AIM crowned its first English song as Best Song; newcomer SonaOne tied with Datuk Siti Nurhaliza for most wins
When SonaOne took the stage at the Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) last Saturday and sang the refrain “just ain’t the same no more” from his track No More, little did he know it was a self-fulfilling prophecy on the 26-year-old’s musical journey.
Moments later, SonaOne went from wide-eyed, first-time AIM nominee to one of the evening’s biggest winners, bagging Best Hip- Hop Song for his collaboration with Joe Flizzow on Apa Khabar while the aforementioned No More earned the performer Best Local English Song and one of the night’s most coveted awards, Best Song.
Not only did the latter achievement marked a career high for SonaOne – who started out as an intern in Joe Flizzow’s record label six years ago before his musical abilities caught the seasoned rapper’s ear – the infectious number became the first English song to win the award in AIM’s 21-year history.
The award is also perhaps AIM’s way of tipping its hat to the hip-hop community, as No More is also the first hip-hop song to take home the award.
“It means there’s a chance for everybody to be heard,” said the rising star of his win during a press conference after the show. “All you need is a lot of hardwork and dedication. Put in your blood, sweat and tears and love what you do.”
Vocalist Alyah, who waited 14 years before clinching the Best Pop Song trophy, definitely knows a thing or two about hardwork.
“As an independent artiste, I do everything on my own, whether it’s songwriting or choosing the location for music video.
“There were times when I felt like giving up, but holding this award now, it motivates me to try harder,” said the 33-year-old artiste whose ballad Sesal Separuh Nyawa beat out tough competition from music heavyweight Datuk Siti Nurhaliza’s Jaga Dia Untukku.
Siti, who led the AIM race with eight nominations, won three: Best Vocal Performance In A Song (Female), Best Engineered Album and the most prestigious of all, Album Of The Year, tying with SonaOne as the biggest winners of the night.
Although the 35-year-old pop darling eventually came up on top, it still comes as a surprise that she remained empty-handed for the first half of the show.
“Winning or losing, that’s secondary to me. What’s important is I continue to support the music industry and do my best,” Siti commented.
Results aside, AIM managed to put on a great, entertaining show.
You can’t go wrong with having top comedian Zizan Razak and radio deejay Faizal Ismail (FBI) as hosts, as the two never ceased to leave the audience in stitches throughout the nearly three-hour show.
Held at Dewan Merdeka, PWTC, AIM featured an array of diverse performances, be it from newcomers like Azmarul Azuan and Fakhrul Razi or veterans like Haleeda and Ayai.
It was Akim & The Magistrate’s Mewangi that drew the loudest cheer from the audience, delivering the heartrending chorus like only they can.
Another memorable performance was by powerhouse vocalist Dayang Nurfaizah. Clad in an ethereal white dress, the songstress flawlessly belted out her staple Seandainya Masih Ada Cinta and Di Pintu Syurga.
Lastly, you can certainly count on the queens of dangdut, Sheeda, Haiza and Ramlah Ram, to cap off the night on a cheerful, celebratory note.
Weeks ago, local singer-songwriter Ajai revealed he had ceased submitting his work for AIM consideration after losing faith in its awarding process.
But at the recent award show, the air seemed thick with the dizzying scent of limitless possibilities and the ground, a level playing field for all.