Malay pop music: The Best of Malaysian Pop Music

The Best of Malaysian Pop Music

Yuna performing during Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2012 | © Rei and Motion Studio / Shutterstock

If you haven’t heard these folks, you’re not really Malaysian.

The US has Mariah Carey and the UK has Adele — so it’s only fair that Malaysia has Siti Nurhaliza.

This “Voice of Asia” had her humble beginnings in Pahang as one of eight children, and used to help her mother sell kuih (local cakes) at the local market. She has jokingly commented that all those years of calling out for customers has helped her vocal skills.

Today, the singer, producer, and businesswoman has earned over 200 national and international awards. She sang for the Commonwealth Games in 1998, performed at the Royal Albert Hall, and founded her own fashion brand, Creación, in 2016.

Her most notable singles include “Bukan Cinta Biasa”, “Seindah Biasa”, and “Seluruh Cinta”.

Carried into international fame by her critically acclaimed single, “Crush,” Yuna has been making the national, international, and MySpace (yes, remember when that was a thing?) stage since 2007, when she released her EP single, “Deeper Conversation”.

Known for her colourful, conservative headwear, she’s proof that you can be successful without selling out. She has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and worked with Pharrell Williams and David Foster.

If you haven’t already heard it, listen to “Crush” here. Yuna’s soulful notes will make you shudder.

Winner of the first-ever Malaysian Idol, Jaclyn was one of the great musical discoveries of the 2000s. With powerful, diaphragmatic vocals, Jaclyn has performed at the SEA Games to much acclaim.

Her signature tracks include “Gemilang”, “Tiada Lagi Indah” and “Without You”.

This singer-songwriter, model, and actress is a formidable figure in the Malaysian entertainment business. Since signing on with BMG Asia Pacific and releasing her debut album “Madah Berhelah” in 1991, Ziana has gone down in history as one of Malaysia’s iconic singers.

Tracks include “Madah Berhelah”, and “Puncak Kasih”, and “Anggapanmu”.

First runner-up of One in a Million (reality singing competition show) in 2006, Faizal has won multiple Anugerah Industry Muzik awards (that’s Malaysia’s Grammy Awards for you), and continues to entrance audiences with his soulful music.

Popular singles include “Sayang” and “Sejati”.

Band members Edwin Raj, David Leong, Amir Shazlan, Herwandi Saat, and Ihsan Ariffin have been “killing” it for 10 years now. When asked about the name of their band, Amir has implied that it’s better than a “safe” name like “Wonder Bread”.

Their music has evolved since their inception, with more focus on emotional intensity. Tracks include “Shallow Graves”, “Future Night”, and “The Country Song”.

This five-person rock band was nominated for the “Best New Artist” category at the Anugerah Industri Muzik awards in 2011. Fresh, young, and favouring relaxed beats, band members Fuad, Gael, Hairi, Shakeil, and Shanjeev first came together in 2009, and later created their first EP called “An Album”.

Tracks include “Jelita”, “Now You’re Gone”, and “Still Alive”.

A contemporary of Ziana Zain and Ning Baizura, Anuar is one of the mainstays in Malaysia’s music industry. With four albums under his belt, this talented artiste has won numerous awards with his deep, yet gentle, vocals, including the Anugerah Planet Muzik, Anugerah Industri Muzik, and the Anugerah Era.

Notable songs include “Andainya Takdir” and “Cinta Takkan Berakhir”. (Check out both music videos; they’ll leave you wanting a third.)

One of Malaysia’s earliest commercial singing successes, Ning Baizura has performed all over the world and won multiple awards, including the Anugerah Planet Muzik, the AIM Awards, and the Voice of Asia in 1991.

She now has her own recording company, Artiste United Records (AUR). Popular tracks include “Awan Yang Terpilu” and “Selagi Ada Cinta”.

She may be the youngest on our list, but this up-and-coming singer has proven to be more than a one-hit wonder. She began her career on Youtube, singing covers with a ukulele, but has since graduated to her own EP entitled “Maafkan Aku” (Forgive me).

She’s known for her songs, “Tabah”, “Knock Knock” and “Setia” (featuring Faizal Tahir). She also acts and has appeared in several local films and TV soaps, including “My Darling, Inspektor Daniel”.

Traditional Malay Music


Reference No.: ICH-071

Date of Inclusion: October 2019


Barendregt, B. Sonic Modernities in the Malay World: A History of Popular Music, Social Distinction and Novel Lifestyles (1930s–2000s). Leiden: Brill, 2014.

Barnard, T. P., & Maier, H. M. “Melayu, Malay, Maleis: journeys through the identity of a collection” In Contesting Malayness: Malay Identity Across Boundaries. Singapore: NUS Press, 2004.

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Chan, A. W. Y. “Composing race and nation: Intercultural music and postcolonial identities in Malaysia and Singapore”.

PhD dissertation, Musicology. Australian National University, 2013

Chopyak, J. D. “Music in Modern Malaysia: a survey of the music affecting the development of Malaysian popular music”, Asian Music 18(1): 111–138, 1986.

Dairinathan, E & Phan, M.Y. A Narrative History of Music in Singapore: 1819 to the Present. Technical report submitted to the National Arts Council, Singapore, 2002., Accessed 20 January 2019.

Kahn, J. S. Other Malays: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism in the Modern Malay world

. NUS Press, 2006.

Lockard, C. A. Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press, 1998.

Matusky, P., & Tan, S.B. The Music of Malaysia: The Classical, Folk and Syncretic Traditions. Routledge, 2004.

Matusky, P., & Tan, S.B. The Music of Malaysia: The Classical, Folk and Syncretic Traditions. Routledge, 2017.

Meddegoda, Chinthaka Prageeth “Adaptation of the harmonium in Malaysia: Indian or British heritage?” In Gisa Jähnichen (ed.), Studia Instrumentorum Musicae Popularis III (New Series)

, Münster: MV-Wissenschaft, pp. 219–238, 2013.

Meddegoda, C.P. & Jähnichen, G. Hindustani Traces in Malay Ghazal: ‘A Song so old yet still famous’. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle. 2016.

Tan S.B. Bangsawan: A Social and Stylistic History of Popular Malay Opera. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Tan S.B, “From folk to national popular music: Recreating ronggeng in Malaysia”, Journal of Musicological Research 24(3-4): 287–307, 2005.

Weintraub, A. “Music and Malayness: Orkes Melayu in Indonesia, 1950–1965” Archipel 79(1): 57–78, 2010.

Weintraub, A. N. “Review of Melayu: The Politics, Poetics and Paradoxes of Malayness”,

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 44(3): 526–543, 2013.

Weintraub, A. N. “Pop Goes Melayu: Melayu Popular Music in Indonesia, 1968–1975” In Barendregt, B. (ed.) Sonic Modernities in the Malay World: History of Popular Music, Social Distinctions and Lifestyles (1930s-2000), pp. 165–186, 2014.

A brief history of Malay rock ‘n’ roll in

During the bulk of the 1960s, the Malay community in Singapore was utterly swept up in the rebellious world of rock ‘n’ roll.

Dozens of bands sprung up seemingly overnight, live gigs with loud amplification (unusual in Singapore at the time) were regularly held and regularly packed, local EPs were flying off the shelves, and prominent band members were mobbed in public by frenzied fans as if they were The Beatles themselves. In fact, this phenomenon later came to be known as

Pop Yeh Yeh because of The Beatles hit ‘She Loves You (Yeah Yeah)’. 

The music of Elvis Presley and The Everly Brothers had already gripped the consciousness of local Malay youths by the late ’50s but many point to the raucous Cliff Richard and The Shadows gig at the Happy World Stadium on 14 October 1961, as the real catalyst for Pop Yeh Yeh.

Crammed to the rafters with boisterous fans, the legendary British rock ‘n’ roll band clearly left a sizeable cultural impact on the Singapore music scene.

Every kampung kid wanted to be in a band after that show. 

And true enough, bands like Jefrydin and the Siglap Five, The Mood, A. Ramli and the Rhythm Boys, Impian Batik, and Kassim Selamat and the Swallows arose shortly after. These kugiran (a shortened term for “

Kumpulan Gitar Rancak” meaning “a group with fast guitars”) initially started out playing covers, but when a song called ‘Suzana’ by M. Osman and The Clans unexpectedly became a household hit in 1963, the mindset in the scene shifted towards writing new songs and playing original material. This was where Pop Yeh Yeh began to differentiate itself.  

Although inspired by Western pop songs, these Malay bands instinctively began incorporating Malay melodies and a traditional asli singing style to the bilingual Malay-English lyrics they wrote, making Pop Yeh Yeh a truly distinctive subgenre. But while the sound was unique, their style, attitude and fashion kept the West’s brashness. These four-piece groups were loud, played immensely catchy up-tempo tunes, inspired their crowds to dance wildly and copied contemporary Carnbary Street fashion (ie, coats and ties for the guys, bright blouses and miniskirts for the girls). They were essentially the prototype


While scenes today try to recreate the kampung atmosphere, theirs was a literal kampung, with a sense of unity that you just can’t find in modern times. Everybody hung out, played gigs at each other’s weddings and nobody would ever make a noise complaint because, well, they were all at the show! Plus, prior to 1969, there was no such thing as public entertainment licenses, so bands were free to play anywhere and everywhere.


Since all the bands were based in the east side of Singapore, Geylang Serai served as the de facto hub for the thriving Pop Yeh Yeh subculture. While scenes today try to recreate the kampung atmosphere, theirs was a literal

kampung, with a sense of unity that you just can’t find in modern times. Everybody hung out, played gigs at each other’s weddings and nobody would ever make a noise complaint because, well, they were all at the show! Plus, prior to 1969, there was no such thing as public entertainment licenses, so bands were free to play anywhere and everywhere. 

Performances weren’t just communal attractions at the kampung, bands also frequently played high profile gigs at venues such as the National Theatre and the Fraser & Neave Hall. In fact, The Rhythms Boys even played for the PAP’s 1966 Anniversary dinner as well as a road opening ceremony at Jalan Eunos! The media was also instrumental to Pop Yeh Yeh’s surging popularity.

A radio programme called Penyanyi Pujaan Minggu Ini (meaning “This Week’s Popular Singers”) was a key source of mainstream coverage alongside the inclusion of Pop Yeh Yeh songs in widely seen films such as P. Ramlee’s Tiga Abdul in 1964 and Omar Rojik’s Agogo 67 in 1967.

But most importantly, it was the recording industry that helped Pop Yeh Yeh spread regionally. Given that Singapore was already established as the centre of Malay popular entertainment, the infrastructure needed to turn Pop Yeh Yeh from a scene into an actual industry was readily available. The demand for Pop Yeh Yeh EPs proved huge and tested the limits of these facilities as multitrack recording wasn’t available back then. Nevertheless the pressings kept coming, and kept getting snatched up just as quick. Sadly though, most of these bands weren’t fairly compensated despite the tremendous sales, as record companies kept sketchy account of royalties at that time.

An anti-piracy ad featuring A. Ramlie, urging consumers to only buy original vinyl.

When The Rolling Stones came by for their gig at the Singapore Badminton Hall in 1965, Pop Yeh Yeh was in its heyday. But by the time the 70s’ came along, that style of music slowly started becoming passe when a new type of subculture began taking over in the aftermath of Woodstock. As the fashion and philosophy changed in the West, so did the music. The influence of psychedelic rock acts like Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix eventually trickled over to Singapore, leading to a drastic landscape change in terms of popular music tastes. And of course, the government began clamping down on rock music in general, directly causing a decade-long dormancy in the live music scene and the rapid decline of Singaporean bands.

Thus, Pop Yeh Yeh was dead. Long live Pop Yeh Yeh!

Here’s a little 10-track playlist tribute to one of the most fun eras in Singapore music.

M. Osman – ‘Suzana’

Roziah Latiff And The Jayhawkers – ‘Aku Kechewa

Fatimah Amin & The Clans – ‘Oh Teruna

M. Osman & Orkes Nirwana ‘Kisah Disimpang / Tak Mengapa

A.Romzi & The Hooks – ‘Dendang Remaja

Afida Es & the Siglap Boys – ‘Jangan Goda

Kassim Selamat & The Swallows – ‘Mak Itti Mai Illa

A.Ramlie & The Rythmn Boys – ‘Seruan Ku

Adnan Othman & The Rythmn Boys  – ‘Bershukor

‘Unpolished’ and unconventional: Meet the Malaysian pop star about to blow up U.S. charts

When 28-year-old singer and songwriter Yuna debuted her self-titled album in 2012, she became one of the few Malaysian musicians to successfully cross over into the American music scene.

But with her arrival came questions about her Muslim-Malaysian identity and her dress. Music reviewers fixated on her look — she wears a headscarf — calling her the “poster girl” for a new generation of Muslim-Malaysian women.

But her music, and not her religion, should be the main focus, she said. “My personal belief is a private thing, and at the end of the day, I’m a woman who just loves making music,” she said. “It’s fine that people narrow in on [my hijab]. I’m OK with that. I just would like them all to know my music first.”

Back home in Malaysia, Yuna is a household name. The singer-songwriter Yunalis Mat Zara’ai produced her own EP in 2008, and the following year won the first of several Anugerah Industri Muzik awards — the local equivalent to a Grammy. After thriving in the Malaysian music scene for three years, she broke through into the American market with the help of the Internet. Nowadays, you can find her in the studio working on her new album that’s set to release in February, which includes a duet with Usher.

“I wasn’t brilliant at anything else. I was moderate in school … songwriting came naturally to me,” Yuna says. Photo by Amanda Gomez

Yuna entered the music scene at 21 while she was finishing up law school. After class, she would sing her own songs, guitar in hand, around neighborhood cafes in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. She approached a Malaysian recording label, but they thought it would be too “difficult” for her to wear a hijab and cross over to a larger market in the West, she said in an interview with WBUR. She said she spoke to other Malaysian labels who were looking for someone more “polished,” and ultimately she did not end up signing with anyone.

Instead, Yuna taught herself guitar and how to produce her own music, and recorded her first EP from her bedroom with financial help from her father. Radio stations and Internet listeners picked up the EP, and the U.S. industry started paying attention; management firm Indie-Pop flew her to New York to get a sign deal with Fader Label, the same label that signed indie-pop sensation Matt and Kim. Her first album spent 67 weeks on Billboard’s Uncharted list for new and developing artists, where it peaked at No. 2.

Yuna took a 22-hour flight from Malaysia before this performance at U Street Music Hall in D.C. last month. Photo by Amanda Gomez

Yuna’s sound is typically categorized as pop. Her song “Lullabies” sounds like a soulful Sia, with its similar melodies, soft kick drum beat and even softer keyboard.

The artist said her style of singing draws on classic black-and-white Malay films. “A lot of people think that because I’m from Malaysia, I’m driven by Malaysian sound but actually, it’s mostly just my melodies,” she said. Her song “Coffee” is also influenced by the Malay female belters she grew up hearing, including Malaysian pop star Ning Baizura, she said.

People unfamiliar with Malay musical films would categorize “Coffee” as jazz, she said. “Those films were influenced by the West — they were obsessed with Frank Sinatra. I guess music is very global.

Yuna described her latest album as R&B-heavy, drawing on the American artists she grew up listening to, including Lauryn Hill, TLC and Aaliyah. After working with Pharrell, who produced her song “Live Your Life,” she felt more comfortable covering hip-hop artists like Frank Ocean and Drake, she said.

Her transition from Malaysia to the Los Angeles came easy, with only one major difference between her and other Californians: her love of whale-watching. “People think it’s very strange because I love whale watching — you don’t see whales a lot where I’m from.” To Yuna, the pastime is “magical.”

Malaysian-Indian Singer Amirah Blends Traditional With Modern Sounds — AMIRAH

December 9, 2020

If there was ever a time in our modern history when we need unity, it is now. In our politically, culturally, and physically divided world, it can be easy to retreat to our tribes, and often for good reason. But there is also plenty of space for messages about unity to remind us of the common good among us as human beings.

Malaysian-Indian musician Amirah is an artist who believes in the message of unity wholeheartedly and is using her talents to spread that message wherever she can. The award-winning singer/songwriter grew up in Malaysia and blends traditional Eastern sounds with more modern Western pop music, showing unity through the medium of music.

Both of her latest singles ‘You Are My Land’ and ‘Tell Me’ are cinematic in scope with luscious live strings and modern pop drums. Originally composed in Malay, her music explores faith, freedom, and the endless search for meaning for who we truly are as a people. Amirah’s lyrics speak specifically to women of color who fight for their dreams, as she confidently creates her inspired music and stays loyal to her heritage. 

We spoke with Amirah to go deeper into some of these themes to learn more about her music, her background, and her message.

Tell us about your journey into music – where did it all start for you?

I was a very introverted child growing up.  I gravitated toward my grandfather’s rusted piano which he bought for my mother when she expressed interest in learning to play. Eventually, my mother enrolled me in piano lessons which I am eternally grateful for. I started composing small piano pieces as a child and later picked up the cello, an instrument I have come to adore. I eventually became a songwriter, composing songs for other artists and various projects. One of the songs I composed and actually sang myself, a song calling for unity, caught the attention of the national news in Malaysia. Due to this twist of fate, I was encouraged to sing my own songs.

Growing up in an Indian and Malaysian family you have been influenced by cross-cultural influences. Can you tell us how that defined your sound and you as an artist?

I am very proud of my biracial heritage. Growing up in a melting pot of cultures such as Malaysia definitely shaped my sound and who I am as an artist. I was exposed to both Malay and Indian cultures at home and learned to appreciate, understand and love them both.  Music, language, dance, and the fusion of foods in Malaysia are absolutely out of this world. There is nowhere else I have seen where a person can experience so much fusion and diversity in a single nation. However, this also raised many questions regarding my identity. How can I be both modern and embrace my cultural roots? Why do I have to choose? This sparked my journey in experimenting and fusing traditional Eastern instruments into my cinematic pop music today.

You are also an activist who wants to give greater representation for women of color especially. What are some of the causes you are passionate about?

I am a feminist and have been since I was a child, by default. I questioned everything that I found unfair in terms of how I was treated, especially compared to boys. Being unfairly treated due to my gender damaged my self-esteem and for the longest time, I wished I could be a boy and receive fair treatment and the same freedoms. I remember telling a relative that I wanted to be a doctor, only to be told that if I did, I would be too old to get married and no man would want me.  Some of my school teachers told me I was too dark-skinned, which was equated with being ugly, and they asked me to stay away from the sun. I was also taught to be shameful of my body as a woman. It was very lonely not having anyone to discuss these topics with, and I never met anyone with a similar mindset as a child and teenager.

I have now grown to love my beautiful skin color and my body. I look up to Zainah Anwar, a Malaysian female activist. As a teenager, I loved reading her articles and held them close to my heart. They gave me a glimpse of hope that there were other people out there who think like me too. I have always believed that men and women are equal and that they deserve equal rights, opportunities, and respect – at home, at work, and in their communities. Having the first female, African American, South Asian Vice President in America will help further this cause and inspire many females and young girls. It’s about time! 

Thank you Girltalkhq for the interview.


Music of Malaysia – Traditional, Contemporary & Rock

If music is the way to joy, then Malaysia is the land of happiness! The music of Malaysia can easily be divided into traditional/classic, contemporary, folk, and syncretic music. 

Traditional Music of Malaysia

1. Malay

Malaysian instruments (Source)With fourteen kinds of drums, flutes, oboes, gongs, and trumpets, classical music of Malaysia music is loud, foot-tapping, and vibrant. Usually played with skits, dramas, royal events, festivals, and other ceremonies, Malay music tells a story of joy, life, and dynamic movement. The Gendang drum is the essential element here, followed by different types of flutes and stringed instruments. The Dikir Barat performances are a sight to behold – groups of singers and musicians compete in an electrifying performance, with a celebration in the air. Malay Ghazals (slow, lulling numbers) are prevalent in Kuala Lumpur, while other styles of folk music like Ronggeng and Dondang Sayang are favoured in Malacca.

2. Indian

The Indian tabla (Source)There are two major Indian music styles prevalent in Malaysia – the south Indian Carnatic style and the north Indian Hindustani style. Carnatic music is popular throughout the country and is performed at temples, weddings, and religious festivals. Different Ragas (tunes) and Talas (beats) are used for different occasions, and often accompany Bharatanatyam performances. Punjabi Bhangra music is also a popular part of the music of Malaysia, here, especially during the festive and wedding seasons.

3. Chinese

A Chinese string instrument (Source)The Chinese orchestra in Malaysia, usually with 15-50 members, comprises of a particular string, wind, and percussion instruments that accompany Lion Dance performances. There are many sponsored orchestras and operas in Kuala Lumpur, produced by schools and Buddhist societies. Singers like Poon Sow Keng, Wong Shiau Chuen, Daniel Lee, Z Chen, and Lee Yee are famous.    

4. Indigenous Tribal

The traditional Semang tribal music (Source)The indigenous tribes, including the Dayaks, Semang, Senoi, Orang Melayu Asli, Kayan, and Kenyan, use a variety of flutes, harps, tubes, chordophones, xylophones, and violins in rituals, marriages, celebrations, and singing ceremonies. Songs about the harvest, war, shamanism, and other events are typical genres of the music in Malaysia. The dynamic vocal range is evident in the rich, diverse selection of songs and beats choices.

5. Western Classical

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the resident orchestra of the Petronas Philharmonic Hall, is the most popular western classical orchestra of the country. The versatile group also performs jazz, folk, and rock numbers. The group consists of over 20 members and is world-famous for their soulful renditions of timeless classics.   

Contemporary music


PopSiti Nurhaliza (Source)Pop saw a resurgence after many artists combined traditional musical styles with western influences. The story of Malay pop starts with Persian merchants in India singing Malaysian songs, which were then brought to Malaysia in the early 1930s. The popularity of The Beatles in the 60s influenced the birth of the Pop Yeh-Yeh genre, a mix of British pop and Malay numbers. The early 2000s saw a new resurgence in pop, and today idols like Siti Nurhaliza are trending personalities of the music in Malaysia.

7. Metal & Rock

While metal-faced censorship in Malaysia in the latter half of the last century, rock ballads and blues are ever-growing; Indonesian influences are apparent in the work of artists like Awie, Kyoto Protocol, Paperplane Pursuit, SOAP, and Hujan. Alternative rock and experimental sounds have a greatly receptive audience here.

8. Jazz

A jazz performance (Source)Jazz became famous in Malaysia after the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra started performing jazz numbers regularly. Today the jazz festivals see regular appearances by internationally acclaimed bands like WVC, pianists and even scat men.

9. Hip Hop

Hip hop is an up-and-coming genre in Malaysia, with groups like KRU, FlowFam XXII, SonaOne, Rogue Squadron, and Kartel being major crowd-pullers. Their mixtapes and ETs are popular among the young, hip crowd, and are club favourites. One can hope to catch regular performances at many clubs in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia presents an eclectic range of music to suit a variety of tastes. Check out the diverse Malaysian music and prepare for a breathtakingly refreshing musical experience in this truly Asian country!

K-pop mania poses hard questions for Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR — In February 2013, I stood with thousands of Malaysians before an impromptu stage on the sports field at Han Chiang University in George Town, the capital of Penang State. “Are you ready?” The words of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak cut the tension like a hot knife through butter.

No one was much interested in the now-disgraced Najib — then the leader of Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition; now out of office and sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption (though not yet in prison). But we were itching to see Park Jae-sang, the South Korean K-pop sensation who performs as Psy and is best known for his hit song “Gangnam Style.”

Najib had hired Psy, who had never previously played in Malaysia, to perform his galloping dance number during a general election campaign at an estimated cost of $300,000 — part of a desperate effort to snare crucial votes in opposition-run Penang.

Psy’s improbable involvement in Malaysian politics made little practical difference — Najib’s coalition won the election and the opposition won the most seats in Penang — but it demonstrated how K-pop has become entrenched in Malaysia, the genre’s seventh-strongest global market according to a poll by #KPop Twitter 2020. In 2017 dancer Isaac Voo, from the Malaysian state of Sabah, was one of eight winners in the South Korean reality competition Boys24 who went on to form the K-pop band IN2IT.

However, Malaysian pop music is now moving away from idolizing its South Korean model, and is forging its own identity as local performers negotiate a path between global music styles and a conservative skepticism about popular music that still resonates among the majority Muslim population.

South Korean pop sensation Psy, center, performs in George Town, Malaysia, in 2013. He was invited for political reasons, but the fans just wanted to enjoy the spectacle.   © AP

Some music fans still dismiss local groups as little more than glaring copies of South Korean sensations such as the successful girl band Blackpink — a claim repeatedly aimed at Dolla, a four-strong Kuala Lumpur dance-pop girl-band signed by Universal Music Malaysia in 2019. But Dolla, which features two ethnic Malay girls, Sabronzo and Syasya, and two ethnic Chinese, Angel and Tabby, is different from its K-pop-influenced origins.

The group sings in Malay, reflects the country’s ethnic diversity, and describes its output as M-pop rather than K-pop. “We may dance like K-pop bands, but we don’t sing in Korean,” said Angel. Nevertheless, the group’s sultry dance moves, revealing outfits and hairstyles comply with global girl-group tropes and promote girl empowerment, defying the stereotype of virtuous Islamic females that is predominant in Malaysia.

A Malaysian tour poster for South Korean girl group Blackpink. Some music fans say local groups are simply copying their South Korean counterparts. 

“A big part of our dream is to let all the girls out there know that gender is no boundary,” said Tabby. “Women are often stereotyped as small and weak, but in ‘Watch Me Glow’ especially, we worked on communicating a fierce and strong energy to show that anyone can achieve big things with enough determination and hard work.”

Dolla has maintained its momentum despite widespread suspicion of foreign styles of popular music, which many Malaysians see as dangerous vehicles for budaya kuning (yellow culture) — a catchall term for Western influence.

This social conservatism has primarily affected local black metal bands, which became the targets of police harassment and fearmongering media campaigns in 2001 and 2006 under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and also caught out many foreign mainstream American pop artists such as the Pussycat Dolls, Gwen Stefani and Beyonce, who have had to pay fines or change their stage acts to perform in Malaysia. In 2012, a Kuala Lumpur concert by Grammy-winning Afro-American singer Erykha Badu was canceled after it emerged that she had the word “Allah” tattooed on her upper body in Arabic script.

Dolla’s sultry dance moves, revealing outfits and hairstyles comply with global girl-group tropes and promote girl empowerment, defying the stereotype of virtuous Islamic females that is predominant in Malaysia. (Courtesy of Universal Music Malaysia)

There has been some change in attitudes in the last five years, including an opposition victory over Najib’s government in 2018, which opened the way for prosecution of the former prime minister (although the Barisan Nasional coalition is now back in government following a parliamentary realignment). “Since 2015, Malaysia has come quite a long way with its changes to leadership and government,” said professor Joanne Lim Bee Yin of Nottingham University Malaysia, co-author of “The Korean Wave in Southeast Asia.”

“While a female group like Dolla might have received harsh criticism back then … I believe that our nation has matured in that aspect, and such local girl-groups may now see great potential,” said Lim, who also suggested that the new TikTok social media culture enabled “copycat dancing” to receive less scrutiny from religious groups and individuals.

There are very few all-girl bands in the history of Malaysian pop music. Before Dolla, Mandarin-singing groups like Four Golden Princesses, M-Girls, and Q-Genz, pictured above, played tame “Mandopop” and recorded countless Chinese New Year albums for the local and overseas Chinese-speaking markets. (Screenshot from YouTube)

However, Malaysia’s path to artistic freedom is experiencing simultaneous resistance from the most conservative among fans and performers, who continue to perceive foreign popular music as a bad influence. This has led to the release of a number of bowdlerized versions of songs deemed unacceptable by social conservatives.

In October, for example, Rabithah, a male Islamic vocal group, released “Hatiku” (“My Heart”), a sanitized version of Blackpink and Selena Gomez’s racy hit “Ice Cream.” The group’s cover features rewritten lyrics focusing on religiosity and God that are a far cry from the South Korean group’s original, which is laden with double entendres and sexual innuendoes.

“By changing the lyrics [we are] making it easier [for kids] to choose a more positive form of entertainment,” said Usamah Kamaruzaman of Tarbiah Sentap, the record label of Rabithah, which garnered more than 248,000 views for its clean-cut cover in less than a month after its video debuted on the record label’s YouTube channel. Usamah added: “This huge segment of audience truly appreciates what we have done, and that’s probably the main reason behind the song’s skyrocketing views.”

Male Islamic vocal group Rabithah released a sanitized version of Blackpink and Selena Gomez’s racy hit “Ice Cream” that features rewritten lyrics focusing on religiosity and God. (Courtesy of Tarbiah Sentap Records)

However, “Hatiku” is a modest success compared to “Dengarilah,” by vocal group The Faith, an Islamic cover of Luis Fonsi’s hit “Despacito,” which was banned from Malaysian state radio and television in 2017 because of its allegedly obscene lyrics. The Faith’s cleaned-up version received more than 3 million views on YouTube.

Some social conservatives think that Rabithah’s treatment of Blackpink’s “Ice Cream,” and the success of The Faith’s Islamic cover show that strict controls on popular music remain a social necessity in Malaysia, suggesting that bands such as Dolla may never be able to employ the explicit innuendoes of their female South Korean peers.

“[We don’t know] whether K-pop is suitable for Malaysians, and we prefer not to single out any specific genre or race,” said Usamah, “but any entertainment that promotes negative values … should be banned, even if the artist is a Malaysian.”

90,000 Sunset of the era of superstars, feminization and new heroes – Style – Kommersant

2018 was an incredibly strange year for foreign music. The albums, on which everyone was betting, failed, new names began to appear in the world charts like mushrooms after rain, completely unexpected tracks became hits – and all this was ruled by “His Majesty Hype”. It seemed that the music industry itself began to malfunction and began to function according to no one understandable rules. The editors of Kommersant Style tried to figure out how the musical landscape has changed.

Hip-hop and streaming

If the last, 2017, finally buried rock music and brought hip-hop to a new level of international love, then by the end of 2018 it became clear that hip-hop is not just new rock, but rather a new pop. On the first line of Billboard, most of the time spent either a solo rap composition, or a collaboration with some rapper. Moreover, all of the highest album sales figures in the first week after release came out of rap too. Let’s remember the launches of Drake, Travis Scott, Eminem.

The thing is, in May of this year, Billboard revised its charting metrics and changed its approach to streaming services.

If earlier 1500 streams were equated to the sale of an album, then in May this figure decreased: one sale became equal to 1250 streams. This seemingly small change was enough to reveal completely new trends in contemporary music. First, it became apparent that young people had basically stopped buying physical copies of albums.Being the main audience of streaming services, they inflate the popularity ratings of hip-hop artists.

Secondly, streaming services, and with them social media that have finally entered the daily life of almost every person, have provided an excellent platform for new artists who were able to bypass the work with the label and go directly to their audience. For example, the American rapper Sheck Wes managed to reach the top ten Billboards on some streams and became one of the most powerful rap debutants this year.

The end of the era of superstars

The changing rules of the game in the music industry revealed another very interesting trend – the ever-increasing lack of competitiveness of superstars. This is explained primarily by the fact that earlier only big labels could give musicians a platform and stars of the Elvis and Mariah Carey format had been preparing to seize world musical dominance for more than one year.

The legends that have ruled the music industry for nearly a decade are running out of space.

Today, strippers from Instagram (we are talking, of course, about Cardi B’s dizzying career) and rappers from SoundCloud (from Lil Pump to the super popular trio Migos) easily make their way to the top of Billboard.

In June, Beyoncé and Jay Z released their highly anticipated album together, which did not even reach number one. The guys had an excellent sold-out tour of the world’s major stadiums, but the album itself did not achieve the commercial success expected from it. The same goes for Nicki Minaj with her Queen and Justin Timberlake (even the performance at the 2018 Super Bowl did not help).Taylor Swift herself and she achieved her indicators solely due to the fact that she delayed the release of her album on streaming, and fans had no choice but to buy it on iTunes.

Well, the main failure of 2018 is, of course, Kanye West. Unfortunately, Kris Jenner did not manage to cut the Wi-Fi cable of his son-in-law in time – and throughout the year, the rapper, who ruled the genre for almost a decade, poured thoughts of Trump, slavery and immigrants with his madness. Both albums of the musician – the solo “Ye” and the joint with Kid Cudi “Kids See Ghosts” – were received rather coldly by critics and listeners.And while the buzz around the rapper hasn’t subsided yet, it’s clear to everyone that the Make America Great Again baseball cap that Kanye wore in 2018 is like Britney’s bald head in 2007. She does not bode well for a career as a musician.

The last heroes

If you do not stretch anyone, then only Drake and Ariana Grande have worked one hundred percent the status of superstars this year.

While working on his Scorpion, Drake, like Kronos, swallowed all the genres, beats and styles that came his way, and spat them out in the format of reference pop hits. His three singles – “God`s Plan”, “Nice For What” and “In My Feelings” – took turns occupying the first line of Billboard literally half of 2018! “In My Feelings” is nothing less than the top hip-hop pop hit of 2018. I wonder how many accidents happened due to the fact that the guys behind the wheel were filming their girls, in a seductive dance, catching up with the car?

Ariana Grande, in turn, has achieved a major career triumph so far with her fourth studio album, Sweetener, and especially her latest single, Thank you, next, which became the most popular track in December.Moreover, on a personal level, 2018 was not the most rosy year for her: first, her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died of an overdose (there were rumors that it was a suicide), and immediately after she broke up with Pete Davidson. At some point, a real persecution was deployed on her with accusations of the death of her ex, to which Ariana replied that she always cared about him and tried to support him in his attempts to stay sober. “Blaming a woman for not being able to pull himself together is a huge problem in modern society,” she wrote on Twitter.In “Thank you, next”, the singer takes turns thanking her exes and says that she has finally entered the most important relationship of her life – a relationship with herself. In the course of the sale by pop divas of their sexuality and Maupassant’s yearning for great and pure love remained in the distant noughties. Modern young girls are interested in something else, and Ariana Grande copes with this demand like no other.

The feminization of music

Musicians are becoming more socially and politically active every year, and this trend has only intensified in 2018.The beginning of the year was marked by a scandal at the Grammy Awards: Lord was the only girl among the nominees in the main category “Album of the Year”, and moreover, only she was not offered a solo performance among these nominees. Of course, everyone has long understood that the very concept of the Song of the Year and Album of the Year nominations is rather ridiculous, but the logic of the indignant was that such ceremonies are a very powerful springboard for artists, which allows them to be heard. And women should take their place on a par with their male colleagues.

The organizers did not have to wait long for the answer: five out of eight nominees for the “Album of the Year” Grammy-2019 are women. This trend began to be traced both in the compilation of ratings by music critics (in the main Pitchfork rating of the best albums of the year in the top ten there are almost only women), and in the line-ups of festivals for 2019 (take, for example, the organizers of the Spanish Primavera, who generally wrote on their official website that the future belongs to women).

The same goes for the continuing politicization of music.In 2018, Taylor Swift remained the last stronghold of political neutrality among world-class musicians (probably afraid of losing her country-listening fans), but even she backed Democrats in her home state of Tennessee in October. The position of society in the modern world is such that if you have a voice, you have no right to remain silent, and musicians are no exception.

New heroes

In parallel with the ever increasing awareness of artists in social and political life, it is impossible not to notice the growing ambiguity and aggression that they pour out into the cultural space.Increasingly, you can see the emergence of such new heroes of young people as Post Malone, whose whole face is dotted with strange tattoos, singing about expensive watches and cars and periodically plunging into the abyss of masochism (“You put out a cigarette on my face – how beautiful it is”). Literally five years ago, heroes of this format could not even be imagined. Today, Beerbongs & Bentleys, released by the musician in February, has become one of the best-selling albums of the year.

The same applies to the new heroine of the alternative priest Billie Eilish.In oversized pants, with a complete lack of sex appeal and the trademark facial expression “5 minutes before the gagging”, she became one of the main pop sensations of the year.

In general, pop music has become a niche and has ceased to claim universal popularity as such.

Charlie XCX, Troye Sivan, Robyn – they all play according to the new rules of their time, where there is no place for radio hits and image legends. Success stories are becoming more bizarre and incomprehensible, and it is almost impossible to predict the future popularity of new artists.But, on the other hand, this is what made 2018 so bright in foreign music. Thanks next!

Stanislav Govorov

Radio Malaysia, 402 online radio stations –

Lixty Malaysia English Adult Contemporary RL Rock Jiwang Malaysia Malay Rock MyFM Malaysia Chinese Top 40 & Pop Chinese Music Adult Contemporary Radio Kamek Malaysia Malay Folk World Top 40 & Pop Bapakku Online Radio Malaysia Malay Rock Sinar FM Malaysia Malay World Music Audio FM Malaysia Malay World Music Arjuna fm Malaysia English Suria FM Malaysia Malay Malay Top 40 & Pop Contemporary Adult Music radiosimorgh Malaysia Persian Public Radio Manis FM Malaysia Malay Special Interest Malaysia One Radio Stat ion Malaysia English n / a Variety Borneotune Radio Malaysia English n / a RileksFM Malaysia Malay Special Interest Radio Hits Sabah Malaysia English n / a RTM Sabah FM Malaysia Malay Speeches and Performances TRC GEGARFM Malaysia Malaysia Public Radio DesaFM Malaysia English Worldwide Era FM Malaysia Malay Adult Contemporary World Music Radio Malaysia Terengganu Malaysia Malay Worldwide RED 104. 9 Malaysia English Contemporary Adult Music Special Interest Radio PaveR Malaysia English Rock RTM Sabah V FM Malaysia Malay Special Interest Worldwide Variety Top 40 and Pop Music RTM Sandakan FM Malaysia Malay Worldwide Asian Music xintong Malaysia Chinese Dance Music UniMAPfm Malaysia Malay n / a Gegar FM Malaysia Malay Special Interest RTM Sarawak FM Malaysia Malay Worldwide Asian Music World Music GAOLFM Malaysia Malay Rock Pop RADIO SEPARAPFM Malaysia Malay Special Interest Rilek FM Malaysia Malay Retro LepaknetFm Malaysia Malay Pop Special Interest Top 40 and NasyidFM Malaysia Malay Religion & Spirituality SamaFM Malaysia Malay Worldwide LRX FM Malaysia Malay Comedy njoyfm Malaysia Malay Dance Pop Serifm Malaysia Malay Public Radio Kinabalu Christian Radio (KCR) Malaysia English Church Music & Gospel GempakzFM Malaysia English Easy Listening UFM UiTM Malaysia English World 988 Malaysia Chinese Adult Contemporary Bambo9 Webradio Malaysia English Hip-Hop / Rap Frenzy FM Malaysia Malay Contemporary Adult Contemporary World Aforadio Malaysia English Pop SeriusFM Malaysia Malay n / a 91. 1 KKFM – The BIG 20 Show with Harold Malaysia English Pop RM Kedah Malaysia Malay Worldwide 123456 … 91 out of 9 90,000 music is … What is Pop?
This is an article about pop music as a genre of music.

popular music


rock and roll, jazz, doo-wop, folk music

Place and time of origin:

1950s, USA, UK

Flourishing Years:

continues all over the place


baroque pop, bubblegum pop, dance pop, electropop, mashup, operatic pop, power pop, sophisti pop, space age pop, sunshine pop, teen pop, j-pop, k-pop


country-pop, jangle-pop, pop-rock, pop-punk, dream-pop, psychedelic pop, modern rhythm-and-blues, synthpop



Pop (eng. pop-music from pop ular music ) – the direction of modern music, a type of modern mass culture. The term “pop music” has a twofold meaning.

The main features of pop music as a mass culture are simplicity, melody, vocals and rhythm, with less emphasis on the instrumental part. The main and practically the only form of composition in pop music is the song. Pop lyrics are usually straightforward and dedicated to personal feelings. [ no source specified 190 days ]

Pop music includes subgenres such as Europop, Latina, Disco, Synthpop, Dance Music and others.


Music critics identify the following criteria for pop music as a musical genre.

Songs are structured according to the conservative verse + chorus scheme. Pop songs require simple, easy-to-listen melodies. The main instrument in pop music is the human voice. The accompaniment is given a secondary role: the accompanying pop musicians do not play solos and are most often neither songwriters nor group leaders. Rhythm structure plays an important role in pop music: many pop songs are written for dancing and have a clear, unchanging beat.

The basic musical unit in pop music is a single song or single. The average song length is usually 2 to 4 minutes, which corresponds to a radio-friendly format. Long-lasting compositions with extensive instrumental parts are almost never found, as well as conceptual albums.

Texts in pop songs, as a rule, are devoted to personal experiences, emotions: love, sadness, joy. The visual presentation of the songs is also of great importance: a concert show and video clips.Therefore, many pop singers have an extravagant image. A pop artist’s group often includes dancers, extras and other people who are not involved in the performance of music, but play an important role in concerts.

Despite a long and turbulent history, pop is conservative. It tends to reflect the current musical environment, rather than progressive trends. This is due to the fact that publishers are generally not in the mood for commercial risk and favor performers in proven genres. Because of this, pop is geared towards an abstract average audience rather than a fan subculture.


For the first time the term “pop song” in English sounded back in 1926, but the roots of pop music go deeper in history. The immediate predecessor to pop music was folk music, as well as later street romances and ballads.

Contemporary pop music has evolved in parallel with other genres such as rock music, and has not always been separate from them. In the 1950s and 1960s, its most typical form was the so-called. “Traditional pop” (traditional pop), which in the USSR was called “pop music”, “pop”.Traditional pop is performed by a solo singer with background accompaniment. In the United States, pop was closely associated with jazz (Frank Sinatra), in France – with chanson. Similar performers were popular in the USSR – Leonid Utyosov, Klavdia Shulzhenko, Mark Bernes, Vladimir Troshin. A large part of the US pop music scene is made up of black soul performers.

A real breakthrough in pop music was the emergence in the 1970s of the “disco” (Eurodisco) style and bands such as ABBA, Boney M, Dschinghis Khan, Bee Gees.Pop music has now supplanted rock and roll as the main dance music in discos, and since that time dance music has been one of the main trends in pop music.

Thanks to the emergence of musical television (in particular, the MTV channel), a culture of video clips was formed in the 1980s. At this time, stars such as Prince and Madonna appeared in the United States. Pop music during this period was influenced by hip-hop, soul and rhythm and blues. Although soul began as early as the 1950s, until the 1980s it remained a music that was predominantly listened to by African Americans.Performers such as Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and, of course, Ray Charles, who has performed in the R&B and soul scene since the late 1950s, have made this style one of the mainstays of modern pop music. In the 1990s and 2000s, electronic dance music (rave) was added to this.

Regional varieties

Nowadays, pop music is associated mainly with its western variety, Europop. This style prevails both in America and in Europe, including Russia (see the article Russian pop music).However, different regions of the world have their own peculiarities associated with combining the rhythms of pop music and national melodies. So, it is worth noting Latin American pop music (latina) with its many dance genres – samba, salsa, rumba, tango, cha-cha-cha, lambada, macarena. Latina has achieved popularity in the North thanks to such performers as Kaoma, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin. Middle Eastern pop music has an unusual melody. Japanese pop music also has its own flavor.

Awards and charts

Every year, hundreds of festivals and competitions are held around the world to identify the best of the best. The most authoritative competition in world pop music is the Grammy Awards. In addition to the Grammy Awards, there are many different awards, among which the most prestigious are American Music Awards, World Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards. Pop music is also represented at the annual Eurovision Song Contest. To measure the popularity of this other song, lists are compiled, in the image and likeness of the largest national music list in the world – Billboard Hot 100 (USA).For example, in the UK it is the UK Singles Chart and the UK Albums Chart at the same time.

Billboard Hot 100 takes into account CD sales, radio popularity of songs, and Internet sales.

Cultural and social influence

Pop music has given rise to such a phenomenon as pop stars – personalities whose life attracts the attention of the press outside of their musical activities. In pop music, popularity depends not only on the abilities of the performer and composer, but also on such non-music factors as appearance, sex appeal, reputation, press coverage.To attract the attention of the press and the public, many pop performers and their producers do not hesitate to provoke scandals, shocking. So, the producer of the pop group Tatu Ivan Shapovalov deliberately created a lesbian reputation for his wards in order to cause a scandal and attract attention. Scandalous stories about such performers as Alla Pugacheva, Philip Kirkorov, Stas Mikhailov, Dima Bilan often appear in the press. For this, pop music is often criticized.

See also



★ Dangdut

Dangdut is a genre of Indonesian pop music that originates in Malay, Arabic and Indian music, which emerged in the late 1960s – early 1970s among Muslim working youth on the island of Java and in the late 1990s, widespread in the lower strata of the Indonesians; and also in Malaysia and the southern part of the Philippines.

A group of dangdut performers usually consists of a male or female vocalist and 4 to 8 musicians. instruments like tabla, mandolin, guitar and synthesizer. Contemporary Dangduot includes the traditions of Middle Eastern pop, Western rock, house, hip-hop, contemporary R&B and reggae.

The Dangdut genre reached its peak in the 1990s and is currently the most popular in western Indonesia.

The term “dang-dut” is a Javanese onomatopoeia of the name of the tabla instrument, also known as gendang (gendanga) – a drum whose name is indicated by the words dang (dang) and ndut.the famous Indonesian dangdut musician Roma Irama believes that this word was invented by the rich, as a mockery of the “music of the poor.” One of the most popular dangdut performers in the 1970s and 1980s was the famous Indonesian actress and singer Ela Hadam.

By 1975, 75% of all musical recordings in Indonesia are in the Dangdut genre. Nowadays, in most major cities, especially on the island of Java, there are several concert venues where Dangduot shows are held several times a week with concerts.Dangdut stars were also televised. In 2003, performances by renowned Dangdut singer Inul of Daratista caused attacks by religious conservative groups who accused the singer of promiscuity. These accusations were backed up by another prominent Dangdut musician, Roma Irama, who called for a ban on Daratista’s television appearances, and in 2008 the Indonesian parliament passed a law that broadly interprets the concept of pornography. due to opposition from conservative Muslim circles in Indonesia, the tour of the famous singer Lady Gaga was canceled in early June 2012 in Jakarta.In this regard, many commentators point out that the cancellation of Lady Gaga’s tour looks strange against the background of many dungduot shows.

Dangdut remains an integral part of Indonesian musical culture, despite attacks from conservative Muslim circles about the vulgarity of some performances by Dangdut artists such as Julia Perez.

Some Indonesian films and TV series refer to the dangdut theme, such as films with Roma Iram, Rudy Sujarwo’s romantic “Sudden Dangdut”.

News of show business and music

A group of enthusiastic researchers, collectors of folklore will visit the places of residence of Erzya and Moksha, and record folk songs, national traditions from national cuisine to rituals and ethnic beliefs.

This time the geography of the expedition covers three regions and a total of 8 villages and villages:
– June 24-25 Shentalinsky district,
– June 26, Isaklinsky district of the Samara region,
– June 30 – July 1 – Dubensky district of the Republic of Mordovia.

Oyme Expeditions – musical and ethnographic expeditions in Mordovia and other regions of Russia, which have been conducted since 2011 by the folk group Oyme. A feature of travel is the participation of anyone. The indispensable and only conditions are a contribution to the expedition as a free work as a photographer, videographer, driver, volunteer, and an irresistible craving for field travel, readiness for unexpected situations, endless love for their country – Russia.

During the expeditions, multichannel audio recording is carried out, photographs and video are taken.For almost 6 years (since 2011) journalists from AiF, Stolitsa S, Novaya Gazeta and others, clip makers from Turkey, guests from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ryazan, Saransk, Samara and Tolyatti have taken part in the expeditions …

Members of the Oyme group are ethnomusicologists and musicians who specialize in playing traditional instruments. The Oyme group has existed since June 2011. Oyme is the first group from Russia to take part in the recording of joint tracks with the legendary band, winner of the prestigious Grammy Deep Forest (2016 Evo Devo album).The members are currently collaborating with British bluesman, Eric Clapton’s nephew Will Johns.

In 2015, on the basis of the collected expedition materials, a presentation of the cultural and ethnographic project “Shtatol” took place, including a cycle of expeditionary photo exhibitions, performances of village groups and city musicians, ethnofusion, performances by Finno-Ugric artists.

“Shtatol” presentation poster

A feature of the project is an up-to-date approach to the dissemination of traditional music in the modern world, the synergistic effect of three information components: CD, ethno-Internet portal, etc… But the last part of the project is kept secret by the members of the group.

In 2016 the album “Shtatol” was released. In addition to 23 tracks by the Oyme group, the album includes 16 Erzya and Moksha songs recorded in folklore expeditions with the participation of village groups from Mordovia. In the same year, a new Internet portal,, was opened, the structure of which makes it possible to briefly and accurately tell about each expedition and the respondents. As a result, each village collective of Oyme Expeditions receives an Internet business card (info, audio, video, photo) and its own personal page.

Another of OYME’s directions is creative collaborations with village bands: joint concerts, as well as recording worldmusic songs with authentic performers.

Folk music

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90,000 Journalism is an ocean

Category “Content” | To the list of headings | To the list of authors | To the list of publications

Vladislav Boretsky

Journalist, presenter, columnist

Vladislav Boretsky graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of Moscow State University in 1984.M.V. Lomonosov.
From July 1984 to November 1990 – junior editor, editor, correspondent, senior editor of the broadcasting department at the Polish People’s Republic of the USSR State Television and Radio Broadcasting.
Since 1989 he has been cooperating with the Russian Service of Moscow Radio.
From November 1990 to October 1994 – presenter of programs, music director of the radio station “Radio ROKS”.
From October 1993 to September 1994 – host of the program “Rock around the clock” on the night channel “Astrolabe” (Channel One, Ostankino).
From November 1994 to January 1995 – program director and presenter of radio stations SWH in Riga, Latvia.
From February 1995 to June 1997 – the presenter of the programs of the radio station “Radio 101”. From February to April 1998 – creative director and presenter of the radio station “Radio ROKS”.
1998-2005 – deputy. editor-in-chief of the TV company “View”.
2005–2006 – the author and presenter of the programs of the TV and radio company Petersburg “Channel Five”.
2006 – presenter of radio City FM programs.
From October 2006 to the present – columnist, host of the programs “Radio Russia” and “Radio Russia. Culture”. Member of the Union of Journalists of Russia since 1989.
Twice laureate of the national award “Radiomania”

The reason for our conversation should have been the recent annual Grammy Awards. What are contests like “Grammy” now? Why are they at all?
– To be honest, I have not followed the Grammy awards for a long time, exactly since I left the music radio in mid-1997. Not that not interesting, just lack of time. And if we assume that pop music (in its broadest reading) ended in the early – mid-90s, then it is even more uninteresting.It’s all just business and a vanity fair – well, who of the listeners cares whether Beyoncé received two or three nominations? Will they listen to her more or less? But for her producers and the studio, this is fundamentally important, as you understand.

– You have been in the profession all your life. He worked on radio and television. Where do you like better and why?
– It’s like comparing mom’s Napoleon cake and dad’s boiled pork. Both are the pinnacles of culinary excellence. So it is here. Everywhere has its own spices, attractions and adrenaline.Intermittently, I spent about 17 years on television. At first in “Ostankino” there was no “First” yet. Then “2×2”, later the TV company “ViD”, followed by “TVTs”, “5th channel”, “Culture” … And he worked in the frame (recorded broadcasts), and on air. He was the deputy editor-in-chief of ViD. And he wrote scripts for the “docks” – he made 17 films for the First with the ProektTV company. I like both. Because at least these are different facets of the profession, although I am no longer “in love” with TV since 2015 – since I was “optimized” on the Kultura TV channel.

– In your biography I read the intriguing: “From March 1991 to February 1993 – on a business trip to Oslo, Norway.” Sounds intriguing. Was it a trip on the International Line or something else? Was this experience interesting?
– Nothing intriguing. At the very end of 1990 in Oslo, on the basis of the Norwegian television and radio communications company Nittedal, the platform of the first private FM station Radio ROKS in the then USSR was installed. That is, ours are creative forces. Theirs is technical support.So, in fact, the FM industry began in the Union. At first, a technical channel was created in Riga, but the storming of the Ministry of Internal Affairs building canceled all plans. Then, in January 1991, the storming of the TV tower in Vilnius took place according to the same scenario. And finally, in March 1991, a successful premiere took place in the then Leningrad. Here I am in March and went on the air of the country’s first FM radio station “Radio ROX”. And I left the Inovation back in September 1990. Experience? Of course it is interesting. It’s one thing to read news from a piece of paper on the Russian Service of Moscow Radio, where I had time to practice in 1990, and quite another to conduct four hours of live broadcast on “my” station …

– How have radio and television changed in recent years? Many of your colleagues left the profession, believing that now the conditions are unbearable for professional activity.Previously, public people work for TV channels with an ambiguous reputation and do not advertise their place of work. They suffer, of course. What do you think about it?
– A question for them, for former colleagues, probably. I cannot and will not evaluate their decisions – everyone has different circumstances and motivation. I once tried to escape – I went to work as a deputy director for advertising in a very large retail chain. It took me a little more than six months. For myself, I decided that I did not see any other occupation. And as for “unbearable conditions” … And when was it easy for journalists? Especially in our country.Shortly before his death, Professor Evgeny Pavlovich Prokhorov, a thunderstorm of freshmen, who read to us “Introduction to Journalism”, told me (I stopped by Mokhovaya on an insignificant matter): “You know, Slava, journalism, in principle, is an ocean. Everyone can find their own course ”. And he was utterly orthodox, buttoned up orthodox. You see how he has changed towards leaving …

– There is a lot of criticism of television now. On the radio, the situation is still better, it seems to me. Is it really so?
– I don’t know, I didn’t compare.TV is still considered, perhaps, such an Olympus, although first-class journalists work on radio, much brighter and more well-founded than on TV (I know). But, as Rodion said in the famous film, “one continuous television”. Of course, radio in this rivalry, alas, loses

– You once called your job at the ViD TV company the greatest success in your life. And this despite the fact that wherever you have worked. What hooked you on this TV company?
– Well, I said it for the reference book “Who’s Who on Russian TV,” mainly for the sake of prettiness.On the other hand, of course, I came to work immediately as a deputy. the editor-in-chief, who was then Sergei. Kushnerev received the program “How It Was”. Whether you want it or not, provide a weekly 40-minute release on the First Channel. It was a serious challenge, of course. I had to follow the script authors, and often rewrite their scripts completely – not all writers of the level of Paddy Chaevsky or Eduard Volodarsky, alas. Then there was another undertaking – the weekly “Color TV”, there I was generally and.about. the editor-in-chief was thrust in … I held out for almost a year. And then the “general madness” began – the “Last Hero” project, on which, starting with the second, I sounded four issues in a row.

– The Last Hero was a really amazing project. Extremely extreme as far as I know. How did you survive there, and even made four issues?
– I was invited to the project by my chief editor, S.A. Kushnerev, and worked on four projects in a row – from Malay to Bokasov (Panamanian).Survived? Perfectly. In excellent hotel rooms with buffets and local exotic cuisine. I was not a participant, just an ordinary journalist.

– Reality shows like “The Last Hero” were the most attractive to advertisers. And their videos on the artistic level often competed with the shows themselves. But today the situation, alas, is different. This is an amazing phenomenon – after the incredible explosion of creativity in the 1990s, what we see today looks like a provincial amateur performance.Can you explain this?
– Actually, as a normal person, I skip ads right there. Is that “a song about nuggets” I listen to – amazing folk art. And in the 1990s, everything was completely clear – then EVERYTHING generally began. Everyone entered their terra incognita – and we are at ROKS, and young Fedya Bondarchuk, Styopa Mikhalkov, Philip Yankovsky or Roman Prygunov, brilliant directors of Art Pictures – in the field of music videos or advertising clips. Remember at least the advertisements “Albee-diplomat”, “Saldom” or “Supremex”.Yes, everyone was young, everyone was terribly interested, and the customers as well.

The mid-1990s were the golden years of our TV commercials. Almost complete freedom of creativity and militant perky customers … It is no coincidence that it was then that the Russians received the most prestigious world awards in advertising: in 1996, Video International brought two Cannes Lions at once: a bronze and a silver one for advertising for RIKK-Bank. According to Wikipedia, the latter is “the legend of the commercial: the most boring bank where people and money work.The work is diversified by a kitten sitting on the cover of a copier. A year later, the picture is exactly the same, only there is more money and the copier can hardly move the big cat ”. Cool! Five years later, the “Bronze Lion” was awarded to Art. Lebedev Studio. And now good luck happens, but now it is rather an exception – piece works for competitions. And in the bulk – copy-paste, designed for the “average consumer”. Customers are afraid to take risks and ask “make me exactly like a competitor”.They do not understand that the audience will not be able to identify the brand at all. And that means money down the drain.

– I would also like to discuss the difference between TV and radio, but from a technical point of view. I’m sure you know the situation here better than anyone else, because you have successfully worked both at a number of leading radio stations and at the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. If the progress in the field of creating and displaying “pictures” is obvious, then from a technical point of view, radio seems to have remained almost the same as it was during its creation … Is that so? And if so, how does this affect the content?
– As I said, radio is, of course, less popular than TV.And – I’m sure – the time is not far off when TV will give way to the Internet in the same way. Nowadays, many people go online and follow the news flow. By the way, I had to read a number of statements by the heads of major TV channels about the fact that the audience is massively going online. Well, that’s okay. First there was a gramophone, now iTunes. And the gap between is only a hundred years.

– What is happening now? Where do you work? How does it feel? What has changed for the better compared to the situation that was 20 years ago? 10 years? Everyone talks about negative changes.But something good must also appear …
– I already remembered Professor Prokhorov. Journalism is an ocean. For almost nine years now I have been leading the program “Characters” on Radio Russia. Culture ”- a daily 40-minute live broadcast, a program with the main newsmakers of the cultural life of Moscow and the country as a whole. Absolutely my boat in absolutely my pond. And about new things that appear … I’m afraid I’m not entirely competent here – I don’t follow which combine went into the field …

– Are you planning to continue working more with radio or television?
– Considering that I have been working for Radio Russia for ten years.

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