KUCHING: A new milestone was reached for the Dayak music industry following the win by Iban singer Melissa Francis in one of the categories of the just concluded Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian in Kuala Lumpur.
Dayak Arts and Culture Enthusiasts Association (PPSKDK) president Mervyn Tajem said this will pave the way for more Dayak artistes and musicians to push themselves and go for national and international accolades.
He congratulated Melissa for winning the Most Sytlo Female Artiste at the contest held last Sunday after garnering the most number of votes, edging bigger names in the national entertainment industry such as Lisa Surihani and Yana Shamsuddin.
“As a young artiste, Melissa Francis has done well to not only boost her name further but also to promote our Dayak music industry as a whole.
“It is our hope that more Dayak artistes be recognised for other achievements in the future. We do have very talented singers, song writers and musicians. The next aim is to break through the barriers so that their work will be more exposed and recognised by other music industry especially the Malay music industry in Malaysia,” Mervyn said.
The surprise victory by Melissa was hailed by Sarawakians who shared the achievement through the social media. However, there were also those who lamented the lack of spotlight accorded by the national media on her.
The 26-year-old lass, through her Facebook page, expressed her gratitude to her fans for voting her to victory and she thanked them for their continuous support throughout her singing career.
On another matter, Mervyn also commended the feat achieved by another Iban singer Gabriel Fairuz Louis who was selected to represent Malaysia for the XXII Discovery International Pop Music Festival in Varna, Bulgaria from May 17 to 19.
He said Gabriel, who comes from Durin, Sibu, is another home grown talent who has made the Iban and Dayaks proud. He added he was excited by the prospect of Gabriel singing his Iban song ‘Pechaya’ at the international stage.
“He will be the first Iban representing the country in this competition and to be given the opportunity like this tells us that our artistes and songs are getting more accepted. Now, the international audience can get to hear an Iban song. We wish him well and hope that he will do his best to win the categories that he is nominated in,” said Mervyn.
He also informed that PPSKDK will be organising the second Iban Classic Song competition again towards the end of the year.
The first was organised last year. The competition aims to unearth new talents and to promote classic Iban songs.
Source: Borneo Post (10 April 2013)