Friday, 4 June 2010

Showbiz: A keroncong dream come true

New Straits Times 2010/06/03

Her songs are already popular on YouTube. Now, teen singing sensation Jamilah Abu Bakar will get to perform with her idols in a tribute concert to traditional music, writes DENNIS CHUA

TEENAGE singing sensation Jamilah Abu Bakar is set to join veteran keroncong stars Datuk Yusni Hamid and Adilla Idris and Sarawak’s pop king Bob Yusof in a tribute to traditional music at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, KLCC. A student at Sekolah Menengah Taman Tasik Ampang, the 15-year-old’s renditions of Asli music are popular on YouTube. She also represented the country at the International Children’s Festival in Turkey three years ago.

Jamilah of Bagan Serai, Perak, the seventh of nine siblings, aspires to become a traditional pop singer and music educationist.

She will be singing alongside Yusni — one of her idols who also include Datuk Sharifah Aini and Datuk Siti Nurhaliza — in the concert Keroncong Kasih — Menyusur Zaman on June 7 and 8.
Like Yusni, Adilla and Bob, Jamilah is also making her debut at DFP.

“It’s been my dream to sing alongside Kak Yusni. She’s the queen of keroncong music,” she says.

Jamilah learnt to sing at seven. With encouragement from her parents Abu Bakar Ismail and Kamariah Che Soh, she started taking part in contests. At 10, she sang in the Education Ministry’s Royal Concert at Putra World Trade Centre before the 12th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail and then Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
She then trained under keroncong masters Abdullah Safri, Mahzan Manan, Rahim Anuar and the late Wawang Wijaya and won the Selangor Schools Talent Contest in 2006.

The following year, she won Bintang Kecil RTM Selangor FM, and two years later, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre’s Johan KLPaC and the Selangor-level Patriotic Songs Contest.

She also performed at two National Day celebrations — Shah Alam in 2006 and Kuala Lumpur in 2008.
“Asli music is my first love, but I also sing contemporary ballads and pop songs. I’d love to sing in more than two languages,” she says, adding that she plans to sing in Hindi, Japanese and Chinese.

Concert producer Hartini Abdullah says the show, a first for DFP, will be divided into two parts: the first features seven musicians, and the second, a 20-piece orchestra.

There will be 20 songs. Music director Ahmad Muriz Che Rose says Yusni will sing the award-winning Pergi, made popular by Aizat Amdan, keroncong-style while Bob will reinterpret Anuar Zain’s Mungkin and Tan Sri P. Ramlee’s Pahlawanku.

Adilla says fans can also look forward to her rendition of Saleem’s Bukan Aku Tak Cinta.


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