Bidayuh musicians turn up volume with Bama, AMD


KUCHING: An association for Bidayuh musicians, which was formed last month, is now embarking on a quest to improve the quality of the Bidayuh music industry.

Known as the ‘Bidayuh Artistes and Musicians Association’ (Bama), it was officially registered with the Registrar of Societies last month.

According to association’s chairman, Dr Alim Impira, he believes that there is a need to improve the standard of the Bidayuh music within the Dayak music industry.

“We have ambitions to see Bidayuh music become world renowned. Take ‘La Bamba’, for instace. Many don’t understand the lyrics sung in Spanish, but still the song is well-loved and recognised worldwide, even among the non-Spanish speakers,” he said.

One of the first tasks for the association would be to get the younger generation to listen to Bidayuh music and be proud of it.

Based on a survey made by Bama, Dr Alim revealed that most Bidayuh youngsters prefer to hear English and Malay songs – a fact that saddens him and members of the association.

“Seeing the Bidayuh music industry being below par in our opinion, we only have ourselves to blame as most of our artistes are not on par with the industry’s quality and demand nowadays. We must see the English, Malay and even our fellow Dayak Iban music as our benchmark,” he added.

Apart from that, Bama is looking forward to working closely with the Dayak Artistes and Musicians Association (Dama) whom it regards as the ‘parent association’.

As Dama hosts the bi-annual award event for Dayak musicians – known as the Anugerah Muzik Dayak (AMD) – Bama aims to act as a platform for Bidayuh artistes who have ambitions to compete for the prestigious awards.

“We must form a selection process to find only the best Bidayuh singers to compete in AMD. This way, we hope to see some changes in the quality of our music as well,” said Dr Alim.

On behalf of Bama, he called on wealthy Bidayuhs to lend support to the association, not only to help the Bidayuh music industry grow but also to help the greater cause of the community.