MENTION Man Bai and music listeners who grew up in the late 1980s would associate him with his former band Gersang’s hits such as Masih Aku Terasa and Suratan Takdir.
The band had its fair share of popularity before it disbanded after its third album, due to its frontman’s health – Man Bai had a severe case of tonsillitis and he had to go for surgery.
Man Bai, whose full name is Abdul Rahman Osman, could not sing for a while due to his health.
“For a singer to lose his voice is catastrophic. I also just got married. I had to look for another means of income, now that I could not sing. So I ended up working as a production crew member with Roslan Aziz Productions,” says the singer-songwriter.
By 1995, Man Bai had recovered and released his self-titled first solo album with the hit Kau Ilhamku.
“That song didn’t become a hit right after the release of the album. It took about two years before local music fans picked up on it.
“My musical journey was not an easy one but I’m glad I survived it all,” says the 50-year-old artiste who has three solo albums under his belt, with the last one, Inspirasi, released in 2011.
This April 15, Man Bai will perform at the Man Bai: Kau Ilhamku Showcase in Royale Chulan Damansara’s Camelot Lounge.
With room for 120 people, Man Bai says its cosy size allows him to be closer to the audience and create an intimate ambience.
“I haven’t held my own showcase since my first album in 1995. So when the organiser approached me for this project, it didn’t take me long to agree.”
At the one-hour showcase, Man Bai will be performing eight songs, some from his Gersang days and others from his solo albums.
The showcase will also feature legendary rocker Rahim Maarof.
“I thought it’d be nice to feature him as I’m sure many of Rahim’s fans have been missing him. He’ll be singing two to three of his hits such as Cinta Kristal, Istana Menanti, Usang and Jangan Kau Rayu or a medley.”
After this showcase, together with the Royale Chulan Hotels & Resorts chain, Man Bai will embark on a tour with Rahim and Zamani (of former group Slam).
“The plan is for the three of us to do a tour at four properties of the chain in July. We’re looking at venues such as in Seremban in Negri Sembilan, Cherating in Pahang, Penang and here (at Royale Chulan Damansara) in the Klang Valley.”
Man Bai has various projects this year.
He is working on a reunion album with three original Gersang members.
“We wanted to do this in 2012. But due to unforeseen circumstances, it stalled. So we are hoping to make this album a reality this time around,” adds Man Bai.
“We are thrilled to get this project off the ground. It’s been 30 years since our debut album.
“For the reunion album, there will be five new songs. The other five will be hits from our three studio albums.”
He is also planning to release a solo single soon.
“I’ve just finished recording the song and am polishing it,” says Man Bai, adding that he has yet to give a title.
For details on the showcase, call 019-292 8260 (Sherry). Tickets are priced at RM100 and RM120.