LOCAL musicians’ livelihoods have been impacted badly since the pandemic began last year and the movement control order came into force.
For some, survival has become a daily struggle.
In seeking to provide some relief to musicians financially affected by the most recent MCO, Brada Maju Enterprise began its food aid in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.
The food distribution was in collaboration with the Malaysian Red Crescent 4X4 Team (MRCS), Spoonful of Hope Welfare Society, Rotary Club, La Salle Old Boys, Busk and Food as well as various other donors.
The distribution took place in two phases — the first was on June 1 where recipients from Petaling district drove by USJ 9 to pick up the provisions while adhering to strict standard operation procedures.
The second phase took place on June 4 from the MRCS 4X4 Team warehouse in USJ 1, Subang Jaya where nine vehicles were deployed all around Kuala Lumpur, Gombak, Cheras, Kajang, Rawang, Shah Alam and Klang.
Altogether, there were 63 recipients of the food aid packages which contained Raya cookies, rice, eggs, bread, cooking oil, noodles and other food essentials.
Brada is a social enterprise that focuses on developing entrepreneurial and support programmes for Malaysian musicians impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The latest MCO has adversely affected musicians who were already struggling to make ends meet, ” said Brada founder Malik Abdullah.
“Many musicians have turned to alternative economic activities such as retail, food and beverage, clothing, online marketing and live streaming music to earn an income.
“However, they are finding it difficult to learn and adapt to their new trades.
“With little or no savings left, some have had to suffer the indignity of being evicted from their homes, or have resorted to selling their instruments and assets, ” he said.
“The current lockdown is causing even greater distress among the community as busking and performances are still prohibited, ” Malik added.
Meanwhile, Musicians for Musicians Malaysia (MfM) had its Food on Table festive drive for Hari Raya and this time, instead of provisions, they gave away Giant Hypermarket vouchers worth RM120 to 16 recipients.
“The lockdown is a wise move, but it is yet another bullet to the hearts of live musicians in Malaysia who have been out of jobs in the past 18 months.
“We are carrying out this initiative with the donations received last year.
“We usually flag out Food on Table during major festivals and MCO and as we still have many requests from musicians to provide household provisions for them, we are now compiling for the next round, ” said its deputy president Edwin Nathaniel.
In recent months, MfM’s popular “Isolation Music’’ show that kicked off last year has been rebranded as MfM CentreStage. It has been getting good reception from both viewers and musicians alike.
“Our organic viewership now stands at over a million. And we have more live musicians joining our Persatuan Pemuzik Malaysia/MfM platform and participating in MfM CentreStage.
“More shows are being slotted now, from Tuesday to Sunday with two shows per night, starting at 9pm, ” said Edwin.
The show runs with the help of kind donors and sponsors who have kept the programme going.
“We are aggressively sending out appeals and sponsorship requests to companies, individuals and government agencies to assist us in providing job opportunities to local live musicians.
“Any amount counts, and it makes a huge difference in the lives of our musicians, ” he added.
Visit the Musicians for Musicians Malaysia Facebook page for details and to watch the MfM Centre Stage show.
Contributions can also be channelled to Persatuan Pemuzik Tempatan Selangor’s Public Bank account 3213 9954 08.