Only seven days are left for the 12 finalists of the 29th “Anugerah Juara Lagu” (AJL) until the official ceremony on 18 January 2015, which will decide the winner for the best local song in 2014.
Literally translated as “Champion of Songs Awards”, AJL is a popular annual music competition in Malaysia, organized by TV3 since 1986, which honours usually the composers and lyricists of the songs rather than the singers.
With the theme “Echoes in Music”, this year, we will see many well-established singers in the local entertainment industry return to shine on this prestigious ceremony.
It will certainly be hard to predict which one of these talented local artistes gets to walk away with the esteemed award!
Before the main ceremony, let’s take a look at the finalists of AJL29.
Alyah – Separuh Nyawa
With her soft and mellow voice, this is definitely not the first time that Alyah becomes one of the finalists for AJL. Last year, the singer was also nominated for her ballad song, “Kau Yang Terindah”, composed by Citra with the lyrics written by director/actress, Erma Fatima. Though the controversy regarding her marriage is on the line, it certainly won’t stop Alyah from reaching for the sky as she is now once again nominated for this year’s AJL with her song “Separuh Nyawa”, composed by Alfi and Aidil with lyrics co-written by Shah Shamshiri and the singer herself.
Yuna – Lelaki
Yuna’s song is always unique and different from the others. This year, her song “Lelaki” is of her own creation and it will be sung by talented young singer Najwa Mahiaddin because Yuna is tied up with her commitments in foreign countries. During AJL27 in 2012, Aizat Amdan won the award ceremony for the song “Terukir Di Bintang” written and composed by Yuna, and it is the first time that a song which was not sung by an original singer won the award. Will this happen with Najwa too?
Datuk Hattan & Waris – Gadis Jolobu
Veteran music composer and singer Datuk Hattan collaborated with newcomer rapper Waris in this year’s AJL with their song “Gadis Jolobu”, composed by DJ Fuzz. Both of them, who hailed from Negeri Sembilan, wrote the lyrics for this song which is filled with Negeri Sembilan dialects. There is a chance that this song could win because last year, Hip Hop song “Kalau Aku Kaya” won third place in the ceremony.
Stacy – Gilalah
This Sabahan dancing queen needs no introduction as she has been competing in AJL since 2008. Though she has never taken home any AJL awards yet, this year she might make a difference. Nevertheless, with her slick and energetic dance moves, Stacy always heats up the ceremony and charms the audience with her superb performance! Especially with her song for this year, “Gilalah” ,composed by Omar K and Mike Chan with lyrics written by Stacy herself.
Shila Amzah – Masih Aku Cinta
This is the second time that Shila Amzah gets nominated in AJL. The first time is when she became a finalist along with Ning Baizura and Jaclyn Victor for the song “Beribu Sesalan”, which gets the three of them second place during AJL26 in 2011. The singer, who is already internationally known especially in China, will once again captivate the audience in AJL29 with her song creation “Masih Aku Cinta”.
Mojo – Romancinta
This year also marks the second time Mojo was nominated in AJL with the first being in 2012 through their song “Andai Ku Bercinta Lagi”. Due to certain controversies and issues, the group replaced one of their members Aweera with Indonesian singer Ryan Brakhma and will sing the song “Romancinta”, which is fully composed and written by Edry from KRU. But will the group still be able to stand a chance with Aweera no longer in the group?
Joe Flizzow dan SonaOne – Apa Khabar
With Hip Hop becoming the recent genre craze among the youngsters, there is a possibility that the song “Apa Khabar”, a collaboration between two local rappers Joe Flizzow and SonaOne, will win the award for this year’s AJL. Joe Flizzow, who is a renowned Malaysian rapper which influences and inspires many of the young Hip Hop artistes today, and SonaOne, the winner for last year’s AIM (Anugerah Industri Muzik) Best Song where his song “No More” becomes the first English song to win the award. With this strong collaboration, the two of them just might win.
Indah Ruhaila – Percayalah
Newcomer Indah Ruhaila is best known for being one of the contestants in “Akademi Fantasia”. Though her name is not widely known in Malaysian music industry, popular singer Dayang Nurfaizah once commented that Indah will be a strong competitor that will be difficult to defeat at AJL. With her strong and firm vocal, Indah will compete in AJL29 with her song “Percayalah”, which is composed by Aiman and written by Mohd Atlas.
Hazama – Malaikat
Marking his third year at AJL in a row, this husky-voiced singer competed in AJL27 along with veteran rock singer Amy Search and competed solo in AJL28 with his song “Penglipur Lara”. This year, he is ready to step up on stage again with the song “Malaikat”, which is the creation of Omar K, Mike Chan and Hazama himself.
Hafiz – Matahari
It is not a surprise to know that Hafiz is nominated in this year’s AJL. He did won the Best Vocal award for two years in a row in AJL27 and 28. Not only that, he is the winner for AJL26 and 28 and the second runner-up for AJL27. This year, will he win it again with his song “Matahari”, composed and created by Ajai?
Bunkface & Amy Search – Rentak Laguku
Famous for their song “Silly Lily”, this year, Bunkface will collaborate with famous rock singer Amy Search for their song “”Rentak Laguku”, which is a hundred percent created by Sam from Bunkface. Will this mixture of old and new rock take the prize at AJL29?
Dayang Nurfaizah – Di Pintu Syurga
After going missing for 10 years, Sarawakian songstress Dayang Nurfaizah returns to AJL with her song “Di Pintu Syurga”, which is the theme song for popular drama series, “Ariana Rose”. Previously, Dayang is the champion for Best Ballad Song in 2001 and Best Rhythm in 2004. Now, she will once again shine on AJL stage with her song “Di Pintu Syurga”, written and composed by Tom and Iman Amir.