Roslan Aziz

Roslan Aziz is Malaysia's prominent music producer/engineer and the man behind the unrivaled Malaysian acts such as Sheila Majid and Zainal Abidin, Amir Yusoff, Prema, Zubir Ali,Raja Atilia and 'aLi (a duo comprising Roslan Aziz and Mukhlis Nor). Co-founder of the renowned Roslan Aziz Productions label (R.A.P), the first local recording label to generate interest from abroad, R.A.P. took the local music industry one step further by not only stirring up the regional music scene, but also the entertainment arenas in Indonesia, Japan, Europe and South America.Commanding quality over quantity in every production, the music house managed to gain favourable recognition and veneration nationwide and beyond, for their uniquely eclectic sounds and originality.

Roslan Aziz was born Roslan Abdul Aziz Saad Ismail on the 23rd Oct 1961 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.His father Abdul Aziz Saad Ismail who was a barber and mother Sharifah Aishah bte Syed Abdul Rahman Al-Attas a housewife live in Kampong Datok Keramat Kuala Lumpur. Roslan was married to Shaheila Abd Majid and has two children Wan Nur Khaleda Aziz and Megat Abdul Majid Aziz.They divorced in 2000 and Roslan later married Sopphilea Abd Hamid in 2001 and has two children Megat Ali Aziz and Megat Zayn-ul Hamza Aziz. He then married Hana Jamaluddin in 2002 and has a daughter Wan Aisha Aziz.

Roslan's talent had his musical awakening at the age of five. Seeing his enthusiasm, his grandfather, Abdul Majid Abdul Ghani, bought him his first drumset. The prodigy was a regular member of his uncle's 'Kugiran' (band) named ‘The Dukes’ and the band gained huge attention mainly because of his unprecedented talent.

Roslan did his primary education at Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Padang Tembak and was later sent to the prestigious Mara Junior Science College in Kuantan Pahang. He then pursued his actuarial studies in University Teknologi Mara in Shah Alam, Selangor. Roslan was already very actively involved in playing music forming a band with college mates called Mr Natural back in 1974 and continued playing music while schooling.

Roslan embarked on his career in music at Showmasters in 1980 and took later was at the legendary Booty Boys Studios in 1982 where he had been an engineer. Since his debut into the world of music the then-engineer-cum-producer had recorded hundreds of albums including the groundbreaking Sheila Majid's album ‘Dimensi Baru’ and ‘Emosi’.

He then formed Roslan Aziz Productions (R.A.P) with longtime close friend Datuk Kamarudin Meranun in 1988 with the signing Zubir Ali as their first artiste under the R.A.P. label.

Among the numerous awards garnered by Roslan were Best Album award for the album Gamal from AIM in 1995,best album AIM awards ratu (1996) Best Album award for the album Emosi at BASF Awards, Indonesia in 1987. He had also been bestowed the Most Promising Producer title at the Music Producers Awards 2002 held in the United States.

Roslan took a leap of faith breaking away from the illustrious world of music. But after an absence of 5 years the music guru came back, all fired up with renewed passion. Since his return, Roslan has been involved in a spectrum of projects, not limiting himself to just producing records.

His roles include being one of three judges for the reality talent competition, Malaysian Idol season I and II, speaking of reality programs, he had also taken on the most coveted post as "Principal" for the fifth installment of the Akademi Fantasia marvel.

In the area of live staged performances, Roslan had been the driving force behind the success of the historical Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza's Live Concert at the London Royal Albert Hall. He had also took on the role as Musical Director for the staging of the phenomenal sold-out ‘Puteri Gunung Ledang - The Musical’, a role he had reprised well into the musical’s third season, the same role he took on for the sensational production of ‘P.Ramlee – The Musical’. Roslan also tried his hand at acting by making his debut appearance on screen on Malaysia’s first ever web drama called ‘Kerana Karina’ produced by TV3.

Not ignoring his first passion, amongst the most recent albums marked by Roslan’s sleight of hand are Raja Atilia's debut album ‘Sangkar’, the original soundtrack for the motion picture ‘Haru Biru’, Mawi’s ‘Qasida’ album, and the milestone compilation R.A.P Twenty Years album.

Closer to heart, Roslan had geared much of his effort towards his latest endeavour, ‘aLi’, comprising the joint forces of Roslan himself and his long-time collaborator Mukhlis Nor, the silent songwriter responsible for Sheila Majid’s and Zainal Abidin’s multiple successes and an acclaimed musician in his own right.

The duo’s inaugural self-titled album which was released online on the 08-08-08, features a musical potpourri of slick rhythm and blues, as well as jazz and pop vibes, tuned to the theme of Unity, Faith and Relationships. The tracks found on the ‘aLi’ album contain explicit moral-rich narratives that promote deep-rooted values of Malaysian heritage and tradition. Roslan’s risqué versatility and sophisticated modern-styling, fused with the mesmerizing lyrics and vocals of Mukhlis, puts ‘aLi’ in a class of its own. The epitome of music virtuoso, ‘aLi’ is bound to revolutionize the local music scene, escalating it to even greater heights.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Listen to the ...

He has created some of the finest entertainers in the country and has rapped those in the business without fear or favour. Music guru Roslan Aziz speaks to RADIN SRI GHAZALI about the current state of affairs in the industry and his band, aLi.

HE drives a Kancil and dresses in faded T-shirts and baggy jeans.

He is music guru Roslan Aziz, hailed by many as the maker of music icons, including Sheila Majid, Zainal Abidin, Amir Yussuf, Prema Lucas and Afdlin Shauki.

“I am a simple man. I do not splurge on unnecessary things such as fancy cars. I do not even have credit cards,” said the 47-year-old composer with a laugh.

Where does the money go? “Here,” he said pointing out his studio, situated near Bangsar.
“I spent most of my time and all of my earnings on RAP (Roslan Aziz Productions). I invested a lot on the studio’s development and on taking care of the artistes who are signed under us,” he said.

Established in 1988, RAP has made a mark in the Malaysian music industry by producing timeless albums including Ratu, Gamal, Ikhlas and Hijau.

“I believe in grooming the artistes to achieve the best. When there is potential, I will take them and develop them. It is not an easy thing to do. You have to spend thousands of ringgit on them for training, album productions and more,” he said.

“Now, most people are too caught up in popularising their artistes rather than grooming them to be better entertainers,” he said.

As a composer and music producer, Roslan is no stranger to awards for his outstanding contribution to the music industry.

He won the Best Album award for Gamal at AIM in 1995, Best Album for Ratu at AIM (1996), Best Album for Emosi at BASF Awards, Indonesia in 1987, and Most Promising Producer at the Music Producers Awards in the United States in 2002.

When asked the five most listened-to albums, Roslan immediately said: “Hijau, Ratu, Ali, Gamal and M. Nasir’s Solo. Obviously most of the albums were made by me.”

After 25 years of being behind the scenes, Roslan finally is taking the limelight as one-half of the band, aLi.

“I am doing it for self satisfaction and of course, nak cari makan,” he said referring to the musical partnership with fellow rap artiste, Mukhlis Nor.

“aLi is different. aLi represents our interpretation of what music is about. It has its own appeal to the masses,” he explained.

aLi-The Album consists of Nonterro, Benar, Bebas, Mata Hari and Merong, written and composed by the duo.

The album was launched digitally on Aug 8 after being postponed for three months.

“We want to see the response on our digital sales before releasing it in the physical format. It is a great way to introduce the album to the people,” he said, adding that the digital release is in support of Universal Music’s website for digital downloading called Music Myne. The website will be officially launched at the end of the year.

“Even if there are only 200 people buying it, I would still be happy. It shows that there are people out there who listen to us,” he said.

However, the mainstream radio stations have not been giving the much-needed support to aLi.

“We have distributed the album to several radio stations including the big ones. They have yet to play our songs,” he said.

As for the future, both Roslan and Mukhlis have big plans for the band.

“I want to bring back the good old days of RAP where we travelled around the globe. I want to bring aLi to that level of success and we are ready for a tour.” Roslan plans to hold aLi’s album launch in Singapore later this year.

“The launch is a gift for our fans there,” he said.

Roslan also expressed his dismay at the current scenario of the local entertainment scene.

“We need to be more musically literate. Singers and artistes should pursue higher education. Most of the younger generation of artistes are too ignorant and they will have trouble sustaining themselves in the industry,” he said.

Roslan also hopes that the media will give the right coverage to the deserving artistes.

“There are a lot of singers and artistes who are doing more than the mainstream. Look at Laguna Records, Butterfingers, Love Me Butch and Sasi The Don who have braved their way through the industry with their hard work,” he stressed.

“We have a lot of talents here, but there is not much coverage on them. It is time to change that mentality,” he said.

“Only then, readers and fans will be able to see the real musicians and singers who are producing the goods,” he said.

A curious mind would wonder what inspires a music genius like Roslan to create countless hits including Lagenda, Gemilang, Wanita, Sinaran and more.

“Honestly, my kids inspire me. I would be paralysed without them,” said the father of five.

And when asked what life would be without music, he said: “According to my mother, music has been in me ever since I was born. I can’t imagine my life not making music.”


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