Need Help From Harith Iskander? Here's How!

On April 25, 2015

Who doesn’t know Harith Iskander?

Not that many apparently, as Malaysia’s king of comedy had to come up with a new, more efficient system of giving back to the community.

“As long as I’ve been doing standup comedy, I’ve been getting multiple requests for “charity shows”,” Harith begins. “Prior to this, I would have had to deal with each request one by one, and when I said multiple I mean in the hundreds, so there’s no way I could say yes to every charity requests.”

Every year, this comedian has his e-mail and Facebook inbox consistently flooded with various requests from individuals and organisations to perform or appear at charities and fund raisers.

How then does he weed through the requests and sort out the genuine and truly needy from the less serious applicants? With a super simple questionnaire system of course.

With the Harith Iskander Gives Back programme, the comedian hopes that all the help he’s been giving out will go to the right places.

Harith is serious this time and it shows in his focus at our meeting.

Although still fairly warm and a far cry from the rumours that this man would be reserved and withdrawn in private, Harith delivers his message with a matter-of-fact manner.

There are three avenues through which Harith is providing help.


 

unnamed (8)Harith Iskander for You-th

“If you are a college/university/high school and your goal is to help your fellow students with English, then you can apply for Harith Iskander for Youth,” he explains.

“At the end of the day, it’s not that the younger generation cannot speak English, it’s their fear of trying. Unfortunately our Malaysians – slash Malay – very takut to malu.”

The comedian’s command in English is flawless, but he is against the perception some people have that he had it easy.

“I came from Sekolah Kebangsaan. I took a bus to school. I was very much like how the 17 year olds are today. Everything you want to be is within you,” he asserts.

Harith also wants those who are interested in getting him over to their educational institutions to know that having a personality appear at your event is no easy work.

“I go, you want me to come to your school? Here’s what you need to do. I’m not trying to make it difficult for them, but as soon as kids understand this takes effort. You want to bring a personality down, you don’t just go come to my school send him a Facebook message and expect him to show up,” he mentions.

One of his favourites have been Kolej Matrikulasi Pulau Pinang. Harith’s already been there twice, and the students did a lot of work in trying to get him over there.

“I could see that they took the effort and time to take responsiblity for getting me over there. I can’t say yes to every school or I won’t be able to do anything else,” he finishes.


 

Harith Iskander for Laugh Relief

“In the last two decades, the best way to raise funds is to have a dinner,” Harith starts again. “The best way to get people to buy those tables is to have an entertainer. We call Harith to our dinner and then sell the table for ten thousand dollars.”

Harith’s issue is the legitimacy of these charity organisations.

“This program will help me identify if these guys really deserve it. If you’re making fifteen million dollars as a charity/fundraising group, you probably don’t need Harith Iskander at your dinner, compared to a group whose operating cost is a million but they only have two hundred thousand.”

With HI for Relief, there will be a form that needs to be filled before one can request for an appearance from the comedian. These are straightforward questions such as the amount of money planned to be raised, and the goal of the charity organisation.

“Now I can streamline it. I’m not dealing with fifteen emails on can you come and do our charity. There are set questions. There are many types of charities; some are truly deserving, some are less deserving than others, and some don’t deserve anything at all.”


Harith Iskander for Little Ones

“I’ve got two kids of my own,” Harith admits.

Here, he softens greatly. While previous talks were straightforward and business-like given the subject matter, when it comes to children Harith smiles more and is looser in action.

The family man who married doctor/model Jezamine Lim in 2010 is particularly keen to help out with making the lives of children better.

“At the end of the day, if you’re in a hospital and you want to bring a little cheer to the kids, this is a way to reach me,” he states as an example.

Applying to have Harith at your cause for children is simple, all he wants is a one page proposal that bears simple, basic details like vision, goal, date and venue.

“A lot of people don’t know and they end up sending a Facebook message and it gets lost in the clutter. Some people even comment on a Facebook post, saying can you come do this? I don’t really read comments, I very rarely do so there’s a big chance I won’t reply.”


 

Harith has achieved a lot in the Malaysian entertainment scene.

Aside from appearing in notable movies and starring in the highly popular Lawak Ke Der performance pieces, last year’s To Love Malaysia Is To Laugh Malaysia saw him perform Malaysia’s biggest ever stand-up comedy show.

Given the success he has been receiving, he wants others to share in the happiness as well, particularly the less fortunate. With Harith Iskander Gives Back, Harith hopes his helping  hand is more accessible to right people.

Though it may seem like it’s all work and business, it has to be noted that this comes from a very genuine, rational place.

“I have been giving back in a haphazard way, not monitoring it in the last few years. This will help me keep an eye on things and only the most deserving will get the attention,” Harith concludes.

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Pelancaran Lagu "Ringgit" Isytihar Album Ke-2: MonoloQue Kembali Lebih Peka

On April 20, 2015

ringgit_cover

Bulan ini MonoloQue kembali lapar dan teruja dengan isu-isu semasa, baik luaran dan juga dalaman, seperti yang dilambangkan oleh pemberian mereka yang terkini, lagu berjudul “Ringgit”.

Ketara atau tidak, LoQue (vokal, gitar, piano), Dax (bass, vokal), Ijoo (gitar utama), Bakri (drum) dan Syafiq (perkusi) seolah-olah seperti menyepi setelah menyajikan lagu demi lagu berserta video sebelum ini.

Perkembangan internal contohnya dapat dirasakan pendengar melalui lagu “Ringgit” yang banyak berbicara tentang faktor-faktor eksternal atau luaran di sekeliling mereka termasuk masyarakat di bandaraya, nilai-nilai kontemporari negara dan gaya hidup global yang berleluasa, evolusi muzik, serta industri muzik tempatan itu sendiri, antaranya.

“Kita sudah berada di abad ke-21 dan pergerakan muzik dunia sudah jauh meninggalkan kita,” kata LoQue sempena keluaran lagu nukilannya terbaru ini.

“Pada saya ia suatu stail dan lebih berdasarkan citarasa dan fikiran di luar kotak,” ujar LoQue bila ditanya pula tentang reputasinya dengan kata-kata bahasa yang telah diubahsuaikan, contohnya apabila beliau “merosakkan” interpretasi lagu malarsegar seperti “Tiada Kata Secantik Bahasa”, “Masih Aku Terasa” dan “Mawar Putih Tanda Perpisahan”.

“Saya cuma cuba melakukan bahagian saya untuk membawa bahasa ke takuk yang baru, supaya mungkin lebih semasa dan longgar. Tetapi percubaan saya pasti ditemui dengan konotasi negatif padahal saya tidak berfikiran sebegitu,” LoQue menerangkan.

Intipati lirik lagu “Ringgit” berkisarkan tentang masyarakat muda yang semakin enggan berbahasa sendiri, malah menafikan jati diri mereka sehingga rela mengikis asal-usul kebudayaan dan sifat sebenar mereka kerana takut untuk dilihat sebagai tidak “cool”.

“’Ringgit’ mengisahkan tentang nilai ‘mata wang’ yang menjadi ‘nadi’ yang paling asas gaya hidup masyarakat kota. Duit boleh beli apa saja, duit boleh beli jiwa raga cinta, dan melihat itu dalam kehidupan seharian ia memberi inspirasi pada saya untuk menulis lagu ini.”

“Perjuangannya masih sama,” ujar LoQue. “Dari hari pertama sehingga hari ini perjuangannya adalah untuk menjadi diri sendiri.”

Barangkali lebih “ekstrim” kali ini katanya berbanding keluaran-keluaran lepas (album Jejak Tanah, corak pertama trilogi Hikayat Halimunan Abad Ke-21 dan EP Inderaloka) kerana cerita muzik MonoloQue melalui lagu-lagu baru ini sudah sampai pula ke bandaraya, dan berkisarkan kehidupan di tengah bandaraya, berbanding sudut pandangan yang lebih idealis yang hanya sekadar ‘merindukan’ keadaan itu.

“Dari segi muzik pula, kami cuba untuk meruntuhkan pagar-pagar yang ada, serta had-had yang membuatkan muzik bergitar dan muzik rock Malaysia jatuh ke dalam stereotaip-stereotaip yang biasa,” ucap LoQue.

“Ringgit” tetap merupakan lagu pop yang senang didengari dan punyai banyak ruang untuk bernafas, tetapi masih individu, dan masih lantang. Ini suatu keadaan yang menjadi nadi utama ahli-ahli MonoloQue untuk terus berkarya sehingga sempurna baki album corak kedua ‘Hikayat Halimunan Abad Ke-21′ yang bakal tiba pada bulan Ogos akan datang.

BUTIRAN LAGU: “Ringgit” ~ MonoloQue

Lagu/Senikata: LoQue

Senarai Pemuzik: LoQue – Vokal Utama/Piano, Mohd Faliq – Pembantu Teknologi, Set Drum – Bakri, Gendang/Perkusi/Mainan – Shafiq

Penerbit: LoQue bersama Aiyad Sakti dan Hafiz Ahmad

Dirakam di Kilang Menjahit Bunyi, Tune Studio & Gelampuri oleh Hafiz Ahmad, Aiyad Sakti, Aiman dan LoQue

Diadun oleh Greg Henderson dan LoQue

Mastering: Sterling Sound New York City oleh Greg Calbi (Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips)

Album: ‘Hikayat Halimunan Abad Ke-21: Corak Ke-2′ (Bakal Dijudulkan) terbitan Penerbitan Pancasona 2015

Sutradara Video Muzik Rasmi: Kadir Chan

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