(File pix) Akim Ahmad says we can enjoy any kind of music within the boundaries of our cultures and Malaysian values.

WHILE K-Pop is popular among Malay-sian youths, the South Korean music genre got a bashing during the Rise of the Ummah convention in Kuala Lumpur recently.

According to news reports, Faizuddin Mohd Zai, an activist from conservative youth group Gamis, blamed K-Pop for what he claimed was rampant hedonism among young Muslims, making them unable to secure high-paying jobs.

However, not everyone agrees with him, including singer-songwriter Akim Ahmad, 27, who sports a bright blonde do similar to many K-Pop idols.

The frontman of award-winning pop rock group Akim & The Majistret (ATM), who was in South Korea recently to record music videos with the band, said: “Music is universal. K-Pop is not necessarily a bad thing.

“Even before K-Pop got big in Malaysia, we had other music genres, like rock, which, back then, were considered a negative influence on young people.

“I think it is up to individuals to make their own judgment.

“Of course, there must be limits. We can enjoy any kind of music within the boundaries of our cultures and Malaysian values,” Akim said.

He said that while they were in Jeju, South Korea, for five days this month for filming, the band members learnt about the evolution and history of K-Pop during a visit to the Play K-Pop museum.

“I was inspired by the experience. The people there have a strong national pride that is linked to music, giving the genre a form of prestige. The people believe in K-Pop and want to see it go international.”

The Portret, Obses and Anugerah hitmaker, whose real name is Afiq Hakim Ahmad, believes that music can be a positive experience.

“I want people to know that making music can be a profitable career. Music is a way to motivate, inspire and educate the young,” Akim said.

He said he was open to music collaborations with K-Pop artistes.

“I am an optimistic person. If there are opportunities to collaborate, I am all for it.”

ATM is set to perform at Media Prima Bhd’s youth-oriented festival, Gegaria Fest, at Angsana Mall in Johor Baru on Feb 3 and Stadium Darul Makmur in Kuantan on Feb 24.

Akim said fans would get to hear the band perform its latest song, Stereotaip, live there.

Both festivals will feature performances by ATM, Noh Salleh, Bunkface, Masdo and DeFam. Entrance is free.

For details, visit the festival’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/gogegaria) or Instagram (@gogeria).