Ahad, November 25, 2001

Marlia Musa menanti bayi 1 Syawal

petikan Utusan Malaysia 25 November 2001

Oleh: SAHARUDIN MUSTHAFA (saharudin@utusan.com.my)
BARANGKALI tidak ada yang lebih menggembirakan sifu industri muzik M. Nasir dan isterinya pelakon Marlia Musa selain daripada meraih dua anugerah dalam hidup mereka pada tahun ini.

Anugerah pertama ialah kelahiran album Phoenix Bangkit yang menyimpan 1,001 rahsia dan mistik kehidupan yang telah menemui peminat muzik tanah air pada bulan Jun lalu.

Album tersebut merupakan album sulung Nasir bersama syarikat rakaman yang baru dinaunginya iaitu Warner Music.

Anugerah kedua yang paling penting dalam hidup mereka pula sudah tentu kelahiran anak sulung Nasir bersama Marlia Musa yang dinikahinya pada 31 Ogos 2000.

Perkahwinan itu merupakan perkahwinan kali kedua Nasir selepas kematian isterinya, Allahyarham Junainah Johari pada 8 Ogos 1998.

Hasil perkahwinan itu Nasir dikurniakan lima orang anak, empat lelaki dan seorang perempuan.

Bagi Marlia pula, rumah tangga dengan Nasir merupakan perkahwinan kali pertamanya.

Lebih istimewa buat pasangan Nasir dan Marlia ialah tarikh kelahiran bayi mereka dijangka pada 1 Syawal 1422 Hijrah bersamaan 16 Disember depan iaitu pada Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Bukankah itu takrif kemenangan yang cukup besar buat Nasir dan Marlia?

Ketika wartawan Mingguan bertemu Marlia pada majlis berbuka puasa anjuran syarikat rakaman Warner Music Rabu lalu, Marlia, 34, menceritakan perasaannya ketika ini.

Sebagai wanita yang belum berpengalaman melahirkan cahaya mata, anak kepada pasangan Allahyarham Musa Al-Bakri (pelakon drama) dan Zaiton Shamsuddin (bekas juruhebah radio) ini mengakui perasaannya terlalu gembira bercampur takut.

``Seronok ada, takut pun ada. Saya tidak pernah ada pengalaman melahirkan anak, jadi macam-macam perasaan bermain-main di fikiran saya pada ketika ini,'' katanya yang tidak henti-henti menyimpul senyuman sepanjang perbualan kami.

Meskipun begitu, Marlia bertuah kerana dalam waktu-waktu sebegini, Nasir sentiasa berada di sisi.

Selain memberi sokongan moral, Nasir juga sentiasa memastikan isterinya berada dalam keadaan yang selesa.

``Abang Nasir punya pengalaman melihat bagaimana lima orang anaknya terdahulu dilahirkan. Pengalaman melihat mereka membesar banyak membantu Abang Nasir menenangkan saya,'' kata Marlia menceritakan bagaimana Nasir mengambil berat tentang dirinya.

Mengikut apa yang diceritakan oleh Marlia, Nasir seorang yang cukup cool dalam apa juga keadaan.

``Kalau dia (Nasir) turut sama takut dan nervous mungkin keadaan saya menjadi kelam-kabut... tetapi alhamdulillah perkara itu tidak berlaku,'' tambah Marlia lagi.

Sekarang pantang ada masa lapang Marlia - yang sudah disahkan oleh doktor bakal menimang cahaya mata perempuan hasil pemeriksaan jantina bayi yang dilakukannya sebelum ini - banyak membaca buku-buku mengenai kelahiran bayi.

Dia dan suaminya juga tidak ketinggalan sudah merencanakan nama yang mahu diberikan kepada `orang baru' dalam keluarga besar itu.

Bagaimanapun, Marlia enggan mendedahkan nama yang sudah dipilih oleh dia dan Nasir.

``Biarlah ia menjadi rahsia terlebih dahulu. Bila sampai masanya nanti saya akan umumkan,'' ujarnya.

Marlia dan Nasir memilih sebuah pusat perubatan di Subang, Selangor sebagai hospital untuk Marlia melahirkan bayi tersebut.

Seperti juga wanita lain, Marlia awal-awal lagi sudah menyiapkan persiapan bukan sahaja untuk menyambut cahaya mata tetapi juga persiapan hari raya buat suami dan anak-anaknya selain daripada persiapan persekolahan.

Kata Marlia, persiapan itu telah dibuat sejak beberapa bulan lalu.

``Saya tidak mahu persiapan dilakukan dalam keadaan kelam-kabut. Kerana itulah saya sudah mempersiapkan segala-galanya sejak dua tiga bulan lalu.''

Lima orang anak Nasir yang turut di bawah penjagaan Marlia ialah Muhammad Ilham, 15, Muhammad Yassin, 13, Muhammad Hidayat, 7, Muhammad Syafii, 6 dan Nur Nilam Sari, 3.

Menurut Marlia, tahun 2002 bakal memberi cabaran baru buatnya kerana tahun depan Ilham bakal menduduki peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) dan Syafii pula akan memulakan alam persekolahan.

``Saya bersyukur kerana Abang Nasir memberikan perhatian yang cukup rapi kepada anak-anak.

``Abang Nasir tegas dalam mendidik tetapi cukup mesra. Dia disayangi oleh anak-anak,'' kata Marlia, bekas Pensyarah Jabatan Teater di Akademi Seni Kebangsaan (ASK).

Mengenai sambutan Ramadan pula, walaupun sarat mengandung Marlia masih tidak lupa tanggungjawabnya sebagai isteri dan ibu kepada lima orang anak M. Nasir.

Seperti isteri dan ibu lain, dia juga tidak terlepas daripada menyediakan juadah berbuka dan bersahur untuk mereka sekeluarga.

``Abang Nasir lebih gemar makan di rumah berbanding di luar. Kalau bukan bulan puasa sekalipun, Abang Nasir akan pastikan dia pulang ke rumah untuk menikmati makan malam.

``Cuma sesekali bila ada jemputan makan di luar saya perlu temankannya,'' kata Marlia lagi.

Oleh kerana dirinya sarat menunggu masa bersalin, Marlia berkata, sambutan Syawal kali ini hanya diraikan di Kuala Lumpur.

Kata Marlia, saudara-mara suaminya dari Singapura dijangka meraikan lebaran bersama-sama mereka di Malaysia.

Sebelum menamatkan perbualan, Marlia berpesan kepada para peminatnya dan Nasir: ``Doakan saya selamat melahirkan bayi sulung saya ini.''

Jumaat, November 23, 2001

Artis Warner berbuka bersama

petikan NSTP e media 23 November 2001

BULAN Ramadan yang mulia ini bukan saja menguji kesabaran umat Islam sepanjang menjalani ibadah puasa tetapi turut menjadi bulan rahmat apabila ramai pihak mengambil inisiatif untuk meraikan rakan taulan dan juga kenalan dalam majlis berbuka puasa.

Walaupun negara sedang berkabung kerana kemangkatan Yang Dipertuan Agong sejak kelmarin, syarikat rakaman Warner Music terpaksa meneruskan majlis yang sudah dijadualkan pada hari itu di Hotel Concorde kerana segalanya sudah diatur sementara undangan sudah dilayangkan malah ada tetamu dari jauh sudah tiba.

Ada juga pihak yang membatalkan majlis berbuka puasa pada hari itu seperti TV3 yang menganjurkan berbuka puasa untuk Melodi di Hotel Armada, Petaling Jaya. Apa yang nyata, majlis yang bertujuan meraikan media massa dan cetak serta artis-artis yang masih dan pernah bernaung di bawah bumbungnya, berlangsung dengan lancar.

Antara artis Warner Music yang hadir malam itu ialah pasangan Ajai-Nurul, Raihan, Nowseeheart, M Nasir, Sheila Majid, Intan Sarafina serta artis edaran Warner, Yasin, Maya Karin, Fazley dan kumpulan Bozz.

Turut hadir ialah bekas artis Warner, Tan Sri SM Salim dan Jay Jay serta Pengarah Urusan Warner Music, Rudy Ramawy, Pengarah A&R, Nassier Abu Kassim dan juga kakitangan di bahagian promosi.

Bagaimanapun dua lagi artis mereka, Jamal Abdillah dan Saleem tidak hadir kerana Jamal bersiap sedia kerana isterinya menunggu hari melahirkan anak pertama sementara Saleem berada bersama keluarganya di Terengganu.

Sheila yang datang bersama dua anaknya, Nur Khaleeda dan Megat Abdul Majid serta pengurusnya, Tris, pulang awal selepas berbuka puasa kerana tidak mahu terlepas peluang mengerjakan sembahyang terawih.

SM Salim yang kurang sihat, tetap datang menggunakan kerusi roda. Turut memeriahkan majlis ialah M Nasir membawa isteri, Marlia Musa yang sarat mengandung serta empat anaknya termasuk anak bongsu, Nur Nilam Sari.

Kehadiran tetamu istimewa yang dibawa khas daripada Singapura mendapat perhatian kerana sebelum ini hanya nama dan suara mereka yang berkumandang mengalunkan lagu-lagu nasyid. Mereka ialah tiga penyanyi kumpulan nasyid yang cukup popular sekitar tahun 70-an dan 80-an, Faridah M Amin dari kumpulan Al-Mizan, Habibah Osman (Al-Jawahir) dan Rohaya Mohd Taib (Hidayah).

Apabila Faridah naik ke pentas menyanyikan lagu Junjungan Mulia, rata-rata hadirin mampu menyanyikan lagu popular Al-Mizan yang menceritakan detik kelahiran Nabi Muhammad s.a.w pada 20 April tahun Gajah. Faridah turut menyanyikan lagu Tangan Ku Hulur Maaf Ku Pohon.

Sementara Habibah terus mengimbau nostalgia dengan lagu Kembara Di Tanah Gersang dan Seroja yang berentak pop tetapi lirik menekankan unsur nasihat kerana dicipta oleh komposer terkenal, M Nasir.

Kemudian Rohaya yang juga isteri komposer Razzi M, tampil dengan lagu Tiada Tuhan Melainkan Allah dan Habibi. Tiga wanita yang kini berusia awal 40-an itu menyanyi bersama secara medley lagu-lagu popular Al-Mizan, Al-Jawahir dan Hidayah.

“Sebenarnya kami bertiga muncul dengan album Permata pada 1999 kerana menyedari lagu-lagu nasyid kami masih diminati. Kami mengambil inisiatif bergabung tenaga memandangkan anggota lain mempunyai komitmen lain.

“Album ini memuatkan tujuh lagu baru serta tiga lagu lama dari Al-Mizan, Al-Jawahir dan Hidayah. Antara lagu baru ialah Hikmah Salam dan Menuai Cinta sementara lagu lama yang dimuatkan ialah Tiada Yang Kekal Melainkan Allah, Tangan Ku Hulur Maaf Ku Pohon dan Seroja.

“Kami juga terharu apabila Warner Music menghasilkan album kompilasi Al-Mizan, Al-Jawahir dan Hidayah dua bulan lalu dan lebih mengharukan apabila diundang memeriahkan majlis malam ini. Apa yang lebih menggembirakan kami ialah persetujuan mereka turut berminat memasarkan album Permata tahun depan,” kata Rohaya daripada kumpulan Hidayah.

Mereka tiba dari Singapura sehari sebelum ini serta dijadualkan pulang keesokan hari. Ternyata mereka cukup ramah berkongsi cerita mengenai zaman populariti hinggalah kehidupan mereka sekarang.

Sementara itu komposer M Nasir yang segak dengan baju Melayu malam itu adalah orang yang bertanggungjawab menerbitkan album Al-Jawahir, Warna Alam pada 1982 dengan lagu popularnya, Kembara Di Tanah Gersang.

Apabila ditanya bagaimana terbabit dengan album nasyid pada zaman awalnya dulu, Nasir berkata dia sekadar menjalankan tanggungjawabnya apabila diminta oleh syarikat rakaman PolyGram di Singapura untuk menghasilkan album Al-Jawahir.

“Ketika itu saya bekerja dengan PolyGram Singapura. Mereka suruh saya buat album nasyid saya buat,” katanya. Apabila ditanya tidakkah mahu menghasilkan album dakwah lagi, Nasir yang akan menyambut kelahiran anak menjelang raya ini hanya sekadar tersenyum.

“Buat masa ini tiada,” katanya. Sebenarnya dua penyanyi latar Al-Jawahir adalah adik beradik Nasir. Namun kini hanya penyanyinya sahaja yang terus menyanyi di Singapura bergabung dengan dua rakannya daripada Al-Mizan dan Hidayah.

Pada malam itu, Warner Music juga melancarkan album raya, Gilang Gemilang Aidilfitri yang memuatkan lagu baru ciptaan M Nasir, Salam Dunia.

Tidak ketinggalan penyerahan sumbangan menyambut raya kepada anak-anak yatim daripada Rumah Anak Yatim Darul Kifayah. Sampul berisi duit raya itu disampaikan oleh Faridah, Habibah dan Rohaya.

Khamis, November 15, 2001

PHOENIX BANGKIT: BACK TO ROOTS?

taken from this site

PUBLICATION: TONE November 2001
TYPE: Feature
PAGE: 46-49

* My first assignment beyond my usual field of interest was to interview M Nasir. I was intimidated by the mystic surrounding him. During the interview, I felt that he's was a bit unfair when he said local english music as not Malaysian but westernised music. But after digging deeper on what music did he grew up to, I kind of figured, it's only showbiz. Great artists will definitely have to have a persona. Anyway, this was co-written by my editor, Sheryl Stothard and is slightly different compared to the original version that was written by me.

Modern-day laksamana Melayu M Nasir tells adly syairi ramly why urban music is not Malaysian, rock is pop, we’re all still colonised and he’s the only one who gets it.

THE silence is unnerving. I’m sitting in front of M Nasir like a kid in the headmaster’s office. The man is clad casually in a checked shirt and jeans, calmly sipping water as he flips through the back issues of TONE he ‘confiscated’ from me.
We’re in a meeting room at the office of his new label Warner Music, having migrated there from BMG Music in 1998. He says nothing for a few minutes. Then he comes across the issue with the Blink 182 cover.
“Ha!” he retorts, with a shadow of a smile, “This is what my son wants to be.”
He looks up and breaks into laughter. It seems like an ice-breaker. But I’m not fooled.
After all, TONE stands for almost everything M Nasir doesn’t - and I am there as a representative of that throwaway ‘urban’ (read: Malaysian music in English) culture he holds in disdain.
What is it that’s so compelling about the man who’s inspired such strong feelings from opposite sides of the spectrum?
Many think he’s a genius and many more hate his guts – but few people are indifferent to M Nasir. His tendency to speak his mind openly has, at times, affronted many in an industry notorious for scoring points through whispered insinuation and indirect hints.
Yet he makes no apologies. When Berita Televideo took him to task on this in a 1994 interview, he disdainfully dismissed his detractors: “It’s up to them. Some people misinterpret my comments due to their lack of knowledge.” Even when his allegedly dismissive question “Siapa Mahathir?” earned a short-lived ban from (then) Information Minister Tok Mat in early 1996, there was no apology. RTM quietly rescinded the ban after that.
He’s also the one Malay ‘artiste’ (the vernacular tabloids hold in God-like awe), with superlatives like “Sifu”, “Guru” and “Cendekiawan Seni” (artistic sage) plied on him over the last decade.
As an elder statesman of the Malay music scene, M Nasir is peerless, in every sense of the word.
There exists no equivalent among his peers.
Is the singer-songwriter-producer-musician genius of M Nasir as remarkable as it’s made out to be? Or is it just that the rest of the Malay songwriters, producers, singers and bands today are too mediocre to match?
It’s a point the man himself repeats to anyone who cares to ask. In a previous interview with TONE, he noted the fundamental problem faced by Malay music today: “We are lacking in passion for music. The composers are not interested in building a scene. They’re interested in making hit songs for hits singers, like Siti Nurhaliza. They say that they need to cari makan, but I think they’re too obsessed with cari makan.” [TONE, September 2000]
Yet, he still chooses to remain within a scene infected by mediocrity rather than opt for options outside it, whether within the “urban” sphere or in the international scene.
Since he started out in the industry, M Nasir’s been obsessed with his quest to establish the definitive Malaysian sound. And he doesn’t think that the answers can be found outside the realm of Malay music.
I bring up examples of urban bands like Butterfingers and Too Phat, who have included traditional elements in their recent work, but he’s not impressed.
“What these bands are doing are like what Aerosmith did when they infused some Arabic riffs in their songs,” he tells me. “Adding certain elements to a rock song still makes it a rock song. The same with traditional Malay music. You may add to it foreign elements, but it’s still Malay music, based on its roots.”
He even takes to task any claim that the urban music of today is “Malaysian.” “Peter Gabriel uses a lot of Arabic and African elements in his music but he never calls it Arabic or African music. Instead, he calls it ‘world beat’. It’s still British pop music.”
To reinforce his point, he throws in a subversive question: “If you want to go to America to sell your album, what represents you? Malay culture … or Malaysia?”
He doesn’t wait for an answer, but continues: “What bands who record English albums are doing is joining the game. I’m going against it. They can still break internationally. But they represent Malaysia...not Malaysian music.”
From M Nasir’s purist viewpoint, Malaysian music can only be Malay music. It’s a question of roots. He explains that just as a rock song is driven by the roots of rock music (which is foreign), Malaysian music can only be music that’s driven by traditional Malay roots.
“We are basically colonised,” he declares.
“That’s why we don’t have the ability to develop our own music. For instance, when the Beatles were big, everyone wanted to form a band with guitars and drums. Why not use gendangs instead?” He continues with a cynical smirk: “Because if you do, then the Melayu-ness becomes dominant in the music and it’s not ‘cool’ anymore.”
He expresses regret that Malaysians apparently can’t see the origins of music they listen to. “They think that P Ramlee’s pop is ‘Malaysian’, when in fact, its roots are in Latin music.”
He also has a gripe with Malaysian bands today that have no interest in playing Irama Malaysia because, allegedly, it’s not “rugged” enough.
“Why? Because you are Westernised.”
As he pauses to take another sip from his drink, I realise with a sinking heart that my first suspicions are confirmed. I am in the headmaster’s office...
To understand M Nasir the Myth, one has to first consider M Nasir, the man. He claims that while growing up in Singapore in the 60s and 70s, he wasn’t much of a music enthusiast, preferring instead to dabble in art.
“Being a painter was my first ambition,” he recalls. While his friends were going “gaga about music”, he had difficulties connecting. “I just couldn’t consume all that hype and ‘coolness’ about music.”
In 1975, the young Mohamad Nasir packed his bags, leaving suburban life in Bukit Panjang for the Nanyang Fine Arts Academy to pursue his dream of being a painter. Yet sometime in between then till 1979, when his composition Senandung Semalam for the Alleycats became a hit, M Nasir managed to make the leap into music.
M Nasir describes the move as being “only natural” to his “Malay” artistic bent.
However, it’d be more correct to credit his older brother for his early music education.
“My older brother would always come back from the city with these albums by Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin,” he recollects. So while his friends were jumping about to pop yeh yeh, M Nasir got his grounding with the best of rock.
“I was never exposed to music lesser than these so-called legendary bands,” he smirks, running his hand through his hair.
It is ironic that while his first musical influences were these rock greats, M Nasir is so derisive about rock today. “If people ask me what rock is, I’d say it’s actually pop music. You can add whatever to it, but at the end of the day, it’s still pop. It’s what the listeners want,” he says, dismissively.
The young M Nasir progressed from rock to the fusion jazz of Chuck Mangione and the disco of the Bee Gees. But he maintains that he’s always been dubious about contemporary Western trends.
“People are not interested in local traditional music like Zapin, Inang and Masri. They always want things that happen instantly, contemporary stuff. They don’t learn much.”
With the advantage of living with a composer-arranger housemate called Wan Ibrahim, M Nasir started off in the Malaysian music business performing at talentimes before moving on to composing.
His big break came when Polygram’s Eric Yeah (now managing director of label indie:works) was looking for a lyricist to work on rock group the Alleycats’ album.
“When the Alleycats were recording, I invited M Nasir to come to the studio to help singer Loga on his lyrical delivery. M Nasir just managed to turn songs around magically,” recollects Yeah, before adding, with a laugh: “M Nasir...I’m the one who discovered him.”
Soon, Yeah got the composer to try out singing as well. In 1981, the album Untuk Pencinta Seni/Pelukis, by one Mohamad MN’ was released. “It was a major flop,” laughs Nasir, remembering his debut.
But he moved on to form Kembara, a socially-conscious Malay folk singing quintet, inspired by a Japanese folk-pop group called Alice. Other members of the band were Abby Ali (now a Malay drama actor), Abby’s brother Eddie, S Sahlan (now turned composer) and A Ali.
“I tried to infuse southern rock elements by Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash, with a bit of pop, into the Kembara mix,” he recalls. However, the two brothers Abby and Eddie wanted an R&B infusion. Since they couldn’t resolve this, the brothers quit in the midst of recording their debut.
As a trio, Kembara went on to release six studio albums from their self-titled debut in 1981 right up to 1986’s Lagu-Lagu Filem, achieving respectable sales of 25,000-30,000 each. By late 1985 though, the trio had disbanded.
“We were getting outdated,” says M Nasir, when asked the reasons for the break-up.
Kembara were not alone. By the mid-80s, other pioneering bands like the Alleycats, Sweet Charity and the Blues Gang were sinking into obscurity within a scene that was hungry for change.
So, M Nasir, Kembara frontman, morphed into M Nasir, uber-producer, making his mark by unleashing a young band called Search on Malaysia. With their distorted guitar rock, they echoed the new wave of British heavy metal groups like Def Leppard. Search captured the imagination of 80s Malay youth with their M Nasir-penned hits like Balada Muzik Jalanan and Isi dan Kulit from their debut Cinta Buatan Malaysia. By the time the follow-up – Langit dan Bumi – was released in 1986, Search were unstoppable and M Nasir became the most sought-after producer in Malay music.
At this stage of our interview, M Nasir starts laughing uncontrollably, remembering the ensuing hype. “Everyone – from those with their mom’s curtains wrapped around them … ” he pauses to catch his breath from laughing so hard, before continuing: “… was trying to jump on the bandwagon.”
So, instead of driving the bandwagon, M Nasir hopped off for a spot of reinvention.
In 1989, he released the album SOLO, under his present name, which raised many eyebrows then for its ground-breaking originality. He shunned the folk of Kembara and the riffs of Search for a fusion of Western instrumentation (guitars, bass and drums) and the traditional Malay elements of Asli, Zapin and Jaipong. This new music – with the exhilarating sounds of gamelan, angklung and gendang – quickly found a name: Balada Nusantara (from the term referring to the Malay archipelago), and everyone, from makciks to kids, drove SOLO past the 65,000 sales mark.
Saudagar Mimpi followed in 1992, repeating the same appeal and impact on listeners. But it was his third album three years later that sealed his mythic status in the Malaysian music scene.
When Canggung Mendonan was released in 1995, it hit Malaysia with the force of a tidal wave, riding on the hit song Mentera Semerah Padi that struck a chord embedded deep in the slumbering collective consciousness of resurgent Malay pride and ascendancy. It went on to dominate just about every Malay music awards ceremony imaginable, selling over 120,000 copies. And just as he was at the peak of critical acclaim, M Nasir retreated.
For the next six years, he went into ‘hiding’ at his Ronggeng Studio in Sungai Buloh, on a self-imposed hibernation/rejuvenation time-out. During this time, he still managed to produce and act in his second film, Merah, release his greatest hits compilation, M Nasir Terbaik, and re-record hit compositions previously written for other singers.
The hibernation period was extended when tragedy struck and M Nasir lost his wife Junainah Johari to illness in August 1998, leaving him alone with his five kids.
By the time the new millennium dawned, M Nasir had ended his 10-year relationship with BMG Music, moved to Warner and married actress Marlia Musa. By 2001, his fourth album was ready, aptly titled Phoenix Bangkit, and Malaysia braced itself for M Nasir again.
“When I left BMG, I had decided that I wasn’t going to do Western music anymore. I wanted to do something from the nusantara, with flutes, traditional rhythms and drums,” he says about the creation of Phoenix Bangkit, arguably the most important effort in his quest to date. “I wouldn’t say that Phoenix Bangkit is 100 percent Malay, as it has more Eastern elements than my previous albums.” He then declares proudly: “But you won’t find a single rock rhythm in it.”
A quick dissection of Phoenix Bangkit reveals a strong Middle-eastern influence, with the supportive role of the nusantara vibe in the form of Javanese and Kelantanese folk elements. There is also some Western influence, manifested in the bass and the French vibe in Masirah, the album’s second single.
A journalist friend of mine offers his interpretation: “This album is way better than any of his previous work. But compared to the rest of the world beat scene, his music is still pop. Still, he’s getting there...”
M Nasir unapologetically calls his new album “elitist”. “If you release a ‘hardcore’ world beat album, you will only get ‘hardcore’ listeners to buy it, and it will become elitist music. I think my music is in that category, especially here in Malaysia.”
Since the album’s release in July, it’s shifted more than 35,000 copies, no mean feat in light of sluggish sales in today’s retail music market. Either my journalist friend’s ‘pop’ take on Phoenix Bangkit is correct or the ranks of ‘elitist’ world beat listeners in Malaysia have expanded substantially.
Elitist or not, much of the ‘M Nasir: the Sifu’ myth stems from his own unshakeable self-assuredness, especially in his belief that he is different from the rest of the Malay music industry in which he lives, breathes and thrives. And even as he rails on about “restoring pride in Malay music”, he is as quick to dismiss efforts of others.
“There are efforts taken by the government to [restore pride in Malay music], but sometimes, individuals misuse their authority,” he points out. “For instance, sometimes we don’t send the appropriate artists to represent Malaysia at international music competitions.”
He also smilingly dismisses the music labels. “Record labels don’t really create. They only monitor what’s changing on the streets to determine what will work and sell.”
He goes on to add that the “really exciting things” are actually happening at street level.
So, would he then acknowledge the ‘Westernised’ urban scene thriving at street level in Malaysia and ‘exciting’ the youth of today?
My question is met with a piercing stare as he pauses to take another sip of his drink (which I realise now is as much a delaying prop as it is a thirst-quencher).
“Some bands, when they make music, they only think of the urban listeners. They don’t know that the market is way bigger than that,” he retorts, before breaking into scornful laughter. ‘When they perform in front of 3,000 people, they think it’s the world!”
On that note, ‘detention class’ is over. I leave, thanking him profusely, even while the inherent contradictions of his elitism versus mass market, Malay versus Malaysian and rock versus pop postulations swirl about in the air above us. And I leave it at that. This is M Nasir, after all. I should be grateful that I still want to listen to punk rock after this …

Isnin, November 05, 2001

30 lagu ke separuh akhir

petikan Utusan Malaysia 5 November 2001

Oleh: ROSLI MANAH
Sebanyak 30 buah lagu yang layak ke pertandingan separuh akhir Muzik Muzik 2001 melibatkan nama-nama besar komposer dan penyanyi tanah air.

Antara nama besar yang bakal berentap di peringkat separuh akhir Muzik Muzik yang akan diadakan pada 5, 6 dan 7 November ini ialah M.Nasir, Siti Nurhaliza, Dayang Nurfaizah, Noraniza Idris, Nora, Liza Hanim, Saleem, Erra Fazira, Amy Mastura dan banyak lagi.

Komposer muda Ajai mempertaruhkan tujuh buah lagu ciptaannya termasuk dua buah lagu nyanyian duetnya bersama isteri, Nurul.

Lagu-lagu ciptaan Ajai ialah Seandainya Masih Ada Cinta (Dayang Nurfaizah), Air Mata Kasih (Saleem), Satukan Kita Berdua (Ajai/Nurul), Keranamu Kekasih (Illa Sabry) dan Percayalah (Siti Nurhaliza) untuk kategori Balada.

Dua buah lagi lagu ciptaannya akan berentap untuk kategori pop rock iaitu Maafkan Aku (Ajai/Nurul) dan Bahagia yang akan dipersembahkan oleh penyanyi bersuara mantap Dayang Nurfaizah.

M. Nasir pula mempertaruhkan dua buah lagu ciptaannya iaitu Raikan Cinta nyanyiannya sendiri untuk kategori etnik kreatif dan Situasi oleh Khadijah Ibrahim.

Sebagaimana beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini Siti Nurhaliza masih mengekalkan penguasaan dalam semua kategori yang dipertandingkan.

Selain dua buah lagu ciptaan Ajai, Siti Nurhaliza turut melayakkan diri melalui lagu ciptaan Helen Yap berjudul Engkau Bagaikan Permata dan Lakaran Hidup ciptaan Mat SW bagi kategori pop rock.

Dia juga akan menyanyikan lagu Ya Maulai ciptaan Suhaimi Mohd Zain dalam kategori etnik kreatif.

Nora juga turut bertanding untuk kesemua kategori. Lagu-lagunya ialah Materialistik ciptaan Helen Yap (pop rock), Menyemai Cinta Bersamamu (balada) ciptaan Azlan Abu Hassan dan Desa Tercinta ciptaan Johan Nawawi untuk kategori etnik kreatif.

Suhaimi Mohd Zain pula turut mempertaruhkan lagu Manira dendangan Noraniza Idris, Bahaduri nyanyian pendatang baru Syazliana.

Selain Syazliana dua lagi penyanyi baru yang layak ke peringkat separuh akhir itu Illa Sabry dan Syura yang mempertaruhkan lagu Kasih Tidak Terjamah ciptaan Patrick Khamis.

Syura juga akan mempersembahkan lagu Bakawali ciptaan Yusri bagi kategori etnik kreatif.

Lain lain lagu yang akan bertanding dalam kategori pop rock yang akan disiarkan secara langsung pada pukul 4 petang 5 November ialah 1 Hari Lagi (&Rian's Band), Kata Hati (Liza Hanim), Marilah Maria (Def-Gab-C) dan Hadirlah (Anis Suraya).

Kategori balada turut mempertandingkan lagu Andainya Aku Bersuara (Liza Hanim) Siapalah Aku (Amy Mastura) dan Soal Hati (Erra Fazira).

Lagu yang akan berentap dalam kategori etnik kreatif ialah Mimpi Laila (Yassin), Zapin Seri Pekan (Fadilah Sarip), Bas Cinta (Iwan) dan Keroncong Kasih Abadi (Nassier Wahab).

Selain disiarkan secara langsung di TV3 pertandingan peringkat separuh akhir itu akan dapat diikuti menerusi laman web www. muzikmuziktv3.time.net.my.