Khamis, Februari 02, 2006

ENTERTAINMENT: On a Quest to be heard

taken from Malay Mail 27 January 2006

YOU may not have heard any solo efforts from M. Nasir for a while, but his touch can still be felt in many other talents, young and old.

You probably would have have heard of Nasir’s upcoming collaboration with Mawi, his ward from Akademi Fantasia 3.

Well, here’s another one project you should sample – Quest, a band signed up by Nasir’s own Luncai Emas Sdn Bhd studio.

Quest recently released its debut album, Jiwa Terbakar, which has 10 tracks. It is pretty obvious to see Nasir’s touch in a lot of the songs.

Although Quest is still very new and still trying to find its own niche, they have been around for six years. It consists of Raheel (Rahil Ezzat Abdul Razak), Zenn (Mohamed Khirul Nizam Wahab), Aie’z (Wan Mohd Azran Wan Hamzah) and Irwandi (Irwandi Ahmad Ibrahim).

“We used to perform at underground gigs,” said band leader Aie’z. “We would always jam too. Earlier we were called NOTEZ. After we met with Nasir, he asked us to change our group’s name to suit our type of music.

“We chose Quest as it also means “journey”. We still have a long way to go in this industry, after all.”

The group signed up with Luncai Emas in 2003, and after nearly three years finally managed to complete their first album under.

“It took us quite sometime to produce this album, as all of us have different preferences. For instance, I’m more into R&B and hip hop; to fit that scheme into the picture, Nasir had to find a blend that was suitable.

Raheel added, “At the end of the day, we all agreed that the album is a pop project, and that we are offering a unique mix of music tunes that represent each of us.”

The band started recording the album in early 2004 with Nasir, with his in-house music team strictly guiding the four young talents.

Currently, the band’s first single, Jiwa Terbakar, is enjoying good airplay among radio stations.

The band’s other single, Kita Rasa Cinta, has been chosen as the theme song for a popular Malay drama series, Salina 2, currently being shown on TV3.

With all the encouraging things happening around the band and the album, one would say that Quest has a good start.

Quest’s compact disc is priced RM30.90 each. However, if you buy it direct from Luncai Emas, you only have to pay RM25 for each CD.

The response? “Quite good,” said Nurul Azni, Luncai Emas’s production assistant.

Apart from Nasir, other big names involved in the album include renowned composers, arrangers and producers like Firdaus, Hadi Hassan and Tengku Sharom. Among the word-smiths who provided their creative touch in the album are Nasir himself, Loloq, Keon, Seth and Arabakar.

The album cover was designed by the creative Nizam Rahmat from Ad Verse Sdn Bhd, the same designer who won The Best Album Cover award at Anugerah Industri Muzik last year for Ning Baizura’s album, Erti Pertemuan .

The current slump in the music industry does not seem to deter the group’s determination to make it big. “We are still new in the industry, but we have years of experience as far as music-making is concerned,” Aie’z said.

“One of the reasons we are here is to share our talents with the listeners. We want them to know what Quest is all about.”

Well, judging from the sound of the album – which has lots of live instruments colouring the whole feel – one might say that the band is not doing too bad.

* The distributor for Quest is Universal Music Sdn Bhd.

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