Up­front and per­sonal

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC - By QISHIN TARIQ en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

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.

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