“I think the song proves that it doesn’t matter what language a song is in, sincerity transfers through delivery and flow of music. And in this context, one could feel the uplifting journey within the song and its arrangement.”
Those were the words shared by local artist Zee Avi after it was announced that the theme song of locally-produced film OlaBola had won the Best Original Song award at the recent 53rd Annual Golden Horse Film Awards.
Ever since its release, OlaBola has gone on to not only win the hearts of our nation but blown off to the international platform and received recognition from global critics as well.
Besides being the 4th best-earning local film of all time, the movie managed to bag 3 awards at the 28th Malaysia Film Festival while also receiving a Special Jury Award for achievements as a film that promoted unity and family values through sports.
And now they have another trophy to be added to their collection.
The team responsible for bringing Arena Cahaya the award-winning song to life were present at the event to retrieve the award personally at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan.
Zee Avi and songwriter Rendra Zawawi were very pleased to receive the prestigious trophy with the OlaBola director Chiu Keng Guan and musician Alvin Wee (responsible for the recording, editing, mixing, and mastering for the song) present in the audience.
“I thought I was here just to perform the song. Thank you Director Chiu for this incredible opportunity. This is an amazing project to be a part of as it is about unity, diversity and harmony, and it is to remind us that we are all the same,” said Zee Avi during her acceptance speech.
It seems that it truly paid off when Director Chiu specifically requested for Rendra and Zee to write a song for OlaBola that imbued a sense of timelessness, inspiration and of unity & hope.
“The mission was for the song to be simple, relatable, memorable, yet achieve the intended spirit of hope and unity. Most important of all, the chorus had to have a killer hook—something people would hum to after (or even better, while) hearing it,” Rendra said in an interview earlier this year about his goal when composing the song.
Arena Cahaya was up against four other big nominations which were China’s ‘It’s Cold Without Your Love’, from the movie Big Fish & Begonia; China’s Sawadika (Detective Chinatown); Taiwan’s Love Without Words (Lokah Laqi! Hang In There, Kids!); and China’s (It’s Not A Crime) It’s Just What We Do (Soul Mate).
For a song presented in a foreign language to be nominated among other impressive songs was already a huge honour.
Winning the award was truly an unexpected reward as Zee mentioned she hadn’t foreseen it at all and was only looking forward to perform on an international platform.
“The only thing I was expecting was to sing a song in our national language on the show. To me, as a Malaysian, that was already a victory,” Zee said, even adding that it was difficult for her to control her emotions when presented the award.
Due to their busy schedules, the team behind the song were unable to properly celebrate this amazing feat after the show.
However, Zee said that in the end what mattered was the honour they felt on how they were able to work together to create a momentous victory for our country.
“I think the real celebration was all four of us thanking each other profusely throughout the night for being able to work together and be part of this wonderful movement that just so happens to be a great work of art.”
Relive the amazing anthem down below:
Feature Image Credit: cinema.com.my