By Pathma Subramaniam
Some people avow music as the pacifier for the soul. Others take it as amusement for the ears. For local musician and performer Azmyl Yunor, music is a voice; a voice to express, to educate, to inform and to reform.
The panorama of the underground music in Malaysia is decidedly dedicated to self-expression and focused on addressing many impeding issues in the society.
Azmyl is amongst the scores of subversive and radical underground musicians in our country trying to make means to tackle issues that are often veiled from the community.
The singer and songwriter had independently produced several solo albums including his latest CD entitled Tenets EP, which threads together with an uncanny mix of acoustic and folk music accompanied by incensed lyrics written out of experience/exasperation.
“The songs on Tenets are generally about loneliness and belonging because being away from home made a difference in my life. It captures emotions I felt, like being displaced in a foreign land. The songs were inspired and written by the events in my life while studying in Australia,” explained Azmyl.
His work divulges a wee bit on his passion for folk and experimental music and his outlook towards self-expression, which set him apart from local alternative rock scene.
In addition to singing solo, our home-grown artiste had made revelations in a host of experimental and punk-rock genre underground music groups like the Maharaja Commission and Ben’s Bitches.
However, Azmyl is completely against the idea of going mainstream. “My lyrics are driven by the ‘Everyday Joe’, this (going mainstream) means abiding by too many rules and limits on my creative talent. Anonymity works well for me, as I can relate better to the people and being a topical songwriter, it is important to blend in”.
Evidently, Azmyl is nothing like any conventional performer, as he feels so deeply for having a bearing over turbulent matters that often leaves our society unperturbed whereas it should.
“The press plays a big role in ensuring that people become suitors to their own freedom but the status of our press in Malaysia is quite dismissal, resulting to the mere fact that it doesn’t represent the people as it should and more often than not, scrutinised to censorship and oppression,” explained Azmyl.
“Musicians are here to remind people that there is diversity. Every individual should make it their duty and responsibility to demand the right to explore that diversity and choose what’s right for them.
“We serve as an entity that is of benefit to the people. We address questions that concern the community with our songs. As musicians, we exist in the public sphere which encompasses every issue and in my opinion, have the responsibility of advocating those issues.”
Note: Azmyl will take to the main stage in CM on Sunday, 6 May at 8pm.