged the lush lawns of the Fort Canning Park. When I reached the venue close to 6pm, a long queue had formed outside the entrance. I was fortunate enough to get a parking lot as a vehicle had moved off just as I was nearing it. We were allowed in at about 6:20pm and it was a sight to behold seeing the area being filled to its brim. I have never seen a local concert filled with just local acts get such a positive response as this. But then again, the topic of the supernatural has always been a fascinating and intriguing one in our community so it was no surprise that even without big names to grace the event, the theme itself guaranteed bums on the lush green grass of the venue. And I believe this was the first supernatural-themed concert held in a grand way in Singapore. Forget any Halloween-related parties, but correct me please if I’m wrong here.

I was pleased to know that a space was set aside for concert-goers to observe their obligatory responsibilities and it was heartening to see quite a number of people observing them judging by the queues and patient waiting outside the area. The only thing I was a little peeved about was why did the pre-show host, who happened to be one half of the hosts during the Grand Final of the Piala Dollah Kassim 2011 tournament, choose to use the time between 7:10pm and 7:45pm to hype the crowd and encouraging them to make a lot of noise??? I personally felt it was disrespectful to those who were observing their responsibilities. He could have at least started say around 7:30pm, not right smack when people were saying their prayers. I dunno if this was the station’s decision to hype the crowd as early as possible or was it the pre-show host’s own doing, but I hope in future, a little amount of respect would be observed. I’m sure for anyone who observes their daily obligations, they hate to be interrupted or disturbed by things happening around them and want full concentration.

Fiza O and Hassan Salleh…

The show began with the hosts Fiza O and Hassan Salleh, the station’s programme director coming on stage dressed as what appeared to be hideous characters. Not sure what character was Mr Hassan supposed to be portraying as he was dressed what appeared to be “Hantu Kum-Kum“, but Fiza was dressed as a “Langsuir” complete with make up on her lower neck to show that her head was previously “detached” from her body. As they welcomed us to the show and thanked the various sponsors, they also took the time to remind the audience that the concert also marked the official launch of the “Misteri Jam 12: Jangan Takut Hantu” VCD / CD containing horror-themed songs normally heard during the weekly two-hour programme. These songs were composed and performed by our local acts as well as DJ KC himself. The VCD / CD also contains a short film titled “Saka Mak Minah” and acted by none other than the deejays themselves. On top of that, there are short video clips of KC reading ghost stories at locations in Singapore regarded as haunted. The VCD / CD was sold at a special rate of $18.00 that night whereas it is available in good stores today at a price of $19.90. Suffice to say, the popularity of the programme guaranteed three-thousand odd copies being sold that night!!!

Besides the concert marking a milestone for the radio station with the launch of the VCD / CD, it also coincided with the annual Projek Rentak competition organised by RIA 897FM and COMPASS. As the theme of this concert was of the supernatural and horror, songs composed for this competition also had to have the same or related theme. The three finalists who came on stage to perform their songs – Klutz (“Mentera Dendam Puteri“), Iskandar Rawi (“Lari“) and Md Bakti Ridhwan (“Madah Pohon Beringin“) did not disappoint. Each song and performance had their own strengths and speciality. In the end, the humour-infused “Lari” was chosen as the winner of the competition, even though my personal favourite was Klutz‘s “Mentera Dendam Puteri“, who came in second. Md Bakti Ridhwan‘s “Madah Pohon Beringin” bagged the Best Performance of the night to go along with the second-runner up tag that he received. All the compositions were judged by Brader Bo, Moliano, Sham Wahab and Noor Hasnah Adam; music producers, composers and lyricists in their own rights. The Best Performance category was judged by Dr. Edmund Lam, president of COMPASS and Ms Zakiah Halim, Assistant Vice-President of Malay / Indian / Expat Programming for Mediacorp Radio.

Iskandar Rawi (second from right) was the winner of Projek Rentak: MJ12, seen here with Ms. Zakiah Halim and his fellow performers receiving their award…

I will not delve too much about the other performances and segments that night as you would be able to view them in the video montage that I will put up in due time. I was suitable impressed with the guest band that was formed (they called themselves “The Momoks“), led by Brader Bo, with Fadly of X-Tech / No Strings Attached fame on lead vocals. Fans of the 2008 Anugerah Band competition would remember Fadly for the vocal powerhouse that he is, and that night he whipped the crowd into frenzy with his unmatched prowess. I know that certain quarters complained that it felt more like a rock concert but I thought the songs performed that night were given a fresh injection with much needed energy. As the title of the concert had stated, “Jangan Takut Hantu“, the pumped-up feeling I got from the blasting music sure as hell made me forget about being scared of ghosts. If that was their intention by playing that kind of loud music, then I think they have achieved their aim. Other local acts who performed that night were Shafyre, Kraton, Rifaah Ridzuwanulhakim of 2D fame and B8, whom I heard, regrouped again specially for that night only.

One itinerary in the programme line-up that had the crowd in stitches was the “Momok Paling Sachok” segment. Concert-goers were encouraged to dress as ghosts, even the stagehands and concert crew were dressed as scary characters. Most notable of all was one of the crew members (if I’m not mistaken, it’s DJ Harie Azhari of XFM 963FM / Warna 942FM), who portrayed the irritating “Makcik Keropok” by walking to and fro giving crackers and asking for money in return. The five finalists who went on stage for that particular segment certainly had to be given full marks for the effort they came up with. I must say most in the audience were also very much impressed by their respective get-ups. Some even formed queues to take a photograph with them. In the end, the one who won the segment was the lady by the name of “Wati“, who was dressed as a Pontianak. The funny part about that segment was not only were the “ghosts” cracking jokes on stage with the hosts for the segment, Aura Shai and Nity Baizura, but they were also game enough to dance along to the tunes of Inul Daratista‘s dangdut songs.

The true star of the show: DJ KC…

All in all, I had an enjoyable night. What was supposed to end at 10:30pm ended about thirty-five minutes later, but I did not feel the time passing by at all. I heard complaints afterwards that the sound system was bad. Where I was, it did not feel that way, maybe because I was seated quite close to the speakers. I was just thankful that I had premium “seats” in the house. As the co-administrator of the Misteri Jam 12 official blog, I felt heartened by the turnout of the concert. I felt extremely happy and proud for the producer of the concert himself, KC, whose hard work to make this programme and subsequently the concert a success, paid off big time. People only see the end product of his efforts but the amount of time and sacrifices he puts in daily to entertain listeners is extremely commendable, especially moreso when days leading up to the concert, he stumbled upon several personal obstacles to overcome physically and mentally. For that, respect and my humble salute is accorded to him and to me, he was the true star of the concert. No one can begrudge him of that.

Video clip courtesy of DJ KC‘s Youtube channel…

Snapshots of Konsert MJ12: Jangan Takut Hantu

Fazly Sapuan, lead singer of Klutz, performing “Mentera Dendam Puteri“, the group’s composition that made it to the finals of Projek Rentak: MJ12.

Iskandar Rawi, the composer of “Lari“, the other finalist of Projek Rentak: MJ12

Md Bakti Ridhwan, the son of Md Khair Md Yasin of Rausyanfikir fame, performed his composition “Madah Pohon Beringin” with his father contributing to the lyrics to the song…

Dr. Edmund Lam, President of COMPASS and Ms. Zakiah Halim, Assistant Vice-President of Malay / Indian / Expat Programming, Mediacorp Radio, were the judges for Best Performance of the night by the three finalists of Projek Rentak: MJ12

Moliano was one of the judges for Projek Rentak MJ12

Klutz awaiting their fate…

Projek Rentak: MJ12 2nd Runner-Up: “Madah Pohon Beringin“…

Iskandar Rawi and friends bracing themselves for the final results…

Klutz receiving the 1st Runner-Up award…

 

 “Makcik Keropok” was in the house as well…

Fadly of X-Tech was in his element that night…

So was Brader Bo

 Shafyre performed “Jampi Serapah” and “Mimpi Duyung“…

 

 Nity Baizura and Aura Shai took over hosting duties for the “Momok Paling Sachok” segment…

 

 Contestants of the “Momok Paling Sachok” competition…

Makcik Keropok” dances along to Inul Daratista‘s “Goyang Inul“...

He must have breathed through his mouth throughout the night…

The winner, Wati the “Pontianak“…

Fuzzley of B8…

 Izad of B8

 KC reading a story to the audience…

 Lamenting how hot the mask was…

Rifaah Ridzuwanulhakim of 2D fame, performed “Hantu Relek One Korner“…

Rico, the younger brother of Rifaah

KC performed a medley of songs normally heard during the Misteri Jam 12 programme…

Rifaah unmasked…

 

Surayah of Kraton performing Misha Omar‘s “Pulangkan“…

She was complemented well by her husband, Jufri, whose showmanship is a hallmark of the group’s performances…

Kraton also performed their hit single “Fanaq” that night…

KC gave away these cushions to the audience…

The finale witnessed the performers singing the classic hit “Pontianak“, made famous by Allahyarham Dato’ Ahmad Daud

Anuar Zain Meet-&-Greet Fans Session…

Nothing substantial has appeared on this blog since a month ago. I feel kinda detached somewhat from the scene and from blogging that I worried a bit for this particularly entry. Simply because, it’s been awhile and I feel oh-so-rusty. Coupled with the fact that I’m on holiday mood, you can say that I feel a bit lazy to type out my thoughts as well, but then again this entry does not need much elaboration as I feel that for the ladies out there reading this, the photographs are more important and worth the view, not to mention lulling you to a dreamy gaze and sigh. Before I move on, let me once again thank sis Diah Mastura from Studiofrost Online (they sell chic and trendy outfits for ladies, in case you don’t already know by now), for giving me this opportunity to attend this event held at Lagun Sari Restaurant on 27 December 2011.

Truth be told, if it wasn’t for the contest that sis Diah did via Twitter, I would not have gotten wind of this private meet-and-greet fans session with the “King of Malay Ballads” himself. It was only much later that details of his scheduled public appearances were highlighted in Berita Harian and contests were being held on RIA 89.7FM to promote his recently-released album, the fourth in his solo career dating back to 1998. As I had given away my Pesta Raya 2011 tickets, where Anuar teamed up with his sister Ziana in a sold-out concert at Esplanade Theatre, I thought it was an opportunity to see him up close and personal once again, since I had also missed out on the high-tea session at Hyatt Hotel‘s Grand Ballroom back in 2009. Some fan I am, even this latest album, I have not even bought it. That shows how detached I am from the scene, especially the one across the Causeway. Maybe as I age, I am slowly letting go of some things that used to interest me in the past.

What was scheduled to start at 8pm ended up beginning close to 9pm, no thanks to the man’s busy schedule on these shores. When the missus and myself reached the event venue at about 7:45pm, we were surprised to see a long queue had already formed on the staircase leading up to the Java Room of Lagun Sari Restaurant. We were made to wait for more than half an hour and it was not quite a pleasant experience, with very little ventilation. I pitied some of the ladies who were dressed to the nines, some using whatever paraphernalia on their hands to fan themselves. I personally thought it would have been nice if someone had gone down to inform us why there was a delay in waiting. At least, it would more or less appease us. Waiting for a long time and having to perspire due to the limited ventilation is not a good combination. Thankfully nobody kicked up a fuss about it.

The session was hosted by RIA 89.7FM‘s Aura Shai and one of the radio station’s new kids-on-the-block, Dzar Ismail. Some of you might remember him from the Anugerah Skrin competition held last year. Known in our local Dikir Barat scene as a member of Durbar Dua and currently teaching full-time, Dzar has joined RIA 89.7FM as one of their part-time recruits. Personally I’m very happy that he has made this step up. I remember very well that during last year’s competition, I had said back then, with his fluency speaking in our mother tongue and his confidence during conversing, he would do well to expand his horizons and repertoire and seek a career in radio. Look where he is now. A humble, charming and friendly chap, he has also done his fair share of acting stint on television. He was also part of the Mediacorp Suria team that won this year’s Piala Dollah Kassim 2011 tournament playing at rightback.

RIA 89.7FM‘s Aura Shai and Dzar Ismail hosted the session…

The hosts did well to kill time by playing a game and letting the attendees of the session fill their stomachs, while awaiting for Anuar Zain‘s arrival. The game that was played, required one of the fans to come forward and sing a song by Anuar. I thought of joining in as well, since my wedding anniversary is coming up in a few days, and it would have been nice to sing to the wife the song I sang during our wedding dinner, “Keabadian Cinta“, albeit just the chorus. But then again, the session was about the fans and for the fans. Me seated at the table along with the invited media brigade, meant going forward did not seem right and would have appeared as though the hosts and I were in cahoots, so it was best that someone else more deserving came forward and the guy who came forward did not disappoint, as he sang “Sedetik Lebih” to his partner.

The man himself soon appeared. All the waiting, the beads of perspiration trickling down our backs and the grumbling stomachs prior to sitting down at the event venue were soon forgotten by the majority of those who attended. Singing a total of six songs in an otherwise pre-planned three initially, the man himself was in his class and element, moving from table to table to croon and leave the ladies in a state of daze and stupor. It was amusing to see the dreamy looks and puppy eyes of the ladies when Anuar was at their tables, charming them with his soulful voice, looking into everyone’s eyes and holding the hands of a few lucky ones. Photographs and video recordings from their smart phones and iPads were taken. I am sure the exclusive event lived up to their expectations, as the 80-odd fans literally had Anuar to themselves.

A fan sharing a voicenote with Anuar when he went to her table… 

The event went smoothly and there was no wild jostling to get his signature or photograph until sometime towards the end. My only grumble about the fans was that even though Anuar had visited every table and taken photographs with quite a number of them, towards the end when he called for those who had not taken a photograph with him to come forward, many of those who already did, joined in as well. I think a sense of consideration needed to be exercised. Yes I know what it means to be a die-hard fan of a particular artiste, I have been there and done that before, but it would be nice if they had allowed others to have that opportunity as well. It’s not that literally they can cut him up and bring a piece of him home. How many photographs do they need to take as mementos anyway??? From initially queueing up to take a photograph with him, I ended up going back to my seat and just observing the proceedings, consoling myself with the fact that I’ve taken a photograph with him before in the past.

This event, along with two other public appearances (at Singapore Expo and City Square Mall) that Anuar Zain did on 26 December 2011, was something rare and never done before by him. All the three events he appeared in were not paid events. Regular goers to his previous showcases and concerts would know that seeing him in action live meant we had to pay, and this unprecedented change was quite a welcome one for a change. Some quarters might feel that it could drop his commercial and exclusive values somewhat, but he was afterall on a promotional tour of his album. A slight change in approach did not hurt a bit and as the newspaper article revealed in Berita Harian yesterday, he actually helped to rake in $11,000 in proceeds in aid for charity at the event held at Singapore Expo. A showcase next month is currently in the works, hopefully details will be announced soon. The event the other night felt more like a teaser of what’s to come very soon…

Highlights of the Meet-&-Greet Session

Launch of Hyrul Anuar’s “Mata” Music Video…

Music videos (MVs) are part and parcel of the entertainment industry. Normally the ones in the West and those with very established music industries would come out with quality MVs, with amazing props, technicolour and CGI effects thrown into the mix. Closer to home, not many are able to say the quality of MVs are closer to or on par with the others outside our South-East Asia region. There is a saying that with big money comes better quality MVs and the fact remains, we do not have this luxury in our small industry. But I personally feel that in recent times, with Revalina‘s “Menanti Cintamu” and Awi Rafael‘s “Pulanglah” being prime examples, we are able to see that quality MVs can be produced with perhaps limited budget and very creative people working behind the scenes to make it happen. In summary, it can be done.

Hence I had the same hope that Hyrul Anuar‘s music video for his single “Mata“, taken off his album “Sesebuah Perubahan“, would be of a respectable standard when I first received the invitation to attend its launch. Truth be told, I have never heard of a music video launch before this, especially in our local context. Correct me for my probable ignorance, but this was perhaps the first in our local Malay music industry to have such an event. Positive memories of Hyrul‘s album launch last year are still fresh in my head till this day, from how it was planned and executed, to the number of local personalities who turned up to support the event. Even though the venue of the MV launch (The Arts House @ Old Parliament Building) is considered much smaller than the ballroom at Hotel Re!, I was still looking forward to a memorable event.

The day of the event (23rd September 2011) was a special day and landmark for Hyrul Anuar. Not only was it the day he launched his MV, he also celebrated his 26th birthday on the same day. I had initial fears when I realised the event was held during the Formula One Race competition right smack next to the racing track. Walking along the road leading towards The Arts House only heightened my fears as the sounds from the race cars were terribly deafening and I was afraid that they would spoil Hyrul‘s event. But thankfully, the building is soundproof and those who attended enjoyed an F1-free event in the Screening Room of The Arts House. It also helped that Hyrul‘s event was during the break between the first and second practice sessions for the F1 drivers.

The MV launch was hosted by Imran Ajmain, the man who helped produced Hyrul‘s album. I will not delve much on what happened during the MV launch as you are able to watch it in the video that I have uploaded. But just to give you a quick information on the MV. It was shot in NTU and Tuas in the space of five days by a group of students from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Arts, Design and Media who call themselves “ShadowPlay Studio“, under the astute direction of Ridwan Madon. The K-Pop inspired MV has an angsty theme to it and with choreography by Fantastic Crew, make-up by Daen A. Ali and costumes sponsored by ATZU and Dress Sense, the blend and mix was simply perfect. Even though I will not upload the actual video in this entry due to respecting its exclusivity, you can view it when it’s up on Singtel‘s website in the coming future as Hyrul is a Mio Singtel ambassador. Hyrul had also stated that the MV will not be uploaded on YouTube.

On a day Hyrul Anuar celebrated the launch of his music video and creating a milestone of sorts on his birthday, it was also launched and aired on Suria, Sensasi and Astro Ria that night. Personally I feel that the music video has raised the standards of local MVs. At first glance, it reminded me of some of KRU‘s music videos and the group were known for being technologically advanced in creating their own MVs even way back in the late 90s. Let’s hope that more local acts will be inspired to produce their own quality videos and lift the standards of our local industry to a new level. If Hyrul Anuar can do it through his own perseverance and hard work, I think anything is possible if we were to put our hearts, minds and soul into it. Congratulations to Hyrul Anuar on the launch of his “Mata” music video!!!

Snapshots of Hyrul Anuar’s “Mata” Music Video Launch

Guests were encouraged to hold these props up and take a photograph… 

Host of the event, Imran Ajmain

The man himself, Hyrul Anuar

Hyrul with local actress Shasha Ya’kob

RIA 89.7FM‘s Aura Shai was in attendance…

So too was television personality, Rilla Melati Bahri

The beautiful model in the music video, Noor Artika…

Introducing Hyrul Anuar‘s proud parents…

Some of the guests in attendance…

Local singers Roze Kasmani and Hydir Idris were also in attendance, as well as talented lyricist Fadly Ahmad (right)…

Surprise birthday celebration for the birthday boy…

APM2011 After-Thoughts & Post-Event Reception Photographs…

This entry will be the last on Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 and I have to admit, it is getting a bit stale already, as a fortnight has passed since it was held at Max Pavilion Singapore Expo on 15 July 2011. I did say in my review that I would be putting up photographs of the post-event reception as well on a later entry, so this is basically it. I’ve even managed to interview several personalities during the reception to get their thoughts on the show, to share with us what are their upcoming plans, and for the award winners to say a word of gratitude to family, friends and supporters which they might not have been able to do so when they received their awards on stage. Indeed this was something new I have value-added on to this blog as I have never / seldom done any interviews other than the usual promos / greetings. Guess there is always a first to everything huh???

Post-Event Photographs

Actually this shot of Sarah Aqilah and Rahayu Ridwan was taken during one of the commercial breaks…

Elly, Renni & Reela of local girl-group DyndaVega had to leave the show early to attend to a private matter. They were nominated in the Artis Singapura Paling Popular award category…

 Always a pleasure to meet Linda Onn (seen here with the wife), one of my favourite DJs from across the Causeway

Tujuh, with Nazri of Aryan Band (right). The group was also nominated in the Artis Singapura Paling Popular award category…

The present and the future of our local Malay entertainment scene – Alyph (SleeQ), Azzah Fariha, Malaque Mahdaly & Syarif (SleeQ)…

Some of the Top 18 contestants of Anugerah 2011 not wanting to miss out on the glamourous night. From right: Syazani Rahim, Faziz Taufiq, Azhar Raz, Erlina and Shikin Imran. They are joined by Mediacorp Suria‘s Budi Iskandar Sa’ad (left), Elly of Dynda (second from left) and Netty Fiona Othman of Eaglevision (third from left)…

Lagu Terbaik Singapura nominee Faizal Isa (right), with Janz Abdullah, the composer of his hit debut single “Maafkanku (Oh Cinta)“…

Aliff Aziz looking smart in his outfit. I think what was missing was a tall hat and a walking stick. He would have looked like an Englishman from the Victorian age…

Fauzie Laily, Hazlina Halim & Khairudin Saharom – Multi-talented individuals in our local entertainment scene…

Talented director Adi Yadoni with wife, local actress Wahyu Rahman. She is also the manager of up-and-coming local talent Awi Rafael, former frontman of Bhumiband

My favourite couple, Huda Ali and Den Sabari. They celebrated their first wedding anniversary that night…

Attending an awards show is never complete without taking a photograph with Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza

The living, breathing Barbie-doll – Amanda Imani

The two Idris-es (Ize and A’Trez) who make up X-Clusive

Smokin’ hot Farah Asyakin

Nity Baizura and Fiza O looking all glammed-up…

Hyrul Anuar (left) never fails to don something stylish to a prestigious event. He is seen here with renowned choreographer Eddy

Hady Mirza sharing his thoughts with yours truly…

Hyrul is flanked by Faizal Isa (left) and Farhan Shah. It took a lot of courage for the latter to attend the event as he was on crutches after recently undergoing an operation on his injured knee due to a freak accident. Speedy recovery bro!!!

Another one of my personal best shots of the night, this time with SleeQ and Amanda Imani, as my subjects of focus…

No matter what the online critics might say about the show, I believe Aura Shai as the producer of APM2011, has done a stellar job…

After-Thoughts By Guest Performers, Award Winners, Host & Invitees

Thank you to everyone featured on this clip…

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Side-Issue

Source: Gua.com.my

P.S. – I actually want to comment more on this article I have included above and I have to admit I felt so tempted to rebutt in full glory, but I guess I will not run the risk of a lawsuit, even if I were to tell the probable truth. It is afterall between him and the organisers. I already said in my review that the reason his performance began late was because his keyboardist’s PC had to hang at the wrong moment. It was something neither him nor the organisers could have envisaged nor do anything about. Anyone seated near the centre that night like myself would have noticed how his keyboardist was frantically trying to get things going and as a viewer, I sympathised with her and hoped that viewers at home would be able to share my feelings as well. Nobody would want such a thing to happen on a live show. It was just bad luck that it had to happen that night.

As a professional artiste, I believe one should know what award category one is being nominated for, or what is going on during the show. Even if a person is stationed backstage, I believe it is the norm to have monitors at the back to prompt performers and stagehands on the proceedings or at the very least, the sounds are loud enough to inform what is going on onstage. To have an idea of the sequence of events during a particular show, that is one of the reasons why rehearsals are done. In his case, he was only nominated for two awards and the Most Popular one is always given away towards the end. Was it too difficult to remember??? I might be wrong again but based on my observations, I did not see him seated amongst the nominees throughout the whole show nor did he walk the Red Carpet. Even celebrated performers as big as Dato’ M. Nasir and Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza were seen seated amongst the audience. I do hope success has not gone to his head cos as a performer, I still love him to bits and not many have stage presence and charisma like he does. Attitude, a positive one, also plays a part in the likeability stakes…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 Review…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 returned to these shores last Friday night after a four-year absence, venturing in Kuala Lumpur in 2008 and Jakarta in 2009, before taking a break last year due to the economic slowdown. 2010 also saw the birth of our very own AnugeraHitz.SG, so it was understandably taxing for Mediacorp Radio‘s Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM to organise Anugerah Planet Muzik, moreso in Singapore where we do not have the privilege of having mega sponsorships from big companies as what is being enjoyed by our regional counterparts. As such, we have to lower our expectations on seeing more of such big events being organised here. Unless of course if our mainstream media organisations can pool their resources together and give what the consumers would want to see. Anyway, the event celebrated its tenth year in existence, a long way since its inception in 2001 held at the now-defunct Harbour Pavilion. I still remember that 20 January 2001 event like it was yesterday.

Judging from last Friday‘s attendance at the Max Pavilion Singapore Expo where the event was held, I think a working collaboration of such magnitude is still far away from getting materialised. Just imagine, we had one of the best line-ups in Anugerah Planet Muzik history, yet the venue was only about half full. Who should we blame this for??? The economy??? The organisers??? The consumers??? The event venue??? The promotions team??? I’ve said it before and I say it again, we here in Singapore are suckers for free shows, no thanks to the monthly exhibitions at Singapore Expo where we can watch guest artistes performing without paying a single cent. The timing of the event could also have played a small part in not enticing people from attending it. It was only a month ago that we had Maher Zain performing here to a sell-out audience, and tickets to his concert did not come cheap, especially for those who came in big groups or as a family.

I find it extremely odd that even with the likes of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Afgan, Rossa, M. Nasir, Hady Mirza and Taufik Batisah just to name a few in the stellar line-up, it was difficult to attract bums to seats. Not only that, it is a mystery to me that the event felt more like a SingaporeMalaysia affair with mostly Singaporean and Malaysian artistes in attendance. The Indonesians had their host in Daniel Mananta and performers in Afgan Syah Reza, Rossa, Melly Goeslaw and Sandhy Sondoro, but other than them, only Judika was seen sitting behind Aliff Aziz amongst the audience. No one can deny that the Indonesians produce good music and good talents, but I hope it doesn’t breed a sense of pompous attitude that they do not support an event such as this. At least accept the invitation of the organisers to come and make the effort to meet their fans over here. We already have a sizeable number of Indonesians working or attending school here and it would be nice to meet their fellow countrymen.

Taufik Batisah, Hady Mirza, Sezairi Sezali, SleeQ, Sarah Aqilah and Rahayu Ridwan opened the show with “Senyum“… Not forgetting Orkestar Trio and Bloco Singapura before that…

Speaking of the venue, I had major reservations when I first heard that it was gonna be held there back in April. Unsavoury memories of APM2006 were still fresh in my mind and to tell you the truth, I had not stepped foot at that event venue since then till last Thursday afternoon, when I dropped by to watch Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza and Jaclyn Victor rehearsing for their tribute segment with Melly Goeslaw. I did not attend any concerts or shows held there for the past five years, for the sole reasons that I was sceptical of the poor sound system which I experienced back in 2006. There were also other factors that made APM2006 the least enjoyable or to put it harshly, “the worst”, in my opinion. I would not want to bring it up here as I had already done so back then, also in this domain. But I’m sure the organisers have taken into account the shortcomings and strived to make it a better experience for those who had paid to come and watch the event as the years go by.

As a whole, I personally feel that this year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik event is probably almost on par with the ones held back in 2002 and 2004, the years I felt were the better-produced ones in its history. Coincidentally both editions were also held at Singapore Expo, though at Halls 6 and 3 respectively. Ok some of you might say that I’m saying this just because I have finally gotten what I wanted, which is getting official media accreditation, something which I had fought hard to attain all these years and that I had to say nice things so as to get future invitations to such events. I’m sorry to disappoint my haters and dissenters, but what I observed live was very much different than couch potatoes at home. And I have a strong feeling that those who bothered to come, some even dressed up to the nines, would say that it was all worth coming and paying every single cent to watch it, no matter if they had sat nearer to the stage or way at the back.

Malaysia‘s Didie Alias introduced her hosting colleagues with a modified version of Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance“…

Yes, I know just by reading my Twitter timeline, Facebook wall, as well as online reports on the event, commenters out there did not paint a rosy picture. It is Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) afterall, and what is being organised by our local Malay radio stations or even by our own Suria channel, will never be good for those watching at home, especially those who were watching from outside this country. This show has always received flak from the foreign media, who have too high expectations given that it is a regional event, so it was not a surprise for me to read the negative commentaries. I attribute some of these bad press to the fact that most of the foreign media did not turn up due to the lack of invitation and were not granted transportation & lodging as well by the organisers. I didn’t know that such practices are the norm in entertainment journalism, at least across our shores. I certainly learnt something new here cos I thought it was the job of their respective employers to provide these sort of arrangements to cover events. I’m still a newbie at this, so please forgive me for my ignorance.

Anyway I have to admit hand to heart, the show has its niggly flaws to contend with (which show is perfect you tell me???), but if you look at it in the bigger picture, would anyone else from Malaysia or Indonesia bother to do a similar show or even give our own local acts their due recognitions on stage??? Already from my Twitter timeline I read how so many people from outside this country have not heard of our local artistes, other than those who have made a name for themselves there. This is one of the reasons why Anugerah Planet Muzik is held, for artistes in each country to be introduced and known to the region and for the established ones to maintain their positions. If you ask me before this event was held, I have never heard of the likes of Amanda Imani, Aisya Hasnaa, Zivilia, Blackout, Astrid, Govinda and Febrian before this, just to name a few of the region’s newbie acts, but thanks to APM, I now know that even though they are new to the scene, they do not lack in quality.

The awesome foursome who lit the night up with their antics…

Likewise I hope that people outside this country would get to know our acts better and who knows, their presence on stage would open more doors for them across our shores. The problem with viewers outside Singapore is that they are too nationalistic in their views over their respective music scenes and think they have the bigger and better industry. Of course they do, that I do not deny, but isn’t music meant to be shared and enjoyed universally??? No matter what the foreign media or entertainment bloggers or even general viewers might say about APM, it is an event such as this that brings the region together and for the musicians, performers, producers, lyricists and composers to build a working network, so as to bring up the quality of music in this region through the proliferation and exchanging of ideas. In this respect, the words of Gigi‘s front man, Armand Maulana, – “Keep the peace, love & respect for music” – rings true.

Though I had said that this is probably one of the better APMs in its history, the best was still the one in 2005 held at Suntec City Convention Hall where it was a sold-out event and it had a proper Red Carpet event, complete with artistes coming in limousines and the fans lining up the passageways to clamour and jostle for photographs. Now that’s what a Red Carpet event should be about. Not that this year was not good, but it could have been done slightly better. I heard and I saw for myself how fans were coming forward to grab the artistes or stepped forward on the Red Carpet themselves when it was supposed to be exclusivity for the artistes to walk on. Why they were allowed to do this was because there were no barricades separating the artistes and them. Some who had grabbed the artistes or stepped foot on the red carpet only served to slow down the smoothness of the proceedings. Still, I thought it was much better than in 2006 where the artistes had to “do the catwalk” on stage to be introduced to the audience. My other gripe would be more artistes should have walked the carpet even if they were not performing or presenting awards. Quite a few of our nominees were in attendance. At least give them their deserved spotlight on their big night.

The suave Adi Rahman

In any awards show, the host/s have a responsibility of keeping the interest of viewers going. I like the make-up of this year’s hosting line-up, especially the introduction of Malaysia‘s Lady Gaga, Didie Alias, and Indonesian MTV VJ, Daniel Mananta. They brought a new and more creative element into the mix, a breath of fresh air no doubt. Didie‘s over-the-top antics stole the show, while the rest looked more than happy to play the supporting role. However, some of what was written on their scripts and planned antics were unnecessary, like the dig on Malaysian actress Rozita Che Wan and her reported beau, Shahir, for instance. It’s like a recycled joke when Adi Rahman used to profess his love for Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza in previous APMs that he had hosted before. I was just amazed the Lady Gaga segment at the beginning of the show passed by without any hoo-ha, given the fact that her “modified” songs brought so much consternation over the past week on this island, due to the furore surrounding the National Day Parade‘s “Fun Pack“.

The opening segment comprising an all-Singaporean affair, which had never been done before in the history of the show, was a fresh idea and one that had the audience cheering right from the start. It gave an impression that our local acts, acting as our ambassadors, were the ones who did the welcoming to their regional counterparts and the audience watching at home to the show. Everyone looked as though they were enjoying themselves, most notably our newly-crowned Anugerah 2011 champion, Rahayu Ridwan. However, I personally feel that it would have been better had a song by any one of our local acts be sung instead. Looking at their comfort on stage, whilst rapping is the forte of SleeQ, our three Idols are more known as crooners rather than rappers. Part of the lyrics to the song “Senyum” also related more on the original performer’s (Malique) life, which does not really reflect much about welcoming us to the show. Some of their voices were also inaudible at times or drowned by the live music, due to technical problems with the microphone volumes.

The affable Fiza O 

I will of course, not describe each and every single performance per se, as you can view all of them on YouTube, thanks to the people who have uploaded them. Personally I enjoyed a bulk of the performances that night and three hours went by a little too fast for my liking. From the various solo and group performances, to the teaming up of regional acts on stage, APM 2011 delivered in its live entertainment value. I was extremely proud of our local acts, each and every single one of them, who showed that they were able to stand tall along with their regional counterparts. There was no inferiority complex whatsoever, just confident performances throughout. Aryan Band, is one that needs a special mention as most people in Singapore have also not heard of them before this, yours truly included. Just by their name, I thought they were from Indonesia. Their rendition of “Azura 2011” had the hairs at the back of my neck standing by the end of their performance. No wonder Luncai Emas Sdn Bhd have signed them up under their label. This group is certainly about to go places in the upcoming future.

Other local acts that need to be given props are Sarah Aqilah (“Seikhlas Hatimu“) and Sezairi Sezali. The former has certainly grown and improve from her Anugerah 2009 win and I do hope she would go on to build a proper singing career once her studies are over. Sezairi on the other hand, impressed with his soothing vocals when he performed “Matahari“. Other notable performances that I enjoyed that night were Amanda Imani (“Selamilah Cinta“), Afgan Syah Reza (“Terima Kasih Cinta” / “Dia Dia Dia“), and the tribute to Anugerah Khas Planet Muzik recipient, Melly Goeslaw, by Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Jaclyn Victor and Melly herself. 3 Suara, which comprises Ning Baizura, Jaclyn Victor & Shylla Amzah, was another that grabbed the attention with their sultry showmanship. Even though I also loved Ajai and Shylla‘s duet, performing The Lion Story & Zahidah‘s “Lagu Teman“, it would have been nice if the original singers were given their dues and opportunity to perform on the night.

Daniel Mananta is definitely a hit with the ladies…

Surprisingly, I did not quite enjoy two of my favourite performers’ performances and I’m sure you can more or less guess who. Though I love Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza and Faizal Tahir to bits, I thought their performances that night did not quite work out as it should be. The former’s song “I’m Falling In Love“, which is a new single in her upcoming English album, is a bit too identical to Kylie Minogue‘s “Can’t Get You Outta My Head“, along with the dance steps. As for the latter, I’m sure you know what happened when he went flat and off-key when performing “Hanyut” and “Selamat Malam“. The delay to his performance was caused by the hanging of his accompanying keyboardist’s PC. But he should have saved the day by engaging the audience with his witty quips, which he is known for, rather than keep quiet and let the seconds and minutes go by.

From what I read online, a lot of people were blaming the organisers and production team for this particular boo-boo and this also included the four-minute loss of transmission towards the end, which I felt was quite unfair, since most of these comments were made by people who did not watch the show live. The loss of transmission was due to the heavy storm which descended outside the event venue just before Dato’ Siti was awarded the Most Popular Regional Artiste Award. Acts of God like these are unavoidable and there is no way you can prevent if such a thing were to occur. Some went so far as to comment they demand an explanation from the organisers, even if they have to wait till the end of time. Be realistic, don’t be ridiculous!!! As for Mr Superman himself, I hope he had done enough sound checks beforehand to know what could possibly go wrong on the night. That’s the reason why you have sound checks and rehearsals leading up to a show.

Other unsavoury bits of news I heard were some artistes smoking in the waiting room and throwing their cigarette butts on the carpeted floors. I dunno if this is plain stupidity or ignorance or simply a lack of common sense on their part, but they could have caused a fire to break out as a result and more damage to the show. Basic etiquettes like not chewing gum when you’re on stage performing or even when accepting an award, should also be drummed into the heads of wannabe artistes out there. Not only is it rude with millions in the region watching your every move, it reflects badly on the country you represent. There is a time and place to enjoy that puff or chew the gum, but don’t ruin your newly-built reputations when the media is ever ready to pounce on your flaws and bring you down. If you are a Singaporean artiste, you will count yourselves very lucky the media here are very much forgiving and always giving the benefit of doubt. Malaysian or Indonesian artistes do not exactly enjoy that liberty.

Looking at the winners, I don’t think eyebrows need to be raised with most of the choices, even though many people have been questioning the wisdom in crowning the Lagu Serantau Paling Popular Award to our Asian Idol, Hady Mirza. No doubt his win in that category was a bit surprising. I also did not expect any of our local acts to win in that category for the sole reason being our population size, as compared to our regional counterparts. If voters from other countries are crying foul, then it’s their fault for not working hard or having the presence of mind to vote for their respective favourites, given the fact that they were already told via the official radio stations in their respective countries on how to go about voting for their favourites. Either way, the tech savvy ones simply did not bother to vote nor having the initiative to find out how to do it. No point calling it a farce when other sets of fans have worked hard to make it possible.

But the crowning of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza as the Most Popular Regional Artiste (Throughout The Decade) was the one that surprised me in terms of what it meant for her in future. By virtue of winning this award, and what the television viewers did not get to see due to the loss in transmission, it was announced that she is automatically exempted from being nominated again in upcoming Anugerah Planet Muzik events in this particular category. I dunno if this was an executive decision made by the organisers or one that the diva herself had agreed upon beforehand, but I hope for her sake, she is not “banned” from being nominated again and that it was in agreement that she would give way to others, just like what she did with Anugerah Juara Lagu and Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian back in her home country. This win was very much expected given the fact that she is well-loved by people from the three countries. Ten in a row, it will take someone equally special to top that feat and may never be repeated in our lifetime.

I also would like to go on record to say I like the delectable mix of award presenters that night, even though it also has to be said that a constant complain at every APM is the “recycling” of performers and them backing up as presenters as well. I think the ones that were most enjoyable that night were Dato’ AC Mizal & Huda Ali as well as Halim Othman & Linda Onn. Their banters were off-the-cuff, natural and showed uncanny chemistry between them. Linda certainly impressed me with her natural usage of Bahasa Baku, something that even most of us do not practice every day. The only downside to the scripts were the sexual innuendoes which I felt were a bit unnecessary or the jibes on their fellow presenters’ private lives. There is a place for jokes like that, but not when the show is watched by millions of viewers of all ages in the region.

I have a niggly issue with the finale though and I need to do a bit of complaining about it. I thought it could have been done much better by having a final rousing performance by any of the acts to end the night, but it was not to be. Instead, it ended with the hosts thanking everyone and the sponsors and it was left to them to dance along to the accompanying music and waving to the audience in the hall and at home. For most of the good things that happened that night, it had to end off with an anti-climax like that. I think the one in 2007 where the show ended with Kris Dayanti, Hady Mirza, Diddy and the late Yanie (May Allah bless her soul), was an example of a good finale. I really hope that the organisers would think about this aspect the next time they stage APM anywhere in the region, as it would be a waste to end off a good show with nothing more than what was displayed, plus the traditional showering of confetti upon everyone seated at the front and on stage.

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 was, in my humble opinion, a generally enjoyable event. A pity then that the arena was only about half full when it should have been a sell-out. The line-up was great, the performances were mostly excellent. Yes I detected a few technical problems when I watched it again on YouTube and that is something that the organisers should take heed and note for the betterment of future productions. Given the economic climate, I feel that if it were to be organised here again, it should be held at a smaller venue where the acoustics would lend justice to the performers as well as those watching in the arena and at home. Kudos to those who paid f0r and dressed up for the event. The ones who enjoyed themselves were those who were in attendance. It was two different experiences soaking the atmosphere live and watching from the comfort of home. And that is where we get the accolades and flak from different sets of viewers. Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 if it is to be staged, God willing, will probably be held in Jakarta, though I hope that it would be in Kuala Lumpur instead.

P.S. A big thank you to Mediacorp Radio Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM for the kind invitation to the event. Thank you also to my outfit sponsor Jatt’s Collezione for the top I wore the other night. In case you are wondering why there are no photographs on the performances, award presenters as well as post-event reception, I have planned to upload them in subsequent entries so you need to come back soon…