KUALA LUMPUR: This is not your typical Chinese New Year song.
It ticks all the necessary boxes – upbeat tunes, positive lyrics and costumes in auspicious colours – but Dong Dong Qiang, released on Jan 7, stands out with its all-Malay ensemble singing in Bahasa Melayu.
This is likely the very first original Chinese New Year song in the national language of Malaysia, according to its music producer and composer Nevin Hiong, and one that has united Malaysians in applauding the unique efforts.
With customary “gong xi gong xi” and “dong dong qiang” interwoven with Malay lyrics, the song features Ayie Floor 88, Harry Khalifah, Sarah Suhairi, Beby Acha, Lia Aziz and Aidilia Hilda.
“When the owner of record label MVM Production reached out to me to produce a Chinese New Year song for his Malay artistes, he didn’t specify that it should be in Bahasa Melayu.
“He only set three requirements – the song should contain ‘gong xi ni’, ‘dong dong qiang’ and ‘huat ah’, phrases that Malay friends are familiar with,” Hiong told CNA.
The phrases, respectively, are a common Chinese New Year greeting, an onomatopoeia for drum beat and cymbal clash, and Hokkien for prosperity.
“I was thinking, these three phrases are Chinese and the song will be performed by Malay artistes, why not incorporate Malay-style melody and Chinese instruments for something special?” Hiong added.
Source: Channel News Asia