Mum, son and the rest of the band

Bushmen's Hassan Muhammad (in blue checked shirt) and his fellow members will take to the stage with his mother, Kamaliah Latif (above).
Bushmen's Hassan Muhammad (in blue checked shirt) and his fellow members will take to the stage with his mother, Kamaliah Latif.PHOTO: ESPLANADE - THEATRES ON THE BAY
Bushmen's Hassan Muhammad (in blue checked shirt) and his fellow members will take to the stage with his mother, Kamaliah Latif (above).
Bushmen's Hassan Muhammad and his fellow members will take to the stage with his mother, Kamaliah Latif (above).PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE

REGGAE RAYA

Family connection: Bushmen bassist Hassan Muhammad will sing with his mother, Kamaliah Latif, a singer popular in the 1970s.

The first time Kamaliah Latif, 64, heard her son Hassan Muhammad perform at Youth Park in the 1990s, she was shocked. She had not known he was in a band.

"My nephew had invited me. I was watching from afar and thought to myself, 'Since when could he play guitar?' He was very good," she says.

  • BOOK IT / REGGAE RAYA

    WHERE: Esplanade Outdoor Theatre

    WHEN: Aug 15, 7.30 to 8.15pm, 8.45 to 9.30pm and 10 to 10.45pm

    ADMISSION: Free

Hassan, 40, is the bassist of local reggae band Bushmen, which started in 1997. They are still active, performing at Hard Rock Cafe on the first Sunday of the month and working on a new album.

His mother was a singer in the 1970s known for her pop and R&B hits. She is known for songs such as Dollah Kassim (after the legendary local footballer) and Lagu Kasih (Love Song).

 
 
 
 

She regularly did the club circuit - "I performed for Malay weddings too," she says - and in 1975, she performed in Japan for a few months.

Hassan and his mother will be reuniting onstage on Aug 15, as they perform classic Hari Raya songs such as Satu Hari Di Hari Raya and Suasana Hari Raya done reggae-style, along with the rest of Bushmen.

The last time they performed together was in 2013 at the Esplanade Concert Hall. They were joined by Hassan's grandmother Momo Latif, a veteran Malay singer and actress from the 1950s and 1960s, and the Bushmen.

Mak Momo, as she is known, remains active in the scene, regularly singing at concerts and community events. "Her willpower is very strong. Even if she cannot sing, she will still sing. It's her passion," says Kamaliah.

Now 92, Mak Momo will not be singing this time.

With such a musical family, it is no wonder that Hassan, who has two children aged two and four, followed the same route. "I've been learning from my mother since I was eight years old. We used to live in Marine Parade and we'd go to the beach on the weekends to practise singing. I feel blessed to be able to continue my family legacy."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2015, with the headline 'Mum, son and the rest of the band'. Print Edition | Subscribe