Malaysia’s artistes collaborate on video for frontliners

Legendary Malaysian artistes sing in a new music video called ‘Mulanya di Sini’, dedicated to all Malaysians, particularly the country’s frontliners. (Musicians for Musicians pic)

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is facing a crisis that is near unprecedented, with much of the populace staying home to help stem the spread of Covid-19.

While healthcare workers risk life and limb to care for the sick, other frontliners have also had to go out to work as usual, while Malaysians hunker down working or studying from home in accordance with the movement control order (MCO).

Now a group of veteran and budding musicians, who have been performing live on Facebook daily in a segment dubbed “Isolation Music”, have collaborated in a special video, singing the classic “Mulanya Di Sini”.

Calling themselves Musicians for Musicians, the video was produced by Persatuan Pemuzik Tempatan Selangor (PPTS) and is dedicated to all Malaysians, particularly the country’s frontliners.

“Mulanya Di Sini” was written in 1986 and took second place at the Asean Song Festival that same year.

Composer Royston Sta Maria said he hoped the message in the song would encourage Malaysians to dig in their heels and weather this storm together as one.

“I always wanted to write better and more popular songs that could stand the test of time and inspire people to come together and find solace in each other. And I think this song does that.”

Given a “fresh breath”, the video features over 15 veteran and budding artistes including Royston himself, singing from Perth, Australia where he now lives.

Also featured are Yasmin Yusoff, Kudin Ramly, Lata and Sam, Lyia Meta, “Lord” Lokman, Eddy Zachariah and Brenda Lee among others.

(L-R): Lt Colonel John Sham with Royston Sta Maria. (Musicians for Musicians pic)

According to PPTS secretary, Lt Colonel John Sham, the idea for the video was collectively conceived by the association’s committee members, who believe that music has the power to inspire and unite people in good times and in bad.

“We were also genuinely inspired by our prime minister’s message to work together and face this crisis together so we can win this war against an invisible enemy.

“But we can only fight the good fight if we stand united,” John said, adding that the musicians wanted to send this message out to everyone through their music.

“Since it begins with you and me, we selected the song ‘Mulanya Di Sini’. Now every single one of us can play our part to stay at home to honour and support our frontliners so we can help make this country safe again,” John explained.

PPTS vice-president Edwin Nathaniel said that the committee was honoured when Royston gave the “go ahead” to use his composition.

The “Isolation Music” programme has gone “live” daily on Facebook since the start of the MCO period, with viewership having reached almost 135,000 people. PPTS membership has also seen exponential growth, with almost 600 members to date.

Artistes who perform on the programme include household names as well as budding new musicians.

“We believe the stage should be shared and that everyone deserves a chance to start somewhere. The youngest that we currently have performing is 19-year-old Angelyca Laura who streams from her home in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,” John said.

In general, most of the performers on “Isolation Music” draw an average of 3,000 viewers per night.