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    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    This post is going to make me a lot of friends. I am going to go out on a limb here, shoot my mouth off and probably end up digging a hole for myself.

    The Malay newspapers have been highlighting this matter of the local Malay stations playing more music from Indonesia and not supporting local music. This newspaper interviews a bunch of washed-up veteran producers and writers. Of course, they all collectively blame the radio stations for the state of the local music scene and why they cannot make a living because the radio stations support Indonesian music.

    And today, I read that the government is actually conducting an investigation! As if there is nothing else more important to do in government, the government is looking into this complaint and will probably have a quota on how many produced-in-Malaysia songs they have to play.

    While you may think this is ironic and it goes against my personal interest for me to comment on this, I think this is the most ridiculous and most offensive thing anyone can do to creative works and the free market. Of course, such a ruling would benefit me tremendously since I am a songwriter and I stand to make more money if the local stations are forced to play locally produced music. Hence the irony.

    All the arguments that were brought up by these veteran writers have no merit.

    A radio station is a business. They cater to the demands of the market. (Of course, some stations take this way to personally and actually think they know what the market wants and then become an imposition.)

    The reason why radio stations are not playing as much local music is because no one wants to hear it. And not many people want to hear it because the music, simply put, SUCKS. (That's the technical marketing term, by the way.)

    I am not kissing ass with the radio stations. It's not a conspiracy. The radio stations are not out to kill the local industry. If anything, the musicians and songwriters are doing it to themselves by trying to sound like Indonesians today or Indonesians back in 70s. If I were a radio station, I'd too be embarrassed to play some of the local stuff I hear. Even if I were embarrassed, but if listeners wanted it, so be it. Play it.

    As a producer and songwriter, I welcome the challenge. It bugs me whenever I hear an Indonesian song on the radio. But if it is good, it is good and it deserves its place on radio. I take it as a personal challenge and I want to do better to compete. Understand that I am not anti-Indonesian. I am in awe of their progress but I do not see them as one to emulate (since they are emulating the British.)

    The bottom line here is the radio stations as a business, owe the music industry nothing. They owe it to their customers and listeners.

    And then there was this new argument today suggesting that there should be a law to force local stations to play local artists so that we can have international acts. He cited Australia with Savage Garden and Kylie Minogue. I don't see the logic here. How, by force-playing local acts, will the act go international. (Incidentally, Kylie made it via the U.K. and most Australians probably hate Savage Garden's music.)

    So let's say the government manages to have a quota and radio stations are forced to play local music (but there isn't really enough good local stuff so they either repeat the good ones or start playing crap). First, all the stations will sound like X-Fresh. Or RTM! You can see where that is going.

    But this is what is going to happen: Radio will lose their listeners. Listeners will go to music social networks like imeem.com or last.fm and get their music. Radio will become less relevant. It will become what the railway station is to transportation. And then we would get closer to completing our mission as a nation that takes one step forward but two steps back.

    And when listeners go online for their new music discovery, NO ONE IN MALAYSIA GETS PAID.

    As for the music industry, it's Proton all over again. Constantly expecting handouts and never wanting to look at the real cause of the problem.

    Burn that analog tape machine and take a good look in the mirror.













    Phew! Now I feel better.

    11 comments:

    Boogalooboo said...

    hear! hear!!!!

    DiStUrBeD AnGeL said...

    Finally, sum1 who has the same sentiments as me!

    I find that any1 who actually tinks Indo music on radio is the main prob is just having it easy by finger-pointing, while chucking the real reason aside, put it in a treasure box n bury it forever.

    U shld go to amnet n read the comments of Msians regarding this issue. It's sad, I tell you. It's time we think out of the box n nt get comfy with the mindset. Like wat u said, take this as a challenge.

    I find that this issue is juz the same with "cetak rompak". Instead on focusing on it, find a way to deal with it. Take it as an opportunity, n nt a threat.

    Only den will the local industry boom.

    I salute u for this!

    ajami said...

    bagus! bagus! bagus!

    Anonymous said...

    totally.. totally.. totally agree.

    Anonymous said...

    muzik malaysia statik, membosankan dan aiyopoo so tiring lah. tapi bila dengar Drama from Ning, Yanie and Nikki, memang mengkagumkan.

    That is you, Audi. And you creating a HISTORY by being different. and like any Malaysian, we are not hating Malaysian singers or etc, it is DUMB music after all.

    Over three years, dah tengok Juara Lagu, and you know the reasons why.

    I rather go play kites lah.

    Anonymous said...

    this is a closed mindset..only idiots would impose such a thing, as you said in what is a creative industry and the free market. local music never moved forward but stagnant and in some cases goes backwards. can't blame the stations for not wanting to play.
    Malaysia Bodoh

    klubbkidd said...

    salute!someone with the same thoughts. didn't know you posted on this until vern pointed it out. have some points on my blog too. i'm going to be remembered for all the wrong things....as usual. LOL!

    klubbkidd said...

    psttt dude. just did another couple of entries on the issue. linked your bit. hope it's ok.

    Anonymous said...

    totally. this is a non-issue caused by some insecure musician who can't write well and feels that the world owes them. Lawan la sikit, make better materials. Not blaming other for your failure. Perghhh.

    by the way, xfresh is not all that bad.

    The first time i heard 'perang dan cinta' was through xfresh. Thank you xfresh. And luv it as one of my top100 malay songs ever. no 9 by the way, together with seha - teman bicara (which i believe was yours too pal?). hehehe.

    Edd Vedder said...

    Thank you for writing this.. exactly what I had on my mind. I take my hat off to u..

    Thanks.

    jerng said...

    xm: cool..
    i forward u somehting yah
    music indsutry
    me: can...
    whoa... could be fun.
    haha.
    i want to form malaysia's first marketable rock band. LOL.
    NOTHING this country comes up with sells outside the country... >_<