Adly Syairi Ramly: The Truth Is, You Also Can Do It

ADLY SYAIRI RAMLY is definitely someone who’s been around the block in the music scene. The Former programme manager of XFM has too long of a resume for JUICE to even list down, but he has always been an important catalyst in the local music scene. And so we pass the pen to the self-proclaimed music documentist…

I’m 36 this year and this year also marks my 20th year as a fulltime avid fan, critic, cheerleader, documentist, and voluntary PR exec to this thing called Malaysian “indie” music.

Did I enjoy it?

Hell yeah!

Which part did I enjoy the most?

Well I enjoyed the excitement of the “underground” going against the odds back during 1991-1995. I also enjoyed the courting years between the “underground” and the recording labels back in 1996-1999. I was flying high during the “urban music” explosion in 2000-2005. I was Nostradamus-like when I sold my soul to the “mainstream” back in 2006-201

So, which part did I enjoy the most, again

The journey.

The journey of discovering new music, meeting up and getting to know the bands, interviewing them, thinking of an angle on how to write about them, plotting ways on how to get the public excited about their music, getting their music played on national radio, throwing shows for them. In short, documenting them in multiple platforms.

Did I ever get tired of doing all the above?


Simply because I believe in the utopian ideal that one day, Malaysian fringe music will be accepted as an important part of Malaysian music.

I’m not gifted, nor was I born with a superpower to make things happen. I’m just a music nerd who’s madly in love with homemade music.

What I did was to stand firmly behind what I believe in and at the same time try to find ways on how to get others on the same page. Really.

Looking back, I’m proud with what I have achieved – gave Malaysian its first proper music magazine in TONE, introduced hundreds of acts through its pages, put bands like Kapal Selam, The Rebel Scum, Sevencollar T-shirt on a double-page spread on national paper, The Malay Mail, played hundreds of previously unheard of local acts on national radio, XFM.

Credit also goes to people like Edwin Raj and Co for his Music Video Grant initiative, Fikri and his The WKND, Reza Salleh for his Moonshine and Feedback Nights, Mak Wai Ho for his The Hidden Sessions and few others who decided to defy the odds and stood firmly behind what they believe in.

But was it enough?


The number of viewers, critics and haters outnumbers the doers.

We are doing what we do because we believe in it, and not because we are responsible for it.

The responsibility is actually ours and not just yours, mine, his or theirs.

I know there are more people out there who can do similar if not better things to keep the scene going and moving.

“How?” you ask?

The moment something is not within the eco-system of Malaysian fringe music, lies opportunities.

The moment you feel like you are not being given the opportunity to show what you are capable of, is the perfect time for you to go out and do it yourself.

Think about it. You made the choice to be an independent musician for a reason. I’m sure “to be dependent on others” wasn’t one of it.

Do yourself a favour. Start doing something today… like discovering some of the local acts that is currently on my heavy rotation like Akta Angkasa, Classmates, Massacre Conspiracy, OJ Law, Darren Ashley, The Garrison and Thy Regiment.

Why are they on my heavy rotation you ask?

Aw c’mon that will spoil the whole idea of doing something on your own, don’t it?

Adly is still doing his bit for the industry, currently attached to Astro as the Assistant Vice President, Programming, Content Management Group. Visit The Documentist for his documentation of the music scene.