Bubblegum pop still rules!

Collectively, these Internet sensations have a huge following which also made them big names on the mainstream stage

pic credit: MetrowealthPictures

A YOUNG man from Sabah became an overnight sensation when his cover of a catchy Indonesian song caught the attention of Internet users.

The song was rather nonsensical too. It was about, well, a person who had not taken a shower, and still declared that he smelled good (go figure!).

A few hundred thousands likes on his YouTube posting later, the young man ended up in a professional recording studio, after he clinched a recording contract with a major label.

About a couple of years later, the same young man was on a big stage with quite a number of established performers at one of the biggest award ceremonies in the entertainment industry.

The young man from Sabah was not the first singer to be discovered via the Internet, as several others had earlier done the same.

Collectively, these Internet sensations have a huge following which also made them big names on the mainstream stage.

The older generation might just frown at the newbies, but one has to admit that this new movement seems to be the way to go.

Gone were the days when new stars were discovered by artists and repertoire personnel from recording labels.

The term audition might only be relevant for those who are still holding on to the old school of thought. Anything is possible these days.

If you saw Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian (ABPBH) during the weekend, and you didn’t know more than half of the nominees and winners, chances are, you are above 50.

Yes, it was yet another night of screaming, rounds and rounds of applause. Everyone was dressed up and the “love” they showed for each other for the camera was just too overwhelming.

One could imagine the saccharine sweet remarks and the cute retorts and exchanges that might have taken place that night.

There were fans with placards and posters of their idols, too. Each of the many groups belongs to a certain club that supports certain personalities.

Each would also have some catchy name that would also denote their loyalty to their idols.

Of course, you could also spot the wannabes and posers who had managed to wrangle some tickets to be part of the annual event.

Even if you’re not really into the scene, it would still be rather fun to watch the whole event, with starlets and newer names dressed to the nines trying their best to make an impression on the red carpet.

In between them were fading stars who are still fighting to remain relevant.

Reading the online commentaries while watching the show on TV was rather interesting as well.

“Apa la nyanyi sumbang… (why do they sing off-key?),” lamented a producer, who was very successful in the 90s, on Facebook.

“ABP untuk artis popular je bang… (those on the show are only for their popularity),” one senior public relations consultant replied.

There were more interesting comments by the older industry players, who might have toiled all their lives to establish their names in the industry.

“Kalau dia orang ni yang represent Malaysia…memang tak de la harapan masa depan kita (if they represent Malaysia, our future looks bleak),” was another comment.

There were even more caustic remarks which might not be suitable for print.

At the end of the day, one has to admit that the younger generation knows exactly what they want.

They also get bored easily. Some winners from previous years did not even make it to the top five nominees in each category at the recent ABPBH.

For all you know, the latest winners would also be obsolete by next week.

The media? Well, if you do not have anything personal to share these days, do not expect to be featured in any of the popular news platforms and portals.

Critically-acclaimed? Well, this phrase has not been in circulation for quite a while now. Oh, well…


Zainal Alam Kadir is the executive editor of The Malaysian Reserve.