Friday, December 6, 2013

Siti Nurhaliza At ASEAN-Japan Music Festival 2013

“Ehh, tinggi-nyer. Umur brape?”
first comments from Siti
upon meeting her


 The program book of the evening.

There is a saying that dreams sometimes come true when you least expect it. And indeed it happened to me a fortnight ago. Thanks to ASEAN Youth Network in Japan (AYNJ), I had the privilege to attend the ASEAN-Japan Music Festival in NHK Hall in Tokyo. This music festival was held in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of friendly relationship between Japan and ASEAN countries, and also to support the Japan-ASEAN Special Summit to be held this month in Tokyo, where the state leaders from all the ten ASEAN countries are invited to discuss about political and economic, as well as cultural exchange between Japan and ASEAN countries.

As such, top artists from participating countries were invited to this music festival, which was more than just music entertainment. The unique culture and traditional costumes of each representing countries were introduced to encourage further understanding between one another. Among the VIP present was the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Shinzo Abe who gave a welcoming speech at the opening of the music festival. This is the second time I saw a Japanese Prime Minister in real-life, after Mr Yukio Hatoyama several years back.


The best of the best artists from ASEAN countries and Japan graced the stage on the special evening (photo source).

Representing Japan in this music festival were EXILE, w-inds and AKB48. As for Malaysia's representative, it was none other than Siti Nurhaliza, one of the most successful artists Malaysia has ever produced. To watch these world class artists (read: EXILE and Siti Nurhaliza) performing on the same stage is not something you get to witness often. Besides, part of the ticket donation collected would be used to invite junior and high school students from the tsunami affected regions in Tohoku to this music festival, and also to promote the Japanese boom to the international community.

To get the ticket however, was much more difficult than I thought. It was a lottery system and only lucky individuals will get the chance to attend this festival. My entry was did not make the cut. However, AYNJ was my saviour as they have 30 free limited tickets for representatives from ASEAN countries to attend this music festival.


The ticket is sold at 6,000 yen, but the experience was unforgettably priceless.

The opening was AKB48 but to be honest, I am not a fan AKB48. Sorry all AKB48 fans. Well, it was great to see them performing live with quite extreme level of kawaii-ism but that was not the show I was anticipating on the evening.

After the artists from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Laos entertained the crowd with their respective songs and performances, finally it was Siti's turn to grace the stage. Light on the stage were dimmed and moments later, Siti stepped into the stage, wearing an elegant-looking dark blue kebaya. I have seen her gracing the singing stage down the years, ever since the years where she ruled the Juara Lagu in the late 90's and early 2000's, but that evening was the first time I saw her live.


 I was lucky enough to get Siti to personally autograph this page for me!

That very moment, you can feel the powerful charisma this singer holds, that people surrounded her are enlightened with her presence. For the next ten minutes, we were entertained by this talented singing queen who belted three songs - "Biarlah Rahsia", "Koibiyo Yo" and "Nirmala". I may sound biased here, but she certainly blew the stage. It just get people of the seat and wanting to hear more from her. With no disrespect to the other singers from other countries, which I thought they were good. However, Siti was simply a par above them. She was simply great.

I am proud to say that Malaysia can boast to have produced such internationally recognized talent in Siti, which is not only limited to singing but she is also a composer and producer, and occasionally a host for talk shows. Yet, despite her immense success, Siti is well-known as a simple and down-to-earth person. Siti presents herself in a moderate manner in public but she still invokes an elegant and powerful charm. Her dressing sense represents the eastern values she holds dearly.


 Havoc at the backstage as we intruded the place in search for Siti after the show lol!

It may sound exaggerative but getting to watch Siti performing in Tokyo on that evening was one of the beautiful things that I will treasure for a long time. But the evening did not stop there. 

Presenting ourselves as the representatives from the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo, we managed to sneak into the backstage to meet Siti personally. That was one thing that was not in our plan. And despite not knowing who we were, Siti greeted us with a sweet smile and we managed to have a short conversation with her. As I approached her to have a photo taken, she smiled and commented, "Ehh, tinggi-nyer. Umur brape?" ("Wow, you’re so tall. How old are you?").


 Siti whispered to me, "Hey lets pose for peace sign!" as we were to take this shot hahaha! (photo credit: Cliff)

Thank you Siti for the wonderful performance and arigato AYNJ, especially Ruiz, Chi Wern and Watanabe-san, for giving me a chance to witness a wonderful show on the evening of November 28, 2013.


Anif Abdullah| AA said...

wow! you're so lucky :)

calvin said...

@ anif abdullah| AA:
Yeah, to see her performing was already a great experience, but to meet her in person was the icing on the cake, something that I did not expect at all! :D

Unknown said...

You're really lucky Calvin.

calvin said...

@ Unknown:
Hello! You appears anonymous but thanks for dropping by. Like I said, sometimes dreams do really come true :D

sharul izam said...

wahhh . very tall

Unknown said...

Hi Calvin!

so tall la u..hehe

do u happen to have a video of Siti's performance? they only have the performance for biarlah rahsia n koibito yo on youtube.

appreciate if u can post the video..thanks!!

calvin said...

@ sharul izam:
I guess my height had made Siti looks really small lol!

calvin said...

@ Imran Razak:
Hi Imran! Unfortunately, photography and video recording was not allowed in the concert hall and I do not have any photos or video taken on that evening :(

One thing for sure, Siti's performance was simply amazing!

angloko said...

The photo that you with Siti, look like you are The Artist.. Hahaha.. She so humble..

calvin said...

@ angloko:
Hahaha! Nah, it was pretty obvious she looks more like the artist in the photo :P

Anonymous said...

wah, bestnye calvin.. btw tingginya awak..haha

calvin said...

@ Shedo Lompath:
Hehehe! Once in a lifetime chance to meet Siti! And yeah, selalu dapat komen macam tu hahaha! =P