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Wednesday, 14 February 2018 | MYT 11:19 AM

P. Ramlee-inspired CNY song spreads cheer and unity

PETALING JAYA: In true Malaysian fashion, a cross-cultural Chinese New Year music video inspired by P. Ramlee's music is spreading festive cheer and celebrating Malaysia's diversity on social media.

The upbeat one-minute and 41-second video sees four Malaysians singing the classic Chinese New Year song He Xin Nian (Celebrating the New Year) with a Malaysian twist.

The song is sung in Mandarin with several verses translated into Tamil and Malay, while the instruments featured are the guzheng, an ukulele, and a tabla.

A fun pantun (Malay poem) bidding the end of the year of the Rooster and ushering in the Dog year surprises viewers in the middle of the song.

Vocalist Badri Ibrahim, who does not speak Mandarin nor Tamil, adds an extra punch of local flavour to the tune as he sings in different languages with a Malay accent.

Produced by audio production company Super ReD Music, the video was published on Facebook on Monday (Feb 12) and is being commended by netizens for its creativity.

"The concept for this music video came to me two weeks ago when the television was playing a P. Ramlee song," Super ReD Music producer Daeren Tan told The Star.

"In Malaysia, we all celebrate different festivities together – Chinese New Year is not only for the Chinese community," he said, adding that this diversity is worth celebrating.

Tan, who plays the ukulele in the video, said everyone involved in creating the video – including the four musicians – volunteered their time as they saw it as an opportunity to spread festive cheer.

Tan said that besides inspiring unity and positivity, he hopes that traditional elements in the music video – namely the traditional music instruments, the pantun and the classic P. Ramlee vibe – reminds Malaysians of the nation's forgotten art and culture.

"I want people to feel happy when they listen to the song," Tan said.