Award-win­ning com­poser and hus­band of singer Nora dies of heart at­tack

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

COM­POSER Jo­han Nawawi, 51, who died of a heart at­tack yes­ter­day, will be re­mem­bered by the mu­sic fra­ter­nity as a hard­work­ing pro­fes­sional who never failed to spend qual­ity time with his loved ones.

Yayasan Ar­tis 1Malaysia (YA1M) founder Datuk DJ Dave de­scribed Jo­han as a tal­ented and vi­sion­ary com­poser who worked well with every­one.

“I’ve known him as a gen­tle­man in ev­ery sense of the word. He was very close to his wife, Nora, and their four chil­dren, and brought the fam­ily to­gether mu­si­cally via the spir­i­tual mu­sic group Voices Of Ummi.

“YA1M met him a few weeks ago, and he was hale and hearty. It’s a shock that he’s gone, and we’ll miss him.”

Dave ad­vised Nora and her chil­dren to stay strong in their mo­ment of grief.

Com­poser Azlan Abu Has­san de­scribed Jo­han as an old friend, who was pas­sion­ate about mu­sic and life.

“We worked to­gether on the song Se­la­manya Ba­ha­gia for Nora. Jo­han had a fan­tas­tic mu­sic mem­ory and was al­ways spot on when it came to cre­at­ing good songs for his wife. Of all the songs he wrote, I’ll best re­mem­ber Si­naran, which was a su­per hit for Datuk Sheila Ma­jid. It’s ev­er­green.”

Singer, ac­tor and song­writer Na­bil Da­man­huri, who is also Jo­han’s rel­a­tive, de­scribed the late com­poser as his “sec­ond men­tor” af­ter Nora, who guided him into sec­ond place in TV3’s re­al­ity tal­ent show Men­tor (sea­son one) in 2005.

“He was cheer­ful, hu­mor­ous and work­ing with him was a joy. I’m go­ing to miss his pos­i­tive attitude, jokes and pas­sion for life and mu­sic. I will al­ways cher­ish the song he wrote for me ti­tled Hey Emma!”

Prime­works Stu­dios chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Ah­mad Izham Omar de­scribed Jo­han as an old friend of more than 25 years.

“He was ded­i­cated to mu­sic, worked ex­tremely hard for his suc­cess, and was a nat­u­rally-gifted mu­si­cian. We met three days ago for din­ner. He looked well.”

He said he was shocked to learn of Jo­han’s death, and de­scribed it as a ma­jor blow to Malaysian mu­sic.

Among Jo­han’s cred­its is 22nd Anugerah In­dus­tri Muzik award for Jen­tayu in 1996.

Vet­eran lyri­cist Hab­sah Haswho san, has known Jo­han since the 1990s, de­scribed him as a ded­i­cated com­poser, lyri­cist and fam­ily man.

“He loved his work, but never ne­glected his fam­ily. Form­ing Voices Of Ummi was proof that he wanted his fam­ily to stay unitwhat ed in they loved do­ing most — mak­ing good mu­sic.

“Jo­han will go down in his­tory as a great role model for fu­ture com­posers and lyri­cists.”

Jo­han’s sec­ond son, Shakir Alif, 18, de­scribed his fa­ther as a man who was sel­dom ill and worked tire­lessly in his stu­dio.

“He had just be­come a di­rec­tor at the Na­tional Arts, Cul­ture and Her­itage Academy (Aswara), last month. He lived and breathed the arts, but never for­got about his loved ones. ”

A dis­traught Nora said she and Jo­han were sup­posed to celetheir brate 25th wed­ding an­niver­sary on April 9.

“We were look­ing for­ward to that joy­ous event. Jo­han had been work­ing very hard of late. All this while, he did not suf­fer from any chronic dis­eases, apart from di­a­betes, and never for­got to take his med­i­ca­tion.”

Jo­han was laid to rest af­ter Friprayers day at the Bukit Kiara Mus­lim Ceme­tery near Ta­man Tun Dr Is­mail.

Jo­han Nawawi

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