This song was the first one I ever recorded for my first album “Dengan Secara Kebetulan” in 2006. Altimet never gave up helping me put things together in the earlier part of my career and that had included hooking me up with the one producer I’m still in touch with today (and yet we still haven’t met) that is Avex from Melbourne.

It was just natural to work with Ahli Fiqir at that time. They were fresh and hot on the Malaysian music scene and I’m trying to break in. Also, they were heavy on the Bahasa which was the path I took for the first album.

I was inspired by Missy Elliot’s “Gossip Folks” and wanted to do a ‘Pantun Nasihat’ for the modern Malay. You do know that gossip spans the generation right and nobody is spared from it? I, however, have been on the positive side on the fence; always going back to my music whenever asked about something unrelated. That’s the way it should be. Actors talk about film and singers talk about their songs.

I wrote Altimet’s ‘Sayang Sayang’ around the same time and Mawar Berduri was just a gem to work with during studio time. Guess who else is on that song? The boys from Siarra, an R&B vocal group mentored by Ferhad. We recorded it in a jiffy, everything had fallen into place. Was supposed to be the 1st single til I recorded “Sudah tu Sudah”.

The thing about gossip (and any adversity) is that when we don’t care about what people say, it’ll bother us too. It’s not about taking it in or throwing it away. We need to have a balance; listen and learn or listen and ignore. Biar kata orang, orang berkata has always worked for me and you should try it too.

Kata Orang
Written/Composed by Imran Ajmain / Norazhar “avex” M Yunus / Ahli Fiqir
Arranged by Norazhar “avex” M Yunus
Guitar, synthesizer, percussion and keyboard parts performed by avex
Rap performed by Mawar Berduri of Ahli Fiqir
Background Vocals performed by Siarra
Vocals arrangement by Imran Ajmain
Recorded by JD at 1205, Kuala Lumpur
Music recorded at Boxavex, Melbourne by Haris Ashraff and avex
Additional Pro Tools engineering by Haris Ashraff
Mixed by avex
Produced by Altimet with avex of TwoRookies

Look for the link to download above.

I performed the song for the first time at Layar Tanchap Shah Alam with Alvin from Infinatez in 2008 to a very warm crowd to whom I was a stranger and I did the hand gesture for ‘salam’ when I sang the words “hormat menghormati“. Rather skema if you ask me, but I won myself some friends there who still support me til today. Every time I watch the video, I cringe a bit. (The entire show has all the performers sit on the floor like the traditional Javanese wayang shows do, just so you know.)

I play a big brother to many people I’ve worked with ever since I started doing music, and especially the time I was an events organizer and artiste manager for my company Beats Society back in Singapore circa 2004 til 2007. I saw a lot of these girls and boys blossom into successful musicians, videographers, and artistes.

It all started on the 4th April 2004 when I did an event 04.04.04 at Bishan CC (which is tomorrow!) That was when I knew I had a knack for being a talent scout and became a brother figure to so many from then on. I am, however, the 2nd child of two offsprings. Here’s to all siblings! Please share the song or video onto your sibling’s Facebook wall, even if you are not related.

Abang (Live Acoustic)
Written/Composed/Arranged by Imran Ajmain
Guitars by Aki Westside
Bass by Eddy Bhumi
Percussion by Wan Afro
Broken toy piano and violin parts written and performed by avex
Recorded by MUON of Wallwork Records
Mixed by avex for TwoRookies
Produced by Imran Ajmain
Download it here: http://unlock.sc/7ks

 

We were recording a song called “Mengaku Kalah” for my 2nd album and we had gone through so many changes that it had drained us out, especially since the mood of the song was so mellow and depressing. The guitarist, Ujang, was so awesome in our few takes that I begged him to learn my song “Jika Engkau Pergi” that I wrote with Sulu and make an acoustic cut. We recorded that at Rafikoncept and it conveniently was added to the soundtrack of ‘Yusuff’ for TV3 as I was commissioned by AMC to do it at that time.

I loved BoyzIIMen’s “Doin’ Just Fine”. I think it’s their best song til today. How does one deny being heartbroken, refusing to crawl under the sheets when they have probably lost everything they’ve been building? Can you do that? “I’m doing just fine, I’m getting along very well without you in my life”. Can you purposefully change your life and lifestyle just so that you no longer have to face the person who hurt you?

As I wrote the 2nd album is the fashion of old-school Malay music, I wanted “Jika Engkau Pergi” to embody the 50’s lenggok, 60’s song structure, and 80’s and 90’s styled lyrics of heartache and loss similar to a great collection of Habsah Hassan’s work during that time. On top of that, it has to be a theme that spans all eras; “Go ahead, leave me, I’ll be fine”.

I wrote it also a reversed response to Jamal Abdillah’s “Kekasih Awal Dan Akhir” where he worshipped his lover as being God-sent. I, on the other hand, had to argue with that unconditional love when the ‘sunshine of my life’ decided to burst my ego and leave me with nothing, but a song.

I hope your grandmother loves it, let her hear it, and tell me what she thinks about it. I imagined this was in the 1950’s like in the black and white Malay movies where heartache is quite the unbearable thing. Can’t sing like BoyzIIMen or Jamal Abdillah but I’m sure, to sing about being heartbroken and pretending to be OK about it, like most of you out there, I’m an expert. “Time make me stronger, you’re no longer on my mind”

To download this song, you will need a Twitter account: http://unlock.sc/7ka

 

I’m going to release 1 song everyday until the 25th April when I turn 31. I will introduce my new song to you by then. Today I will start with “Hanya Menari” from my first album “Dengan Secara Kebetulan” 2006-2007.

I was obsessed with French films at one time and I was introduced to the genius of Audrey Tatou via a movie called “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” (À la folie… pas du tout) at the time I was working on what eventually became my first album.

Coincidentally, Eminem’s “Stan” covered the exact same theme as the French film; erotomania. It is a mental disease or delusional situation where one believes the person they like or love is in love with them. I wrote three different verses just so I’d sing it like a story, just like in the movie and song. Basically I play the loveless protagonist whose fantasy girl is already attached. Halfway through a friendship (whether it exists or not), I become jealous of the girl’s original lover and suggest a getaway. If we were ever caught, just tell him that we were only dancing; that was my reference to a slew of dance movies in the late 90s and early 00s like ‘Strictly Ballroom’, ‘Shall We Dance’ and my personal favourite, ‘Dance With Me’, where the male lead is always the awkward, quiet guy who uses dance to escape from their mundane real lives. Also, just like in both the movie and the song, the object of desire gets to address the issue to the dreamer. Things get awkward there.

What I believed Miss Tatou’s awesome movie and the Real Slim Shady’s equally exciting song and music video didn’t manage to cover was to make it pretty and subtle, I took over to address the same matter to a Malay audience oh so familiar with unrequited love. Plus like me, Malays tend to be quite the dreamer. Some of us take it a bit too far, and yet we still deny it. You may download the song here only if you have Twitter: http://unlock.sc/7k3 (lasts til 3rd April only)

p/s The song was used in a pivotal moment in “Alam’s Story” a drama re-telling of the first ‘So You Think You Can Dance (Malaysia)” champion. Although the song was never released as a single, it got some airplay and I also got to sing it at Indonesian R&B singer, Marcell Siahaan’s wedding to my friend, Rima Melati Adams.