Medini Live! 2016 fun and full of heart, with performances by Joe Flizzow, Najwa, Sean Ghazi and more
A few weeks ago on August the 27th and 28th, I was in Iskandar Puteri, Johor for the second annual Medini Live! — a specially-curated two-day creative festival held at the Mall of Medini featuring live music performances, arts, films, community bazaar and traditional games. Presented by Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MIM), it was a free-entry event, no ticket required and there were music acts and activities all day long from morning to evening on both days.
Medini Live! 2016 was headlined by local artists Joe Flizzow, Sean Ghazi feat. Ida Mariana and Najwa Mahiaddin but there were plenty of others on the line-up of live music performances such as Q Sound, jazz musician Az Samad, YouTube sensation Eb Duet and most surprisingly, Indigo — if you remember this Malay boy band from the late 90s, we're probably around the same age. Although they're much older now with one of them bald and with crutches, they could still sing very well at most parts of their hits.
Out of all the performances I managed to catch, I enjoyed Joe Flizzow's the most despite not being a fan of hip hop. Surrounded by the crowd on the floor, there was no dancer, no band, just him rapping all out to his tracks and it was a energetically committed performance through and through.
The last music act on the second day was by R&B singer-trombonist Q Sound whom I got to speak to during his "sharing session" with the media. It caught all of us by surprise as we didn't expect that we would be talking to him upclose face-to-face. Awkwardly interesting, it was, as none of us were prepared with questions so instead of a typical interview, we talked about all kinds of stuff. Q Sound was very kind to give us a live demonstration with his instrument and shared with us his life story which inspired his album Duel Citizenship (it's on Spotify, be sure to check it out!).
These music headliners weren't all that Medini Live! had to offer. There were dance, beat box, drumline and cultural performances as well and many other stuff were going on concurrently.
For art, there were huge wall-like canvases doodled on the spot by Johorean artists. There was also a pop-up book workshop and sessions where SK Medini students showcased their amazing handmade pop-up artworks based on popular storybooks while reading them to the audience with their teacher. And there were screenings of impressive short films produced by MMU Medini students, some of which provoked thoughts and generated conversations between myself and other audiences.
During all that, the community bazaar and traditional games were open for the public to shop and play. I'm sure there were many more other entertaining activities that I missed out on. It did seem like there was some thing for everyone and every taste at Medini Live!
Accordingly to Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar Ahmad, Managing Director of MIM, the objective of Medini Live! is to bring diverse communities together while establishing Medini as a destination of choice and to support and increase appreciation for local talents and the local arts scene. It has certainly achieved some of that and are on the right track in promoting Medini. The last time I came here, I didn't even know the name of the mall as it was like it's connected directly to the theme park Legoland.
During the two-day trip, I learnt a lot about the new urban township of Medini and it's very well-planned infrastructure. The place is clean, beautiful and absolutely livable with smooth traffic and roads. The houses and condominiums look good. It has EduCity, an area of schools and international university campuses which made me feel like being a student again. The Malaysian branch of the famous British film and TV production studio Pinewood is here — every local movie-geek like myself may have dreamt to work there. There are many great resorts for tourism as well like Somerset, Gleneagles and Legoland Resort itself. Plenty more other huge developments are going on. I honestly think Medini Iskandar is going to be a fantastic "Smart City" in years to come. #LetsGoToMedini
As for Medini Live!, it has potential to grow, and with a bit of adjustments and improvements, it could be its very own big annual music, film and art festival that people would look forward to every year. As for me, I'm already eager to find out what's in store for next year. Hopefully the likes of Yuna, Zee Avi, Ah Niu, Butterfingers, Gary Cao and comedians would be considered.
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