Nasyid, Is That You?

August 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Posted in apresiasi, iseng, katarsis | Leave a comment
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Oh, dear.

I don’t know what to feel about this. Really.

I was never a big fan of nasyid, but, god, what the hell happened to this music genre? I mean, I know we are inclined to despise today’s music, and glorify even the shitty songs we hated to death when we were ABG. But the way nasyid degenerates is just bad, very bad. It is as if it was hijacked by a bunch of anime and K-Pop fans and turned into a quirky and painfully awkward mixture of nasyid, J-Pop and K-Pop; an unholy blend of religious propagation and moral decadence of popular culture. Ah, who am I kidding? Nasyid IS hijacked by anime and K-Pop fans and turned into a quirky and painfully awkward mixture of nasyid, J-Pop and K-Pop; an unholy blend of religious propagation and moral decadence of popular culture. Okay, you may think Nasyid was never cool. But as anak mesjid, I know nasyid was good. Have a listen to ‘Peristiwa Subuh’ by Raihan or ‘Rasulullah’ by Hijjaz. These songs will make you want to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and call people to prayer and create an Islamic state! If that is the purpose of nasyid, as a tool of some crazy religious propaganda, then this new nasyid group called Fatih is definitely not up for the task!

I know. I know. This is probably good. This sounds more like Rhoma Irama. Sonically, Fatih is way more colorful than the mostly bland 90s nasyid groups. They’re good singers. They know how to sing acapella, obviously. But this is nasyid. It’s not supposed to sound like dangdut; it’s not supposed to be funny! Snada was funny and jolly, but not like this. And what the hell happened to baju koko? Checkered shirts, now? To be fair, this song is meant to encourage young Muslims to get married. And Islamists of all stripes like to joke about marriage and make fun of single ikhwan. By the way, are they ikhwan? The ladies in the video do not look like akhwat, though. Oh, how I miss those snotty akhwat in their giant hijab!

Here’s another song by Fatih.

Old nasyids have this heavy vocal, which makes it sound like they are singing a serious song. So you listen to the lyrics attentively, just like listening to classical music. It’s a heavy, serious, poetic, Dionysian artwork. But the voice of the lead vocal in this song is too poppish, too sweet,  girly even. This song is just too light to be taken seriously.

What happened to jihad songs?

Well, it turned into this horrible Satria Baja Hitam opening song.

All I can think of when I listen to this song is the face of Ninja Hatori. What the hell are they thinking!? I believe HTI boys are responsible for this crappy jihad song. The followers of Taqiyudin an-Nabahani may have a better concept of khilafah than the boys of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi do, but the latter are definitely better at nasyid songwriting. Daesh nasyids are superb. They astound you, they move you. They do not sound like a joke.

Mainstream nasyid today has stooped so low it now sounds like alay music. The only difference is that all the women in their videos are wearing hijab. Or, you know, some anime characters with ridiculously big, round eyes. With hijab, and no humongous boobs.

Like this nasyid video from Edcoustic. Yes, people call them nasyid!

It must be tough to become a Muslim activist these days. But I shouldn’t be upset lah. I mean, at least they don’t write songs about killing the jews. Do they? It’s probably the best to see Islam adapt to changing cultural norms, changing tastes in music and fashion. But the aktivis mesjid in me will always miss the good old bland serious nasyid.

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