Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nasyid Cafe: The History of Contemporary Nasyid in Malaysia.

1- I wrote this article for my previous blog and it was written in Malay. Since I intend to introduce Malaysian nasyid to a whole wider enthusiasts from all over the world, I have decided to rewrite the article and with my limited translating skills, translate the said article in English. I hope you will enjoy reading this short and comprehensive article.

2- We shall start from as early as the late 70's and early 80's. Malaysian nasyid back then does not at all sounds like what you will likely hear in the radios today. It went into a lot of development to come to where it is right now. Back then, instead of the popular pop fused songs, nasyid composers were more keen to opt the desert (irama padang pasir) and Arabic sound for nasyid songs. I guess this was due to the belief that Arabia was the center of everything Islamic back then.

3- This was evident from the sound from earlier and pioneering contemporary nasyid groups in the likes of Al Jawaher, Al Suraya, Al Mizan and Hidayah. I do not know why but all of these groups were all female groups led by a single front women and 6 to 7 back up vocalists often with the addition of common instruments like electric guitars, bass and drums. These female nasyid groups dominated the scene back then, going head to head with local pop singers and rock bands in the radio.

4- Al Jawaher, an all Malay female nasyid group from Singapore was one of the first nasyid group to cut a record deal and record a full length album. Their debut album was called Permata (citation needed because from some other sources, the debut was an album called Unggul) and it was released in the year 1979 by Polygram. The album was produced by the then young M.Nasir, a now local maestro composer.

5- The album was a big hit selling more than 100,000 copies, making Al Jawaher and contemporary nasyid soar through the roof.

to be continued:

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