Pop princess Yuna’s Terukir Di Bintang proved a winner while Aizat and Hafiz ruled the night at AJL 27, writes Dennis Chua
YUNA’S hit single Terukir Di Bintang won Song Of The Year at the recent AJL 27. While the beautiful singer, composer and songwriter was away in the United States for a musical collaboration with producer, composer and lyricist David Foster, her romantic song was given a suave, masculine touch, courtesy of Aizat Amdan.
His interpretation of Terukir Di Bintang impressed the 10 judges led by Azmeer, as well as audiences in the almost packed Stadium Putra Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday and earned him and Yuna the top prize of RM35,000.
An elated Aizat said: “Yuna is a dear family friend and I’m honoured to sing her song. She is an inspiration to musicians of our generation and I pray that she will reach greater heights.”
Aizat admitted that it was his first attempt at singing a local female vocalist’s hit song.
“I’ve covered Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love Of All, which was originally sung by George Benson. For Terukir Di Bintang, I got together with Yuna’s musicians to come up with a romantic, French-style ballad,” said Aizat.
Mentor’s most bankable champion, Hanifah Hanafiah (Black), teamed up with hip-hopper Helmy Hamdan (RJ) to win the best performance award of RM10,000 for Teman Pengganti, written and composed by Malique of Too Phat. The soulful duo impressed the crowd and judges with their makeshift revolving room concept. Black and RJ sat majestically on chairs in their respective segments to croon their way into the hearts of fans.
Two-time winner Hafiz Suip won the best vocal award of RM10,000 again. The Kuching-born singer sang Ku Akui, written and composed by Ajai. The song also bagged third place for Song Of The Year, receiving RM12,000.
Second place went to Idola, sung by Azlan And The Typewriter, composed by Audi Mok and written by Azlan Roslee. They received RM15,000.
Azlan said: “It is a tribute to my idol Datuk Sudirman Arshad. We dressed up in opera costumes complete with my favourite Phantom Of The Opera masks. Idola is also dedicated to the great entertainers of yesteryears whose legacies live on.”
He paid special tribute to Mok and guest guitarist Arianna Adnan of the rock group Couple, the only female musician to share the stage with his band.
Media Prima group chief operations officer for television networks Ahmad Izham Omar said AJL 27 saw an increase in young singers, composers and songwriters, and once again proved itself to be an ideal platform for up-and-coming artistes.
“Of the 12 finalists, six are performing their own compositions, and we hope more will do so in the coming years,” he said.
Azmeer said: “We were all in agreement over Terukir Di Bintang. It’s a mesmerising song with all the ingredients of a winner. Aizat gave it the perfect male interpretation, with a visual backdrop of Paris in summertime.”
Hosted by the irrepressible Cheryl Samad (who spoke well in Mandarin) and Faizal Ismail (who proved he could rap) the event, broadcast live on TV3, began at 9pm with Hafiz’s duet with Adira Suhaimi, Ombak Rindu, written and composed by Nurzaidi Rahman.
The duo serenaded amidst an artificial mountain with 800 “flowers”. But they were upstaged when Singaporean actor Aaron Aziz, the star of Ombak Rindu movie, made a sudden appearance on stage and lifted Adira. She later told Faizal it was one of the “high points” of her career.
Ombak Rindu was named the most downloaded song of the year.
Next, Asian Wave 2012 winner Shila Amzah gave a flawless rendition of her hit song, Patah Seribu, and received a standing ovation.
Cheryl said that her father, pioneer Muzik Muzik host N.D. Lala, had predicted the song’s astounding success.
Rock legend Amy of Search then teamed up with his protege Hazama Azmi in Simetri. The duo sported dreadlocks and were dressed in black and brown coats respectively. Their backup dancers played rival gangs fighting in 19th Century turf wars.
Azlan And The Typewriter came next with Idola, featuring a European opera backdrop and a dancer dressed in Sudirman’s trademark Malaysian flag suit. The song’s strength lay in Kangar-born Azlan’s falsetto, and his performance stood out for its ‘dramatic’ story line.
Adira’s buddy Stacy Anam followed with Pelangi Senja, created by Taja and Tun Teja. Moving away from her usual dancer persona, Stacy proved she could deliver a slow and moving ballad with honesty and emotion. The performance saw her walk on a makeshift jetty with beautiful scenes of rainbows and sunsets in her hometown Kota Kinabalu as the backdrop.
The ska-influenced Bedroom Sanctuary, led by its charismatic, curly-haired singer Bo Amir Iqram gave fans an upbeat song
Bo inserted an element of comedy when one of his band mates untied his hair, after which he continued to sing amidst psychedelic, 1970s graphics on the stage screen.
Another Kuching-born singer-songwriter, Amir Jahari, delivered an upbeat song, his self-penned Tanpamu, with an infectious ska beat and a brilliant ‘jumping out’ from a painting on the wall.
Next came Black and RJ with Teman Pengganti and Aizat with Terukir Di Bintang, both of which received standing ovations.
Three more crowd favourites brought the show to an astounding end — Hafiz’s heartfelt Ku Akui, Mojo led by budding rock singer Aweera Noriyisham and Edry Abdul Halim with their Mozart-themed Andai Ku Bercinta Lagi, and One Nation Emcees and Jimmy Palikat’s infectious Anak Kampung.
Anak Kampung had a standing ovation, and a colourful mix of hip-hop and traditional Kadazan music welded together by Palikat who composed the song, and One Nation’s Mimi Norhisham, Jojo Hassan Baias and Zydee Ederis, who co-wrote the lyrics.
A total of 40 dancers brought the performance to life and Faizal remarked that it was hugely popular on his radio station Hot FM.
The guest performers wowed the crowd, too. These were Misha Omar, who rendered Bunga-Bunga Cinta in a Snow White dress, Ziana Zain who ‘multiplied’ herself courtesy of a special effects screen as she sang Fatalistik, and Faizal Tahir who lobbed some flowers to actress Intan Ladyana Yahaya as he sang Anti-Graviti.
The crowd was mesmerised by rock legends Rahmat of Mega, Aris Ariwatan, Joey of BPR and Ramli Sarip who sang their respective hits Bayangan Gurauan, Lamunan Terhenti, Seribu Tahun Takkan Mungkin and Kamelia, backed by guitarists Rodi of Kristal, AG of Coco, Edrie Hashim and Man Kidal respectively.
The finalists were backed by a 44-piece orchestra led by Datuk Ramli MS.