Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"HE SAID, SHE SAID" KIND OF SONG IN BRUNEI

I love music. I appreciate any kind of musical genre ranging from pop, classical, techno, and even some ear-splitting rock pieces.  While there may be variety in forms and melodies, music is simply a food for the soul.

Apparently, over the past months, I kept on hearing a song here in Brunei which I find funny, weird and scary. The song has been playing over the radio, in the morning, afternoon, and even at night. With that, I really can't help but notice it. So with so much curiosity, I searched the song in Youtube.

Wanna know song (s)? Then read on!

Back in the Philippines, I must say that we have a diverse range of musical genres and a long list of original compositions which we call OPM or Original Pilipino Music. While our country is vastly influenced by foreign tunes, our local musical scene still thrives on uniqueness, authenticity and cultural richness.  In hindsight, most of our songs thrive on falling in love, being in love, and yes, conquering heart breaks and breakdowns. With this, I'm used to hearing love songs that profess the deepest human emotions. On the side, Kundiman has contributed in the development of original and Philippine made love hits and melodies. On one hand, with my influences on singing and having worked in a variety/musical show in Philippine broadcast industry, my ears are sensitive enough to the possible impact of a musical piece.

Recently, well, for the past months, I've been hearing a song which keeps on playing over the radio. Popularized by Jazz Hayat, the song is entitled "I stalk your profile." The song is conceived by local artists in Brunei.

Frankly, from a foreigner's perspective, overall, I find the jazzy vibe of the song as contemporary. The voice of the artist is melodious. The beat of the song could even remind you a happy night with your friends as you drink up to clean fun in a grill bar and restaurant. Apparently, the chorus of the song is just weird and yes, crazy. I guess, it is the type of song that would solicit "What? Did I hear it right?" reactions from first time listeners.

While I really can't understand the other phrases of the song because it is in Bahasa Melayu, the chorus somehow gives a synthesis of the song's message. Imagine, someone is stalking your profile because he misses you. Okay, you may find it cute; you may find it lovely. Afterall, song preference is always subjective. But in this digital age that sets debates on online privacy and discussions on issues such as cyberbullying, identity theft, and more, a song that articulates stalking is just odd.

Here's more. In a digital society that reinforces feedback, two girls (out of fun) made a song in response to "I stalk your profile." This time, the song is entitled "Don't stalk my profile."  This song has started to be aired over the radio in Brunei. The chorus goes, "Don't stalk my profile because you scare me!"

On the side, the response to the song "I stalk your profile" rolls on. As I found in Youtube, there's a song entitled "I blocked your profile." This song is not yet aired. And if it will be aired, gaaaaawd!

With this ever-growing stalking-themed songs, here's my two cents on this:

Online media provide an avenue to democratise freedom of expression. Nowadays, anyone can be a star, anyone can be a somebody. Point the credit to the Internet, by simply posting your craziness or your stunning performance online, you can establish an audience through hits that measure success or popularity. Performance media such as musical compositions or singing is one of the channels to shine in the online or offline world. Indeed, we live in a time full of accessibility and mobility that is brought about by the Internet.

The song "I stalk your profile" and the succeeding songs reflect a reality with the use of online media and the youth culture.

Music,  or any channel for artistic expression, is very subjective. The composition or creation of a masterpiece, just like in writing a book, is influenced by the author's personal beliefs or ideologies. Should we analyze the song "I Stalk your profile," we may find discreet or subconscious emotions on liking someone which could only be filled through online engagement. As a result, "he" stalks the Facebook profile of the girls "he" likes; something that is established through online and not on face-to-face communicative setting.

Furthermore, the statement on stalking is an articulation of use of online media and a mirroring of a youth culture that is enslaved by online walls and limitations. On the former, the Internet allows the youth to democratise their ways in self-expression for they can post whatever they want the world to see. This is the element of spectacle where visuals and text delve on something that is creative and sometimes jaw-dropping. On the latter, the song shows a reality of how the youth have become dependent on their virtual worlds to communicate and express themselves. What's more disturbing, there's the stalking and other online maladies that pollute online and even offline communication. In this context, while it may deliver "fun," in reality, the articulation is shallow and simply bizarre.

Bottom line, positively, the songs prove that Brunei artists can produce musical masterpieces. However, with an attempt to penetrate a bigger and critical audience, the artists should also be level-headed in piecing compositions that go beyond the superficial virtual world such as Facebooking and yes, the unimaginable way of stalking. I guess, Brunei artists have more to offer. Let's just wait what songs will hit the local airwaves.

Now, it's time for you to decide. Listen to the song and perhaps you can reflect on it.

   "I Stalk your Profile" By Jazz Hayat





"Don't Stalk my Profile"



"I Blocked your Profile"

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