Opick launched album, Ya Maulana

Opick, whose real name is Aunur Rofiq Lil Firdaus, launched his newest album Ya Maulana at a restaurant in Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur on July 15.

The album contains 10 self-composed songs, namely Ya Maulana, Ku Tak Pernah Layak, Berapa Jarak, Ajari Aku, Ya Robbana, Tenang, Tanpa Dirimu, Terima Kasih Ayah, Aku Percaya and Ya Muhammad Ya Rosulullah. All of these songs were recorded over the last year, immediately after the launch of Salam Ya Rosulullah in May.

Ya Maulana, produced by his company Tombo Ati Productions and distributed by Inteam Records, features two duets.

First, Ya Robbana, a collaboration with Opick's fellow nasyid singers Harry BPM and Agus Idwar. Second, Terima Kasih Ayah, dedicated to his old friend, the late nasyid singer Jerfi Al Buchorie. It is a duet with Jerfi's daughter Adiba Azzahra.

Opick, a father of four aged 2 to 9 says he had always been exposed to spiritual music as his father is a religious teacher from Jember in Java.

"I grew up with religious music, but later became attracted to the more 'commercial' pop and rock. "It was cool singing modern music but along my journey to stardom, I realised that fame and fortune could be more of a bane than a boon," he says.

Witnessing fellow musicians getting involved in drug abuse, Opick realised that he had to fortify his soul from temptation and the surest way to do so was to turn to God musically.

"One day, I heard my inner voice speak. I realised that I was chosen for a purpose, to bring healing music to my fans and to keep myself away from unwholesome activities.

"Besides, I had to become a good role model for Indonesian musicians and music lovers," he says.

He thus took a "leap of faith" and once again immersed himself in nasyid music, the music he grew up with.

"However, I did not disown my pop-rock songs, because I believe that all music which uplifts the soul is spiritual too. It is only music that carries negative messages that I stay away from."

It is for this reason that Opick allows Indonesian television dramas and series to use some of his pop-rock songs in their soundtracks.

"And that is why I still love Dealova. It is a beautiful song about true and pure love. I sang it again for my past album."

Spiritual music, Opick says, connects himself and fans to their Creator and cloaks them with a mission in life, to be moderate in action and mindful of sin.

"Spiritual music is like food for the soul. Our body needs healthy food, likewise our soul needs cleansing by 'spiritual' food in the form of uplifting, sacred music."

Opick, who was named Best Nasyid Singer of Indonesia in 2010, plans to have a concert in Malaysia next year. He would love to collaborate with nasyid act Inteam, as well as top singers Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and Amy of Search.

"I'd love to rope in Adi Putra, a brilliant actor who is my good friend, and Noryn Aziz, too," he says, adding that he has composed and written 23 new songs for the concert.

Opick believes that music is the single most unifying force in the world, and he has witnessed this during his visit to Palestine in April as one of 28 volunteers of the Indonesian National Committee For Palestinian People, a humanitarian organisation.

"When I sang a little, to bring cheer to the suffering children of Gaza, these youngsters felt happy and positive. They identified with spiritual music, which reminds them that all of humanity is one and God's love is for all."

Malaysia has a special place in Opick's heart because Malaysia and Indonesia share a common cultural tradition and he regards Malaysians as his "kin across the sea".

"I love Malaysian musicians and fans because they are very sincere supporters of my craft. Malaysia has many gifted singers who compose and write their own songs. My ultimate dream is to hold a concert combining the best singers of nasyid and traditional pop music from Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia."

Inteam managing director Izham Shah Mat Anuar says Opick is a shining example of a singer who follows his heart and believes in the healing power of spiritual music.

"In Opick, nasyid singers of Southeast Asia have a shining role model. He believes in what he sings and puts a lot of heart and soul into every hit single he creates.

"We hope to do our best in realising his dream concert," he says.


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