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

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

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

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

Kraton in the house!!!

Revalina & Shahril Bahri

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

The Sallys…

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

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

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

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

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

The glam man himself – Hafeez Glamour

Shah, Ross & Aidil – Revalina…

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

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

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

Revalina with Aqmal Noor & his partner…

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

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

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

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


anugeraHitz.sg Predictions…

 

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

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

CATEGORY 1: ARTIS BARU TERBAIK (BEST NEW ARTISTE)

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

  

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

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

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

 

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

CATEGORY 3: ARTIS TERBAIK (BEST ARTISTE)  

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

CATEGORY 5: PENULIS LIRIK TERBAIK (BEST LYRICIST)  

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

 

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

CATEGORY 6: KOMPOSER TERBAIK (BEST COMPOSER) 

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

   

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

 

CATEGORY 7: LAGU TERBAIK (BEST SONG)  

 

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

   

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

 

CATEGORY 8: ALBUM TERBAIK (BEST ALBUM)  

 

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

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

CATEGORY 10: ARTIS PALING POPULAR (MOST POPULAR ARTISTE)

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

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

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

anugeraHitz.sg Media Conference…

The first two months of 2010 have been quite active and hectic months for me in terms of attending shows, concerts and events, besides juggling work, family, social and sporting commitments (no, I’m not an athlete but am working hard to lose weight by either going to the gym or playing football / futsal or swimming almost daily as part of my 2010 resolutions. Heh…). Which meant that this domain of mine have been updated at least once a week by virtue of each event that I attended so far, plus those that I have yet to feature but I try to space them out and publish the ones that take more important precedence first. What has made 2010 even more special for me is the fact that I’ve been invited to attend media conferences like the Suria Elektra event earlier this month and as recently as this past Wednesday 24th February 2010, anugerahHitz.sg at Caldecott Broadcast Centre.

I cannot thank the kind people of Mediacorp Suria enough for recognising me as a credible blogger who blogs on our local Malay entertainment scene. Granted my humble domain is not as flashy as how I would like it to be, given the fact that I’m quite the design and technology idiot, but nonetheless I am forever grateful and thankful that where I lack in creative web / graphics design, I make up for it with factual information and honest thoughts that I could share with my dear readers. It took me about five years to gain credibility, for people to know and trust my product, in this case, my words, and see  that I’m not just running my mouth for the sake of it. I’m not bitter I took this long because anyone can do this themselves, but I believe if one is patient, honest, sincere, genuine and responsible in words, deeds and actions, then the sky’s the limit.

I did mention how small I felt in the midst of all the established media representatives during the Suria Elektra Media Conference earlier this month as I was the only blogger around. This time round, I was joined by two others that I have every single ounce of respect for – Izarr from Izone.sg and Iskandar Saad, otherwise known as Singapore Idol Season Three‘s Official Blogger. Granted Izarr was also at the Suria Elektra Media Conference, but he was there on a different capacity. Unlike mainstream media that chase after ratings, viewers, readers and sponsors, personally I don’t subscribe to that kind of approach when it comes to bloggers like us and am happy just the way I am right now. Maybe it is because I do not earn anything from blogging and most likely will not do so. But there are factors that go way beyond earning something out of what we do for a side hobby.

Each blogger, a local entertainment blogger to be more precise, has his or her own specialty and way of pouring forth their thoughts, whether by design, words put across or the variety of ways in which they colour their blogs. I’m just happy that of late, there seem to be more of us, because we can always learn from one another through what we say and opine. Diversified opinions will give us different perspectives and spectrums, thus resulting in various perceptions and understanding. It is most heartening to see alternative media like us local bloggers being accorded the honour of being invited to cover events as prestigious as these, besides giving our individual takes and opinions on our local Malay entertainment scene. It shows the trust that Suria has on us to help make it even more vibrant than ever.

And what can be more vibrant than anugeraHitz.sg??? It has been a long time coming, too long for our liking. Every year, we had to rely on the “kindness” of the organisers of Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) i.e. Beyond Events and Mediacorp Radio (RIA 89.7FM & Warna 94.2FM) to set aside local awards presentations during the show. Regular readers of this blog would note that I’ve always been critical of the fact that whenever these awards were presented, the regional audience would not be able to see it and thus would not know more about our talented local acts. My grouse back then was, APM is afterall the brainchild of our people, a Singaporean product for the region and thus we have the means and power to dictate what and how we want it to be, especially when we could include more local acts into the mix.

However, over the years, I’ve come to accept how the system of APM works and it is why the proliferation of a local awards show is much welcomed when we have seen over the past five years, a healthy increase in local acts releasing singles and albums of mostly decent quality and ones we could be proud of as made in Singapore. The advent of reality shows like Anugerah Band and the positive, but constant upgrading of already established ones like Anugerah (the prizes get better every time!!!) have given some of these unpolished diamonds the opportunity and experience to smoothen their rough edges. Even if they did not win the competitions they entered, they came back better and wiser, well-equipped to enter the fray once again or to stamp their mark on the scene.

One shining example I can point out to you off-the-cuff is Fauzie Laily. He entered Anugerah in 2003 but was rather raw and forgettable back then. Two years later, he entered the competition again after gaining experiences on his own accord and he came in third in the 2005 edition. Fast forward to the current times, his stock has slowly risen and we now know him as a talented and versatile singer, actor and host, an almost constant feature on Mediacorp Suria. Success that has gone his way hasn’t changed him one bit. He is still the same humble and down-to-earth person I knew pre-Anugerah 2003. Speaking of which, he has been given the honour to host the inaugural anugeraHitz.sg event along with his Anugerah 2009 hosting partner and RIA 89.7FM presenter, Fiza O. Both of them were also the hosts at the anugeraHitz.sg Media Conference this past Wednesday.

Fauzie Laily and Fiza O, the hosts of anugeraHitz.sg…

anugeraHitz.sg is the first collaborative effort involving MediaCorp Suria, MediaCorp Radio stations Warna 94.2FM & Ria 89.7FM and Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) to honour the best in the local Malay music industry. It will be telecast live from MediaCorp TV Theatre on Saturday, 3rd April 2010 at 8.30pm on Suria. It will also be aired live on RIA 89.7FM. The show will witness the presentation of a total of ten award categories. Like most music award shows out there, a special “Lifetime Music Achievement” award will be presented to a deserving recording artiste / composer / lyricist / album producer who have excelled in the music field. Nominations were opened to singles, EPs or albums that were released in Singapore from 1st January 2009 to 31st December 2009.

Suria viewers have the chance to decide and vote for their favourite artistes through the “Most Popular Artiste” category, while the radio listeners had the opportunity to dictate the outcome of the “Most Popular Song” category via RIA‘s weekly RIA Chartz programme between 1st January 200931st December 2009. How the latter works is through the various songs requested in song request segments like “Laguku” and “Mania Hitz” amongst others. For the “Most Popular Song” category, the nominees will not be revealed and the winners will straightaway be announced during the night of anugeraHitz.sg itself. The local music fans can vote to determine the three “Most Popular Artistes” via SMS to 73388. Alternatively, they can vote through mobile phone and / or landline telephone by Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). The process of voting to determine the  three “Most Popular Artistes” began on Wednesday 24th February 2010 and will conclude during the anugeraHitz.sg awards show on Saturday 3rd April 2010 at 10:00pm sharp. Each vote costs $0.60. Below is the list of artistes nominated in the “Most Popular Category” also known as “Category 10“, which I’ve taken off the official anugeraHitz.sg site. Credits to them:

The award nominees were selected out of a total of 152 applications, a commendable number seeing how small our local music industry is. They were judged by a host of credible judges which included representatives from Mediacorp Suria, Warna 94.2FM, RIA 89.7FM, COMPASS, as well as Mr Azmeer, an acclaimed Singapore-born singer and composer who made it big in Malaysia and was last seen as the guest judge in the Anugerah 2009 Grand Finals show, Mr Indra Shahrir, a prolific Music Director who had a helping hand at the recent Singapore Idol Season Three competition, and Ms Hartinah Ahmad a well-known writer and lyricist. I’m sure most of you reading this would have seen the nominations list by now. But if you have not, well without further ado, here it is:

LIST OF NOMINEES


CATEGORY 1: ARTIS BARU TERBAIK (BEST NEW ARTISTE)

 

 
No. Artiste Album
 

1

Hyrul Anuar Popular (Single)
 

2

Maiya Rahman Pengganti
 

3

Sarah Aqilah Biar Hati Mencintai (Single)
 

4

Shahril Bahri Yang Teratas
 

5

Zaibaktian Ejen Cinta

 

 

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

 
No. Artiste Album
 

1

Diorama From The E-Motion Picture Soundtrack
 

2

Rancour Rancour
 

3

Revalina Pertandingan Cinta
 

4

The Sallys An Unlikely Story
 

5

Verbalize Flo Yok Goyang Yok (Single)

 

CATEGORY 3: ARTIS TERBAIK (BEST ARTISTE)

 
No. Artiste Album
 

1

Didicazli Diari Cinta
 

2

Hady Mirza Sang Penyanyi
 

3

Syed Azmir Aku Bukan Sempurna (Single)
 

4

Taufik Batisah Suria Hatiku
 

5

Imran Ajmain Punca dan Tindakan

 

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

 
No. Artiste Album
 

1

Diorama From The E-Motion Picture Soundtrack
 

2

Rancour Rancour
 

3

Revalina Pertandingan Cinta
 

4

Sleeq Classiq
 

5

Sound Salvation Rock & Roll Milik Sama

 

CATEGORY 5: PENULIS LIRIK TERBAIK (BEST LYRICIST)

 
No. Artiste Album Song Composer Lyricist
 

1

Aqmal N. Warkah Cinta Dunia Warkah Cinta Dunia Aqmal N. Aqmal N.
 

2

Diorama From The E-Motion Picture Soundtrack Anti-Romantis Erza Erza
 

3

Hady Mirza Sang Penyanyi Angkasa Hady Mirza Hady Mirza
 

4

 

Shahridzuan Selamat @
Shah Revalina

 

Setia Menanti

 

Setia Menanti

 

Shahridzuan
Selamat

 

Shahridzuan Selamat

 

5

 

Taufik Batisah

 

Suria Hatiku

 

Nafasku

 

Taufik Batisah

 

Taufik Batisah

 

CATEGORY 6: KOMPOSER TERBAIK (BEST COMPOSER)

 

 
No. Artiste Album Song Composer Lyricist
 

1

Aqmal N. Warkah Cinta Dunia Warkah Cinta Aqmal N. Aqmal N.
 

2

Diorama From the E-Motion Picture Soundtrack Sanubariku Erza Erza
 

3

 

Shahridzuan Selamat @
Shah
Revalina

 

Setia Menanti

 

Setia Menanti

 

Shahridzuan
Selamat

 

Shahridzuan
Selamat

 

4

Didicazli ft Sleeq Classiq Impianku Alyph Sleeq Didicazli
 

5

Taufik Batisah Suria Hatiku Nafasku Taufik Batisah Taufik Batisah

 

CATEGORY 7: LAGU TERBAIK (BEST SONG)

 

No. Artiste Album Song Composer Lyricist
 

1

 

Diorama

 

From The E-Motion Picture Soundtrack

 

Sanubariku

 

 Erza

 

Erza

 

2

 

Hady Mirza

 

Sang Penyanyi

 

Angkasa

 

Hady Mirza

 

Hady Mirza

 

3

 

Shahridzuan Selamat @ Shah Revalina

 

Setia Menanti

 

Setia Menanti

 

Shahridzuan Selamat

 

Shahridzuan Selamat

 

4

 

Syed Azmir

 

Aku Bukan Sempurna (Single)

 

Aku Bukan Sempurna

 

Alyph Sleeq

 

Alyph Sleeq

 

5

 

Taufik Batisah

 

Suria Hatiku

 

Nafasku

 

Taufik Batisah

 

Taufik Batisah

 

CATEGORY 8: ALBUM TERBAIK (BEST ALBUM)


No. Artiste Album Producer
 

1

Didicazli Diari Cinta M. Nasir & Didicazli
 

2

Hady Mirza Sang Penyanyi Hady Mirza
 

3

Sleeq Classiq Magic Potions Pte Ltd
 

4

Taufik Batisah Suria Hatiku Taufik Batisah, Ken Lim, M. Nasir
 

5

Imran Ajmain Punca dan Tindakan Imran Ajmain

Besides representatives from the mainstream and alternative media attending the media conference, the event held at the Mediacorp‘s Multi-Purpose Hall this past Wednesday, was attended by about one hundred artistes, artiste managers, musicians, composers, lyricists and producers, a figure no doubt encouraging for an event that is making its long-awaited debut. Perhaps the downside of it was the conspicuous absence of our two earlier Singapore Idols or their representatives. I dunno the reason why they were not around as they are amongst the major nominees and would not like to speculate on their absence. But I hope no one would hold it against them for not attending the event. Perhaps they had prior engagements that held them back. I believe they would be proud of their nominations and would attend the actual event come 3rd April 2010 either as guests or performers.

Before the nominations were announced, we were briefed on how the awards show was conceived and the quality in standard of the applications received by firstly Dr Edmund Lam, Chief Executive Officer and Director of COMPASS, followed by Mr Ezra Farabi, Assistant Vice-President of Mediacorp Suria and Ms. Zakiah HalimMediacorp Radio‘s Vice President of Malay, Indian & Expatriate Programming. The latter said that there was a distinctive gap in standard between the good and the not-so-good ones in terms of technical aspects like mastering and mixing amongst others, which could be improved on. But overall, the artistes could give themselves pats on their backs for the foundation they have laid to base on and strive even harder to produce better quality singles / albums for future anugeraHitz.sg events.

Leading up to anugeraHitz.sg, there will be a 3-episode programme called “Hitz.sg” on the nominees. “Hitz.sg” will be aired on Saturdays, 13th, 20th and 27th March 2010 at 8.30pm on Suria. The recording of the three-part series will be held this Sunday 28th February 2010 and Monday 1st March 2010. The following are the line-up of the scheduled shows:

Hitz.sg: Episode 1
Sunday, 28 February 2010
8.30pm (To be seated by 8pm)
Studio 1
TX Details: Saturday, 13 March 2010, 8.30pm on Suria
Artistes: Maiya Rahman, Shahril Bahri, The Sallys, Zaibaktian, Hyrul Anuar, Verbalize Flo & Sarah Aqilah

Hitz.sg: Episode 2
Monday, 1 March 2010
8pm (To be seated by 7.30pm)
Studio 1
TX Details: Saturday, 20 March 2010, 8.30pm on Suria
Artistes: Sleeq, Rancour, Revalina, Diorama, Sound Salvation

Hitz.sg: Episode 3
Monday, 1 March 2010
9.30pm (To be seated by 9pm)
Studio 1
TX Details: Saturday, 27 March 2010, 8.30pm on Suria
Artistes: Syed Azmir, Aqmal N, Shahridzuan Selamat @ Shah Revalina, Didicazli, Hady Mirza, Imran Ajmain & Taufik Batisah

Congratulations to all the nominees of the inaugural anugeraHitz.sg, a milestone & landmark event for Singapore‘s local Malay entertainment industry!!!

 

Festival Melayu Ada: Babak Terakhir Recap…

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I apologise to those who have been waiting for this entry to go up since the festival ended more than a week ago. I was feeling under the weather the past week and simply had no mood to post this up. You won’t feel the need to type an entry if you’re down with a bad case of influenza, plus coughing and a sore throat to add to the “gloss”. Anyway, since I had posted three entries in three days over the May Day long weekend, I thought the blog and especially its owner, needed a break for awhile.

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The host for the event – Shahrin Azhar

The Sunday before last, 3rd May 2009, saw the closing of the Festival Melayu Ada (FMA) quadrilogy series. Compared to FMA1 & FMA3 that I attended but did not manage to stay all the way till the end, this time I came just before the main acts began their sets and stayed all the way till the end, even though the next day was a working day and it kinda dragged on till close to 11:00pm.

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Tengku Adil relaxed before going on stage…

The reason why I did not attend the day event at the Malay Heritage Centre was because I was already feeling the after-effects of the previous Saturday‘s heat-sapping and energy-draining time spent at East Point Mall shopping centre during the Anugerah auditions. Yes, the unbearable heatwave does have its negative impact in that it completely drains you. So the day was spent resting at home with my family and typing out my thoughts on the auditions.

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When I reached the event venue, I was greeted by the security guards on duty asking if I had taken my temperature. Since I was not running a fever, I just said yes out of convenience. It was then that I noticed that they had a big cooler fan placed right smack in front of their faces whilst the audience sitting under the tentages nearby were busy fanning themselves even though there were fans around, but do not seem to be working as well as they would have liked to. Some kind of royal treatment these guards were getting, I thought.

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I spotted a few friends and joined them and started to make small talk whilst waiting for the show to start. It was here and during one of the conversations that this techie idiot found out that he could make use of the wifi services on his handphone and surf the web without having to worry about paying the extra charges one would associate with surfing via the handphone. The Heritage Centre is wired up for wifi usage in case you don’t already know. Thanks to bro Sulaiman for pointing that out to me. It was heartening to see the crowd that came, was the most they had throughout the whole series. All four sections of the tentages were filled to the brim and from where I was, I could spot Zoul (M. Nasir‘s younger brother) and renowned lyricist Zaidy Nandir sitting somewhere at the back, taking in the proceedings that unfolded.

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East Mode Sanskrit doing their thing…

The last slot of the FMA series (Suara III) was scheduled to be held at the Outdoor Stage of the Heritage Centre at 8:00pm before taking a short break out of respect for the Isyak prayers. Somehow the event only started proper right after the prayers. Looking at my watch and the line-up in store, I was sure the show would not end at 10:00pm as planned. For the record, the programme line-up that were listed to perform were East Mode Sanskrit, No Strings Attached, Konspirazy, Klutz, Tengku Adil, Rafaat Haji Hamzah, Ard (feat. Zakiah), Raven and Zaibaktian. The event was ably hosted by Shahrin Azhar, no stranger to our local entertainment industry.

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No Strings Attached giving us a punchier performance than the previous week…

I don’t think I need to go into detail as to each and every performance that went on that night, as I had already done so in my previous entries on the FMA series I attended in the past. Most of the sets were repeats of previous songs being performed before. The only difference was, with a bigger stage and supposedly better sound system, they could perform without an acoustic setting, which was the standard norm of the past three editions of the series. However the sound system was very much left to be desired as the singers’ vocals were constantly drowned by the music that accompanied them. This was very much evident if the performers had their fellow band members or sessionists accompanying them.

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In the case of Tengku Adil, he was an exception. He sang two songs which he did not perform before and they were “Aku Cinta Kamu” and “Mariam“, of which the latter would soon be heard on our local radio as his new single. The young man took the trouble to relate how the song came about and it all began with the annual The New Paper New Face contest back in 2000, where the winner, Mariam Daskalopoulou, set many hearts aflutter with her astounding beauty, yours truly included. I think it is quite a great tribute to someone you’ve had a crush on and to the guy’s credit, she is currently a part of his friendship circle. I was hoping for his sake, it would be a fairytale come true. But that’s another story to tell altogether.

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Rafaat Hamzah being interviewed by Shahrin before he began his poetry recital…

I quite enjoyed Rafaat Hamzah‘s poetry recital segment. This guy is simply amazing and an absolute genius. I just wondered why it took me so long to actually sit in one of his recital sessions, to listen to the ideas that poured forth his deep, intellectual mind. By the way, he recited his two compositions, that were taken off his book “Yang Bilang“. Correct me please if I err with this piece of information. Behind those cleverly crafted words, one could easily detect the dry wit and sly criticisms towards the respective subjects mentioned, and I’m sure those who listened intently would say, “Yes, he’s right!!!” to every line that was recited. It was made more enjoyable to watch when he was joined on stage by members of Konspirazy, Raven and Ijam from Malaysian group Flop Poppy accompanying him with the backing music.

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Zakiah & Ard performing “Taman Ungu”, a song composed by the talented former…

I was unsure whether it was due to technical glitches or miscommunication or even due to the fact that the show had over-run, but there were no performances by Klutz or Konspirazy as was stated in the programme line-up, which was a pity as I personally did not get enough of their respective performances the week before, in the third edition of the series. As for the finale segment, well, all I could say that it was better, no, best forgotten. I felt quite disappointed after all the waxing lyrical I made throughout the festival, only to be undone by the finale.

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Raven had the audience bobbing their heads to the beats of their sound…

For those of you who were not there, well, the finale segment was made up of the main acts singing one another’s hit single. However it was very much apparent that there were no prior practise before going on stage and they were either off-key, out-of-tune or have no idea how the song goes. I thought it was something well-worth recording but halfway through, I had half the mind to stop the recording as it was very frustrating to see and a very bad end to such a positive event. I just hope in future if they were to have this event again or have a similar segment, the vocalists would have all come prepared. After all the positive talk, unfortunately it had to end on a whimper.

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Zaibaktian performing none other than “Lelaki Baru“…

The finale, however, should not be used as the barometer to gauge the event as a whole. One has to expect mistakes to be made, since this is afterall a new project that was brave enough to have been executed, where few dared to venture. Overall, I should say that the festival has been a commendable success. For one, the idea to have such an event without first thinking of commercial returns, even in this bad economic climate, is in itself something that is worth applauding. Another thing that is worth mentioning is that the festival allows independent / new talents that are have not / have been heard on radio but not / seldom featured on television or print media, the platform to showcase their talents to the watching audience.

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Wan from the duo of Wan & Eddy performing during the finale… Quite a good practice for him as he qualified to be in the Top 50 of the current Anugerah competition…

Through such an interactive event, media and entertainment people would be able to converge and get to know one another, increase their social and working network as well as plan paths to collaborate in future projects / productions. Some might complain and say why make it a non-paying festival??? Most of these artistes are new in the industry, some barely have a proper direction and it is through this event that people would hopefully come to learn of their existence. Perhaps through time, wide media coverage, promotion through word-of-mouth would we then see charges being made and I would not mind paying to watch these new talents cos from what I have see thus far, they deserved to be paid to watch, every single one of them. Singapore is definitely not in dearth of good talent waiting to be unleashed on a mainstream level. The fact is, are we, the consumers, ready for them???

Festival Melayu Ada: Fasa Ke-3 Revisited…

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Some of you eagle-eyed visitors to my blog must be wondering why I typed the word “Revisited” instead of “Review” in the title header above. For one, I feel that the latter word brings with it a lot of seriousness into the piece that I would be typing. Very much informative as well as carrying weight in passing thoughts across. That’s how most reviews are anyway. But after witnessing the abovementioned event last Saturday 25th April 2009 at Taman Warisan Singapura (Malay Cultural Heritage of Singapore), all thoughts of being too serious and / or analytical go out of the window.

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Wan & Eddy opened the show with two songs…

But wait a minute. I can still hear some people asking what in the world is Festival Muzik Ada??? Yes, there are people who still do not know about this event, even though it has been promoted extensively in Facebook, as well as typed about in this domain last month in early March 2009. Heck, even a part-time writer for Berita Harian had written an article about it a couple of weekends ago. I saw a prominent figure in the local entertainment industry asking one of her contacts in Facebook what the event was all about. So yes, into the third instalment in its quadrilogy, there are still those who are unfamiliar with this event. Which is why before I move on, I feel the need to requote what was said in its official Facebook Group page.

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Tengku Nur Lela with her hit single “Cinta Saat Akhir“…

Melayu Ada is a festival that celebrates Malay music and poetry. It hopes to be a platform especially for budding and aspiring talents who wish to showcase their unreleased works and/or works in progress. The festival also acts as a sharing and interaction ground amongst musicians, writers and enthusiasts alike. A chill-out weekend that is not only filled with camaraderie, but also a worthwhile interchange of ideas and experiences across individuals, including established artistes.

A video recording I took of Tengku Nur Lela‘s performance…

This noble effort is the concerted brainchild of local artiste Zaibaktian and famous actor / poet / director Rafaat Hamzah and is produced by the joint efforts of LeftWriteCentre and COKELAT Events & Production. Its first and second editions were held at Hajjah Esah Cafe at Bussorah Street on 1st and 28th March 2009 respectively. The third instalment of this quadrilogy was supposed to have been held at the same place again. Somehow licensing issues with regards to holding it at its usual venue, threatened to put the event off at the last minute, only for the kind intervention of the Malay Heritage Centre to resurrect it again.

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Klutz was quite a favourite with the audience judging by their reactions…

When I first got to know of its initial “cancellation”, I immediately sms-ed Ard (he of Bhumiband fame) to ask what was going on. He said that the show was not cancelled, but was supposed to be held on the second floor of the cafe. Based on my experience in its inaugural edition, coming at exactly noon was not a feasible idea since the show would be stopped for awhile in respect of the Zuhur prayers. And since they only received last minute confirmation that the show would go on, I thought that it would definitely start around 2-ish. Upon reaching the cafe a few minutes past 2pm, I saw that nobody familiar was around, so I thought perhaps they were upstairs setting things up. So I took the liberty to walk along the mall just to kill time. That’s when I met Janz who was manning his family shop (Mona J Bridal & Boutique) and he told me that the show had shifted to the Malay Heritage Centre. Thanks bro for the information!!!

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Konspirazy performing their hit “Bahtera Cinta“… Below is a recording of their performance…

What was supposed to start at 12 in the afternoon, eventually began at 3:15pm. This was to be expected, what with all the mumbo-jumbo that went on, the hassling for a place and the shifting of equipment from the cafe to the new venue. Fortunately the distance between the original place and the Heritage Centre was less than 300 metres away but the walk still felt like a long one, no thanks to the heatwave that’s been hitting the country for the past week. On hindsight, I was thankful that I did not bring my younger daughter along as she would have felt uncomfortable in the heat. The elder one was at my parents’ place for the weekend. The wife who was supposed to accompany me, ended up staying home due to a bad bout of diarrhoea, which explained why we did not attend my old friend, Firdaus‘ birthday party for his daughter later on. Apologies Fir if you are reading this.

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Fyno‘s performing of “Munajat Kasih” tugged at the heartstrings due to its deep message from within…

In my humble opinion, Festival Melayu Ada: Fasa Ke-3 certainly was not a serious affair to start with. Ok before anyone starts to think that I’m about to slate and denounce the show, no, I’m actually telling it as it is. When I said it’s not “serious”, for those who were there, I’m sure you would agree with me that the event was set in a relaxed and chilled atmosphere, filled with lots of friendly banter between the audience and the various acts that performed on that day. Not even the sweltering heat could spoil the mood of those who came from all over the country. And being understanding and almost sympathetic to their earlier plight, I think as the minutes progressed, the delay in starting it proper was all but forgotten by those who came to watch the event.

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Rafaat Hamzah, one of the co-organisers in deep conversation with Sharil of No Strings Attached / X-Tech / Ossuary

Compared to the very first one that I watched last month, the series has most definitely grown in stature and the number of people who attended has grown in size. I reckoned that with the crowd that had gathered the other day, perhaps not doing it at Hajjah Esah Cafe was a total blessing in disguise. I just couldn’t see how the crowd which numbered between 150-200 people (a decent turnout given the hot weather and our community’s lack of interest / ignorance for independent acts), could possibly squeeze along the mall where the cafe is situated, without blocking the entrances to the other shops. For now, events such as these would be able to attract a decent crowd based on its good network and promotion via word-of-mouth as well as through the popularity of online portals like Facebook.

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Tengku Adil began his set by singing “Cinta Ini Membunuhku“, made famous by Indonesian group D’Masiv and below is a video recording of his own hit single “Itu Yang Pasti“…

Last Saturday‘s event was for me, another introduction to acts I have not gotten to acquaint myself with at the second edition of the series, which I did not attend due to prior commitments. Groups like Klutz and Konspirazy as well as Fyno of Cucu Dato’ Merah fame, were something new to the ears. Their singles “Kerna Kau Aku“,  “Bahtera Cinta” and “Munajat Kasih” respectively, have been rising up the local charts so it was good to finally see them live in action and they most definitely did not disappoint with their individual showmanship. I was also pleasantly surprised to know that my reservist mate, Fuzz, happens to be Klutz‘s lead singer. Singapore is indeed a small place to live in.

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Yunos Erksan tries to forget “Mariam“, to no avail…

As promised by the organisers, this event is a good “breeding ground” for new talents to showcase their wares. This was evident when we had the duo of Wan & Eddy opening the show and afterwards we had the likes of Zakiah and No Strings Attached. The latter are actually no strangers to the local music scene as two of their members, Fadz and Sharil, are from X-Tech, yes, those guys who gave excellent performances week in and out at last year’s Anugerah Band. I wonder if being in this group is a side project for them, but it was indeed nice to see them performing melancholic songs for a change as opposed to the high-octane performances we were used to seeing in last year’s reality TV series. Quite surreal to see Fadz singing without his trademark style of jumping around and high screeches, but I enjoyed their performance all the same.

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No Strings Attached performing “Indah“…

If in the first edition, we had a guitar-playing female singer in Diana Nightingale (who now reminds me of Malaysia‘s Yuna in terms of image), this time round we had a newbie Zakiah taking over the mantle. For those of you who would like to get acquainted with her, you can go to YouTube and view Tengku Nur Lela‘s music video “Cinta Saat Akhir“, where she is the model in the clip. Zakiah has a distinct style different from Diana and her voice is slightly raspy. While I appreciate her performance, somehow I felt she kinda spoilt it by constantly speaking in English when it was evident who her audience were. It would have been ok had there been just the younger generation who speak and understand the language but there were also some of those from the older generation amongst the crowd.

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Zakiah is one talent to look out for in the near future

Being new and distinctively shy, she is most definitely forgiven and she would do well to improve on the interaction and communication bit. Minimising the slang could also be another option, as we all know how turned off it could be to some people, given that our community is extremely critical of people speaking with a Caucasian twang, no matter if it’s American, British or Australian. To them, it’s like putting up a false front. I’m sure you guys know what I’m talking about. Hope Zakiah does not take offence with what I have to say and use my words to improve on her future performances. She has the potential with good looks and talent to boot. All she needs to do is gain her confidence performing on a bigger stage and smoothen all the other rough edges.

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Elmi reciting his poetry with Yunos accompanying him…

The event was not all about singing acts though. Two thirds into the show and during Yunos Erksan‘s set, he invited local poet Elmi Zulkarnain to recite his poetry and a beautiful one it is I must say. Entitled “Anak Melayu Teguh Berdiri“, it highlighted the positive aspects of our community and repelled the negative characteristics that have become a stereotype to us. Just listening to it increased the burning passion and pride one feels as a Singaporean Malay, no matter what our ethnic roots are. It helped that Elmi read it with such gusto, till the mood was infectious enough for those who watched, to share his desire and cheered out loud once he was done. It felt like watching a very rousing political rally somehow, minus the politics and character assassinations.

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Ard broke into an impromptu opening which showcased the creativity he possesses in him…

Ard singing his first single to hit the airwaves, “Aku Akan Hilang“…

The Festival Melayu Ada series has so far been a success from the two events that I attended. Not only has it forged a spirit of camaraderie and fellowship amongst the local musicians taking part, it has also created a sense of belonging amongst the regular audience who came to brave the rain and endured the heat from the sun rays. The event not only allowed new acts to shine and start from humble beginnings, it also gave some of them the platform to promote their hard work in the form of singles, EPs and full albums. A pity I did not manage to stay till the end on Saturday as I was forced to rush off home, but I believe those who stayed still could not get enough of it. Apologies for not saying my goodbyes to everyone there.

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Zaibaktian with a new song entitled “Keagunganmu“…

The Festival Melayu Ada series will come to a closure this coming Sunday 3rd May 2009, and will be part of the Malay Arts Festival programme to be held at the Malay Heritage Centre, from 6pm onwards. The Malay Arts Festival however will be from 1-3 May 2009 from 11:00am-10:00pm. More details can be found by clicking here. This is your final opportunity to enjoy good, clean entertainment for free and see for yourself the strong spirit and bond that has been forged amongst artistes and supporters, not to mention the great music that our talented artistes are able to compose for your ears to savour. Like the term that is so often used and has become some sort of motto during the event, it is definitely “BAIK SEKALI!!!“. I leave you now with  the poem written and recited by Elmi Zulkarnain entitled “Anak Melayu Teguh Berdiri“…

Video courtesy of Elmi Zulkarnain

Anak Melayu Teguh Berdiri

Ku Intip-intip, ku belek-belek
Inilah bicara bitara seorang seniman
Intipati untuk dicerna pendengar budiman

Kecamuk rasa
Beku suara
Aku kais sejarah bangsa
Zaman Sultan mabuk kuasa
Hingga zaman dijajah sengsara
Aku tinta apa yang patut dikata
Terus mencoret apa yang nyata

Tentang Melayu pantang menyerah
Tentang Melayu yang enggan kalah

Aku mampu ke tebingan yang terjal
Jangan berani kau panggil aku bebal
Aku bukan bangsa yang gagal
Aku Melayu, anak bangsa yang cekal

Aku, aku :

Orang laut, orang Kallang, orang Seletar, orang Selat
Orang Gelam.

Aku Jawa, Boyan, Bugis, Minangkabau, Banjar dan Batak.

Aku,
orang Melayu Singapura

Anak jati pulau ini …

Tikamlah aku dengan kata-katamu
Cincanglah aku dengan pandangmu
Bencilah aku sebenci hatimu

Aku akan tetap teguh berdiri
Dari lampauku yang menjerut
Dari lautan yang hitam berkalut
Dengan semangat kental tiada lagi rapuh

Aku bukan insan yang merintih
Bukan manusia yang menagih
Dahagakan belas yang menampar pedih

Ibarat purnama & sang mentari
Seperti adanya pasang surut lautan Ilahi
Seperti harapan yang menggunung tinggi

Akan tetap aku teguh berdiri !!!

Jangan berani engkau mencerca aku dalam sejarah
Jangan sesekali memijak namaku hingga tenggelam dimamah tanah
Kerana iras semangat pahlawan, aku akan terus teguh berdiri

Seperti Adnan di Bukit Chandu
Dan satria-satria keagungan bumi Melayu

Wartakan pada semua,
Wartakan pada dunia,

Aku, aku Anak Melayu!!!

– hasil nukilan Elmi Zulkarnain…