Anugerah 2017 Week One Recap…

16107292_10154430648167893_1427882804843526248_o(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

My goodness, how long has it been??? Three months I reckon since my last post and I have still yet to edit those 3000-odd photographs I snapped during Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016. Not only that, but some other events I attended in between like RIA 89.7FM‘s 26th anniversary bash or the radio station’s search for The Owesome Voice, not to mention the Anugerah 2017 auditions held at Kallang Wave Mall, amongst others. Been undergoing some busy schedules and commitments on the personal end that I simply lost the verve to do up entries on this domain. Now that the new year is in its infancy stage, it is a good time to start afresh and what better way to start than to speak about the return of the Anugerah singing competition, back after a six-year hiatus. Oh in the case of my long-awaited APM2016 entry, we need to revisit that another time. Or perhaps not at all??? We’ll see, I don’t want to make empty promises again…

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Huda Ali and Suzairhe Sumari are tasked to helm the reality competition this year…

Part of the reason there was a distinct gap in the years of competition (six), was because the competition became a bit saturated at one point of time. It doesn’t help that our market and local entertainment industry is small with the same faces coming for auditions, even if their journey became shortlived before they actually began. In between the years, we’ve had reality competitions like Anugerah Skrin and Anugerah V, catering to a different niche or skill set, and the memorable TeRaSeh programme that spanned for two years and pitted radio and television personalities against each other, to raise funds for their selected charity organisations. I will not talk about the audition rounds of Anugerah 2017 till a latter date and just focus on what transpired on our television screens this past Tuesday 17th January 2017.

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Resident judges: Indra Shahrir, Taufik Batisah and Najip Ali

For starters, Anugerah 2017 comes with a fresh new concept. Not only a fresh concept in terms of competition mechanics, but hosting and judging line-up, save for Huda Ali, who was the host back in 2011 along with Fauzie Laily and Nity Baizura. Even the premise (Studio One in the spanking new Mediacorp campus situated at Stars Avenue) where the live telecast is held weekly, is new. Those who had caught the first episode would have noted that there is now a ranking system where the judges will rate the contestants’ performances and rank them from 1-8. The lowest unfortunately will be eliminated and that is not all. The viewers also play a part in determining who advances to the next round and who gets eliminated via the traditional SMS voting system, so there is not only one elimination per week, but possibly two.

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Anugerah alumnus Fauzie Laily, Rahayu Ridwan, Hyrul Anuar and Hariani Hassan Bakri opened the show…

I am unsure of the actual numbers of votes cast, but I think it might be better if the voting system is tweaked in such a way that more people are able to participate and vote without having to pay a certain amount of money. I mean, there are online polls and voting via other means which are free out there. Putting a price tag would turn would-be voters off or those with a younger support base not able to vote in without prior adult consent. We have since moved with the times and through technological advances on social media. Even radio stations are now reading dedications or granting song requests off their Facebook pages and no longer relying on the age-old SMS system. But I do note that this is possibly basic commercial revenue which the television station stand to gain. I might be wrong on this aspect, but the revenue will probably help to cover costs along the way, hence maybe the need to retain these mechanics.

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All 16 contestants were introduced to the watching audience in the studio and at home…

Being the inaugural episode, it was a special two-hour programme last Tuesday, beginning with a first half-hour slot dedicated to featuring what transpired during the audition rounds down to the announcement of the Top 16. The episode also included footages from the masterclasses the contestants had to attend to prepare themselves before appearing on stage as well as filming their short video montages and having their photoshoots, all that happening over a period of five weeks leading up to the actual competition proper. Rather than the usual rushed one hour show we’ve had in the past, it was a 90-minute affair afterwards where the first eight contestants who formed Group A, duked it out. This year’s competition is hosted by Suzairhe Sumari and Huda Ali and the resident judges are Najip Ali, Indra Shahrir and Taufik Batisah.

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This will be a familiar sight in the weeks to come, the judges observing intently on the contestants’ singing, stage presence and showmanship…

Before the contestants in Group A took centrestage, four of the Anugerah alumnus which included 2005 and 2011 winners, Hyrul Anuar and Rahayu Ridwan, opened the show with this year’s theme song “Mengejar Impian“, composed by Reyza Hamizan. The other two who performed the song were Fauzie Laily and Hariani Hassan Bakri, both incidentally coming in 3rd in their respective Anugerah competition years, 2005 and 2002 respectively. I saw self-styled online critics wondering about the identity of Hariani or even the likes of Kalysa Aziz, whose brother, Azhar, is in this year’s competition. Maybe a little bit of homework or immersing one’s self in the local music scene would stand some way in answering those questions. Kalysa by the way, has had her collaboration single “Bila Kau Tiada” with Ryan Sufiyan and Lefttool topping the local music charts over the past year. Start listening to more local songs on radio to know and get to know our local talents through their songs and interviews on air, or follow them on their social media accounts.

anugerah-2017-episode-1-002Reyza Hamizan (left) with Anugerah 2009 alumnus Hydir Idris, seated amongst the audience that night…

I also noted people lamenting on social media about the standard of singing by the four Anugerah alumnus, most notably our 2011 winner, Rahayu. To be fair to her, she has not been actively singing for the past two or three years due to family commitments. Like many who have not been active, taking baby steps to get back into the groove and scheme of things, expect teething problems like lack of vocal stamina and rustiness to set in. Even during the popular Gegar Vaganza competition done by our next door neighbour, if you had watched and noticed, you see experienced singers struggling to find their rhythm and needing weeks to get back into their stride. That too if they were afforded the chance to progress by the judges. Granted as a winner, she should be setting a good example to the new generation, but weighing in the circumstances and possible reasons, I think we should not be too harsh on her. The focus is afterall still on the new batch.

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Fatihah Izyan

Speaking of new batch, Fatihah Izyan had the unenviable task of kicking off this year’s competition. She sang 3 Suara‘s “Beribu Sesalan” much to the discomfort of my listening ears and probably the judges as well. It is not easy to sing a song with three different vocal tones and ranges intertwined into one. While her bravery should be applauded, her naivety in picking the wrong song to perform did not help her case. The strength of the original singers is the injection of their souls into the song giving it much life and exuding so much emotions. However, there was no feel whatsoever when Fatihah sang. Personally, I felt it wasn’t fair also to put the youngest contestant in the competition as the first, as it put unnecessary pressure on her young shoulders. She was a bundle of nerves based on her facial expressions and it showed.

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Shafie Syed

Shafie Syed was up next and he sang Imran Ajmain‘s “Seribu Tahun“, a song which was also co-written by resident judge, Taufik Batisah. It is clear to see that Shafie has a passing resemblance to the guy on the judging panel and on certain parts it looked as if it was Taufik himself singing the song. Even the man himself jokingly admitted their resemblance to one another when it was his turn to comment on Shafie‘s performance. This is where Shafie needs to strike and build his own identity, and not to be seen as a Taufik Batisah clone. As for his performance, I’ve seen comments saying he sang better than the original singer. I disagree because judge Indra Shahrir brought up a relevant point about his falsetto, which I also felt was inconsistent and certain parts where he went a bit off. But he looks like one of the safest bets to progress further in the competition due to his strong support base.

anugerah-2017-episode-1-380Liwani Izzati

Long time readers of this blog or even my own social media accounts will note that I usually don’t have much nice things to say when someone sings a Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza‘s song as they usually tend to copy her style or fail to live up to her lofty standards. So it was a nice surprise when I heard Liwani Izzati performed “Dialah Di Hati” with such maturity that belied her young age (she’s only 17!!!). During the introductory clip, music director Syawal Kassim had said he was surprised that someone her age could understand and distinguish technicalities and switch keys with ease. Those who watched her that night would have had no qualms with her final standings by the end of the night. When she sang, my hairs stood. That itself is a benchmark and one that won me over. She will easily be a shoo-in for the Grand Finals if she can keep this up and challenge herself further.

anugerah-2017-episode-1-406Mohammad Shahfiq

19-year old Mohammad Shahfiq continues a family legacy with his involvement in this year’s competition. As a trivia, his aunt, Liza Sanat, was a contestant ten years ago in the competition that introduced us to the likes of Aliff Aziz, Maiya Rahman and Nurun Nuwarrah. If my memory still serves me right, her journey ended at the quarter-final stage. It remains to be seen how Shahfiq, who sang Cakra Khan‘s “Harus Terpisah“, will progress in this competition. He was a bundle of nerves, uncertain with his movements and his darting eyes gave away his discomfort. Something was absolutely bothering him that night. For him to progress, he has to quickly learn to overcome his fears and gain some much-needed confidence.

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Shalyza Rosly

Some of you who watched Anugerah 2011 would probably remember Shalyza Rosly, then a raw 17-year old contestant. I certainly remember her as she was my favourite contestant back then. She had bags of potential and only her lack of confidence and maturity on stage hampered her progress further. Fast forward six years later, expectations have naturally increased as she is now a more confident performer having had experiences performing at showcases, private functions and expo events. Along with Liwani, she was amongst the night’s two best performers. I felt she was more composed than Liwani when she sang Agnes Monica‘s “Tanpa Kekasihku“, but her performance lacked the challenge to sing higher notes and play around with the song dynamics like Liwani did. She was more in her comfort zone and this was touched upon by the judges. She would do well to heed their advice to choose a song that will raise her levels further.

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Hakim Halim

Hakim Halim is another repeat contestant with his previous foray in the competition in 2011 ending with a first round elimination. Back then he sang a rock ballad, Fiq‘s “Tiga Malam Tanpa Bintang“. This time he stayed loyal with the genre, singing Kristal‘s “Memburu Impian“. I find him a unique contestant in that he is the only one so far, with a rockish voice and best suited to the genre. He certainly knows where his vocal strengths are but in this kind of competition they need to show that they can sing a variety of songs, from the slow to the catchy, the melancholic to the high energy. He also needs to shed his inhibitions and let loose a bit on stage. Having a voice is one thing, having stage presence and showmanship is another. I’m hoping this time round his luck would be much better than in 2011. He needs to work harder on his showmanship and own the stage.

anugerah-2017-episode-1-560Roziana Cindy

The downside to having a sibling who is already established in the scene is that people will have high expectations of them and expect them to be as equally accomplished as their brother or sister. Undue and unnecessary pressure naturally will work its way through somehow. This is probably true in the case of Roziana Cindy, who is the younger sister of singer / songwriter, Didicazli. For a start, I personally feel that she has the physical package to be a prolonged contestant – the height, the sweet-saccharine looks, the ability to play a musical instrument. Unfortunately her voice brought her performance down. Though her performance singing Sherina‘s “Pergilah Kau” was not entirely bad, she could have done better by picking a song that required her to vary her vocal range. I dunno if the lack of playing the guitar might have hampered her performance, but her voice tone itself sounds like those already established female singers who perform with guitars, like Najwa Latif, Nanasheme and Ainan Tasneem, just to think of three. Too ordinary and did not captivate the judges and yours truly.

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Azhar Aziz

Rounding of the night’s competition was Azhar Aziz. Followers of the recent Final One reality song competition on Channel 5 will definitely remember him for his soulful voice and boyish good looks, as would judge Taufik Batisah, who was also on the judging panel in that competition. A different language medium than the previous one, but he is equally at ease singing in English or Malay. Not many in the audience and at home knew, but he was very ill that night, but he gave off his best. I felt his performance, singing Afgan‘s “Bukan Cinta Biasa” was worthy of Top 3 or 4 at least. For the guys, I feel that he has the package to rival Shafie Syed and the one that girls will have no problems voting for with his voice and dreamy looks. Let’s see how he will kick on when his health is much better in the coming weeks.

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Roziana Cindy could still afford a big smile when she learned of her elimination…

The night ended with two eliminations, Roziana saying goodbye due to her being the lowest-ranking contestant by the judges and Fatihah by virtue of getting the least votes. Roziana took her ousting in her stride and was all smiles afterwards but the experience was a bit too hard for the young Fatihah to digest. I was actually partly surprised that the judges would let Roziana exit the competition so early, given past competitions have showed how the judges and voters, knowing or unknowingly, tended to hold on to the good-lookers slightly longer for viewership sake. Not this time. Finally I feel it’s time we are brave enough to put talents over looks. Also with a 100% power given to the judges, you can rest assured that talent will no doubt be at the forefront of their judging criteria. Anyway I do not believe we have seen the last of Roziana if her brother’s Instagram post afterwards can be interpreted correctly. In fact I think he should compose a song for her and bring out her strengths for us to appreciate better. One failed TV outing perhaps didn’t do her talent justice.

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Though she was smiling as she exited the stage, Fatihah broke down and had to be consoled by the other contestants afterwards…

For Fatihah, though I had expected her to exit the competition just by observing her performance, I was expecting her elimination to be more via judging decisions, than based on SMS votes. I said in one of the earlier paragraphs that the voting system could be a disadvantage to some of the contestants and this was possibly true for Fatihah. I observed her supporters in the audience were no more than 16 years old, and would definitely have needed their parents’ consent to vote for her. She was at a disadvantage right from the start. Reality competitions can be a bit harsh when you do not have a strong support base and those with deep pockets. Anyway she is still young, she can learn from Shalyza‘s previous experience in the competition and work on her singing, confidence and showmanship. Who knows you might see a confident and more polished contestant in future editions? You’ll never know.

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The Top 6 from Group A who advanced to the next round…

This season’s competition is already shaping up to be much better than the previous edition in that they did away with the hosting segment and concentrate on just the singing aspect. Which should be the way. Other than Shikin Imran, the previous competition’s runner-up who was given a hosting role in an info-ed show in the past five years, I struggle to think back which of the other Anugerah 2011 contestants who were fortunate enough to co-anchor or host a programme. The rubrics for this year’s competition look a bit haphazard with the contestants playing musical chairs with the rankings throughout the show, but I like it already as it keeps them all on their toes to do well. The $500 incentive and immunity from being eliminated via viewers’ votes, or lack thereof, that come with being placed first for the week should give them that motivation. Tonight, it is the turn for Group B to take centrestage. I cannot wait to see what the next eight contestants have in store for us. Can they perform better than Group A did last week??? We shall see…

Snapshots of Anugerah 2017 Week One

APM2016 Snapshots

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Artistes from Paranormal TalentsAyda Jebat, Haikal Ali, Aisyaah Aziz and the company’s chief Melakaboy

Back with my second instalment. I actually wanted to post this entry up this past Wednesday but got caught up with some personal matters, hence the delay in publishing this entry. For those who are in my Facebook contact list or linked to those whom I had tagged, you’re probably the more fortunate ones cos you get to view these photographs much earlier when I uploaded them early this past week. Anyway these photographs are just a selected few and not everything that I had shared on Facebook. Personally I feel that I did not snap that many photographs during the Red Carpet event, the Pre-Event Cocktail Reception and the Post-Event Reception, as my attention that night was taken up by chatting with some of the artistes and people in the industry. I only realised how few my photographs were when I uploaded all of them onto my PC, hence why I combined them all into one entry. Hope it will suffice for now as I continue to edit and select the 3000-odd photographs I snapped that night and of course come up with my review of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 Media Conference…

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(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Due to my heavy work commitments last year, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2015 (APM2015) did not get a proper coverage be it in terms of my customary annual review as well as the usual promo leading up to the event in this domain of mine, even though I did share photographs of the Walk of the Stars and Red Carpet segments during the actual event night. I also did not attend the media conference held at Orchard Hotel when the organisers released the list of nominees back then. Hence I would like to apologise if any of you had waited for me to post them up but ended up not seeing any on this blogsite. I’ll try to make it up this year, which is why this particular post takes precedence, less than a fortnight before the event makes its long-awaited return. This year, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 (APM2016), debuts at the newly-opened Theatre @ Mediacorp at Stars Avenue on 30 September 2016.

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Fiza O and A B Shaik were the hosts of the media conference..

As with previous years, before the event proper, there will always be the traditional media conference to announce the nominees of the upcoming awards show. This year, the media conference was again held at the premises of Orchard Hotel on 20 July 2016 and was hosted by RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O and Warna 94.2FM‘s A B Shaik. Guests who mostly made up of local artistes, came to the event with high hopes of being nominated or at the very least, to soak in the atmosphere. For those still new to the scene, it was an eye-opening experience for them to just be in the same room as other household names, an opportunity for them to get to know one another and have mini networking sessions amongst themselves. Guests that day were also treated to performances by newbies Haikal Ali, Din Ilango and The Chapters, as well as Kalysa Aziz. All four displayed their worth on stage and personally, yours truly thoroughly enjoyed their respective performances.

apm2016-media-conference-055The panel consisting of Mr. Hassan Salleh, Assistant Vice-President (Malay Broadcast Division) & Manja Editor, Ms. Zakiah Halim, Chief of Malay Broadcast Division and Dr. Edmund Lam, Chief Executive Officer of COMPASS, addressing the audience on the experience of selecting the nominees as well as giving nuggets on what to expect in this year’s awards show.

Looking at the final list of nominees this year, I personally feel the local pool of talents were unfortunate not to receive more nominations especially in the regional categories. Last year, Iman’s League made the all-important breakthrough for the Singapore acts and won the Best Band (Regional) award over more established names like Noah, Sheila On 7, Akim & The Magistret and Bunkface. Many netizens especially those in Singapore wondered who they were and cried foul over their win. Personally I was disgusted by the reaction as I thought national pride would at least overcome any emotions over their own personal favourites. Iman’s League though they are quite under the radar here, they have since made inroads in other Asian countries like Korea and even Malaysia, albeit in the underground scene. Their win gave so much hope and inspiration for other acts to follow suit that anything is possible if the quality of song is on par with the other established regional acts.

apm2016-media-conference-012Strong support and attendance by our local pool of talents and representatives at the media conference…

This year, the organisers of APM2016 (Mediacorp Suria, Warna 94.2FM, RIA 89.7FM and Manja Magazine) received 420 nominations from the various music distributors and record labels from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Nominees are not just solely from the three countries mentioned. Last year, the awards show received their very first nominees from Brunei (Aziz Harun) and Philippines (Mark Adam). This year, Shunpei Nakagawa became the very first Japanese to be nominated through his collaboration with Malaysia‘s Indah Ruhaila with their song “Aishiteru Selamanya” amongst the five nominees in the Best Collaboration (Artiste) category. Hark back to 2012 and you will note Cassidy Anderson from Australia as another nominee from outside the Nusantara region. As the name “Planet Muzik” implies, nominees from other countries are much welcomed. Speaking of Aziz Harun, he will be the third Bruneian after Faiz Nawi (2005) and Jazz Hayat (2013) to make a performance on the APM stage this coming 30th September 2016 (APM Wikipedia page admin please take note!!!).

apm2016-media-conference-074Haikal Ali‘s “Bertemu Kembali” is such a haunting hit, I will not be surprised if he bags either Best New Artiste (Male) or Best Singapore Song awards or even both. His appearances at all three media conferences for APM2016 (including in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta) showed the organiser’s confidence in his potential…

I had a small chat with Ms. Zakiah Halim during the reception afterwards on what we can expect during the show as well as voicing out some of my doubts over the choice of venue for this year’s event. I had attended three shows already at the new venue earlier this year (“Anda Mahu Rok?“, Sinar Lebaran 2016 and Raya Oh Yeah!) and somehow the place does not give me good vibes in terms of seating arrangement and how much the stage and auditorium as a whole resembles a school hall setting. Without giving much away except for a coy smile and a twinkle in her eyes, Ms. Zakiah Halim only let on that they will do what they can to make the stage more accomodating both to the performers as well as audience. She did elaborate however, on the choice of performers this year. As you will note from the promotional poster, a bulk of the performers are not the same faces you see year in and out. In that respect, it is a refreshing change of line-up. And as always, amongst the performers, there will be deserving winners in their respective categories.

apm2016-media-conference-104Sufie Rashid, together with Taufik Batisah, are the two who got the most nominations amongst the local acts with six each…

Anyway, with less than a week to go before voting your favourites in the popular categories (local and regional) ends, let me just remind you to do the yeoman service for them and log on to Toggle.SG and vote before 23rd September 2016 23:59hrs. Every year you’ll get the sour grapes complaining about undeserving winners, but if you don’t vote, or expect others to do it for you, then you just have to suck it in when the final results are announced on the actual awards night. I did receive several invites via my personal inbox / private messages in my social media accounts from artistes who were nominated in the popular categories to either vote for them or help pitch in for them. I have to apologise that being a media outlet, I must be fair and neutral without showing any personal favours to anyone. What I just did was remind those reading this entry to go out and cast your votes for your respective favourites. I can only afford sufficient enough gesture like this as my way of helping.

apm2016-media-conference-024A group photograph with all the local artistes, representatives of record labels and artiste managements, sponsors and organisers of APM2016

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 is presented to you once again by One Drop Perfumes. Main sponsors are Pos T.K.I. and Sensuous By Shannz (Red Carpet event), Co-sponsors – House of Dre and Official Transportation by Uncle Sam Auto Trading Pte. Ltd. Official broadcasters as in previous years are Astro Ria and NET Mediatama Indonesia (NET TV). The awards show is supported by Media Development Authority (MDA) and Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) and is brought to you by Mediacorp Suria, Warna 94.2FM, RIA 89.7FM and Manja Magazine. The awards show will be telecast live via Mediacorp Suria on 30th September 2016 at 9:00pm. You can also catch the livestreaming of the show via Toggle.SG, which includes the Red Carpet event at 8:30pm, and will not be televised on Suria, or the simulcast via the two radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM.

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apm-2016-final-nominees-list-page-005(List of nominees courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Miscellaneous Photographs @ APM2013

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Due to the fact and norm that I traditionally post my annual Anugerah Planet Muzik reviews about a week or fortnight after the event has passed, I would normally fill the waiting time by posting photographs of the Red Carpet event as well as during the post-event reception afterwards. But somehow there was no Red Carpet segment and even more surprisingly, there was no post-event reception this year, which I personally felt was a disappointment, as I had planned to take more photographs and even dedicate a separate entry for it. Still I believe visitors to this blog have been looking forward to viewing photographs I snapped during the event. Well here I am with all the miscellaneous shots I took during the “Walk of the Stars” segment (which replaced the Red Carpet), backstage about an hour or so before the event begun, during and after the show. Enjoy!!!

P.S. I was not able to snap more and better photos of the “Walk of the Stars” segment due to the speed that the artistes were walking out and some were not even stopped to be interviewed by the hosts, due to the lack of time before the event commenced. Hence I did not get good photos of the likes of Bushmen, The Trisno Trio and Altimet… 😦

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 – Red Carpet Event

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The pre-cursor to Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 was the Red Carpet event. Not too sure if viewers of Astro Ria on Mio Singtel were able to catch it live as I heard initially it was supposed to be, unless it was only meant for Malaysian viewers. Nonetheless, for the benefit of my fellow Singaporean readers as well as those from outside this country who did not get to see enough from fellow entertainment blog sites / portals, yours truly have captured more photographs for your viewing pleasure. Note that this is not the full compliment of artistes who walked down the carpet as I had missed out on a few, like local groups X-Clusive and Diorama amongst others, due to the speed they were walking down the aisle and did not stop near where I was stationed that night. Some like Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza did not appear along the Red Carpet at all, but I guess they have their valid reasons. Enjoy the photographs on show!!!

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The Red Carpet event hosts – Hafeez Glamour, Fiza O and A B Shaik

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Fiza O, A B Shaik and Zaza Majid hemmed it up before the event got underway…

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Lynn Malik and Lefttool

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Hafriz (one half of local hip-hop duo Mxnor | Mxjor) and former Singapore Idol season three contestant Faizal Isa

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Haramain Osman and Judah Lyne from The Lion Story

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Local band PULSE! who were nominated in the Best New Duo / Group category…

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Farid and Nash leading the Aryan Band entourage…

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Farhan Shah and Clarence Liew. They are currently working on a single together and expect it to be out early next year…

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Wawan (left) and his band The Auras

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A band Singapore (and Thailand) can be proud of – Audionauts

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Snowball had local actor-host-singer Ashmie Roslan (second from right) and rapper Phalique (right) as part of their entourage…

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Ross and Aidil of Revalina

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Hyrul Anuar looking dapper in his slick suit…

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Awi Rafael and his beau Hanez Suraya

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Hazama looked cool in this outfit, a reflection of his personality…

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A very likeable personality this Budi Doremi

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I didn’t know Ridho Rhoma has quite a following in Singapore till this Red Carpet event…

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Not much is known of local band Arus, but their music is infectious nonetheless…

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The Sallys were not at full strength that night…

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Amanda Imani and Indonesia-based Malaysian actor Keith Foo…

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Rocker Shafyre and his buddy Calito

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The gal who did us proud on stage that night, Siti Zahidah

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The “Ombak Rindu” couple – Adira and Hafiz Suip

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Aliff Aziz and the vocal powerhouse from Indonesia, Maria Calista

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The ever-so-shy Najwa Latif

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A beauty queen who is also a deejay, host, actress, singer and chef – Soo Wincci

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Judika and his beautiful fiancee, beauty queen Duma Riris

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An awesome band from Malaysia, Mojo. They are set to make waves in the scene…

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Resident hosts of Ratu, Fauzie Laily and Marina Yusoff. With them is the handsome and articulate Khairudin Saharom

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A lot has been said about her post-APM 2012. Alyah is still a great singer in my eyes…

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Zizan being flanked by Elfira Loy (left) and Kaka Azraff

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All smiles here – Sharnaaz Ahmad and Shila Amzah

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Ever so loving couple, Mr. Sheikh Haikel and wife Anna Belle Francis…

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SleeQ looking slick as always…

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Singapore Idol season 3 winner Sezairi Sezali and his sweet partner, Syaza Qistina Tan

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Tujuh Band, with Cassidy Anderson

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Good to see Teacher’s Pet revived and active in the scene…

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Dato’ Sheila Majid and husband Acis of Gersang fame…

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Didicazli, seen here with his mother, Madam Siti Rosminah Jaafar of Al-Jawaher fame…

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This photo of Kotak was actually taken during one of the commercial breaks…

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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