May The Music Live On and On:
First Wave


by Sarah Daniella Dickman

Let’s just be honest here. The music that comes forth from Malaysian artistes and musicians alike are never given enough credit. In fact, many times, they’re even completely dismissed! Thank heavens for this generation of musicians and music lovers alike, who are showing us where the magic is at – right here in Bolehland. Not only that, there is an overall newfound appreciation for Malaysian music, whether from the past or from the present. We’ve asked our friends and followers to tell us what they think have been the most iconic Malaysian-bred songs from Malaysian artistes, and here, ladies and gentlemen, we have our list. 

1. “Getaran Jiwa” by P. Ramlee

Come on guys! You knew he was gonna be top of our list! Our first pick is this unforgettable, classic tune, enjoyed by Malaysians across ALL generations. Take a gander at the video below if you are just hearing of this song now (shame, shame); 0r if you’d just like to take a walk down memory lane.


2. “Cindai” by Datuk Siti

This songstress has become a household name for most Malaysians. Having stood the test of time, Datuk Siti Norhaliza’s longevity is truly a testament to her talent and vocal abilities. Check out one of her most notable hits, “Cindai”. Don’t we all love a performer who sounds just as good live as they do on their record.


3. “Standing in the Eyes of the World” by Ella

Everyone knows Ella to be arguably one of the most unforgettable female rockers that Malaysia has had the privilege of producing. This timeless, inspirational hit, “Standing in the Eyes of the World”, is definitely a song all of us have heard at some point or other in our lives. And again, if you haven’t, check the video out below. You’re welcome!



 4. “Isabella” by Search

The Malaysian rock music scene at some point had become synonymous with the band we all know as Search. With a signature sound and many years of success, Search has transcended the boundaries of time, paving the way for many hopeful rockstars that came after them. This is “Isabella”, one of Search’s works of genius. Also, hello young Amy Search 😉


5. “Lagenda” by Sheila Majid

OKAY Y’ALL, you know this shit is serious when the queen of jazz sings a tribute to THE LEGEND himself, P. Ramlee. This song never fails to give me goosebumps and I’ll never get tired of hearing it. Feel it guys, feel it.


6. “Asmaradana” by Tiara Jacquelina

I ain’t even gonna lie to you guys at this point, I am getting more and more into this list as we go on. This number from the Puteri Gunung Ledang herself, check out “Asmara Dana” by the sultry, classy, regal Tiara Jacquelina.


7. “Sampaikan Salam” by The Alleycats

Did you guys think we were gonna talk about iconic Malaysian music and NOT bring up The Alleycats? Pfft. Their anthemic song, “Sampaikan Salam”, has truly left an impact on the Malaysian music scene and influenced the generations of musicians that came after them. What a band. Terima kasih!


8. “Kau Ilhamku” by Man Bai

I am so sure everyone who was picking up the guitar has at some point (DON’T BLUFF AH!) played this song, at a jam session or at your school’s talent show (hehe). It’s basically the Malay “Wonderwall” – played everywhere. We all know and love this song. Enjoy this one guys!


9. “Belaian Jiwa” by Innuendo

How could we ever forget the smooth, sweet serenading of Innuendo on this truly iconic hit. This is just one of those songs that stick with you forever. I know for a fact one of you fellas bluetooth-ed this song to your high school girlfriend right? Hehe, I knew it! Are you guys feeling this growing pride as we near the end of the list? Man, Malaysians really do have something to offer.


10. “Pop Yeh Yeh” by V.E.

To end our list, we give you something from V.E.! Remember this pop anthem from our primary school days? Yeah, we just LOOVVEEED to gerakkan our badans kiri ke kanan. Bust a move, guys. Pop Yeh Yeh!



And so, with a heavy heart, we have come to the end of this list. What a music trip! But fret not (get it, get it?), this is not the last you’ll see of this list. We’ll keep updating it and covering the new waves for locally produced music. To all you musicians out there, get to writing, we’ll put you on the list too! To all you music lovers, let’s keep that support going, shall we? We’ve got some pretty cool cats on the scene these days and they need all the love we can give them. For now, its goodbye from us. We’ll see you on the other side!