24/06/2024 11:07 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- Patriotic songs, including ‘Setia’, ‘Inilah Barisan Kita’, ‘Tanggal 31 Ogos’ and ‘Warisan’, sung by the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad remain evergreen and embedded in our hearts even decades after their creation.

Some newer patriotic songs with themes of unity and nationalism have also managed to capture the interest of listeners with their incorporation of hip-hop elements, one of them being ‘Negaraku’, a collaboration among four popular singers Joe Flizzow, Altimet, SonaOne and Faizal Tahir.

Other songs like ‘Malaysia’ by Faizal Tahir, ‘Standing In The Eyes of The World’ by Ella and ‘Tekad Perpaduan Penuhi Harapan’ by Khair Bahar and Aina Abdul have lyrics and melodies that can ignite a deep love for one’s country. 

However, according to Radio Televisyen Malaysia music director Datuk Mokhzani Ismail, 62, most of the composers and lyricists of patriotic songs are in the elderly category, adding Malaysia needs more young composers and lyricists to create unity-themed songs that align with current trends and demands. 

"Besides me, the other patriotic song composers are Datuk Johari Salleh, Tan Sri Ahmad Merican (composer of 'Tanah Pusaka'), Datuk Ibrahim Bachek and Datuk Wah Idris… they are all veterans.

“There are also those who have passed away such as Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Zain or Pak Ngah, and Saiful Bahri who composed 'Barisan Kita’. Our lyricists are few too like Datuk Habsah Hassan and Siso Kopratasa. We need more (younger composers) like Faizal Tahir and Affan Mazlan," he told Bernama.

Mokhzani said few young people are keen to explore the patriotic song genre, which is perceived to have no commercial value.

In fact, this issue has also caught the attention of Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil who encouraged more local music creators to produce patriotic songs because they not only commemorate certain days regarded as significant in the history of the nation but also remind the people of the importance of living in peace and harmony.

"The perception that they have no commercial value must change as we can see that today's patriotic songs by artistes like Faizal Tahir and Aina Abdul have succeeded in garnering public attention," said Mokhzani, whose patriotic song compositions include ‘Cemerlang Gemilang Terbilang’ which was also the 2020 Merdeka theme song; ‘Malaysia Prihatin’ sung by Ernie Zakri; and ‘Menang Bersama’ crooned by Faizal Tahir.

Legendary singer Datuk Irwan Shah Abdullah, more popularly known as DJ Dave, has also urged local artistes to produce more patriotic songs, saying it is their responsibility to do so as citizens of this country.

"Don’t just (produce) love songs, we cannot be selfish, everyone must contribute (unity-themed songs). At least one out of 10 songs produced should be a unity song as it will play an important role in the harmony of our country," said DJ Dave, who is Yayasan Kebajikan Artis Tanahair chairman.

He was speaking to Bernama after presenting the RM10,000 cash prize he received from the Rotary Club of Ara Damansara to a mosque, church and three temples.

The cash prize was awarded to him after he was selected as the recipient of the club's Special Award for Unity recently for leading the 'Setia Perpaduan' patriotic song project.

"The involvement of artistes in promoting the spirit of unity is very important as they have their own influence and aura. In addition to their songs, they can also share more posts about unity on social media.

"(This should be done by) young artistes who have a large following on social media... many will benefit. Every artiste in this country can be regarded as an ambassador of unity because they are influential," the ‘Kini Ku Menangis Lagi’ singer added.


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