Viva Elektra 2014

Viva Elektra

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s been awhile since I did a review on an event that I attended at the Mediacorp TV Theatre. Simply because when I accepted the invites from Mediacorp Suria to attend these shows or events, more often than not, I did not see the need to review as they are either a light-hearted affair or for charity. I was there to just snap photos of the event and during the reception afterwards without seeing the need to comment much. Sometimes I don’t need to voice my thoughts as others have done it for me on social media. Anyway there are so many keyboard warriors out there too quick to jump on the bandwagon of criticising without giving substantial suggestions. I guess it’s a favourite pastime now to use one’s handphone keypads to comment every single thing they see on the google box, be it good or bad. I’m guilty of it sometimes when I watch football and passions are running high.

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I note from several people I’ve met of late that this blog has somewhat stagnated and that the writer (or should I say, typist???) behind the words on this domain has lost his zest and panache to hit where it hurts, or to put it kindly, give a wake up call when it mattered. Over the years as I mellow down and become less confrontational and got to know more people, I find that it is a challenge to be as hard-hitting as before. I had to tweak and fine-tune my style so as not to be too cynical or cause frictions with others in the long run. Maybe fatherhood has made me more forgiving, understanding and giving others the benefit of doubt but I like to think I type better when I’m having that red mist and I don’t quite experience that as often as before. Wish I could post more entries but like I said from time to time, I am not paid to blog and this is something I do as a community service as and when I am free from my work, family and personal commitments.

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The front row audience consisting of bigwigs in the local media industry as well as guest of honour Dr. Mohd Faishal Ibrahim

Anyway, I was honoured to be invited again to attend the recent Viva Elektra event at Mediacorp TV Theatre. The two-hour variety special was the fourth instalment by Suria and was previously known as Suria Elektra (2010), Rock Elektra (2011) and Bandstand Elektra (2012). The show belatedly celebrated the formation of MediaCorp’s Malay Broadcast Division, the merger between television channel Suria and radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM, hence there was an eclectic mix of performers from radio presenters to television personalities and established recording artistes that night. Viva Elektra in a way, symbolised the division’s hopes to establish a commitment to continually bring high quality programmes to their audience, be it on radio and television. Expect to see more of such shows in the near future involving the radio and television personalities. We are already anticipating cross-platform programmes like TeRaSeh 2.0, R&D and the sixth season of infotainment show JUS! this month. Viva Elektra was just the start!!!

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The men who made the night ticked – Dyn Norahim and Khairudin Samsudin

Looking at how the radio and television personalities collaborated on stage, I had a feel-good feeling that we can expect more entertaining shows on television and radio as well. Yes, I will not deny that I’ve heard rumours going round that certain gigs and jobs are affected due to the merger, but I would like to call upon all the artistes who might feel a little slighted that their places and roles in television programmes might be taken up by their radio counterparts, to treat this as a healthy competition. Granted we might not be like our next door neighbour where there are so many channels one can tune to and for radio and television personalities to still do well when they cross platforms, but there are possible avenues that can be explored. Radio could possibly have seasonal guest hosts like what Fauzie Laily did co-hosting Skoolz with Nity Baizura a few years ago. Or if they were to have a shake-up of personnel, who knows, they might just rope in some of these television personalities into their stables??? Let’s not see it as a form of hindrance to one’s rice bowl, but to work as a unit to lift the standards of our local Malay entertainment scene.

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The cast of Tak2ut (from left): Ashmi Roslan, DJ KC, Fadhlur Rahman and Wan Haddad

Maybe a little criticism I would have of Viva Elektra was that feeling of imbalance in some of their segments. While the skit involving the Tak2ut cast (Ashmi Roslan, Wan Haddad and Fadhlur Rahman) and DJ KC seemed a bit short, the Bangsawan and Pentas Radio segments felt a wee bit too long for my liking. I just feel that the song performed by Eiss, “Arjuna (Mencari Cinta)“, was redundant and only served to prolong the segment, even though the audience and myself were tickled by the humour presented by all the performers involved. It is nice to see new faces on television like Wan Haddad and Nurfarhana M Noor given their big break on a big scale event as this. Also Junaidi Sali who often plays a supporting cast to be given the limelight he deserves after all these years.

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Fauzie Laily (left) seldom gets comedic roles but when he gets them, he excels…

Nurfarhana it has to be said, is a name and face to watch this year. Her stock is rising and it is not easy to score a lead role in one’s debut drama series (Rima Hatiku) and subsequent ones like Follow Fasha, unless one has the potential and package to succeed. She is currently seen in the new season of Di Luar Garisan and will be one of the participants for TeRaSeh 2.0. I won’t be surprised if she scores a hosting gig in the near future cos she has that bubbly personality to do it. You heard it first on this domain. Another one to impress me was RIA 89.7FM‘s Dzar Ismail. I’m a big fan of his daily Singa Maksima programme and from one karaoke session we had some months ago, I could see his hidden talent and passion in rapping, which was displayed that night when he performed “Cerita Kedai Kopi” with Tukangkata and Sezairi Sezali. I know some people do not quite like his sometimes excessive energy levels, but I think he is a breath of fresh air on radio. And yes I still claim credit unashamedly for saying he belongs in radio when I assessed his performances when he entered Anugerah Skrin back in 2010.

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The one to watch this year – Nurfarhana M Noor. A flower blossoming at a continued pace…

Another criticism I would add on will be the choice of performing artistes and some of the songs they performed. Before the show, I saw on social media how people lamented that it’s basically the same faces over and over again. To some extent, I would agree with them as I too felt the same way when I saw the list of performing artistes slated to perform. No I am not attacking or blaming the singers who performed cos they are all excellent in their own respect. My complaint would be a lack of more variety than what we’re used to. Take for instance we have so many bands producing good quality music in Singapore. The likes of Diorama, Tujuh, Klutz are some of the bands that are under-rated here. And if you speak of individual acts, there’s Reyza Hamizan, Sufie Rashid, Chomel, Aidil Akmal, Nurdiana Saad, upcoming acts who deserved to be given their dues and be introduced to the masses.

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The hosts replicating Ellen Degeneres at the recent Oscars and taking a selfie photograph with the audience…

I appreciate that we would want to entice people to watch as their favourites would be performing but it does not send a message that the artistes feel appreciated, even though radio plays their music on a daily basis. There is no point having your songs known on radio when people still dunno who you are. Just ask Audionauts when they won at APM2013. There were still people asking on social media and on newspaper reports wondering who they were. “Rentak Laguku“, the song performed by Aliff Aziz, Eiss and Sezairi Sezali, was another one that I felt was a bit redundant as it was only as recent as last October that we witnessed Amy Search and Bunkface performed the song at APM2013. And even though I love Taufik Batisah‘s “Sesuatu Janji” amongst all his songs to date, I think that was the fourth or fifth time he performed the song at a Suria event, in addition to APM2008.

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Group photo with all the performers that night once the cameras stopped rolling…

Overall, Viva Elektra was an enjoyable show, even if it did overrun by about eleven minutes. The choice of having Khairudin Samsudin and Warna 94.2FM‘s Dyn Norahim was a good one, with both trading barbs at one another and the latter being the brunt of many of the former’s jokes. At certain points, Dyn looked jittery but it should be forgiven as this was afterall his first live television hosting gig. Speaking to him afterwards, he said that it was nerve-wrecking and a very different experience compared to his daily live show on radio. Like many others before him, I am sure he will grow into the role and be better. Am certainly looking forward to seeing him host the new season of JUS! alongside the gorgeous Ainon Talib and Nurul Akhmar come the end of April. For now I can’t wait for TeRaSeh 2.0. It’s gonna be an absolute riot!!!

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

Bandstand Elektra Post-Event Reception Photographs…

Fresh from last night’s Bandstand Elektra event, I’ve decided to upload this entry as a filler for earlier events I attended the past month, namely the Muzik Festival Melayu concert at Marina Barrage on 18 February 2012 and the launch of Ritabella‘s Fiza O Collection event held at Joo Chiat Complex on 25 February 2012. Anyway this entry is filled with photographs I took last night during the post-event reception, so it’s a very short entry just to whet your appetite on what is to come in the days / weeks ahead. Hope the weekend has been good so far for all of you…