theSundaily: Jac Of All Songs

By 06/02/2012English

WITH her talent, singer Jaclyn Victor could have signed with an international recording company. Instead, when her contract with Sony Music Sdn Bhd ended last September, she chose to join home-grown label KRU Music Sdn Bhd.

Some quarters are already accusing her of “lowering her standards” by switching to a local label. But Jaclyn is extremely happy with her choice as she shares a good rapport with KRU Studios Sdn Bhd senior vice president Edry Abdul Halim.

She says since Edry composed most of the songs for artistes under the KRU label, she could discuss with him the kind of songs she would like to sing before he starts composing them.

“He understands the heart of an artiste. As a singer himself, he’s also a talented music composer and producer. And he directs films too.”

Jaclyn, who won the Malaysian Idol title eight years ago, believes she will have more creative freedom with the kind of songs that she wants to sing. “I’ll be happy singing the songs of my choice,” says the 34-year-old artiste.

She also points out that KRU is a music label that commands respect, adding that she had known about KRU when it was a boy band comprising brothers Norman, Yusry and Edry during her schooldays.

“They were only singers then. But after 20 years, they have ventured into producing and directing films. They’ve achieved fame not only in this country but also overseas.”

Jaclyn has already started work on her first album under the KRU label. She is excited that Edry plans to be a little more adventurous with her repertoire for the album.

“Most people believe ballads are my forte,” she says. “So they keep giving me only ballads to sing and record. But not Edry. He wants me to sing some upbeat songs as well. I used to be a club singer and as such, I had to sing songs of all genres. As a versatile singer, I can handle almost all kind of songs.”

Jaclyn has just released the first single, Sebelah Jiwaku, from her yet-to-be-completed album and it is an upbeat track about a woman who rises after facing failure.

For KRU Music, signing on Jaclyn is the start of its plans to lure established singers as well as newcomers to its label to create some kind of balance in its stable of artistes. Now that it has Jaclyn on board, it is on the lookout for a popular male artiste and a popular music group.

Excited as he is working with Jaclyn, Edry is aware all eyes are awaiting the outcome of their collaboration. “I’m not afraid of the high expectations,” he says, adding that he plans to have Jaclyn record a duet with a popular American R&B singer.

For the time being, Edry is not revealing the identity of this singer. But he is willing to say that Jacyln’s album will have five Malay songs and one English track.

Edry admits that it is difficult to make a decent profit from music as the local industry is not in a healthy state of affairs. “We have fans who buy our albums and then they distribute the songs over the internet.

“These fans think they are doing us a favour by promoting our album but when our songs are so easily available on the internet, people need not have to buy the album. We call it modern-day piracy.”

He says this is one of the reasons why KRU decided to diversify into films and other businesses. In fact, Edry is in the midst of directing the country’s first 3D movie, 29 Februari.

And he plans to get Jacyln to sing some of the songs in the soundtrack.

This ambitious movie project focuses on a man born on Feb 29 who only becomes a year older once every four years. As a result, he lives through the many historical periods of this country, from the colonial years to the Japanese invasion and, then, independence.

The highlight of this film is the changing landscapes of this nation from the early days to 2012. Heading the cast is Remy Ishak and Lisa Surhani.