Viva Muzik Singapura Day 3…

(Graphics courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s almost a week since the third and last day of the recording of this programme ended. The delay in uploading the photographs was deliberately intended so I could space out my entries and at least give the accolade that our newly-crowned Singapore Idol so deserved. Like Day 1, I won’t do any reviews and just upload the photographs for you to enjoy cos less is more, so here they are without further ado:

Where the event was held…

Tengku Adil being interviewed by Fauzie Laily before his set…

Tengku Adil crooning to his hit “Itu Yang Pasti“…

Fauzie added a different feel to his first hit single “Selalu“…

My favourite Anugerah Skrin judge, Rafaat Hamzah, watching proceedings from the back… I hope he returns again as judge for the second season next year…

Trisno of Urban Xchange / Parking Lot Pimp fame adding a touch of pizzazz to Bloco Singapura‘s performance…

Bloco Singapura doing what they do best. An excellent display that makes one want to dance along to their beats…

Local singer Ard lent his support to the show by sitting amongst the audience…

So did Tengku Nur Lela

Zaibaktian‘s set had the best atmosphere, with the audience singing at the top of their voices and waving their hands in the air.

Our Anugerah 2009 winner, Sarah Aqilah hurt her back and was in great pain prior to appearing on stage, but she should be applauded for being professional and going through with the recording…

Imran Ajmain never fails to sing differently from his last performance / from the album and with every difference, it sounds even better…

Kunjung sang”Ke Awangan“, a catchy ditty that had me nodding my head to the beats…

I waited a long time to catch The Sallys in action and I wasn’t disappointed when they sang my favourite song “Gadis Marmalade“… This is Shafiq, the frontman of the group…

Kunjung & Shafiq joined Imran for the finale of their programme, singing the latter’s current single on the airwaves, “Radio“…

The programmes recorded on Day 3 will be televised on Monday 15 February 2010 at 9.30pm on Suria. Below is the full schedule of the programme:

Telecast Details
Title Genre Episodes Telecast Day/Date Time
 Viva Muzik Singapura    Variety  1 – 5

6 – 8

   Tue, 5 Jan 2010 – 2 Feb 2010

Mon, 15 Feb 2010 – 1 Mar 2010

   8.30pm

9.30pm

Festival Melayu Ada: Fasa Ke-3 Revisited…

fma

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.

dscn2841

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.

dscn2846

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.

dscn2869

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!!!

dscn2867

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.

dscn2864

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.

dscn2840

 

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.

dscn2872

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.

dscn2874

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.

dscn2854

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.

dscn2860

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.

dscn2878

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.

dscn2880

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.

dscn2883

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…

 

Festival Melayu Ada: Zaibaktian & Friends…

FMA

I took a break from typing out my previous entry on Pesta Perdana 10 to attend this event, albeit for about two hours or so last Sunday, 1st March 2009, at Bussorah Street. I had intended to come to support my relative, Ard (he of Bhumiband fame), who was one of the slated performers. For the uninitiated, and this I quote from the information given through its event promotion in Facebook, “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 Sunday that is not only filled with camaraderie, but also a worthwhile interchange of ideas and experiences across individuals, including established artistes. Festival Melayu Ada: Zaibaktian & Friends on 1st of March is a free music showcase by aspiring upcoming/established independent music acts in Singapore‘s Malay music industry.

dscn2632

Tengku Nur Lela doing her sound check…

In truth, I had only planned to come and watch Ard in action as well as buy his EP album which has just been released, that too if the timing of his performance coincided with my free time on Sunday. Sundays are afterall always spent with family or attending weddings / functions followed by my dose of football in the evening along with my neighbourhood friends. Knowing from Ard‘s Facebook status that his alloted time of performance was supposed to be at 12:10pm, I thought it was just the perfect time for me to see him perform since the last time I saw him in action was when he performed with BhumiBand. I had afterall made plans with the wife to bring the family to visit my parents in the evening prior to football.

dscn2633

Zaibaktian doing his own sound check…

I arrived at Bussorah Street at around 12:10pm, just right for me to watch Ard perform. Or so I thought. When I reached the venue, Hajjah Esah Cafe, they were still doing sound checks with Tengku Nur Lela, an up-and-coming singer under the tutelage of Yazri of Merah fame, followed by Zaibaktian himself. I took some positives out of it in that it was an opportunity to see the other acts, instead of seeing the negativity that the show which was slated to start at 11am, only started one and a half hours later. And so, the show kicked off at 12:30pm with Tengku Nur Lela singing Rossa‘s first hit single “Tegar” and a single she has recorded waiting to be heard on local radio entitled “Cinta Saat Akhir“. For a newbie, I thought she was quite cool and even though my ears detected her single has some similarities to Saida‘s “Sedalamnya Cinta“, the vocal execution made me fall in love with the song and can’t wait to hear it on radio. I think it should be out soon within the next few weeks.

dscn2634

Zaibaktian, the host, interviewing Tengku Nur Lela

Next up was Hirman Rasid. From what I found out about him on Wikipedia, “Hirman Rasid or better known as Hirman is a 26 year old Singaporean indie-folk singer. Other than singing or composing, Hirman is active in poetry and is recognized as a rare talent in this day and age. Hirman has stated a few inspirations leading up to his compositions such as Radiohead, Coldplay and many British indie bands. A few of Hirman‘s favourite artistes are Sarah Bareilles, Brett Anderson, Kasabian, Coldplay, Radiohead. Hirman sports a bald-head and wears specs. He is currently working at Bread n Butter located at Wisma Atria. Hirman lives in the north-eastern side of Singapore (Sengkang).” Ahhh… My fellow kampung boy… Interesting… Even more interesting was his performance because it really reminded me of watching Art Fazil or even Mohd Khair Mohd Yassin, both of Rausyanfikir fame. The beauty of his performance lies in the lyrics that he sang. And poetry being made into music is meant to challenge your mind into deciphering what it means. This guy addresses spirituality in a very relaxed manner without being preachy. He is in the process of completing an album in the folk genre.

dscn2635

This is Hirman performing his first song “Landasan“…

By then I came to realise that each performer was given two to three songs to perform. Which I think was an extremely good enough introduction to their abilities, even if some of them were singing cover songs. I think if I was 10 years younger, I would have jumped at the chance of performing as well since this showcase is opened to talents who want their voices to be heard, but it’s ok, I’m happy just being a blogger and watching people with much refined singing ability than I do, strut their stuff. The days of yearning to perform on the big stage is somehow gone and will never happen again since my wedding performance. Hirman then made way for another lady, going by the stage name “Diana Nightingale“. I’ve seen Diana around when I was studying in Temasek Polytechnic more than a decade ago, but back then I think she was one of the last persons I could imagine performing since she did not come across as someone who would be interested in performing on the big stage. But looks can be deceiving and this lady can sure sing and play the guitar as well. Singing three songs (the last being Republik‘s “Hanya Ingin Kau Tahu“), she gave a good account of herself, charting some life experiences along the way through the first two songs that she sang; her influence in music as well as sharing a woman’s emotions. I think ladies out there can somehow get acquainted to her songs as she is quite the songwriter who pens songs based on how women out there feel.

dscn26371

Diana singing Republik‘s “Hanya Ingin Kau Tahu“…

When Diana‘s slot ended at about 1:10pm, there was a break in respect of Zuhur which was due at 1:19pm. I dunno if the decision to have a break was because of the event venue’s close proximity to the Sultan Mosque and since the call for prayer could be heard from where we were, but I think for the benefit of doubt, I have to take my hat off to the organisers for respecting the prayer timing and at the same time, for encouraging those watching to observe their responsibilities during the break. I think this is sorely lacking in our community nowadays when it comes to organising entertainment-slanted programmes. Unless the show is organised by mosques or Muslim organisations, sometimes there are no breaks in respect of prayer timings or even providing a place to observe our responsibilities. I’m sure we all want the best of both worlds, here and the HereAfter, and together we should encourage one another to embrace both. I was extremely impressed with this, even if it meant I had to wait a little longer to watch Ard.

dscn2638

Yunos Erksan with his Mariam trilogy…

The show resumed five minutes before 2pm with Yunos Erksan taking centrestage with a trilogy of songs dedicated to someone named Mariam. This guy’s voice actually made my hair stood. It was loud, rich and what some might term as “creamy”. It had all the right essence of a rockstar in the making, even if his songs came across as ballads. He could switch from Malay to English with ease cos when he did a short sound check in English prior to performing, you cannot detect any Malay accent in him. Listening to him sing felt as though I was listening to a real professional who’s been around for ages. God knows how a talent like this is still stuck underground when he should already be established by now. Hopefully this particular gig would open doors for him, not only him but the others who needed it to kickstart their respective careers in this small industry of ours.

dscn2640

Ard being interviewed by Zaibaktian…

Ard came on shortly afterwards. I noticed that by the time Ard performed, the crowd had swelled and were quite into his performance. Local bands Raven and Cucu Dato’ Merah were also seen arriving around the same time from opposite directions. Ard sang three songs, “Asik-Asik“, “Hanya Kamu” and “Aku Akan Hilang“. The latter two songs have been included in  his newly released single album entitled “Aku, Dia & Gitar“. There’s nothing much to comment about Ard‘s singing except that watching him sing is akin to watching those black singers who sing jazzy tunes, along with facial expressions. I thought “Hanya Kamu” would have been a more appropriate song to introduce to the radio listeners than “Aku Akan Hilang” because personally I felt that it had a more spiritual message to it to go along with its melodious tune, but I’m sure he has a certain strategy in going about introducing his songs to listeners. Really loved his performance, he really has a distinct showmanship and it helps that he has been around for some time to know how to whip up the crowd’s interest.

dscn2641

Ard performing “Hanya Kamu“…

By the time Ard‘s slot ended at about 2.30pm, I could not stay on as I had promised in my Facebook status that my Pesta Perdana 10 review would be up by 4pm and I still had some editing to do before I could post it up. Though I had planned on staying to watch Tengku Adil, I had to take my leave and hope that some day I could catch him in action. Fortunately clips of his performances that day could be found on YouTube, so I guess that’s quite a consolation. Before I left, I managed to get hold of Ard‘s EP album, which to me should not be sold at $6 but at least $10 since the album has about six songs in it and good ones I must say. Really, I don’t mind paying a bit more for quality. That’s the least I could do to support local talents. Even though we’re related, I told him before I do not want any complimentary copies, I want to buy it and pay for his hard work in producing the album. I think it’s high time we start paying for the hard work of our local talents, rather than wait for it to be uploaded and for us to download for free.

dscn2642

Ard ending his performance with “Aku Akan Hilang“…

Even though I did not stay on to watch Fyno (of Cucu Dato’ Merah fame), Raven, Samsuri, Rowell Sakti and Zaibaktian himself, I believe the event itself was a resounding success. This was quite evident by the presence of several local artistes like Fauzie Laily and Wahyu Rahman amongst others.  Not even the heavy downpour shortly after I left could dampen the spirits of those in attendance, as seen by their finale video, which Zaibaktian had uploaded in his Facebook profile. This event promised and delivered beyond expectations, even if there was no stage and they had to make do with a humble venue. But I have great belief that subsequent events would be even greater than this. A pity that the slated emcee for the event, Ashmie (of Yazid Pakai Lampin fame) was not able to make it at the last moment as he was involved in an accident whilst on the way to the event venue. Here’s wishing Ashmie a speedy recovery!!!

dscn2644

Tengku Adil performing “Jauh“…

Did I just say subsequent events in the last paragraph??? Yes, Zaibaktian who took over emcee duties that day had announced that last Sunday‘s event was the first of a quadrilogy and the next event is slated for 29th March 2009. The event venue will be confirmed soon and God willing if there is nothing on on that day, I would be lending my support. For those of you who are interested to perform in upcoming Festival Melayu Ada events, please feel free to contact Zaibaktian through Facebook or his email address: zaibaktian@gmail.com. All types of performers are very much welcomed, whether you are established or not. This would be a great platform for you to showcase your abilities. Who knows, for those of you who need an avenue to be heard, this could be the one for you. Congratulations to all who made it happened that day. You definitely showed that we do have great talents waiting to be tapped. Hope you guys enjoy this rousing finale by the artistes who performed on that day, an encore of Zaibaktian‘s “Lelaki Baru“… 

Video courtesy of Zaibaktian… Thanks bro…!!!