New Straits Times

Bromance with Awie

Singer and comedian Hazama Azmi has always admired Datuk Awie from afar. Dennis Chua learns that a moving TV drama is bringing them together for the first time


AS a boy, Hazama Azmi put up posters of his idol, actor-singer Datuk Awie, in his bedroom. And when he found fame as Akademi Fantasia 9’s champion seven years ago, the lead vocalist of rock band Wings was among the first to congratula­te him.

It is no surprise then that Hazama, 34, is over the moon acting in his first drama series with Awie. Hazama is also happy that he can finally play a serious role, instead of a funny one.

At the recording of Muzik Muzik 33 Raya at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel in Sepang, Selangor recently, Hazama elaborated: “I am a funnyman at heart, but I’ve always also wanted to be cast as a serious hero. That’s following in my idol Awie’s footsteps; he excels in playing a serious protagonis­t, but does just as well playing a hilarious one.”


Hazama and Awie are filming the 13-episode drama Bila Tuhan Berbisik Cinta, directed by Raja Mukhriz Raja Ahmad Kamaruddin. It will be out in November on TV3 and tells the story of a brash, aspiring rock singer who is mentored by a disillusio­ned middle-aged rock legend.

“It’s a bromance ... I’m Amar who thinks he is a star in-the-making but whose world falls flat when his arrogance gets the better of him.

“Sulking from a well-deserved humiliatio­n, Amar bumps into Awie, a big star from a decade ago who is nursing a broken heart and shunning attempts to make a comeback,” explained Hazama.

“Awie begins to see a lot of Amar in him, and decides to coach the young man to be a star. Both bond well, and learn a lot from each other, and in the process they overcome personal problems.”


When asked about the chala lenges of being serious hero, Hazama said it was difficult to make himself cry. “Amar cries by himself in some scenes, after tasting defeat. I used eye drops but the director told me that was not enough.”

Consequent­ly, Hazama watched some moving documentar­ies about the plight of war victims around the world. These proved to be the trigger he needed. “I spent the last month watching these sad stories, and in the process I became a more sensitive person, ripe for Amar.”

The painful experience of seeing his wife, musician Genervie Kam, suffer a miscarriag­e last March also saddened Hazama.

“Genervie has been down since then, and I’ve had to comfort her daily. I keep telling her, it’s all right, we shouldn’t be in any hurry, because God knows best. She’s now coming to terms with it,” said Hazama.


As for working with Awie, the iconic rocker is “as gentlemanl­y as anyone can be”, according to Hazama. “He has a stern look but he’s a softie at heart. That’s what I love about him. Here’s a man who knows how to laugh at himself and gives credit to everybody who stars with him,” he said.

Besides acting in the drama, Hazama has performed its theme song Tunggu Aku Datang, written and composed by Tam of Spider. “Tam is another great guy on my wish list and I’ve finally got a chance to sing his compositio­n. Cool!”

Bila Tuhan Berbisik Cinta is being filmed in Kuala Lumpur and Golok in Thailand. Filming began last month and will be completed in June.


Meanwhile veteran Irama Malaysia singer Noraniza Idris says that Muzik Muzik 33 Raya marks the first time she has planned the set of the TV3 chart show.

“My early days performing in the Raya editions of RTM’s Hiburan Minggu Ini helped me think of the Muzik Muzik Raya set — it’s like a mini village complete with lamps, benches, swings and back-up dancers in traditiona­l outfits. The guest artistes, myself included, sing and interact with our dancer co-stars, sampling ketupat and giving out duit Raya.”

The show’s executive producer, Nurhul Huda Khalid, says only Irama Malaysia songs were performed by the 25 artistes in the show and these include Noraniza, Hazama, Hael Husaini, Ismail Izzani, Ernie Zakri, Wany Hasrita, Haqiem Rusly, Elvira Arul, Ihab Ismail and Zarul Hussin.

“It’s our challenge to the newer singers to perform Irama Malaysia, Noraniza’s forte, and to their credit, they gave a commendabl­e effort. We’ve nine Raya songs, such as Indahnya Beraya Di Desa made popular by Azlina Aziz and Satu Hari Di Hari Raya made popular by Datuk M. Nasir, but they’ve been given fresh interpreta­tions,” she explains.

Kaka was apparently in the midst of filming Zharfa, an Indonesian romantic comedy which also starred Indonesian actor Donny Alamsyah. “It’s 70 per cent done and my character is a tomboy who gradually learns to reveal her feminine side after meeting Mr Right.”

Hael says that his “next stop” after the duet Haram with Dayang Nurfaizah is to write and compose for popular singer Anuar Zain.

“I plan to have a duet with him as he’s my favourite man in Malaysian music. We met two decades ago, and he’s been very supportive of my career.”

Muzik Muzik 33 Raya will be screened at 11pm on TV3 this June 18. It is co-hosted by Sherry Al Hadad and Haziq Hussni.

 ??  ?? Hazama Azmi and Awie.
Hazama Azmi and Awie.
 ??  ?? Noraniza Kaka Hael
Noraniza Kaka Hael

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