Khamis, September 29, 2005

KB geared for Islamic city launch

taken from NST 29 September 2005

KOTA BARU, KELANTAN, Tues.
Preparations are in full swing for Friday’s launch of Kota Baru as an Islamic city by the Sultan of Kelantan.

Banners and colourful lights have been put up at major roads in town.

A host of activities will be held, including a gotong-royong to clean up the town, a health exhibition, cultural shows, a sales carnival and a parade of vintage cars.

The highlight will be the launching ceremony on Friday, where the presence of Akademi Fantasia winner Asmawi Ani is eagerly anticipated.

Mawi is expected to perform at the event with M. Nasir and nasyid group Rabbani.

Organising chairman Takiyuddin Hassan clarified, however, that Kota Baru had not been elevated to city status despite its declaration as an Islamic city.

Takiyuddin, who is also a state executive councillor, said the launching of Kota Baru as an Islamic city was aimed at presenting the state capital as a centre of Islamic learning.

"Kota Baru had not been upgraded to a city. We are adopting the concept used by Malacca to promote itself as a historical city," he said here yesterday.

Isnin, September 19, 2005

Proactive about life

taken from The Star 18 September 2005

It’s all about celebrating life in this year’s cancer awareness week organised by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia.

CELEBRATELIFE! is the theme of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia’s (NCSM) cancer awareness week this year and is aimed at dispelling the notion that the disease is a death sentence. Instead, individuals should empower themselves in the fight against cancer.

NCSM’ s executive director Dr Saunthari Somasundram says that the target groups they want to reach out to are young adults and children.
Some of the celebrities at the launch of the CelebrateLife! events.
“This is because we need to start cancer awareness from young because we want them to be pro-active about life and prevent themselves from getting the disease,’’ says Dr Saunthari.

“The problem is that most people do not feel the need to know about cancer. And they think it is a “fatalistic” disease. Dispelling this myth is the first step to cancer awareness,’’ she says.

Research shows that more and more young people are developing cancer now. This, says Dr Saunthari, could be due to the lifestyle and diet observed by them. Being inflicted with the disease younger also seems more prevalent among Asians than their Western counterparts because of the difference in demographics, she adds.

Recognising that reaching out to this group would prove to be a challenge because they need a positive spin to deliver the message across so that young people could identify with, the NCSM invited celebrities to be involved in the CelebrateLife! activities. Among these were thespian Edwin Sumun, 31, and jazz singer Izlyn Ramli, 30.

Those that came to show their support for other CelebrateLife! events this year, starting with the launch at Bar SaVanh in May, were M. Nasir, Yasmin Yusof and Chako Vadaketh.

“We needed a way to grab attention and involving celebrities was a way to do that because they have the influence and are role models for young people,’’ says Dr Saunthari.

Dr Saunthari sees this method as a more effective way of getting through to young adults because they would rather listen to a celebrity speak on cancer than to hear a clinical explanation by a doctor.

“We have had a good response from the celebrities since the start of the CelebrateLife! events. Those not directly involved still came to show their support, which is very encouraging,’’ says Dr Saunthari, adding that this is the first time the NCSM was using celebrities to promote cancer awareness.

As for the wrist bands that have been sold at RM5 each to promote cancer awareness, Dr Saunthari says that the response to the item has been overwhelming. The first 10,000 bands were sold within a month. Starting off with yellow, the bands also come in other colours.

“It is fashionable and is a good way to spread the word,’’ says Dr Saunthari.

Ahad, September 18, 2005

Siti, again

taken from NST 18 September 2005
by Karina Foo

KUALA LUMPUR, Sat.
The country’s top singer, Siti Nurhaliza, added another title to her collection when she won the Female Vocal Performance award at the glamour-filled Anugerah Era 2005 at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil tonight.

She beat four other nominees — Dayang Nurfaizah, Farah from Akademi Fantasia 2, Liza Hanim and Ziana Zain.


The crowd went wild as Anuar Zain took home the award for Male Vocal Performance. He beat AF’s Adam, Vince, Zahid and Zainal Abidin.

The award for Duo/Group Vocal Performance went to KRU and Adam, beating Ahli Fiqir, Far East, Siti Nurhaliza/M.Nasir and Zahid/Farah.

The night saw superb performances by local artistes and a special appearance by Melanie Chisholm (aka Mel C, Sporty Spice from the defunct Spice Girls group) who sang The Next Best Superstar.

Elergi Sepi by Azharina won her the Choice Pop Song while the top honour in the Choice Rock Song category went to Mungkin Nanti by Peter Pan.

AF2 champion Zahid bagged the Most Promising Artiste award, rock group Spider repeated its victory of last year when it took home the Choice Band award while VE emerged victorious in the best Local English Act.

AF3 sensation Mawi was named winner of the DiGi choice Artiste Award, with voting opened to DiGi subscribers via SMS. Singer-cum-composer M. Nasir, meanwhile, was honoured with the Anugerah Seni ERA for his contributions to the music industry.


The other winners were Aku Tanpa Cintamu — Mirwana and Jay Jay (Choice Nasyid Song); Terhangat di Pasaran — KRU and Adam (Choice Music Video); Erti Hidup — Dayang Nurfaizah (Choice Global Song); and Sepet MHZ Films (Choice Kakiwayang Era). Winners are determined based on votes received through newspapers, www.era.fm, Skuad Era Avanza and SMS.

Tonight’s event was telecast live over Astro’s Ria channel, Radio Era and its website www.era.fm


QUOTABLE QUOTES

“Siapa suruh kamu naik?” – M. Nasir to his children who came up on stage during his acceptance speech for the Era Arts Award

Jumaat, September 02, 2005

Anak didik M.Nasir Rakam album pop etnik

petikan Utusan Online 2 September 2005
Oleh: WANDA IDRIS

POP etnik daripada seorang remaja berusia 20 tahun? Mungkin ia sesuatu yang tidak disangka oleh sesetengah pihak.

Kenapa? Kerana faktor usia?

Tapi anak muda bernama Alif Azfar ini ada wawasan yang ingin disuarakan melalui genre muzik yang dipilihnya itu.

``Pasti saja jawapannya, agar irama kita tidak hilang dalam arus kemodenan. Mungkin jawapan ini dianggap klise oleh sesetengah orang. Tapi itu jawapan pasti saya.

``Mungkin ini juga merupakan satu perjuangan saya sebagai orang muda untuk memastikan irama kebanggaan bangsa Melayu kekal dan diminati,'' tegas Aliff kepada Mega sewaktu ditemui di Studio Ronggeng, Sungai Buloh, Selangor baru-baru ini.

Menurut Alif, selain minatnya terhadap irama Melayu itu sendiri, keputusannya untuk mengangkat genre muzik itu adalah sebagai satu tanggungjawab untuk menyemarakkan lagi kegemilangan irama itu khususnya kepada generasi muda sepertinya.

``Lagu-lagu irama Melayu memang sudah sebati dengan diri saya kerana semenjak kecil didedahkan dengan irama itu oleh bapa saya.

``Bapa merupakan seorang penyanyi lagu-lagu irama Melayu dan saya sangat berbangga apabila dapat meneruskan perjuangan itu.

``Lebih penting, saya mempunyai harapan tinggi untuk melihat genre itu diterima khalayak khususnya golongan muda seperti saya.

``Saya tahu bukan mudah memikat hati golongan muda dengan rentak sebegini tetapi mereka harus mendengar dan kemudian menilai album itu,'' pintanya.

Bagaimanapun Alif memberitahu, konsep albumnya bukanlah seratus peratus mempertaruhkan irama Melayu asli.

Sebaliknya ia masih bertunjangkan pop dengan elemen etnik diserapkan bagi memberi nafas baru.

Ia diakui sendiri oleh penerbitnya, M. Nasir yang menganggap, pemilihan genre itu sebagai satu variasi kepada lagu-lagu pop Melayu.

``Album ini sebenarnya adalah album pop Melayu tetapi kita mahu jadikannya sebuah album pop Melayu yang bergaya.

``Maksudnya, ia bukan sebuah album yang sepenuhnya irama Melayu sejati tapi dalam setiap lagu yang dipersembahkan, ia menyelitkan unsur-unsur etnik sama ada irama asli, joget dan sebagainya.

``Kerana itu Alif sendiri tidak akan muncul dengan bertanjak sebaliknya tampil dengan imej kasual yang menjadi penampilan anak muda lain.

``Justeru, ia tidak progresif sebaliknya menjadi sebuah album yang enak didengar. Senang kata, mudah memikat anak muda masa kini,'' katanya.

Bercerita tentang album debutnya itu, kata Alif, proses rakamannya mengambil masa kira-kira setahun.

Terdapat 10 buah lagu; tujuh daripada ciptaan M. Nasir manakala selebihnya ciptaan To'Ki dan Rafi.

Mempertaruhkan lagu berentak ceria Jatuh Cinta Pandang Pertama sebagai single pertamanya manakala Jarak Rindu sebagai single kedua.

Lagu-lagu lain ialah Yang Bernama Cinta, Walau Berjauhan, Kekasih Tersayang, Apatah Lagi dan Ghazalku; ciptaan M. Nasir manakala Joget Ijab kabul dan Sesal (To'Ki) dan Kembali (Rafi).

Malah pada petang itu, Mega berkesempatan mendengar beberapa buah lagu yang telah dirakamkan oleh Alif; bakat yang dicungkil melalui pertandingan lagu-lagu asli ini.

Alif merupakan johan Bintang Asli peringkat kebangsaan pada 2000 dan merupakan juara Sinaran Pertiwi 2001, terbitan TV3.

Menjelaskan bahawa tidak sukar bekerja dengan sifu yang seorang itu, namun kata Aliff, M. Nasir sentiasa mahukan yang terbaik untuk album tersebut membuatkan proses pembikinannya mengambil masa yang agak lama.

``Tak ada tekanan ketika di studio kerana M. Nasir sendiri selalu menasihatkan saya supaya relaks sebelum memulakan rakaman,'' ujarnya.

Bagaimanapun Alif memberitahu, lagu Yang Bernama Cinta dan Jarak Rindu merupakan lagu yang paling sukar dihayati.

``Yang Bernama Cinta adalah lagu ceria manakala lagu Jarak Rindu adalah lagu berentak perlahan.

``Oleh kerana rakamannya dibuat pada satu masa, transisi untuk mengubah mood dan feel itu yang menjadikannya agak sukar.

``Tetapi lagu Joget Ijab Kabul paling mudah sebab lagunya berirama joget yang relaks dan menggembirakan,'' cerita Alif.

Menurutnya, lagu pertama yang dirakamkan ialah lagu Kekasih Tersayang yang mengambil masa selama tiga jam manakala lagu terakhir ialah lagu single pertama yang kini sudahpun diputar dicorong radio, Jatuh Cinta Pandang Pertama.

``Walaupun perjalanan karier saya masih jauh namun saya berharap semangat Melayu yang ingin saya sampaikan melalui karya ini akan dapat memikat pendengar,'' kata anak muda dari Taiping, Perak ini.