Film & TV News

After 25 years of Malay boyband KRU, let’s revisit “Fanatik” with director Saw Teong Hin

THIS year marks KRU‘s silver jubilee, so the boys are about to kick off celebrations with a concert. Norman, Edry and Yusry Abdul Halim will first tackle Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre before planning more 25th anniversary gigs in Malaysia, according to Singaporean publication Straits Times.

Can you imagine that these guys have been around since the 1990s? While Norman and Yusry have made sizable strides in the film industry, and Edry has done some award-winning compositions, none of them individually have been as exciting as they were a trio.

But in commemoration of KRU’s 25th anniversary, we managed to get acclaimed Malaysian director Saw Teong Hin to tell us about the good old times, specifically when he directed the music video for “Fanatik”.

At our film program (1+RE)DISCOVER held as part of this year’s Urbanscapes in May, Teong Hin reminisced about his first ever music video job — an entry in his career he is still fond of today.

“I was producing for twelve years and got bored shitless, so I called the record company to see what else was on offer and they gave me this gig,” he recalled cheerily. “The shocking thing was that prior to this, Malay music videos largely showcased girls walking on the beach.”

Given a budget of approximately RM50,000 (decent money back in 1997 and a testament to KRU’s level of success!) Teong Hin roped in good company and ran with his vision.

“I got my friends together and made the video about running away from these crazy fans; I wanted to convey the idea of fanaticism.”

“Fanatik” went on to bag an Anugerah Industri Muzik for Video Terbaik, but most impressively it made to the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, where it was nominated for an International Viewer’s Choice Awards.

Not bad for a first-timer who directed the video after a year-long sabbatical from the film industry.

“I did music videos because I wanted to practice,” confessed Teong Hin. “With music videos, you get to do all the things you see in your head. So you practice and practice until you find your own voice and find what you like or don’t like and become more sure of yourself.”

In the meantime, make sure to thank Teong Hin and look out for his upcoming film with Astro Shaw, You Mean The World To Me, based on the original Penang-Hokkien play which blew George Town Festival away two years ago.

Make sure to follow KRU Music and You Mean The World To Me on Facebook for more details on both projects!

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