Local band The Sallys release first Malay album

SINGAPORE - In the last 10 years, local ska and pop-rock band The Sallys have earned themselves a diverse fan base with their irresistible, catchy English and Malay songs.

Both the young and old of all races have been enthralled by their hits like Kopi Dangdut, Gadis Marmalade and My Love, which were played on the airwaves here.

Recently, the six-piece band released their first Malay album Squad 69, a follow-up to their debut English-Malay album Fairytale, An Unlikely Story.

Squad 69 will be central in their drama-concert Oh, Lovely One at Pesta Raya in September.

And just like anything The Sallys have done, it will appeal to people from all walks of life.

LOUD spoke to vocalist Shafiq Iskandar, 26.

Can you give us a preview of Oh, Lovely One?

It is our first time at Pesta Raya and it involves singing and acting.

The storyline is set in 1955 and I am the lead actor together with one of the contestants from (Suria channel's beauty pageant-cum-talent competition) Ratu, Surya Rahmanty.

Our trombonist Nur Zahidah A'aidil Shari will act as a tomboy.

It has a cabaret feel and we will be singing songs like Gadis Marmalade and Setia Padaku off our latest album Squad 69.

The production also sees us interacting with the audience. The accompanying visuals and videos during the performance help us with that as well.

So what are the challenges in acting?

Some of us come from a theatre background. For me, it's been a really long time.

I won't deny it's difficult to sing and act at the same time, but I enjoy the challenge and it's very exciting.

I can't wait for the show, we're busy practising to make it perfect.

Your first album Fairytale, An Unlikely Story is a Malay and English album, but Squad 69 is sung entirely in Malay. Why?

When we first started out, we were exposed to an English-speaking audience, but the Malay songs were the ones that received more attention. Since the first album was mainly in English, we thought, why not?

This album has a couple of songs that are originally in English, but we rewrote them in Malay. One of them is Gadis Marmalade, which is our hit song.

Is there a difference between your Englishspeaking and Malay-speaking audience?

There are more youth in the English crowd, but more families, from the young to the old, in the Malay crowd.

We don't have a target audience for Squad 69, it's for everyone. We play songs that are family-friendly.

What's next for The Sallys? We hope to go into music production under Sallys Music Production. We write and compose the songs, but choose the artists that sing those songs.

After two albums, it's time to get to the technical side of music.

Any names?

We are working with Sufie Rashid from (Channel 5 reality singing competition) The Final 1 and will be producing his first single Tiada Pengganti.

We scouted him because we think he's talented. I feel his voice is excellent and no one has a tone like his.

It's a good step for him too.

Check out The Sallys at facebook.com/thesallys