Malaysians undeniably love food and to further cement its truth, we’ve made that even more exceptionally evident by paying homage to our delectable local dishes through infusing it with nearly everything, fighting to the death for what we deem is Malaysian in origin and of course, singing songs about these said dishes.
And then just recently, a band reached out to us sharing some of their music. One of which, was about nasi lemak. So, it’s only natural that we’ve come up with a compilation of songs that pay tribute to two of our most versatile and loved brekkie dishes – the roti canai and nasi lemak.
3 Missed Calls – ‘Nasi Lemak’
Formed in October 2008, 3 Missed Calls were initially a trio of students from a college music club who performed gigs at the likes of Paul’s place and cafes around Setia Wangsa. It was then that their historic first single, ‘Nasi Lemak’ was recorded in a little studio in Penang.
At the peak of their musical journey, their drummer quit due to personal reasons and the band had to take a break. Eight years after that in 2018, the vocalist and bassist of the band decided to pick up from where they left off and are now a happy foursome with the addition of a new drummer and lead guitarist.
3 Missed Calls now comprises of Rudy (frontman, lead singer, and guitarist), AJ (bassist), Zack (lead guitarist) and Shaun (drummer) – all of whom have day jobs but continue to pursue their passion for music.
Using money that was saved up, they re-recorded ‘Nasi Lemak’ (along with a new single called ‘Gaji Sikit’) and it even went on the Hitz Met 10 chart for 3 weeks in a row. The band tells us that they plan on releasing a music video for the track next.
Emcee Wey – ‘Roti Canai’
Little did we know when we first wrote about this song during its release last year, that we’d discover a whole bunch of other songs about roti canai. Emcee Way still holds the throne for best roti canai rap though.
Ben Nathan – ‘Blues Roti Canai’
In the 80s, singer Ben Nathan rose to fame with hits like ‘Ilusi Satu Penantian’ and ‘Stanza Sepi Sekeping Hati’ before he sadly fell into some really hard times, even forcing him to live on the streets for nearly two decades. With that in mind, it does make us wonder if ‘Blues Roti Canai’ was a song closer to home for Ben than most of us would’ve realised.
Fortunately in 2017, through the power of social media, the support of fans and efforts of the National Artiste Foundation (YKAT) president DJ Dave, Ben received the help he needed and there are now plans to thankfully resurrect his singing career. Give Ben a follow on Facebook for updates!
激荡工作坊 – ‘Roti Canai’
Honestly, we have no idea who this song is by. But it’s got this catchy Oldies vibe to it and we dig it. In it, they sing about roti canai being affordable, tasty, popular and even provide a geographical lesson on where it can be obtained – Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia but especially in KL.. and that’s about there is to the song.
Sid Murshid – ‘Sedap Tak Nasi Lemak’
Sid Murshid should never stop making music – in whatever friggin’ form. Clad in denim on denim, he guides us by the hand with a useful 15 second tutorial on how you (yes, you!), too are able to make nasi lemak. He proceeds to gently and soothingly tell us that once it’s done, place it on a plate and then you just “makan lah”. The emotions expressed by Sid as he asks us if it’s ‘Sedap tak?’, we aren’t ashamed to admit, almost had us in tears. We hope all’s well with his cat, Tubby.
The Unwanted – ‘Nasi Lemak Kopi Susu’
This rock band from Singapore made waves in the 80’s with albums like ‘Pelangi’, ‘Terpedaya’ and ‘Masih Ada Rindu’ and made their way to Malaysia several times performing with the likes of Alleycats, Lefthanded and more.
And here they are, reminding us of The Who with ‘Nasi Lemak Kopi Susu’ which, they apparently enjoy “panas, panas”. But more importantly, this song left some Malaysians wondering if it was Singapore trying to spread propaganda on where nasi lemak is actually from.
Senario – ‘Rock & Roll Roti Canai’
Not only were the funny people of Senario great at skits, they also graced us with some hilarious songs and parodies. ‘Kerja’, ‘Cinta Sate’, ‘Tahi Lalat’ to name a few and of course, who can forget ‘Rock & Roll Roti Canai’ where unlike the conventional banjir means of consuming our favourite flat bread, they’ve gone down the sweeter path with some sugar spinkled on top of it. Of course you could have it with curry too, but don’t do it while you’re standing, dancing and you best watch out for those kari basi – and other advice of the roti canai-kind are shared in this song.
And it even got the Lion King theme song treatment:
Let there be no more doubt about our unified love as Malaysians for roti canai and nasi lemak. Did we leave out any? Let us know in the comments!