Well, dang. We’re already halfway through this bumpy ride of a year that is 2020. Thankfully, with it, emerged a steady flow of creative talents with a somewhat more receptive and accessible audience. On the music front, this came in the form of COVID-related songs, live sessions and thankfully, even workshops and talks on how to best manage these trying times. But we’ve already covered those, so let us now instead take a look at what Malaysian made songs have caught our attention in 2020 thus far.
Some of these guys and gals may not have as much promotional firepower in their arsenal but believe us when we say that you’d be pleasantly surprised as to just how terrific their releases are. So, if you’ve had enough reading and want to get on with the listening, check out our list of solid new releases below. And hey, if you like what you hear, don’t forget to ‘like’, ‘follow’ and support these talented folk!
Alright, get those headphones ready and let’s get to it.
Dose Two – ‘Fine Wine’
The moment the song starts and you hear that sweet gamelan tune, you know you’re in for a treat. Unsurprisingly, the song only lifts off further from there with an intoxicating beat and some mad lyrical flow – all the while making us try to balance this visual and audio sensory overload. It’s refreshing that so much careful thought has gone into a music video and boy, if this is any indication as to what we’re steering towards when it comes to local Hip Hop, then we’re in for an effing treat this 2020 ladies and gents.
Rabbit Mac – ‘Yejemaa’
When Rabbit Mac drops a song, you know he’s leaving a dent. Released under his record label, PU4LYF (and there’s a whole bunch of talent under it you should check out), this Penang-born rapper and producer clearly has big dreams for the local Tamil music industry and isn’t letting anything or anyone get in his way. His latest single, ‘Yejemaa’ (which, according to the description is apparently the OST of a movie called ‘Hong Seng Estate’ that we have little info on) has already garnered more than 2 million views on YouTube! Just like many others as indicated by the thousands of comments, you don’t necessarily need to understand the song to appreciate it, so give it a listen.
Nadhira – ‘Keep On Running’
Tough times as it may be, we’re certain Nadhira’s plans for having a promising year ahead will go as planned. And it certainly already has with the release of her newest single, ‘Keep On Running’ which gives us all that much-needed dose of hope and encouragement on finding your path and staying strong. The perfect voice for the perfect message.
The Bat Cave – ‘Batu’
This is the kinda stuff I love. When once again, my ignorance shines bright and an artiste I’ve not heard of before suddenly makes it on our radar and in turn, we’re left questioning our existence because The Bat Cave hits hard! We’re definitely going down the deep hole of checking out more Kelawar Records artistes. If you’re anything like us, then go ahead and check out ‘Batu’ performed by K-Main, Zet legacy, Dafrosty and Zaf Besar – and be ready to become an instant fan.
Emcee Wey – ‘Roti Canai’
The description says to watch it high. So I watched it from the 37th floor of my condo. Wait… or did I? Crap. I can’t remember. My condo only has six floors. Do ants have buttholes? Sorry. Back to the song. It’s about every Malaysian’s favorite flat breaded breakfast – roti canai. It’s affordable, it’s diverse enough to be consumed both savory and sweet and it’s everywhere! And we usually like it banjir. From here on out though, this shall and will be the official soundtrack for every roti canai order I make – and unless you know of any other roti canai song sicker than this, it should be for you too. An attempt will also be made to master the dance. And that music video? Well, EmceeWey spent 3 months working alone on it using Paint. PAINT!!!
Dani Komari – ‘Circles’
Set to further expand her conquest of Malaysia’s jazz scene, Dani Komari recently released the single ‘Circles’ – which, for those who may not be familiar with her (yet), perfectly demonstrates her amazing vocals made only better thanks to the band, Nightshades. A fun bit of info: all the outfits you see in the music video were actually made from upcycled and thrifted materials from the recycling factory in which the music video was recorded! Also, ‘Circles’ was mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell.
Ben Ladin – ‘Rampung’
The song starts off with him singing, “Masih ramai bertanya, asalku dari mana” and I, unfortunately, full of ignorance and those other stuff, was one of those “ramai”. He looks young, I think to myself. He doesn’t overdo his outfit nor does he think it necessary to have flashy lyrics fly across the screen or wear shades and hang out on some abandoned building’s rooftop. Nah. In fact, the music video’s a treat to watch and I soon found out it was produced by the elusive Malique. A little more digging and there it was. At just 11, he joined ‘Idola Kecil’ (this was in 2013) and there onwards, he dipped his feet into the world of acting and hosting. He starred in a few dramas like ‘Kahwin Muda’, ‘Amsyar’ and ‘Jangan Ikut Aku’ but made it big in the music scene out of nowhere with the Malique-produced, Hikayat Benladin’ – his first rap single. He’s now only 19 so your guess is as good as ours as to what he’ll be nailing next.
Back to the song, (which, since its release at the end of January this year has garnered more than 3 million views) Ben flaunts his lyrical flair and ingenuity with a much-welcomed traditional Malay musical feel to it. Nine months in the making, but the end result is testament to the saying that you can’t rush perfection.
Lil J, Bunga & Kidd Santhe – ‘Kampung Aku LIT’
This new track by Lil J, Bunga and Kidd Santhe is catchy alright and it’s clear that all three of these rappers are more than capable of spitting out mad lyrics but we’re cruelly left hanging and craving for more because their verses are just too short individually. That opinion aside, it’s still a fun song and probably will leave many going, “Why didn’t I think of ‘Lat Tali LIT Tam Plom’?!”