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‘The issues I’ve finished shouldn’t be controversial’, says Malaysian rapper Namewee, Lifestyle News & Top Stories


The high trending Asian music video on YouTube for Singapore final 12 months just isn’t by one of many ordinary kings or queens of Chinese pop.

Instead, it’s Stranger In The North by Malaysian rapper Namewee, 34, who additionally composed the music and wrote the lyrics.

Popular Chinese-American singer Wang Leehom seems on each the music and the video, however because the featured artist. It has racked up greater than 100 million views in complete on YouTube.

The monitor is on Namewee’s fourth album, Cross Over Asia (2017).

He can be holding his first concert in Singapore on Feb three at The Star Theatre.

People first sat up and took discover when he launched a controversial Mandarin-Hokkien model of the Malaysian nationwide anthem Negaraku in 2007. He took goal at corrupt cops and racial discrimination in I Love My Country Negarakuku.


  • WHERE: The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre, 04-01, 1 Vista Exchange Green

    WHEN: Feb three, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $88 to $168 from Apactix (go to

The artist, whose actual identify is Wee Meng Chee, has since chalked up different contentious songs. They embody You’re Not Red, which takes potshots at Internet trolls, and High Pitched, on the showboating antics of contestants on Chinese actuality singing reveals.

In August 2016, he was detained by the police for 4 days – however was, in the end, not charged – for allegedly defiling a spot of worship with intention to insult the faith. He had filmed a part of the music video for his music, Oh My God, in a mosque.

1 What was the inspiration for the music Stranger In The North?

I had some work in Beijing in 2015 and I found it to be utterly totally different from town I had encountered as a backpacker years in the past.

Parts of it had been torn down and rebuilt and there have been much more migrant staff there.

I took this four-hour stroll and noticed the troublesome and harmful work they had been doing – burying cables, burning coal, making ready meals – within the minus 10 deg C temperatures outside in winter. I recognized with them as I used to be an outsider there as nicely.

2 How did you get Wang to sing on Stranger In The North?

I had his WeChat contact so I despatched the music to him as I assumed he was appropriate for the refrain. It was type of a raffle, however he agreed so quick that I assumed he was joking.

He recorded his half on his personal – I did not dare to have any opinions – and later made adjustments till he was pleased with the result.

I learnt lots from him. He’s very demanding and detailed in relation to music, right down to the way you sing every observe.

three You not too long ago collaborated with film-maker Jack Neo for a remake of the theme music to the variability present Comedy Night (1990-2000), which has hit greater than 1.5 million views on YouTube. Were you a fan of the sequence?

I am from Muar, in all probability the northernmost level in Malaysia the place you possibly can nonetheless obtain Singapore tv indicators. I used to be a naughty child and was by no means home. But each Monday evening, I’d park myself in entrance of the TV set at 7.30pm, ready for Comedy Night to start out at 8pm. It was an important a part of my childhood.

four Why do you select to make use of humour in your songs?

A variety of issues in Malaysia should be criticised. But I select to do it in a method that’s extra satirical and enjoyable.

There are fewer restrictions in relation to the Internet, so I exploit it as a medium to specific myself or vent (by placing my songs on-line). Without this outlet, I believe Malaysians could be much more sad.

But after recording High Pitched, I have not been invited to seem on any of the Chinese actuality music reveals. I suppose nobody likes to be mocked.

5 What occurred with the filming of the music video at a mosque?

Oh My God is about the truth that everybody wants religion, so I needed to current totally different religions within the music video to indicate that they’re all the identical.

We went to Penang and shot in Chinese temples, a church, a Hindu temple and a mosque.

These had been all public points of interest and there was no must get a filming allow.

There had been some complaints after the video got here out and the man on the mosque who had given us verbal permission to movie there denied doing so.

6 Do you search to courtroom controversy?

All these items I’ve finished shouldn’t be controversial.

It’s about freedom of speech and if I see an issue, I will voice it out.

Whether one thing is controversial or not just isn’t for me to determine.

7 You have finished music and in addition made films equivalent to Nasi Lemak (2011). What else do you need to strive?

This tour is an enormous step for me as I’ve by no means finished one earlier than.

I’ve by no means even finished a solo concert in Malaysia. My final aim is to carry a present there.

I’d like to have a present at KL Sport City stadium in Bukit Jalil as it is a large and stylish venue.

eight How would you prefer to be remembered?

Just keep in mind my songs. I put plenty of effort into them and I hope that some can final. No want to recollect me as I’ve too many flaws – people are all imperfect.

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