Newcomer Mikhail Raiyan is the late Sudirman’s great nephew. NSTP/HALIMATON SAADIAH SULAIMAN.

MIKHAIL Raiyan Razman Adam is 24 and studying music at the International College Of Music, Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur.

Set to complete his music degree in a couple of years from now, he is a singer-songwriter who has been writing his own music for the last five years.

The self-taught guitarist has stamped his presence in Malaysian music since Aug 18, with the release of his first single Gerak Lu.

Not only has the song received good airplay on radio stations, it is also readily available on Spotify.

“Gerak Lu is about friends getting into each other’s grooves. In order to bond as friends, it is important that I understand and appreciate what my friend likes, be it music or film,” he said.

Gerak Lu comes with a simple music video which shows Mikhail performing in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

The video, released last month, was produced by Nomads Projects Media.

Besides Mikhail, it also featured another promising young musician, pop-rock band Insomniacs’ lead vocalist and lyricist Syed Mir Iqbal, who happens to be his course mate in ICOM.

“Syed is my dear friend. We always share musical ideas and occasionally perform together in gigs,” he said. “But then, he’s got a band while I’m happy being a soloist.”

MUSIC AT HEART

Making music runs in the family. Mikhail is the son of the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad’s nephew Razman Adam Zainuddin.

“I never got to know Sudirman because he died three years before I was born. But I’m a great fan. He was our King of Entertainment.

“Atai, my father's brother, showed me a lot of Sudirman’s concert performances and music videos, and I am in awe of the legend.

“No Malaysian comes close to his musical genius and great showmanship.

“It’s said that in the West there was Freddie Mercury, while in the East there was Sudirman,” said Mikhail.

Mikhail is the elder of two siblings. His younger sister Alisya, 23, is a professional dancer based in the United States.

“I spent my first six years in the United States. That’s why I still have an American accent.”

Mikhail studied in Sekolah Sri Hartamas Kuala Lumpur, completing Form Five in 2012.

He then performed in various cafes and bars in the Klang Valley.

“My parents have always been supportive of my musical career. However, they insisted that I must pursue a music degree as it is better to be an educated singer like Sudirman.”

During his schooldays, Mikhail sang in annual school concerts.

His parents, teachers and school friends often remarked that his voice had an uncanny resemblance to Sudirman’s.

“I’ve also performed live at Merdekarya thrice. It is here that I got to know many promising talents.”

Mikhail prefers to write in English than in Malay. Nevertheless, after Gerak

Lu, he promises to write more Malay songs.

“It’s always good to be bilingual. But mastering Malay songs is a must for me. This is one area which I should improve tremendously.”

TUNEFUL LIFE

Besides Sudirman and Mercury, Mikhail’s idols include Aziz Harun, Yuna, Aizat Amdan, Faizal Tahir, Lunadira, Bil Musa, Insomniacs, John Mayer, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran.

“I’d love to collaborate with Yuna, Aizat, Faizal and especially Aziz. If there’s one singer who is my favourite today, it’s got to be Aziz. He may be Bruneian but KL is his second home.”

One of Mikhail’s lecturers is Joshua Gui of Sepet The Musical fame. He has encouraged Mikhail to star in musicals, for such a move would “market” him to a wider audience.

“At the moment I’m not ready for musicals. But who knows? I may change my mind in the years to come.”

Last Sunday, Mikhail performed in his first major musical event, the Dataran District Music Run By AIA.

Next month, he will release his second single Moving Right Along, while early next year, he will appear in The Chess, a homegrown musical held at Bentley Music Auditorium, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.

Does he plan to be based in the Klang Valley?

“Yes, of course. Even though Yuna has moved to the US and carved a niche in showbusiness there, I’m happy to remain in KL. After all, I grew up here.”

Mikhail has yet to appear on television but believes it is only a matter of time.

“I was interviewed on Traxx FM last month and I also performed on air.

Below is Mikhail’s music video for Gerak Lu here.