New Straits Times
What connects us
Singer Anuar Zain is embracing the power of the Internet as it opens up opportunities that transcend borders, writes Amalina Kamal
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON OUR CHANGING LIFESTYLE BECAUSE OF
In music (or entertainment in general), for instance, our young people are up to date with the latest trends. The world has become more open and connected.
I remember how hard it was for me to get the music that I wanted to listen to when I was growing up because the channels were limited.
This growth of technology has led to fruitful opportunities that transcend borders.
YouTube is great because it allows talented individuals to kickstart their professional careers. There are some YouTubers who I love. I’d name them but there are just so many.
It’s amazing how a video-sharing platform like YouTube can promote the careers of artistes.
SHARE AN EXPERIENCE WHERE THE POWER OF THE INTERNET DELIGHTED YOU?
I reconnected with actor/producer Afdlin Shauki, who is a good friend whom I have known for a long time.
It has been more than 10 years since we last got together. I recently attended a vocal class together with Afdlin and Sheila Majid in Bali. He is coming up with an album soon. I really thank social media for keeping me updated with my friends.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE AN ONLINE PRESENCE EVEN IF YOU ARE ALREADY POPULAR?
It is actually. Your fans will be informed regularly about your career.
These days, people go online to source for current news and updates.
I am a big believer of digital technology. Of course, I was sceptical initially but the level of exposure that you gain online is more immediate and transparent and that is what I feel every artiste value about it. Sometimes, I get ideas on how to improve my performance. I am open to suggestions and they do not bruise my ego. In this social media, one must be able to take criticism positively.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH CRITICISMS THEN?
If it is negative comments or Internet trolls, I just delete and block them.
I try to make sure that my accounts are comforting sanctuaries not just for me but for my fans as well.
Of course as a public figure, there are times when you come across stories about you or your friends that are hateful. You just need to keep your emotions in check and stick to your principles. You are bigger than these people who are out to get you. Don’t give them the attention they desire.
IS THERE A PARTICULAR DIGITAL PET PEEVE?
People trying to sell products on my comment feed. It’s all about having respect for the profile owner. I mean, it’s rude to come into someone’s house unannounced and start selling your products!
HOW DO YOU SOURCE FOR INSPIRATION THESE DAYS? WHAT HAS CHANGED?
The fundamentals that I look for to help me grow as an artiste is the same — by studying and taking notes of what other good performers do, even if they are my juniors.
I love watching reality singing competitions. I am really hooked on this new programme, The Four, right now. It’s interesting to see the journey of each participant. Although they may be amateurs, (they sound professional and polished. Some even have been at it (singing) for decades but they just don’t have the opportunity to become a star yet. This show teaches me that at any age, one can still find success.
ANY NEW SLANG THAT CATCHES YOUR ATTENTION?
BBNU — ‘Budak Baru Nak Up’, which simply means newbies of the industry. It is just so amusing for me to say it.