Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An inspiring letter from a life long Pop Yeh Yeh fan in Singapore

I meant to post this message almost a year ago, but it fell through the cracks somehow. 

Then, I was going through some older email messages looking for people I wanted to contact when I visit Singapore and Malaysia again this August, and I found this message from Iskandar in Singapore. 

 It was so sincere and heartfelt that I asked Iskandar if I could publish his message here and he agreed:  

Hi DjCarlito

I am so glad to see your quests on creating awareness for the Singapore & Malaysia Pop Yeh Yeh. Your blog is very impressive with tons of useful information on Singapore60s and the legendary artists you have met. Well, I am actually kind of jealous cause a person like you whom came from far far away, travelled all the way to Singapore and Malaysia, and given the chance to meet Pop Yeh Yeh Artists.

I am actually a Pop Yeh Yeh fans too. Although I am only 30years old, the love for pop yeh yeh songs is in me since I was a small kid. It started when my parents brought me to see a big concert at Sentosa musical fountain back in 1980s. I can remember vividly that everyone get up from their seats and dance to most of the pop yeh yeh beats. Well as a kid that time, we definitely join the fun and dance together. Especially when A.Rahman Hassan sang his song “Tak Mengapa” , my brother, cousins and I followed the crowd singing the back up singing.. we go “parap.. parap..”

But the most memorable moment I can never forget was when the concert ended and all the crowd rushed to the jetty to wait for ferry to bring us across back to mainland. At that time, Sentosa still has no bridge linking across. My dad was holding my hand in the queue. Suddenly, the queue got a little bit misaligned. I get out from the queue and witnessed the late S.Jibeng joining the queue. 

The late S. Jibeng, a very popular blind singer, born in 1942 Jaafar bin Sidiq - passed away on Feb 7, 2006

The crowd has given way to him accompanied with his manager if I am not wrong. At that time, suddenly i felt my heart beat very fast and never stop looking at him, wearing his dark glasses. My dad saw me looking at him for quite some time. He bend down and told me you go and run to him, and give him this, and “Salam”(kiss his hands) him.  My dad gave me dollar note (if I can remember its $10) on my hand. Without any hesitation, I ran to S.Jibeng. The crowd at the jetty looked at me running through. I immediately grab his hand, kiss his hand and gave him the dollar note. He never even rejected it but instead grab my hand very tight and ask me “siapa”(who?). His manager just said Its a kid. He let go of my hand, use the same hand to brush my head many times and say thank you “adik”(young boy). He just said to me to study hard and be a good boy. Then I ran back to my father.

From that moment onwards, I fell in love with Pop Yeh Yeh. Listened all Pop Yeh Yeh songs, remembered the lyrics and bought CDs.  Born in the 1980s, many of my fellow friends laughed at me before. They said there is an 60s old man soul trapped in me. Well I do not care [what they say], Pop Yeh Yeh has been my favourite genre.

When S.Jibeng, A.Ramlie, J.Kamisah, Orkid Abdullah, Hasnah Haron, Azizah Abdullah, M.Sharif, and many of them passed away, I can tell you the truth that I cried badly because I really dream to meet each and every one of them one day to at least snap photos together. My friends really thought I am too fanatic and possessed with Pop Yeh Yeh. The latest news on Ahmad Jais passed away, that was really a mark of my life that I told myself I cannot just do nothing. I need to atleast make a tribute for all of them. So I have planned a tribute musical drama / documentary and I am still tidying up my scripts and storyboard. I will try to push this to be featured on TV or in DVD format. If there are restrictions, I would probably just share through the social media to create the awareness. I have even google and I am glad to find you on the internet. What frustrates me is there is not much information circulated through the internet by our own Malay community on Pop Yeh Yeh. But what impressed me is you, yes you, you did a very comprehensive story and tribute to these legends. Indirectly you have even inspired me not to stop and carry on with my plans. I really wish I can meet these left over legends and also document them for the Singapore and Malaysia community.

I even travelled up to Malaysia to some village to do some research after I discovered that some of the states in Malaysia villages do practice Pop Yeh Yeh bands for weddings and events. Pop Yeh Yeh Bands are still active in Malaysia and there are number of competitions held to even at a corporate level. But the awareness is still not strong as they are not documented and they are given a very rare chance to be featured on TV. Sad to say, as a Singaporean, here I could easily say the Pop Yeh Yeh bands has already extinct. We do not even hear them in weddings anymore.

Sorry for the informal and long email brother. I just wish that if we can collaborate to come out with something. I have my plans to really do a tribute malay story / musical. I will have this story with English subtitles so that we can even share miles and miles across borders.  So if given the chance can I promote you and your blog in my production reel? Dont worry I will do it so until I got the green light from you. And if you happen to come again to Singapore, I really want to meet and we can try collaborating a project together.  

Keep in touch bro.


Iskandar K
from Singapore

Sep 2013

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