What the F*** is wrong with the Malaysian English Music Industry?
So.. i’d start by saying that this post is due 10 years. About time someone wrote something about this openly without having to worry about who we are screwing while writing this.
You see, i grew up with Malaysian English Music idolising people like Old Automatic Garbage, Juliet The Orange, Nice Stupid Playground, Butterfingers, etc. I never understood why OAG went on to doing Malay music, or why the other english bands or groups fell out of the scene. What happened?
Today, i’m actually working in this industry. And i started off the past 3 years telling people that the Malay music industry is far more monetisable than that of the English music. It is true. There is no doubt about that. It’s not that the Malay music is better, it is just that native language tens to have better opportunities. It’s simply because when you are doing English music, you are competing with the rest of the world. And it’s a big & cruel world where advertising dollars makes the difference.
Now, is there hope for English music to live on in Malaysia? Personally, i believe there is and this is what i feel needs to be done.
- Radio Stations – to me, the most important factor of re-growing the local english scene. Radio stations like Hitz, Fly, Mix, Lite needs to all start playing 30-40% local content. You see, recording proper songs are not cheap. Producers charge something between MYR 6,000.00 – MYR 15,000.00 for songs in Malaysia. If there is basically 0% chance to get airplay to get the song in the market, that is $ wasted. Now how much can a singer commit to before they starve to death?
- Fans – The worst are the fans. In Malaysia, recording artiste always complains about people not buying their music. Fact. Check your phones & computers. How many songs were bought? Probably 3.. your own. Again. i believe that if we can make the song & the singers popular enough, we will be able to sell original music.
- Government – Laws towards support towards local content in Malaysia. Magazines, TV, Radio, Newspaper.. should all have at least 30%-40% local content.
- Singers/ Artiste – Stop being a dick. We all need each other to survive. Stop hating each other. Stop condemning the media for not supporting you. If you love your music enough, be prepared to suffer for your art
- Producers – Disregard charging high prices if you see value in talent. In the long run, if they make it big with your music, they will return for more.
I’m really hoping English music makes a comeback in Malaysia. I personally aspire to do something about it when the time is right within my means. Could it be sooner? Who knows. Maybe the industry will start listening to a young entrepreneur like me. Maybe we could really work together to make a difference. Who knows.
As i stood at e-curve one night watching a group of rock & roll band busking outside, i saw at least 3 parents encouraging their kids to give money to the street musicians. Took a picture of this deed as for me, this is proof that people will still buy content they appreciate. Later, i had my daughter do the same when i stumbled upon some young buskers in Senai airport. So i’m ending this post with these 2 pictures.
Don’t stop supporting local arts.