Of societal Adversity, an Agog Academic & Amorous Rhymer who Astonishes
“Evoking the down-to-earth, working class folk of his musical heroes, Azmyl has managed to plug into a rich musical lineage that can be traced right back to the Delta Blues, taking in the aesthetics and attitude of punk rock as well as the experimental, lo-fi, country rock stylings of US underground prime movers Sebadoh, Pavement, The Palace Brothers/ Bonny ‘Prince’ Billy and Mellow Gold-era Beck along the way.” – Zack Y 2005, “Folk music from Azmyl”, The Star
No, I’m not going to envisage about how remarkable and brilliant his music really is. Let this piece be an exception, exclusively to an ordinary guy who has given so much yet begs for nothing as rewards. This is an emphasis on that shady and hazy side of the living folk-philosopher’s journey; yes, the undefined sore trachle down those bits o’ braes he has no intention to abdicate.
Raised in Adelaide, studied in Melbourne and ‘glorified’ himself in Perth, places that are plenty have moulded Azmyl to his current state of tapestry thinking. As an academic who has been championing the tricks of unspoken mediums of media, he keeps on volleying his words of concern along the walls of his students’ skulls, aspiring by battology to battle the-usual, in the context of life. Education beyond classroom, he said, shall grant you a grip of truths in a pulled-punch, where the harder you take, the stronger you become.
Something I Wrote
“How Malaysian and Australian media popped his third-eye wide open?” is a question that often lingers in his mind. Equipped with a dream of an astronaut and virtue like honest accountants, he never had a clue about what future may hold for him. In search for an answer, he drew himself out of society’s luxury to take a nearer ken, when such beauties were to be discovered through ugliness. Entertaining tortured souls since 1997, years of impromptu street-busking and its unsung learning-curve lectured him about the positioning – how and where do we see ourselves in the stage of the society? And the lessons showed what he needed to know; hence engraved in his songs.
Lena & Low of the Land
It’s not all about the law or system; it’s about the people, in terms of how we make use of what we have, not of what we don’t – to live up to our dreams, consciously. Azmyl always reprimand his audience gently that we should go and seek, and we will find it, because what we seek is what we long for. Harassed by rejections and conflicts in Melbourne – the conceptions of ‘the world is unfair’ versus “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence”, this award-winning musician (Clive & VIMA) has for once abide by the fact that the world is how he make of it.
“To always question is to live life. Be ‘loud’ at and in what you love; there are always dots and lines to connect at each intersections of the concept of living.” This is his interlude to philosophical prowess many have looked but did not see.
In his confessionary hymn, Azmyl avowed that nothing brings pleasure to teachers or lecturers like himself than seeing their pupils or students do better than themselves in life. “And I’ve never purported know better nor know more than anyone else, that is not what teaching is about. It’s about sharing knowledge and experience. To teach is to love learning.” he divulged.
In all modesty, Azmyl shared the highlights in his life as both academic and musician:
He has co-authored and published a chapter titled “Facing the music: music subcultures and morality in Malaysia” in the book called Media, Culture and Society in Malaysia, edited by Yeoh Seng Guan, published by Taylor & Francis Group, Routledge, London in 2010.
Without ignoring his fiercest sidekick ever – his guitar, he also mentioned that:
“Every new album produced and released is a highlight for me, so my most recent highlight is the release of my latest album “Wilayah” with my live band The Sigarettes, whose members are my closest musical friends from some of the best local acts whom I respect and admire. This album included some of the earliest songs I had written so it was special to hear them being finally being brought to life.”
His story doesn’t end here. Same goes to his music. No and yes, he is still around with his melodically-chaotic mates; musing on encrypted texts and articles of life that outline different theories to explain some classes of ghostly and/or paranormal and louche activities.
The lost tunes of the mythical Rodriguez projected and echoed from his mouth palates and the lovely Farida for weeks now, clear and loud throughout the society’s halls and temples of malady minds, solemn and composed.
Just like sad Rodriguez’s uncharted paths and poetry, I wonder what could possibly happen if his listeners, students and followers have never heard of him in the first place —
— the list continues with strange bar crawlers, random Scandinavian and mid-European backpackers, and gig-makers in Kuala Lumpur; which could have made no discovery on his music and artfully-illustrated CDs. Truth be told, it’s awfully-hard for me to imagine.
AKU BUKAN AZMYL YUNOR – yes, I am not, and nobody can ever be…
“Coming Home”, “Something I Wrote”, “Lena” and “Low of the Land” are amongst his coolest tunes, released in his folk-country tinged albums Tenets EP, Warga, Wilayah and Radio Demokratika, in between 2005 to 2012.
Azmyl, consider this as AK7’s Teacher’s Day’s gift.