Syncretic cultural multivocality and the Malaysian popular musical imagination

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article discusses modes of expression in selected contemporary Malaysian popular songs and music videos in English. The article argues that such audio-visual engagements can be best described as productions of syncretic cultural multivocality. First, the fusion of the multiple musical styles that inundated Malaysia's novel popular music industry in the 1950s is traced. Next, the development of a creative pop multivocality in contemporary Malaysian hip hops is described. The article proceeds primarily by reading the Malaysian popular music scene as a cultural text and demonstrates that although the history of Malaysian popular music reflects pop cosmopolitanism, the cultural multivocality that characterises the Malaysian identity resonates as powerfully (if not more powerfully) at the core of the nation's popular imagination. The article concludes that the skilful integration of various influences from global popular culture creates a musical palimpsest that is and will continue to be imprinted with a multitude of signifiers of syncretic cultural multivocality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalKajian Malaysia
Volume31
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

music
pop music
hip hop
cosmopolitanism
popular culture
song
Malaysia
video
industry
history
imagination
Multivocality
Popular music

Keywords

  • Malaysian
  • Nativisation
  • Popular music
  • Syncretism
  • Transculturalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Syncretic cultural multivocality and the Malaysian popular musical imagination. / Joseph Sandra, Shanthini Pillai.

In: Kajian Malaysia, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2013, p. 1-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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