The Malaysia/Singapore edition of hit reality singing series The Voice was announced recently. And we have so many questions!
Who will host the show? (Please let it be Najip Ali whose hosting stint on 1990s singing competition Asia Bagus made the show so entertaining.)
Will we recognise some of the contestants? After all, entry to the competition is by invitation only which means the contestants could be experienced music acts we know.
Finally, who will coach the contestants? We have a few ideas on who deserves a spot on the red swivel chair…
Stefanie Sun (Sun Yanzi)’s credibility as a coach lies in the fact that she is one of Singapore’s best-selling artistes, having sold over 30 million albums to date. Since making her debut in 2000 with hits like Cloudy Day and My Desired Happiness, her crystal clear voice has won over listeners from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. There’s a big market for Mandopop singers in this region and with Sun as a coach, learning the keys to her commercial and critical success in the genre would be invaluable to contestants.
Joe Flizzow has already proven his worth as a mentor. Just look at Sonaone. His protege’s debut single No More is the first English song in the Anugerah Industri Muzik’s 21-year history to win Best Song. And together, they have made strides, with Apa Khabar becoming the first hip hop song to clinch the top prize at last year’s Anugerah Juara Lagu. Joe, who is one half of Too Phat, a duo who ruled the Malaysian hip hop scene in the 2000s, is a relevant inclusion – what with hip hop taking a more prominent place in the industry now.
It’ll be so much fun to have 1970s pop diva Anita Sarawak on the show! The Singapore-born singer’s colourful, larger-than-life personality is perfect for TV (after all, she did have her own talk show at one point). Besides lending some pizzazz to the show, Anita would be a great mentor, grooming contestants to find what sets them apart and boldly embrace their own individuality.
With a career spanning nearly 50 years, Ramli Sarip, or also known as Papa Rock, definitely has a lot he can share with contestants. The Singaporean rock legend who started out as the lead vocalist of Sweet Charity, has got all facets of rock covered – be it heavy metal or rock ballads. A respected figure both in his hometown and over the causeway, Ramli turning his chair around for you will mean a lot.
While Yuna may not have amassed as many years of experience as the other artistes on this list, she brings to the table the sounds of the new generation. The 29-year-old Malaysian singer-songwriter could lend the show her indie pop sensibilities, especially since the indie pop scene is picking up again with the rise of musicians like The Gentle Bones and The Sam Willows. Yuna, who has also been pursuing her music career in the United States since 2011, could also impart in contestants an international sound too.
Datuk Siti Nurhaliza
This list wouldn’t be complete without Malaysian pop songstress Datuk Siti Nurhaliza. She is one of the country’s most iconic singers of our time, consistently managing to dominate the local airwaves with hits after hits throughout her 20-year career. While her forte is in the Malay and ethnic pop genres, and Siti could definitely coach singers wanting to break into the Malay-language market, her music’s ability to reach and touch listeners across all races is an important quality for all contestants to emulate.