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There are mysterious ‘things’ in this world, and they materialize in the wee hours, emanating strange whispers to seek human attention. They would disregard common rationality as to forcing a photo with the consentless, exclaiming that such eccentricity could provide more SPIRITUALITY to their work, one that would tune your mind to the right frequency of the intended resonation. Yes, all musicians would concur with you that such indulgence in making music is like being an apparition, who would always wander lonely in the middle of the night and making its rounds at the margin of the society in constant pursuit of an elusive inspiration. More often than not, their spooky appearance and slovenly figures could well be a creepy encounter for those who inadvertently crossed their paths.
Ghosician is exactly one such strange album.
In terms of musical orientation and collaboration, Namewee has brought his creative and inquisitive characteristics into full play. Not only did he challenge the Trap Music style for the first time, but also the ultimate creation of Rap Music slangs in four languages making their debuts in the musical history. “Fondness” and “pure love” are indispensable elements to spice up the theme, as orchestrated in her first ever collaboration with Taiwanese sweetheart Kimberley Chen to brew the rich taste of twin-pink bubbles Fragile in interpreting the delicate sentiments of what it takes to be in love.
In addition to these musical works typical of a style that is unique only to Namewee, we have been pleasantly surprised to see how the pandemic has progressively shaped the transformation in him, one that is defined by earnestness, warmth, perfectionism, and steadfastness. Since the end of 2019, the whole world has been rendered down and out for almost two years due to the COVID 19 pandemic. For Namewee, who used to be shuttling from one country to another amidst hectic schedules prior to the pandemic, has somehow cast a change in his once workaholic attitude towards life. Following round after round of prevention quarantines and full lockdown for two long years in Malaysia, he eventually finds time settling down to do some serious soul-searching on what is the most important thing in his life and what sort music he really wants to make.
Ghosician can be aptly dubbed an album that is closest at heart to Namewee's life. In it, we see all the social issues and deep feelings that he truly cares about. For one, the number Keep Going is essentially a record of why he embarked on a touching charity journey at the backdrop of witnessing so many individuals, entities, and situations in urgent need of help throughout the pandemic. On the other hand, Return With A Smile narrates how countless people who have lost their jobs over the pandemic are bitterly forcing a smile to have “balik kampung” reunion with their loved ones. Like A Bull showcases the fortitude of Namewee, himself a Taurus, to live up to his own expectation of pursuing a worthy cause in the world of music, to voice out and be heard loud and clear in the midst of years of criticism, suppression, and even condemnations. As for My Old House, it tells the story of him sharing quality time with family members back in hometown during the two-month long lockdown and how he resolutely invested twice the budget on renovating his old abode. Happy Family, a number sung in four languages on Malaysia’s ethnic issues that have long drawn the attention of Namewee, one that he seamlessly incorporated into the movie BABI, has been shortlisted for the Best Original Movie Song of the Golden Horse Awards. Such a keen affection, along with a bold attempt in highlighting those social issues and calling for a change, has earned Namewee an invitation to compose and perform the number Like a Man for the Golden Horse Awards Ceremony. As a lyricist, composer, and singer of the song, and having encountered countless extreme setbacks over the years en route to making his MVs and movies, Namewee has been forging ahead withan unwavering resolve. On the stage of the Golden Horse Awards and with wholeheartedness, Namewee earnestly invited his fellow musiciansto join him in presenting their shared master piece together as a team. The filmmaking fraternity and audience were obviously moved by such a scene of splendid musical endeavor.
Unlike in the past, for which his focus was solely on entertainment, topicality, and exclusivity, Namewee has returned to the path of rediscovering his inner self. Facing the society, facing the ego, and facing people who are in love, the entire album is like a roadshow movie on a perpetual journey of creativity, rather than appealing to those clicks & traffic or pleasing the public. And at a time when the pandemic has inflicted a dent to the major source of his income, he continues to donate his savings to social groups that are in need. Namewee the ghostly musician now insists on regularly releasing musical works on a monthly basis, notably works that are not created to woo clicks & traffic or topicality, but dedicated to the purpose of echoing the voices of his heart.
Apart from incessantly working with different musicians and composers who devote themselves to the creation of new topics, Namewee has also been searching for ways to tap the ingenuity of the ghostician in him. Through My Old House, he found a buddy who had helped him compose the very first song in his life when he was playing music as a youngster. For years, he has confined himself to working on music in reclusion. Those four RAP singing in four languages as featured in Happy Family are real characters who embrace their respective professional callings but have never given up their dreams in music, recounting the racial issues befalling their beloved country. This belief has compelled Namwee to reach beyond the horizon of his world of music in scope and depth. He also brought in Taiwan’s newly emerging musical talents such as Anti-drug Ace and Chestnut to team up with him. In the album Ghosician, he revisits the novel spirit of music, synergizing with fellow ghostly wizard musicians who continue to innovate regardless of the circumstances, to orchestrate the chorus of the melodies and stories that are evolving from within.
Ghosician is itself a very intuitive pun: lacking in financial resources and with poor connections, these ghostly musicians are determined to make meaningful music that may not necessarily make money. But ghosicians do thrive in this world. Under such circumstances, they still insist on making their favorite music, and leverage on music to interpret the worldview from their idiosyncratic outlooks.
Along the way, he has been suppressed, discredited, assaulted, distorted, listed as wanted and detained for several times. But Namewee has without fail adhered to the principle of righteousness, be it in music, video, or film creation, and has never given up. After passing the acid tests spanning beyond a decade of sheer hard work, he has finally begun to catch the attention of the world. From being ordered to be arrested by the government towards the end of 2019, to eventually having realized his dream of holding a concert for an audience size of 10,000 in Kuala Lumpur. He even went on to win the coveted Ten Outstanding Young Malaysians Award in 2020. BABI, a movie that he managed to create with an insanely low budget, one that touched on sensitive ethnic issues unique only to Malaysia, butstole the limelight in such a bizarre manner that it was released only in Taiwan and no other parts of the world. A blessing in disguise, the movie has brought Namewee international renown. In one fell swoop, he was nominated for numerous international awards such as Berlin ARFF Universal International Film Festival Award, Thailand International Film Festival Award, Toronto Open World Film Festival Award, and Taiwan Golden Horse Award Movie Theme Song Award, in addition to a good number of other international accolades.
Be it in times of adversity or predicament, to remain firm in his convictions and defend his creations without fear or favor, have always been the traits upheld by Namewee and fondly admired by many who feel affection for and adore his characters. This latest album Ghosician is set to cause the sensation of rising from hardship to expose real-life episodes in the thick of the pandemic. Namewee believes that in the face of cold reality, the tough gets going as the going gets tough. For him, the saga continues, as social observation and being honest in his creation are what it counts to honor the true manifestation of music.