Since July, CREATE groups from all clusters (Dance, Music, and PACT, which stands for Production, Arts, Culture and Theatrics) have united together in preparation for Flame Awards 2023.
Performers wore down the floors with perfect choreography and endless belting of their vocals. Production and creative teams scrambled around tirelessly, brainstorming, organising, and checking everything, down to the tee. All of this cumulative effort just to make that 30 minutes worth of every second.
The audience had an amazing time, as Flame Awards 2023 is not just an award ceremony, but a celebration of like-minded passionate individuals who do what they do best – create.
The event was made by people who were inspired to not only make the performance great but also prove to themselves that they can achieve greater feats.
Flame Awards, held on 17 November 2023 at The Republic Cultural Centre (TRCC), is an annual ceremony that celebrates the achievements of the three art clubs in Republic Polytechnic – CREATE, SMC IGs, and STA IGs. Over 300 awards such as the Student Merit Award, Outstanding Student and Alumni Awards, Most Improved IG Award, Outstanding Group Award and Group Of The Year were handed to members of the clubs.
PASSING DOWN THE TORCH
Adam Hilmi Bin Zulkhairil, 18, one of the four emcees for this year’s event, and a singer among performers, has been practising for close to 4 months with his band members from Jammerz Arena (JA) to perfect their performance. He was inspired by his JA seniors who performed last year, which gave him the courage to step into the mantle for this year.
This was his first time emceeing for a show, much less performing for a crowd that filled up the whole TRCC.
However, this did not stop him from giving his best in the show. Nabil Yazid, 25, a third-year JA member has been his vocal mentor and brother. He studied how Nabil had performed last year to encapsulate the flair of his act and to give his own twist to it.
His star moment featured an exhilarating combined performance of the song Immortals (Fall Out Boy) with other vocalists from the music groups Replug, Rhapsody, and his JA counterparts.
“I managed to play a mini tribute to him through the song Immortals where I pulled off somewhat of a similar thing as what he did last year for his performance,” reflected Adam
Everything was also new to him, from the way that he did music, how he presented himself and even the way he dressed.
“Despite struggling quite a bit, I could say that Flame Awards 2023 has taught me perseverance and open-mindedness,” said Adam “I had to perform genres I am not used to, different styles, different costumes – (but) despite all that I still managed to push through.”
His experience at Flame Awards 2023 was a memorable one, allowing him to discover more about himself and what he can do about his passion for performing. “Flame Awards made me realise that I am more than what I think I am. I always thought that my job in CREATE was to just perform and sing. However, Flame Awards proved not only to me but the entire TRCC that I could do more than just singing.”
THE FIRST STEP BRINGS PROGRESS
Hasif Akram Bin Iskandar, 19, was quite shocked that he would be an award recipient at Flame Awards. The Student Merit Award was something he did not expect to attain, considering that he thought that his contributions to Gamelan Naga Kencana (GNK) were not much, being assigned as a treasurer and helping out during events.
As he got up on stage to shake the hand of Mr. Ganesh Kalyanam, Director of OSG, to receive the award, he could hear all of his IG friends and team mates cheering for him, giving him a sense of courage and inspiration.
“I would like to dedicate my award to my IG, GNK, for giving me this opportunity to be nominated for the Student Merit Award,” said Hasif.
As Hasif reflected on the event, he felt more encouraged to participate in CREATE projects, in any way possible. “Flame Awards has inspired me to dedicate time to my IG so that the next batch can succeed in the future as music is a way to bring people together” Hasif added.
PASSION BRINGS CHALLENGES
Muhammad Hazim Bin Didie Irwandy, 20, has returned as the music director from last year’s Flame Awards. All the music performances that night were set up by him and his team of musicians.
However, it was not a smooth journey as Hazim and his team were in a time crunch between Flame Awards and Reflections Arts Festival 2023. The stress came first from balancing between the two events at the same time, continuously switching between them with little breaks to spare.
“I’ll let you in on a little secret… I thought of the arrangements in the shower for both items while shampooing my hair,” confessed Hazim.
Hazim also faced issues with arranging the music. The theme for this year, World of Wonders is a Disney aesthetic that feels foreign to him. The added struggle is having full creative liberty over it too, giving him no past works or templates to work with from other RP events.
Nonetheless, Hazim studied hard and pushed his creative boundaries, knowing that he wanted to live up to his brother’s name (Haziq Didie), who was one of the music directors and horns arranger for the 2018 Flame Awards.
With the bar placed high, he sets out to live up to and exceed the expectations of everyone watching, going through hours of research and understanding the Disney music genre and how to implement it flawlessly.
“For the opening item, I drew influences from music genres such as ska punk and funk that added to the whimsical Under The Sea from the movie, The Little Mermaid, which makes it very different and unique to my interest group (JA).”
Hazim learned so much during this time, giving him the chance to use his acquired skills and knowledge to continue music production. As Flame Awards has always been a highlight of his CREATE journey, he will continue to work hard to improve its programme and other projects.
“It’s a rewarding experience as I am able to improve myself as a performer and creator with a lot of guidance and advice; especially knowing that people enjoyed the performance and found it good, it makes me feel motivated to continue my passion.”