Aidilfitri is a time for nostalgia. It is when we meet our relatives, childhood friends and ask for forgiveness from people of our old mistakes. Since we celebrate it with our own traditions as well, it is seen as paying tribute to the old (notice the increasing number of P. Ramlee movies during the season…they still do that right?). But Raya is also about the new! New clothes, new furniture, and occassionally, new in-laws. With that, let’s honour some of the more recent Raya songs for you guys to eat ketupat to! (Also, no covers, only originals!)
Sinar – Noh Salleh
A Noh Salleh underrated classic, Sinar has all the songwriting talent of the artist, but laced with a Raya edition twist. The song has never been officially released as a single (it can be found on the album Menjelang Syawal released in 2015) but since it came out it has always always played on the radio stations like iM4U during Raya. True to Noh Salleh’s musical style in his solo album, the song has a smooth jazzy feel – perfect for those chilled Raya evenings after a long day of visiting open houses of second cousins that you don’t really remember.
Mat Ri Ye (iSpy Parody) – Luqman Podolski & AdibAlexx
Tired of feeling sad this Raya? Too many sad commercials and Malay dramas bringing you down? AdibAlexx and Luqmanpodolski‘s new song is the perfect antidote to that! Adib even says so in the beginning, “Jangan sedih-sedih”. This wonderful parody features rapper A-Kid and singer-songwriter Talitha Tan. And since we’re naming celebrities, check out that fidget spinner too. There’s even some subtle commentary about people who take comments by makciks too seriously as a response to all of the ‘marriage questions’. Truly a modern Raya track to remember.
Raya Kita – Box For Letters
Here’s another great addition to your Raya playlist if you like your Aidilfitri to be indie and fresh! Box For Letters does not cut corners on their Raya song. It has that same dreamy, and soaring quality that they’re known for. We gave them a glowing review recently on our Tracks of the Week with their latest EP, so it’s only appropriate that we give their original raya song a slot!
Berakhir Ramadhan – Atmosfera
Worried about the influx of indie Raya songs? Feel like too much rap in the music ruins the Raya mood? Don’t worry, we’ve got a new track that sticks to that old school sound. Atmosfera‘s song is a power ballad of epic 90s rock kapak proportions. Even the music video is an interesting one! Also, as a Sabahan duo, they are a great Borneo addition to a Raya anthology filled with artists from the peninsula.
Kasih Lebaran – Sufian Suhaimi
Sufian Suhaimi became viral with his song Terakhir and he belongs to the group of local artistes who love to bring back that 90s feel of pop ballads (as with the likes of Aiman Tino and Wany Hasrita). It’s a catchy song to listen to on your journey back to your kampung. He also had a significant boost in popularity this year with a lot of other songs as well, and Kasih Lebaran is just another addition to his many singles.
Terima Kasih (Versi Raya) – Faizal Tahir & Aizat Amdan
Although this was not originally a Raya song, a mainstream television channel invited them to rewrite the song to fit the Raya atmosphere because of their hashtags (#TerimaKasih #SyukurSelalu). Even with the lyrical change it feels just right and maintains the same kind of vibe from the original song. The wonderful vocals of Aizat and Faizal Tahir combined makes for a beautiful harmony, punctuated by the chorus of claps and singing at the end.
Sinar Syawal – Khai Bahar
Still wanna wallow in your worry and melancholy? Playlist lagu raya tak cukup jiwang? Khai Bahar has got you covered. Despite sounding gloomy, the song is actually far from depressing. It has that really cool guitar solo in the middle too that really makes you feel like pleading for forgiveness from your mother from all your derhaka moments as a child. A brilliant song to sing in a karaoke booth after a long day of work (re: makan lemang kat rumah orang).
Takbir Raya – Liyana Fizi Quartet
Regardless of time and place, genre or phase, the best Raya song will always be the takbir raya. The Liyana Fizi Quartet captures this so well with this beautiful song about waiting for that takbir raya to come. Feeling of old memories fleeting past, of childhood long gone, and also the more spiritual and religious aspect of Raya enters the heart through Liyana Fizi’s beautiful voice and also the old-school classical sound of the accordion. A great example of what new Raya songs can achieve. Check out the song on TAPAUtv!
Salam – Kareema Ramli (of Maddthelin)
We make fun of how negative and sad Raya can be with all the tear-jerking commercials and dramatic Malay cerekarama, but we have to remember that even during times of celebration there are people who are suffering from loss or are going through a misfortune. Salam symbolizes that very strongly through the lilting, lamenting voice of Kareema Ramli, touching on the topic of death and loss through a piano-driven anthem. Calling it jiwang would be insulting, since it is unabashedly dark and beautiful in its composition. The cello also gives another layer of substance, really hitting that melancholy home. For those who aren’t able to balik kampung or have recently experienced a loss in the family, this is for you. This song could be the new Pulanglah.
This article is co-written by Iezahdiyana & Zim Ahmadi