Still rock­ing on

> At 65 and with nearly five decades in the lo­cal mu­sic scene, Ramli Sarip is still win­ning over old and new fans with his songs

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

says. “As a singer, you need a col­lec­tion of songs un­der your belt ... If you only have one or two hit songs in your ca­reer, how are you go­ing to have a two-hour con­cert?”

When asked the se­cret be­hind this suc­cess, he says: “I never dreamt of be­com­ing fa­mous when I started my mu­sic ca­reer 48 years ago.

“I did not have the ‘com­mer­cial’ voice or ‘com­mer­cial’ face that the main­stream mu­sic scene was look­ing for.

“But God has been kind to me. He wanted me to be fa­mous, and noth­ing can stop God from mak­ing this a re­al­ity.

“All my suc­cess comes from God and I am grate­ful to Him.”

He also at­tributes his suc­cess to get­ting his late par­ents’ bless­ing in pur­su­ing his mu­sic ca­reer.

His fa­ther was a foreman who taught re­li­gious classes part-time, and his mother was a housewife.

“I al­ways tell young peo­ple to re­spect their mother and fa­ther, and to al­ways get their bless­ing in what­ever they do,” he says.

“If you do not get your par­ents’ bless­ing, then you [will] not get bless­ings from God.”

His ca­reer was not with­out chal­lenges, how­ever.

When Ra­dio Tele­visyen Malaysia (RTM) im­posed a ban on male artistes with long hair in 1993, Ramli was one of the few singers who re­fused to cut their hair.

As a re­sult, he was slapped with a tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ance ban that lasted sev­eral years.

“I was not be­ing a rebel,” he ex­plains. “I was 40 years old, and I should not be forced to cut my hair.

“Even in my teenage years, I did not like cut­ting my hair short.”

His late mother was wor­ried that he would not earn enough to sur­vive, and sub­tly tried to per­suade him to cut his hair.

“I told my mother not to worry about my bread and but­ter, and to just pray for me. If she prayed for me, then God would lis­ten.”

It ap­pears her prayers worked. The ban could have eas­ily ended his ca­reer. But it did not.

Ramli went on to be­come the leg­endary singer and song­writer that he is to­day.

De­spite his huge suc­cess, he re­mains hum­ble.

“In Is­lam, it is said that you won’t smell heaven if you are ar­ro­gant,” he says.

“No mat­ter how rich and pop­u­lar you are, you must re­main hum­ble.

“I pray ev­ery day that I will never be ar­ro­gant. If you want to do bad things, God will per­mit you, and if you want to do good things, God will help you. “

Next year, he plans to pro­duce his 13th solo al­bum to mark his 50th year in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

He also re­veals that he plans to re­lease his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy soon af­ter that.

“Now, I am busy jot­ting down [de­tails of] my jour­ney in the mu­sic in­dus­try, and the in­spi­ra­tions be­hind some of the songs I have writ­ten,” he says.

“I hope I can com­plete my [book] in time.”

For a colour­ful per­son­al­ity, with such a long and pro­lific ca­reer, his life story should make for an in­ter­est­ing read.

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