Muzik Kita
October 07, 2006

When he first met Eric Clapton, amidst the crowd in a hazy, poorly lighted club in downtown London, Jimi Hendrix had these words to say…

”Ah, it’s my blues brother from England…”

Astounding; I should say of that moment.

And correct me if I’m wrong but as far as I can recall, the infamous British Invasion of North America in the 60s and 70s brought no harm at all to the region’s music industry. In fact, the arrival of The Beatles, Stones, Who, Led Zeppelin etc. created a more vibrant Rock and Roll scene in America.

Let’s not get into that grass festival Dylan had with the Beatles though.

So where am I getting here?

Nowhere far. It’s all happening right here; on the wondrous land of our beloved nusantara.

Apparently, unlike the camaraderie between cross-border musicians mentioned earlier, some of us are super angry, and I mean Eric Cartman in the Dog Whisperer mad, at the emergence of Indonesian bands in the local scene and the incredibly positive response they’re getting from our listeners and the media.

These fellow musicians from a neighboring country are seen as a threat to our local music industry as they influence the public into buying their records instead of ours. And when it comes to live shows, they are accused of raking bills from the people’s wallets; to be spent on tickets to their shows instead of ours. Ah, and how could I forget. They’re stealing the local music awards from us too!

Some observation huh?

The only thing we’re not seeing though is how we’re making Shallow Hal look like a diving pool and ourselves a kiddy, ankle deep one.

We have our own brand of music and they have theirs. I don’t see any harm in them coming into the country and giving us a taste of their music. We’re doing the same thing too aren’t we with Siti, Too Phat, Search etc.? Why don’t we see it as a cultural exchange rather than musical invasion?

Precious time is being spent on bashing them. Nevertheless, there’s a ‘bandbasher’ in every man.

To be honest, I’d have to agree that some of their songs are being overplayed on our airwaves. OK not some, there’s only one in particular. I eat my steering wheel whenever the radio plays that Samsons Kenangan Terindah tune.

There you go, I just bashed a band. Hence, my claim is close to true. There’s a ‘bandbasher’ in every one of us.

Yet, would it stop the radio stations from playing it in the future? Or at least after reading this piece? I highly doubt it.

While I truly understand the strong opposing notion heralded by our angry men of music, bandbashing does nothing. You can bitch all day long but if there’s a change due to it at the end of the day, it could only be your level of masculinity stooping down to a new low, close that of Richard Simmons'.

That said, let’s join hands and quit our whine-o-rama and start making great music.

I don’t see the local music industry flopping down at any point in the future at all. We have a really strong foundation built by the likes of Tan Sri P. Ramlee, M. Nasir, S. Atan, Ajai etc.; the list just goes on and on. These individuals have shaped our industry and paved the way for new and promising composers who are just too many, still undiscovered, out there. And their original music spells serious class.

Ultimately, it’s all up to the people to choose whom they’d want to listen to. It’s only human to prefer listening to things you fancy and if 75% (scary figure eh?) of us Malaysians choose Indonesian music over our own, then let it be. We can only improve the quality of our stuff.

Most importantly, we have to realize that all in all, it all comes down to musicians making music.

Oh, and funny true story…

Two guys were in a car and running in the CD player was a Maroon 5 record without any of them realizing it. The first song on the CD was Sunday Morning and as the jazzy intro to the song ended, signaling the entrance of the first verse, one of them started singing in English and the other in Malay.

Guess the song sang by the second guy.

Bandbasher? No?

Exactly my point.


let's not forget that Jimi and Eric have this 'competition' going on about 'blues'.

”Ah, it’s my blues brother from England…” ... I noticed sarcasm in this statement. But again, playing blues is partly about being humble.

Eric and Jimi will always be one of my influences in music.

true enough there was competition, but it was mainly between the fans as far as i know. i don't know how serious EC and Hendrix were taking the whole 'holier bluesman than thou' thing...

then again, it was the late 60s and they had happy shrooms day in and out. who knows what their muttered words meant. :)

apo ekau cakap nih jang?

takdok apo... ekau tak buko masak lomak ko tadi?

now go back to writing reviews of those AF diaries dawg...


wahahahaha ade orang minat ko sial. nanti aku kecoh ngan jeepers creepers, syah & sarimah. jangan blushing lak nanti

hm, not right dawg. totally...

Asrif is my "blue" brother. For life.

That's all I want to say.

anyday bro, anyday...

bump onto this blog of urs..
dude ur tele is awesomely sweet..
how much lu angkat brah?


wo silzomanizlo. lama tak dengar crita...

got it used for around 4 bills usd off the bay...

u can get one brand new for an extra 200 - 300usd (plus shipping) on ishibashi or (

Dude, lemme guess.

That part you mentioned about Maroon 5's Sunday Morning and the second song thingy,
the Malay song, is it Diari Seorang Lelaki by Pretty Ugly ? Both jazzy intros really sound the same tho..

Come over and leave a comment at my site if I am right... he he

Btw, dunno why but personally I think, Indonesian songs do sound much better than the Malaysian ones.

Bingo I'd say. Eerie eh? Hehe...

To each his own so it's just fair that you think Indonesian music sounds better than Malaysian. I personally have no preference between the two.

However, the fact that we're ripping on them for making good music and 'stealing' our audience is somewhat disturbing. Precious time are being wasted doing so.

Aduh lah gambar kuzi la pulok di website demo...

serih kalau kau tulis mcm ni apsal paper kau ade dlm Bill White's list of what not to do..... terkejut aku bile bukak sample papers.

rays: u sure azman's paper wasn't there too? oh his may be in the list who not to be...

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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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