Orang Kita (‘Our People’)
‘Orang Kita’ is a song from my 2020 album “John Bangi Blues”. ‘Orang Kita’ literally translates to ‘Our People’ and the phrase is often used by the ethnic Malay community to refer to their own, notably when addressing their plights. As a categorical ethnic Malay myself, I find the usage of this phrase problematic in a multi-ethnic country because it distracts from the bigger picture that we all belong to: being Malaysian. Identity has always played a big part in my works and this song is about reclaiming the phrase to encompass all Malaysians, regardless of race or ethnicity. The music video is directed by my film student Alina Wong and her talented team of classmates. It is part of my engagement with filmmakers and students to use the medium with a minimum budget. The video explores the sites where Malaysian identity is contested and controlled, in this case in different creative practices – filmmaking, writing, and the visual arts – and why it is important to strive to stay independent in your artistic principles and practice. The music video was symbolically released on 16 September which is Malaysia Day – the date of the formation of the modern state of Malaysia.
about the artist /
Azmyl Yunor is a ‘fiercely independent’ bi-lingual indie/underground artist and multi-instrumentalist whose work and lyrical vision (and outspokenness) has cut across cultural, social, & political boundaries, beyond race and religion. He prefers to navigate along the outer margins of the music scene and hone his craft on his own terms with a very distinctive singular vision and wit based on principles he believes in. Starting out as busker while studying journalism and filmmaking in Australia in the late 1990s, he has been producing and releasing his own albums for the past 20 years and regularly tours the region to build solidarity and kinship with like-minded artists like himself. A founding member of several seminal underground bands since the late 1990s, he adheres to the ‘three chords & the truth’ school of songwriting. He is also a writer and has published research on the social history of the Malaysian underground music circuit under the name ‘Azmyl Yusof’.