KUALA LUMPUR: It has been almost six months since the Malaysian music industry lost a gem in its midst with the passing of famed composer Johan Nawawi.
However the words of the late Malaysian legend Tan Sri P. Ramlee of wanting to live a thousand years, rings true.
A good musician never truly dies. They leave behind a treasure trove of songs and compositions that will carry on their legacy and ensure that they continue to be with us, for generations to come.
Four months prior to Johan’s passing, he picked out a new song, to be recorded by his wife, Nora.
The song titled Anugerah was jointly composed by Omar K and Ezra Kong.
This week, the song together with its music video, directed by Saw Teong Hin were released for the first time to the public via YouTube.
Nora told Malaysia Outlook that their initial planning for Anugerah was to launch the song officially, but sadly Johan passed away before that could happen.
“Johan left me but he left behind his legacy, our 4 children. Truly what I have today is an Anugerah (blessing). I have to shoulder this responsibility trusted upon me,” Nora said.
Nora, who is well known for songs such as Di Persimpangan Dilema and Hanya Satu, also expressed her deepest gratitude to the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) for their support in the making of Anugerah’s music video.
Directed by Saw who recently dazzled South East Asia in his role as creative director for the opening of the KL Sea Games 2017, the production of the music video was handled by the team from Johan Nawawi Sdn Bhd (JNSB).
Meanwhile, Omar K told Malaysia Outlook that when Johan first approached him to do a song for Nora, he had to pinch himself to check if he was dreaming.
“It got even worse when both of them were in my studio for the recording session,” Omar who has worked with Faizal Tahir, Audi Mok and Azlan Abu Hassan previously, recalled.
“We had a busted old piano and Johan was jamming on it while Nora was singing. I tried to keep my cool but I couldn’t help being star struck and I was screaming inside.
“The guy who wrote Jentayu is in my studio!” Omar said, referring to Johan’s composition Jentayu which was written to the words of a poem by Datuk Usman Awang and sung by Nora, Datuk Sheila Majid as well as Johan.
“Producing Nora was a breeze as she was truly a professional. And the most amazing thing about her is her voice is still as young as ever.”
Omar remarked that although Johan was a composer and producer himself, the latter told him to do his own thing and did not interfere with the creative process at all.
“The song ‘Anugerah’ is about appreciating our loved ones, be it a child, mother or spouse, and recognising them as a Godsend from Heaven,” he elaborated on the song itself.
Losing Johan suddenly in the early hours of March 24 dealt a huge blow to Nora. She has however managed to slowly pick up the pieces and is now taking charge of the legacy left behind by her husband.
The release of this song is dedicated to her fans, and Nora told Malaysia Outlook she hopes for them to share this song, which she finds very meaningful, with others.
“What we have is truly an ‘Anugerah’ from Allah SWT,” she added. – MO