Selasa, April 17, 2007

Where are all the creative talents?

taken from NST Online 17 April 2007
By : Faridul Anwar Farinordin

M. Nasir with his award

With M. Nasir and Loloq once again coming out tops at the 11th MACP Nite 2006, FARIDUL ANWAR FARINORDIN laments the dearth of other active composers and lyricists.

FOR the sixth consecutive year, composer M. Nasir and lyricist Loloq (whose real name is Rosli Khamis) earned the highest royalties from their published and performed works.

At the recently concluded the 11th Music Authors’ Copyright Protection (MACP) Awards Nite 2006, they took home Top Composer and Top Lyricist Awards respectively, beating other nominees who were also well known figures. With their wins, one can’t help but to wonder if the music industry is suffering from creative brain drain. When it comes to good radio-friendly and mass-loving songs, can we only count on M. Nasir and Loloq?

Not that we want them to take a back seat and give way to others. For goodness sake, they should NEVER stop churning out good songs.

The industry needs them to set the creative bar high enough so that others can keep up. On the other hand, listeners want to keep getting good songs.
Nevertheless, the scenario inevitably has “creative monopoly” written all over it, especially if you are an outsider looking in. We all know that nobody is at fault here, but we can’t help but to agree that it says a lot about our industry.

Back when the MACP Awards was first held in 1996, M. Nasir was also — surprise, surprise — named Top Composer.

Although the following three years saw Saari Amri getting the recognition in the category, the award went back to M. Nasir for the new millennium. The latter lost the award to Tan Kheng Seong in 2001 before reclaiming it in the following year. Since then, nobody has managed to take it away from the “sifu”.

For the Top Lyricist category, there has only been three other names who have shared the recognition with Loloq in the 11-year history of the award event. They were Juwie (1996, 1998, 1999), Habsah Hassan (1997) and Baiduri (2001).

Whatever it is, the recent event, held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, has opened our eyes on how malnourished our once-healthy industry now is.

The show this year, themed “Evolusi Muzik Merdeka” in conjunction with the country’s 50th Merdeka celebration, gave a retrospective journey of the industry over the last five decades.

It honoured songs which were popular back then with supplementary Popular Choice Awards which were determined by SMS votes (see sidebar).

A total of 10 popular songs were picked by a panel of judges made up of experienced RTM radio deejays to represent each era (‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and current favourite).

Essentially, it was not really a matter of why a song was chosen instead of another (like why Madah Berhelah, sung by Ziana Zain and Teratai Layu Di Tasik Madu by Fauziah Latiff were not included for the ‘90s era).

What’s more important here was to see the wealth of active composers and lyricists we had at that time and how the songs continue to sound so good after all the years.

Now, where have they gone? Why have some of these composers claimed they were so disheartened by the industry that they decided not to write anymore? The answers, dear readers, lie within the industry itself.

Nevertheless, it was exciting to see “live” performances by artistes from those decades at the event performing songs which they had popularised, including Saleem (for Suci Dalam Debu) and David Arumugam of the Alleycats (Sampaikan Salam).

An ensemble of veteran and young artistes also gave fine renditions of popular songs of the yesteryear. They included Jeffridin, A. Halim, Khatijah Ibrahim, Nora, Faizal (of One in A Million fame) and Nita (of Malaysian Idol), Zahid (of Akademi Fantasia) and V.E.

Aired for the first time over RTM2 and hosted by TV personalities Bob Lokman and Suriani Abdul Rahman, the event was a no-fuss and straightforward affair that had all the right ingredients for a good TV show.

Renowned producer/musician Freddie Fernandez received a special Nadi Cipta jury award for his contribution to the industry.

Another jury award, Most Promising Songwriter, went to Ng Chea Hwei, who have penned hit songs for Taiwanese group F4 as well as Hong Kong artistes such as Leon Lai and Jackie Cheung, among others.

At the show, RTM also received a special recognition award for its dedication in unearthing and promoting local talents through its multitude of entertainment TV programmes over the years.

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