Malay music veterans Wings to rock the Star Theatre

Members of rock quartet Wings, (clockwise from front): Awie, Eddy, Black and Joe, say they owe their success to Singapore’s pioneering rock acts. -- PHOTO: WINGS
Members of rock quartet Wings, (clockwise from front): Awie, Eddy, Black and Joe, say they owe their success to Singapore’s pioneering rock acts. -- PHOTO: WINGS

Rock quartet Wings have consistently been one of the most popular bands in Malaysia in the last three decades, and lead singer Awie says they would not be where they are right now if not for the work of Singapore's pioneering rock acts.

For their concert tonight at the Star Theatre, they have roped in some of these veterans to perform with them - Sweet Charity's guitarists Rosli Mohalim and Wan Ahmad, Lovehunters frontman Yazid, Rusty Blades' singer Yantzen and Unwanted singer Hanafi Warren.

Awie tells Life!: "It is because they are our friends and brothers in music and they have paved the way for us.

"Rock music was frowned upon in the early years of development in the 1970s, but these guys have fought their way through and opened the doors for us, making it easy for everyone after that."

Awie, whose full name is Ahmad Azhar Othman, also paid tribute to their fans in Singapore, describing them as "loyal".

As a treat for them, the show tonight will differ from their usual gigs back in Malaysia and will be a semi-theatrical show, complete with silat demonstration from a local silat troupe.

"As we mature with our fans, we like to give them more than just a music concert," the 46-year-old says, adding that the show will have elements of Malay culture.

"After 30 years in the industry, we have to give a more mature and meaningful performance, so that we will be remembered not just as another rock band without substance."

Formed in 1985, Wings also comprise guitarist Joe (Abdul Zamin Abdul Kadir), bass player Eddy (Samsaidi Haji Ulong Idris), and drummer Black (Azmi Hashim).

The band have close to 30 releases, including studio and live albums, as well as compilations.

While he first made his name fronting the band, Awie has grown to become one of his country's most popular all-round entertainers, with starring roles in 30 films ranging from comedies to romance dramas and also his own television talkshow.

He runs his own company, Awie Entertainments, which recently produced a theatre cum concert show, Suara Kita. Apart from himself, it starred other big names in entertainment, actress/singers Erra Fazira and Ziana Zain.

The company is also organising charity event Bentong Bike Week in May - Awie is a motorcycle enthusiast - to raise funds for victims of the recent floods in Malaysia.

Wings' recent concerts, including the one tonight, have also raised money for the same cause.

His personal life regularly makes the news too - he was recently in the spotlight because of a custody battle for his three children with his estranged wife from his second marriage.

He has come to terms with having his personal affairs aired in public.

"I am very sad over what is happening to my family.

"But I am taking it in my stride and hope that my fans will support me through this.

"I am also very grateful to my family and friends who have supported me thus far."