I know this domain is basically slanted more towards happenings in Singapore‘s own Malay entertainment scene, but as a self-styled entertainment blogger, I have the prerogative to dictate what content I want to share with my audience. Long time followers of my social media accounts or even those who have known me long enough will know that I am a massive fan of Malaysia‘s evergreen pop-rap group, KRU. Just look at the name of this domain – Da’ KRUsader’s Manor – and it will tell you all about my love for the group and where I drew inspiration from. Since the Abdul Halim brothers – Dato’ Norman, Yusry and Edry – came into the fore in 1992 with their debut hit single, “Hanya Kau“, I have been hooked to their music, songs and albums, challenging myself to memorise every lyrics – the longer or challenging they were, the more pleasure I derived from eventually mastering them. When they announced in a media conference about a fortnight ago that this three-night concert at Istana Budaya Kuala Lumpur would be their swansong in the music scene, what I initially had predicted in private came true.
I will not disguise the fact that I am not sad at the announcement, but it was a matter of when and not if, given they have not been that active musically, save for Edry. The brothers had achieved everything they could over the past twenty-six years of their involvement in the scene. We literally grew up with them, from teenage adolescence till our current status of being married with kids. It has been a joyful journey supporting the brothers through their ups and downs, sticking by through whatever unsavoury controversies that befell them, even sympathised when they were going through several low points in their personal private lives. They outlived all the groups that appeared in the same era as them, built themselves a legacy and empire that many could only dream of or watched with envy. Some may counter and say, it is fine for them as they are real-life siblings afterall for them to have such longevity, but in business, even siblings do disagree to the point of eventually splitting just like two famous sports brands in the world. But no KRU did not fight amongst themselves. They felt the time was right to retire when they have achieved everything.
The brothers have contributed so much to the Malaysian entertainment scene, through music and through film-making. They dared to experiment with heavy CGI effects for their hit films like “Cicakman“, at a time when not many dared to do so because of the high costs that they entailed. Even in music, they continued to reinvent their own sounds as well as churning out hits after hits for other singers and groups. And who can forget how audacious they were to bring Allahyarham Tan Sri P. Ramlee literally back to life by “recording a duet with him” for “Getaran Jiwa“, reminiscent of the late Nat King Cole‘s duet with his daughter Natalie??? I will be the first to admit, that as a huge fan of their compositions, not all of them were music to my ears. They had some songs, an even one particular album (KRUnisme), that were not my cup of tea, but it was no big deal for me as they were in the midst of being current with the times as well as experimenting new sounds and concepts. Even though they had a certain formula to making their own songs a hit, their music also had to mature to reflect their age. Like what Edry once told me, we cannot expect them to be jumping and prancing around onstage like how they used to back in the 90s.
Still, during the concert that I attended last Saturday, all of us were transported back in time. For slightly more than two hours, the audience anti-aged ourselves fifteen to twenty years behind and became youngsters once again, singing with gusto to every song that was carefully selected to perform, all massive radio hits back in their time. Even though not one of my own personal favourites (“Hanya Kau“, “Inikah Ertinya Cinta“, “Go KRU! – TRRG“, “Vendetta“, “Fobia“, “Aneh“, “Salah Siapa“, “Emilia“, “Mahaguru“, “Impak Maksima“, “For You“, “Tribe“, “Girlfriend’s Girlfriend“, “Seperti Yang Ku Jangka“, “Perpisahan Terasing“) was performed that night, the set list which was almost similar to the one performed at our very own Esplanade back in August 2016, was enough to bring us back down memory lane for one last hurrah. The songs too were arranged to suit the trio’s stamina levels, given it was the first time they performed back-to-back for three nights in a row, something which they had never done before this, but I believed they aced it for every one. How could they not, when they admitted getting their energies from the ever-sporting audience who hailed from all over Malaysia and even those from Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Dubai and Europe??? How fortunate also for those who attended the very last concert on Sunday night to have witnessed Joe Flizzow rapping to “Ooh! La! La!” and Jaclyn Victor singing “Di Pintu Syurga” with the brothers. Wished we could have seen them in the earlier performance nights.
For each and every attendee, this concert will live long in our memories for years to come. We can all proudly say we were there when KRU performed for us one last time before riding off into the sunset. All those songs performed during the three nights had their own personal memories for all of us. Some could have been related to our very own personal heartbreaks, some when we were madly in love with our current or probably ex-partners. Whereas others just inspired confidence and a perk-me-up, a certain defiance for us to seize the day amidst whatever obstacles we faced. I remember being teased and ridiculed for being a massive fan boy back in school cos most guys were either into English or rock music. One thing I learned from the group back then was to remain steadfast in my beliefs and principles and that has served me well in life, no matter the criticisms that came my way. Truly, it is difficult to find a true replacement for the group, like in the words to the lyrics of “Janji Tinggal Janji” – “Kata pada diri ini, di mana kan ku cari ganti?“. KRU is a brand name, a label and icon in the Malaysian and regional music scene. Their legacy and empire will continue to live long in the annals of history as a game-changer and trend-setter of their time. This is indeed the end of an era for a group that has contributed so much to the changing face of the music scene in Malaysia. Will we ever get to see their likes again? I am afraid not so soon.
To my KRU brothers, Dato’ Norman, Yusry and Edry – Thank you for 26 years of entertainment and above all, your appreciation and friendship. From the time I first attended your performance in Singapore in June 1994 at Marina Bay, to your first concert here (AWAS Da’ Concert) at the now-defunct Harbour Pavilion on 16 October 1995, countless others in between right down to your final one at Istana Budaya this past weekend, it has been nothing but an honour to have supported your journey and be entertained by your songs as well as your showmanship on stage. Above all, I cherish every single moment we used to hang out at the airport whilst waiting for your flights home, watching Edry in the studio producing Yusry‘s solo album back in 2003, or even hanging out at your hotel rooms to talk about music, the entertainment scene on both sides of the Causeway and our respective lives. For fellow KRU fanatics out there, the group will continue to live on in our hearts and we will continue to listen and sing along to your songs. I wish all three of you the best in your upcoming ventures and endeavours and wish nothing but more success to you and your respective families. I held back tears at least three times last Saturday during the concert, but by the end, I chose to smile and remember the good times we had over these wonderful years of support. Your music journey might have ended, but I hope our friendship will continue to last a lifetime, regardless wherever you are or what you do henceforth.
P.S. I end this entry by apologising for my last one. Unbeknownst to me till the morning after I had posted it, did I know that the “An Evening with the Stars” Mothers Day charity showcase involving Anuar Zain, Zamani SLAM and Fauzie Laily, which was supposed to have been staged on 6th May 2018 at Persada International Convention Centre in Johor Bahru, had been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. It is with much regrets that such an untimely occurrence had to happen so close to the date of event. Those who had purchased the tickets are entitled for a full refund by the organisers from what I know from trusted sources who had informed me of the unfortunate turn of events. I will not speculate why the show was cancelled given the upbeat media conferences that were held both in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore recently. I just hope that some day, the same line-up will get to perform together on the same stage. I for one, am gutted for bro Fauzie who had been looking forward to the showcase.
(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)
I usually start off my entries after a long hiatus with an apology to my readers for making them wait so long for my return. Seeing how in the past I’ve been doing it, only to repeat the cycle again and again like a bad record, I have decided that I will not be doing any at all this time. Some of you will be extremely surprised to read this, but this entry almost became my final entry announcing my retirement from the scene. Yup you read that right!!! I was heavily toying at the idea of retiring as I had lost interest in doing write-ups and reviews, not to mention my time-consuming photo-editing process. In addition, this is a job that is not being paid but out of my passion for the local / regional Malay entertainment scene. There is only so much time and effort I can afford to put in at the expense of quality time with family. Why I decided to put the idea on the back-burner is because there is still that wee bit ounce of passion which I managed to coax out of me. For how long more??? That itself is a question to be answered. I feel jaded really to be honest.
Local artistes and representatives of the local Malay music scene who turned out in force for the media conference at Orchard Hotel…
I wish there were more like me out there, the ones who write / type with sense and rationale, not too emotional when critical, who will give benefit of doubt as much as they can. I just feel that it is time for a new generation of writers to take over but sadly also, blogging seems to be passe these days. I will not promise anything, but I guess from now, any entries on this domain should be regarded as “Heaven-sent”. I will pick and choose what events I attend henceforth and will not be bogged down by having to put entries or photos up as soon as the events end. Well it has always been that way, hasn’t it??? Just that I cannot commit to attending events (mostly at Mediacorp) on a regular basis henceforth, with its current location a bit far for my liking being the North-Easterner that I am. It is also to be fair to those who have kindly invited me to cover their respective events. With that out of the way, let’s begin this entry in earnest.
KC and Dzar Ismail were the hosts of the media conference in Singapore…
Anugerah Planet Muzik has always been THE event that I most look forward to annually since its inception on 20th January 2001, so much so I am willing to forgo watching my beloved football club Manchester United, when they face our sworn enemies Liverpool on the day of the event (14th October 2017). Part of the reason I’ve decided to continue blogging was also because of this event. It is afterall the Grammys of the regional music scene, whereby the four countries, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei come together to celebrate the best amongst them for the year. I know I have not been doing any reviews since the 2014 edition, but it also gave me some breathing space to observe changes that were made over the last two instalments. I noted a lot of improvements along the way which many at home do not have the benefit of knowing nor seeing, and there were also shortcomings, mostly because of a change in venue and having to adapt to new surroundings. I am hoping that with the event once again returning to the MES Theatre @ Mediacorp, the visual experience will improve, especially for those at home, because watching it live in the theatre and at home are two extremely stark contrasting experiences.
Nurul Isnina performed her debut hit single “Buaya“…
Just like the previous year, the media conference announcing the nominees for this year’s edition, was held at Orchard Hotel, albeit at the smaller Lavender Room a fortnight ago (22nd August 2017). Where A.B. Shaik, Aura Shai and Fiza O have always been the usual hosts at previous APM media conferences in Singapore, this year saw a somewhat refreshing change with Dzar Ismail and KC anchoring the proceedings. The media conference was also graced by the performances of eventual nominees Nurul Isnina, Iyaad Salleh, Arus Band & Sofia Arissa. Where previous media conferences were used to showcase upcoming young talents our local industry has to show for, there was a distinct upgrade of quality with those nominated being invited to perform and to show the audience why their names are up there along with the regional’s best. The event also saw the performance of Aidil Akmal and Dzar Ismail with their Malay rendition of the global hit “Despacito“, titled “Incognito“, which has since garnered their music video more than ten million views!!! I was telling Dzar afterwards, if only one view could be converted to a dollar, he could afford to retire by now. Such is the outreach of social media these days, that through creative works such as these, one can make it viral worldwide.
Arus Band, along with Sofia Arissa, were one of the few performers that day. Here, they’re seen singing their current hit song on the airwaves “Terlalu“…
A minor controversy emerged when I was viewing the live Facebook feed of the media conference at Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur on 24th August 2017. I noted that Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza who was initially nominated in the Best Female Artiste Category for her song “Menatap Dalam Mimpi” was missing as compared to the one announced in Singapore just two days before. I only got the answer after seeing reports that the organisers had indeed acknowledged and apologised for their error during the media conference in Kuala Lumpur itself and that all was fine between them as well as Dato’ Siti, and her management who were the ones who had alerted the organisers about it. I think this is a fine example of years of good working relationship between both sides as well as honesty and integrity being practised. The management could have kept quiet about it, but they did not. Thumbs up to Siti Nurhaliza Productions for the highlight and Mediacorp for acknowledging their error and apologising for it!!!
Ms. Zakiah Halim, Head of Mediacorp Malay Community addressing the floor along with CEO of COMPASS, Dr. Edmund Lam and Mr. Hassan Salleh, Senior Programming Director, Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM, Mediacorp…
A special first concert road tour for this year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik was announced by Mr. Hassan Salleh towards the end of the media conference. For the first time in the history of the prestigious regional awards show, Mediacorp is partnering with the organisers of the Formula 1 Petronas Grand Prix Malaysia for a concert road tour to close the race in Sepang, which will see it hosting for the 19th and final time. The concert will be the penultimate show on the final day of the race (1st October 2017) and will feature some of the regional award nominees of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2017. At the time of typing this entry, I still do not know details of the concert and who exactly will be performing till perhaps closer to the date. My guess is that we will have big names from Malaysia, Indonesia and also Singapore to grace the concert. Will I be covering the concert??? That depends if some kind soul or organisation will be kind enough to sponsor my trip up north. Anyway I’m sure there will be some live streaming or at the very least, some live Facebook feed of the concert for us to view the proceedings if we are unable to physically watch it live.
The APM trophies are up for grabs again…
A total of 19 awards will be presented at this year’s event, the same as the previous year, with no tweaks nor changes made to any of the categories. Viewers and listeners can catch the ‘LIVE’ simulcast on TV channel Mediacorp Suria, radio stations RIA 89.7FM and Warna 94.2FM as well as online streaming via Toggle LIVE. APM 2017 will feature a new generation of artistes discovered largely from social media platforms and is set to entertain and dazzle with a stellar line-up such as Ayda Jebat, Aisyah Aziz, Isyana Sarasvati, Virgoun, Gloria Jessica, Aiman Tino, Hael Husaini, and many more. Music fans and enthusiasts are also given the opportunity to vote for their favourite songs and artistes in fan-driven categories from 22nd August until 14th October, 10.00pm on Toggle at 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).
Snapshots of APM2017 Media Conference
(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)
Just like that in the blink of an eye, the fifteenth edition of Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM2016) whizzed by this past Friday 30 September 2016 and held for the very first time at the newly-opened MES Theatre @ Mediacorp. On a more personal note, this was one of the more memorable editions for me, no matter what many online commentators might have said about the awards show that night and post-show. I’ll save more of my comments in my review soon, but as usual, I’ll kickstart my annual APM entry series by honouring the best and most popular that night. Congratulations to all the deserving winners of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016!!!
Artis Paling Popular APM / (APM Most Popular Artiste)
Lagu Paling Popular APM / (APM Most Popular Song) – Pencuri Hati
Ikon Media Sosial / (Social Media Icon)
Artis Singapura Paling Popular / (Most Popular Singapore Artiste)
Lagu Singapura Paling Popular / (Most Popular Singapore Song) – Kisah Dua Muka
Hanya Namamu – Caliph Buskers
(Composer & Lyricist: Edry Abdul Halim)
Lagu Terbaik (Malaysia) / (Best Malaysian Song)
Lagu Terbaik APM / (Best APM Song)
Musikimia – Dan Bernyanyilah
(Composers & Lyricists: Fadly, Yoyo, Stephan, Rindra & Iksan Skuter)
Band Terbaik / (Best Band)
Lagu Terbaik (Indonesia) / (Best Song – Indonesia)
Rizky Febian – Kesempurnaan Cinta
Artis Baru Terbaik (Lelaki) / (Best Male Artiste)
Glenn Fredly – Perempuanku
Artis Terbaik (Lelaki) / (Best Male Artiste)
Raisa – Kali Kedua
Artis Wanita Terbaik / (Best Female Artiste)
Yuka Kharisma – Hati Berbisik
Artis Baru Terbaik (Wanita) / (Best New Female Artiste)
Afgan & Raisa – Percayalah
Duo / Kumpulan Terbaik (Best Duo / Group)
Awi Rafael & Ayai Illusi – Manusia Sempurna
Kolaborasi Terbaik (Artis) / (Best Artiste Collaboration)
Beautiful – Aziz Harun
Composers: Faizal Tahir, Mike Chan, Omar K & Aziz Harun
Lyricists: Faizal Tahir & Mike Chan
Kolaborasi Terbaik (Lagu) / (Best Song Collaboration)
Haikal Ali – Bertemu Kembali
Composers: Haramain Osman & Judah Lyne (The Lion Story)
Lyricist: Haramain Osman (The Lion Story)
Lagu Terbaik Singapura / (Best Singapore Song)
Anugerah Rentas Planet / International Breakthrough Artiste