Noh Salleh of popular band Hujan recalls how the members were victims of an elaborate set-up by haters.
AS the lead singer of one of the most successful bands in Malaysia, Noh Salleh has had his share of criticism from listeners. And even though the 28-year-old Hujan frontman appreciates the feedback – not just from the fans but also the haters – he feels that there are times when the band members are blatantly bullied; and as the lead singer, he is often the main target.
“It’s normal to see (mean) comments about artistes on social media like YouTube,” said Noh, who is lending his support to the R.AGE Against Bullying campaign in hopes to put an end to all forms of bullying.
While the negative comments sting, Noh said: “It is important to not let the people who just want to bring you down affect you.”
Easier said than done. Back in 2008, Noh recalled how the band were victims of an elaborate set-up by haters wanting to humiliate them.
“We were invited for a show only to find out that the organiser had actually planned for us to be boo-ed by the crowd when we were on stage.
“I don’t know why, but there is just something about people – when they see something that they are not used to, they will be skeptical, and they will criticise,” he said.
Despite the lack of love from certain quarters, Hujan – also made up of lead guitarist Hezry Hafidz, drummer Azham Ahmad, keyboardist Dimas Santoso, bass guitarist Izzat Uzaini and session guitarist Fami Ikhwan – have done well in the local music industry.
They picked up the Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song awards at Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) 2009, were nominated for several other local awards and had even emerged as the champion of a recent national band competition.
However, Noh said there are still people out there who are hell bent on bringing the guys down.
“People just love spreading rumours. That’s the worst,” said Noh.
A few years ago, news spread on the Internet that Noh had refused to take a photograph with an overweight fan.
Noh doesn’t even have a clue how that rumour started.
“When I saw that, I was like, ‘What? That didn’t even happen!’ People just like to come up with stuff and talk nonsense,” said Noh.
On top of that, Noh and his band members have also been labelled as sombong (arrogant) by some local magazines.
“I realised that when Hujan slowly rose in the industry, other bands started to distance themselves from us,” he said.
Although he had thought of giving up many times, Noh kept in mind the people who were on his side. “Whenever I’m down, I would turn to my friends and family, especially my mum. They never fail to encourage me.
“There will always be those who want to hate and bring you down, but there will also be those people who will encourage you and support you. So who do you want to listen to?”
> If you’ve been a victim of bullying, go to R.AGEAgainstBullying.com for support and resources. R.AGE Against Bullying is supported by UNICEF, Befrienders, Childline Malaysia, Help International School, StarRFM and Churp Churp. YES is the telco sponsor.