Upfront and personal
aizat amdan’s songwriting is sharp and resourceful, his melodies sweet and economical as he charms the dFP masses.
REMEMBER Muhammad Aizat Amdan, that fresh faced crooner who participated in local singing talent show Akademi Fantasia several years back?
It would not be a surprise if you can’t.
Booted out within the first few episodes of the show’s fifth season, Aizat would probably have faded into obscurity like so many American Idol casualties. However, Aizat didn’t give up that easily and through his affable persona and sheer grit has elbowed his way back into the Malaysian music scene.
Last month, he hauled up six Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) nominations (for his album Urusan Aizat Amdan), including Best Pop Song, Best Engineered Album and a crossover opportunity with Years From Now in the Best English Song category.
The AIM awards on Nov 12 promises to be a big night for this 22-year-old singer-songwriter.
But he keeps himself busy with music as much as he can. Adding another feather to his cap, Aizat made his debut on the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) stage in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
It is fast becoming a trend for rising local stars to announce “I have arrived” by performing on this stage, with Aizat hot on the heels of Yuna who kicked off the season’s DFP Spotlight series.
Having unveiled his second album Urusan Aizat Amdan to over 700 fans at the Bentley Music Auditorium in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, in January, Aizat should be no stranger to large crowds. But he still seemed a bit shy on the DFP stage that night, though that could just be him playing up his boyish charm. The girls in the audience certainly swooned.
Armed with his signature rainbow-striped electro-acoustic guitar, he greeted the 865-strong crowd (sold-out show!) with Susun Silang Kata from his new album, effortlessly getting the crowd to clap along.
Backed by his usual four-piece band, as well as piano and backing vocals, the sound stage was a bit crowded at times, with Aizat’s acoustic guitar drowned in the fuller arrangement.
Taking a short pause from the opening song, the ushers let in the many latecomers, while Aizat gently teased them, “mari, mari banyak lagi tempat (come, come, there are more seats left)!”
“Tonight, you don’t have to be so formal. If you want to shout, shout and if you to dance, come to the front and joget,” he urged the slightly stiff audience, but unfortunately no one stepped up to the invitation.
Aizat continued the night alternating between his older songs and a few from his second album – Fikirlah, Erti Hari Ini, Kau Aku, Mana Oh Mana – with most songs resting somewhere between upbeat pop and ballads, none really pushing the boundaries.
The addition of a seven-man string accompaniment did add a level of lavishness to his otherwise simple pop tunes.
The moment he put down his guitar and wandered over to pianist Fatah Hasan Said, the audience clapped wildly, knowing they were in for something special.
And he did not disappoint with Hanya Kau Yang Mampu, crooning heartbreak partnered only with Fatah’s moody piano. All the women in the audience sprang into action, singing along to the chorus “ Aku cinta, aku cinta (I love, I love)”.
“This next song is still a work in progress but for now I’m calling it Jerrypah. Don’t ask me why it’s called that, I’m not sure myself,” he joked.
The first song of the night to feature English lyrics, Jerrypah also gave back-up vocalist Norfazrina Mohd Ghani a chance to shine.
“It is kind of a dream for me and my band to be playing on this stage. I’d talk more, but I need to finish the set before they throw me off,” he joked, while introducing his band mates and string accompaniment.
He chose to finish the set on an unusual note, covering Senyumlah Kuala Lumpur by the Alleycats. The song was quite strikingly different from Aizat’s own music, being more guitar driven and quickly getting the audience to clap along, finishing with a wild cacophony of drums hammering and violins screeching.
With his fans begging for more, Aizat returned to the stage with only his core bandmates to perform Hadapi Dengan Senyuman (Dewa), ending the night with a humble thank you to a standing ovation.