Adolescents in pop culture, we haven’t really had too many milestones in Malaysia, have we? We reached a point of an identity somewhat, with the glory days of Jalan Ampas and Pop Yeh Yeh, but many more things that piqued our cultural interests were happening from outside of the Malaysian context. Indo Pop was making more of an impression unto our local aspiring musicians than the ‘Ethnic Ballads’ on chart shows like ‘Muzik Muzik’. And so the alternative musicians in Malaysia derived and diversified the scene with genres from everywhere, post-rock(lah), post-punk(lah), new wave(lah), no wave(lah); the modern music scene has been vibrant. On one side of this sphere, in a UITM campus to be specific, the boys in the band Iqbal M. had a fondness for things that were closer to them. They’d been listening to a lot of Butterfingers, and they enjoyed gigs with Seven Collar T-shirt, Akta Angkasa, Auburn on the bill. They were charmed by Yasmin Ahmad, provoked by Salleh Joned, and understood Monoloque’s cause. They’re sincerely moved by these works that are milestones in the formation of our modern identity, stuff that reflects our immediate environment.
And with that their music represents a shift and also the continuation of Malaysian modern music. Iqbal M. are a mark for the beginning of a succeeding generation in Malaysian modern music.
“Jangan sandangkan aku jawatan tinggi / takut nanti aku lupa diri“.
Frontman Iqbal Othman’s persona onstage couldn’t go unnoticed, and although the band is named after him, Iqbal M. operates as a unit, and each member’s vibe is integral. Most of them belong to the music faculty of UITM, while guitarists Johan is in architecture and Fei Fei in IT. The members trade music references, share book titles, bounce ideas. Iqbal M. is simply a condusive circle for crafting brilliant songs, evident in the music and lyrics the band has produced thus far. And as there’s been consistent output of these tracks (which you’d be able to find on their Facebook and Soundcloud page), you could tell that these guys are sincere in making music and they are determined. We sure look forward to the waves these guys’ll be causing.
Written by Azam Hisham