ANUGERAH JUARA LAGU (AJL) last weekend gave big winners Akim & the Majistret a total of RM62,000 after the band took home Lagu Terbaik and Persembahan Terbaik, while Faizal Tahir‘s omnipresent “Assalamualaikum” was first runner-up, obtaining RM35,000.
Third place meanwhile went to “Hanya Namamu”, a song by blind street musicians Caliph Buskers. For this win, Edry Abdul Halim of KRU and Mojo fame takes home RM20,000.
Only one female won an award in competition — Dayang Nurfaizah received Vokal Terbaik for “Tak Pernah Menyerah”.
The awards ceremony, which recognises top-performers in the local Malay music industry, also honored a wealth of veteran performers such as Search, Francissca Peter and Siti Nurhaliza.
Although it was puzzling how AJL still chooses to give out large cash prizes to popular, wealthy musicians — a tradition which national movie awards Festival Filem Malaysia has canned as of last year — nothing came close to the bizarre introduction of new award Anugerah Qu Puteh Diva which went to Siti Nurhaliza.
Sponsoring the awards ceremony for the second consecutive year, health and beauty brand Qu Puteh was rocked with controversy days prior due to toxic levels of mercury in its products which resulted in a ban by the Ministry of Health as well as product recalls.
In any case, last year’s winner was Joe Flizzow and SonaOne‘s “Apa Khabar”, a track which gained immense, long-lasting popularity. None of this year’s entries come close in terms of nonchalance, impact, and resonance, but we do enjoy a couple of these hits.
If it was up to us, AJL this year would have went to “Assalamualaikum”, “Angin Kencang” or “Knock Knock”. Because we believe that awarding a song like “Portret” does nothing for the industry; what’s new or exciting about Akim & the Majistret?
Dreary, downbeat odes to love have long gone out of fashion. Even if its songwriters insist “Portret” is about their guru agama, we don’t buy it. Why would you scrawl your guru agama‘s name on a sandy beach? What is this — Suami Aku Ustaz?
We already have a Malay music market saturated with ballads and pop-rock — it’s about time we encourage other genres of music to thrive, preferably those with a Malaysian identity.
But hey, that’s just us. Tell us what you think by voting below!