A Malaysia Superstar: P. Ramlee

A Malaysia Superstar: P. Ramlee

This is an era where there are new music and movies released every day. The entertainment industry is so saturated, every now and then there are new artists being debuted, all are talented but there are always some could succeed and some just failed. Not every art piece can become immortal, but there is a person who still occupies a significant place in Malaysian life. He was the arts legend of Malaysia, P. Ramlee.

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Teuku Zakaria bin Teuku Nyak Putih, commonly known as P. Ramlee (22 March 1929 – 29 May 1973) was a Malaysian film actor, director, singer, songwriter, composer, and producer. According to Wikipedia, he is regarded as a prominent icon of Malay entertainment; with his famed even reaching as far as Brunei and Sumatra, Indonesia as well as in Hong Kong and Japan.

In 22nd March, Google has honored P. Ramlee with a “Doodle” on Google Malaysia homepage, celebrating what would be his 88th birthday.

Youngsters at my age might not be very familiar with his work, but we always know he was once very famous for all his films and songs. All the time I’ve been listening to my parents, teachers, uncles and aunts talking about how great his songs were and how they used to go to their Malay neighbor’s houses just to watch P. Ramlee’s movies. Until last year, a Nescafécommercial caught my eyes.

The melody of background music is so nice and the lyrics are so sweet they gave my ears tickles. It was performed by Eb Duet, a Malaysian Jazz Duo that covers a lot of great songs. Then I found out this wonderful song, ‘Getaran Jiwa’ was from P. Ramlee and was first released in the movie ‘Antara Dua Darjat’. In the film, the song was sung by P. Ramlee as Ghazali to the lover Tengku Zaleha to express his strong affection for her.

I was surprised because all this while I thought all his songs were like ‘Dimana Kan Ku Cari Ganti’, nice but sad. ‘Getaran Jiwa’ is not a sad song, it is a very romantic traditional pop like Frank Sinatra’s songs. It was also covered by Lobo into an English version which is ‘Whisper in the Wind’.

Actually, many of P. Ramlee’s songs have western influence although he never recorded in English. For instance, ‘Bunyi Guitar’ and ‘Ali Baba Rock’ are rock n’ roll that makes you twist. In fact, if you think P. Ramlee’s songs are too ‘old’, you should listen to ‘Dengar Ini Cerita’.

Don’t you agree that this song is the dad for Zee Avi’s ‘Kantoi’?

Even though P. Ramlee passed way more than 4 decades ago, his artworks remain eternal. If you never watch his movies or listen to his songs before, you should start doing it!

By | 2017-05-29T07:21:56+08:00 May 29th, 2017|0 Comments

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