Malaysian CNY video with P. Ramlee twist spreads cheer

A screen grab of the video showing four Malaysians performing a classic Chinese New Year song with a multicultural twist. Netizens commended the video for its creativity.
A screen grab of the video showing four Malaysians performing a classic Chinese New Year song with a multicultural twist. Netizens commended the video for its creativity.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA • A cross-cultural Chinese New Year music video inspired by the music of Malaysian cinema legend P. Ramlee is spreading festive cheer and celebrating Malaysia's diversity.

The upbeat video sees four Malaysians singing the classic Chinese New Year song He Xin Nian (Celebrating the New Year) with a Malaysian twist.

The song is sung in Mandarin, with several verses translated into Tamil and Malay, while the instruments featured are the guzheng, a ukulele and a tabla.

A fun pantun, or Malay poem, bidding farewell to the Year of the Rooster and ushering in the Dog Year surprises viewers in the middle of the song.

Produced by audio production company Super ReD Music, the video was posted on Facebook on Monday and is being commended by netizens for its creativity.

"The concept for this music video came to me two weeks ago when the television was playing a P. Ramlee song," Super ReD Music producer Daeren Tan told The Star.

"In Malaysia, we all celebrate different festivities together - Chinese New Year is not only for the Chinese community," he said, adding that this diversity is worth celebrating.

Mr Tan, who plays the ukulele in the video, said everyone involved in creating the video - including the four musicians - volunteered their time as they saw it as an opportunity to spread festive cheer.

Mr Tan said that besides inspiring unity and positivity, he hopes that traditional elements in the music video - namely the traditional music instruments, the pantun and the classic P. Ramlee vibe - remind Malaysians of the nation's forgotten art and culture.

"I want people to feel happy when they listen to the song," Mr Tan said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2018, with the headline 'Malaysian CNY video with P. Ramlee twist spreads cheer'. Print Edition | Subscribe