Jagjit Singh: He may be 63, but Jagjit Singh, otherwise known as the grandmaster of ghazals and Bollywood playback, still manages to cast a spell on his audiences. His live performances are legendary and every singer will tell you he wants to grow up and be Jagjit Singh. Also nominated for an MTV IMMIE, Jagjit is a name that evokes respect and reverence from the Bollywood industry. His fine voice has graced such songs as the sentimental "Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti" and the sorrowful "Baat Nicklegi To Door Talak Jayegi". A keen promoter of musical talent, Jagjit has groomed new talent and helped new artists like Talat Aziz, Ghanshyam Vaswani, Vinod Sehgal. If there ever was a complete singer - one who balances ghazals with Indi-POP and the jhakaas world of Bollywood - its Jagjit Singh.
Shaan: He with the chocolate boy looks and mellow voice knows how to conquer the hearts of pretty women. Adept at Indi-POP and Bollywood playback, the talented young Shaan looms large over peers and competitors. Coming from a family of illustrious singers (son of Manas Mukherjee), Shaan has the musical gene as part of his DNA. As a child he started out singing jingles and in 1995 released "Q Funk" which also featured sister, Sagarika. He followed this up with the satisfactory "Loveology" and the more recent "Tanha Dil", an album that rocked the charts and established him as India's ídolo POP número um. It was Shaan's foray into Bollywood playback that truly glued his voice into our collective hearts. His repertoire includes huge hits like the blockbuster "Dil Chahta Hai", "Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi", "Main Hoon Na", "Saathiya" and lots more.
Harry Anand: He seduces you and then moves in for the kill, making you dance like a mad man or woman to his tunes like "Kaliyon Ka Chaman" and "Kaanta Laga". This 'Master of Remixes' knows exactly how to get his fans into a frenzy. The Delhi boy's hobbies include listening to good music and playing cricket. But he only has one passion: music. His vision is to be an accomplished international singing sensation, and it looks like he is on the right track. He is already the winner of an MTV IMMIE (2003) for "Kaanta Laga" but will he follow it up with a MAA Award?
Bombay Vickings: For the lead vocalist Neeraj Shreedhar, Bombay Vikings is a term that represents the coming together of East and West - Bombay, being the Mecca of entertainment and the city where most dreams come true, and Vikings, which is representative of Scandinavia where Neeraj grew up. Using the traditional mix of old melodies and ancient tunes, the remix raja has revived the deadly spirits of yesteryear to hypnotize music fans in India and the rest of the world. His art is a wicked blend of old and new, which he has affectionately called "reverse remix". He chanced upon his skill one cold day while traveling on a train in Stockholm when he sang the traditional tune "O Mere Sona" with his own made-up lyrics. Since then, Bombay Vikings went on to find hit after hit with songs "Woh Chali", "Kya Soorat Hai", "Hawa Mein Udati Jaaye" and "Tera Mera Pyaar" with Falguni Pathak.
Strings: The fiery combination of Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia aka Strings set the charts ablaze ever since their college debut "Sar Kiyae Yeh Pahaar". Together they have become a force to be reckoned with, emerging as one of Asia's leading pop rock idols. Strings are no stranger to collaborations; their new album contains 10 tracks, including "Bolo Bolo" with Hari Haran, and "Pal" with pop singer Sagarika. They recently partnered Indi-Rock band Euphoria on "Jeet Lo Dil", a song that celebrated Indian cricket and the emerging friendly relations between India and Pakistan. But the band is best remembered for their trademark soaring guitar riffs on hits with "Anjane" and "Durr". "Dhaani" is the seventh and latest offering from this Karachi-based rock group. Heavily influenced by Indian Classical, Bollywood hits and western rhythms, Strings can always be relied on for a heady cocktail of Paks-POP, tinged with a touch of western rock.
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Agnes Monica: She's been in the entertainment business ever since she learnt how to talk, hosting several kids TV shows including "Video Anak" and "Tralala-Trilili", which won her the prestigious 1999 Panasonic Award for Best TV Host. Determined to do more, she branched into the world of acting in movies and television series by taking on the role of Lulu, Lupus's little sister in the movie "Lupus Milenia", before finally reaching the peak of her career with the hit TV series, "Pernikahan Dini" wich Agnes sang the theme song same titled, by renowned songwriter Melly Goeslow. It was a funkier, R&B of an existing pop song, the audience loved it and it showcased her strong vocals. All of 18, this Business Law undergraduate has gone on to win awards including a Planet Muzik Award in Singapore, before releasing her album "And The Story Goes" which spawned the two hit singles "Cinta Mati" and "Bilang Saja".
Ari Lasso: Best remembered as veteran band Dewa's first vocalist before he finally made a remarkable come back with two hit solo albums, "Sendiri Dulu" (2001) which shifted 400,000 copies and "Keseimbangan" (2003). Ari's raspy vocals have served him well on romantic love ballads and duets alike, notably his collaboration with Melly Goeslow, "Jika". 2004 could be the 31-year-old Madiun native's year. His third album "Kulihat, Kudengar, Kurasa" has been well-received, producing hits like "Mengejar Matahari", which has since been selected for the soundtrack of a movie of the same name. Ari followed up on the album's release with a 12-city tour that ended in October.
Glenn Fredly: Born Glenn Fredly Deviano Latuihamallo, this man's name is as long as his list of awards. The winner of a singing contest by Yayasan Musik Indonesia long before he became an unstoppable music force to be reckoned with, he received the prestigious Funkiest Male Singer award in 2001. Following his years as the lead singer of the band FunkcSection in 1994, he went solo and released two albums: "Glenn" in 1998 and "Kembali" in 2000. The albums shaped his image as a romantic singer who excelled at pop and R&B tunes. Riding on the success, he released "Selamat Pagi", "Dunia" which was sold more than 200,000 copies, earning it platinum status in April 2004. He then decided to re-release it, this time with three new numbers "Sedih Tak Berujung", "Akhir Cerita Cinta", and "Habis" plus an old hit with new arrangement "Cukup Sudah" featuring rappers Ivan Saba and Sa'i Zen from R.E.D..
Peterpan: Peterpan are Nazrul Irham or Ariel (vocal), Lukman Lukman (guitar), Kautsar Hikmat (guitar), Andika (keyboard), Hendra Suhendra (Bass) and Ilsyah Ryan Reza (drummer). The quintet has had nothing but great success as one of Indonesia's top bands of the year. Since the Bandung-based band's first album "Taman Langit" was released in May 2003, and its first single "Topeng" hit the charts and helped sell 650,000 copies, the band has been on a roll. They cemented their idol status by holding out in A Breaking Record 24 Hours challenge in July, 2004. The event made Peterpan the very first band to do a concert in six different cities in a day, hitting cities like Medan, Lampung and Surabaya. Regulars on the MTV Boom charts, Peterpan look set for bigger and better things with their very first nomination in this year's awards.
Ten2Five: Named after their jam sessions, which usually started at 10am and ended at 5pm, this band fuses pop with jazz to produce their very own brand of music. It was formed in 1998 when Poltak Sitorus (drum), Robin Sutanto (guitar), Arief Winarto (bass) and a female vocalist named Lea got together. When Lea quit, she was replaced by Imela Sari in August 2001, before the line up was completed with the entry of Didit Satrio Pinandito (guitar). Imela's ethereal vocals on "I Will Fly" made the single a radio hit and topped the music charts for several weeks when it was released under Explosive Records. Their debut album of the same name, featuring songs mostly done in English, shifted 100,000 copies effortlessly. Their easy listening style and catchy sounds built up a fan base in big cities like Jakarta and Bandung and smaller provinces alike.
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"The secret to my success is to do a lot of vocal training, always believe in myself, and be sincere and hardworking. I do keep track of the voting online. And I'm really grateful to my fans who have supported for me," says one of Malaysia's brightest stars and the fourth child among her seven siblings.
Misha Omar: She broke into the local music scene in 2003, and quickly earned a nomination Best New Artist at the Anugerah Planet Muzik 2003 for her hit song "Bunga Bunga Cinta". She didn't win, but by year end, her trophy cabinet was comfortably filled with a Gold Award at the Shanghai Music Festival 2003 and the best vocal award at the TV3's Anugerah Juara Lagu ke. It was evident: the BMG Music artist was definitely going places. Professing that she wants to go as far as she can in the entertainment business, it seems Misha doesn't need a road map. The 21-year old signed a movie deal earlier this year, and is taking a break after recoding her second album.
Spider: Johor Bharu boys Rustam Bin Mustafah (Vocal), Bernado Alberto (Bass), Mohd Hanafi Bin Hamdan (Guitar) and Azhri Bin Nasir (Drum) formed Spider in 1997 when they found their way to music veteran M.Nasir's to audition. Two years later, their debut album "Ngam Ho" catapulted the multi-talented artists (they play musical instruments, produce their own songs and have film credits to their name!) onto the music scene. Their biggest achievement to date has been a duet with M.Nasir on the song "Mentera Semerah Padi", which Nasir included in his same titled fourth album. Their catchy single has been so popular that it's become a ring tone on many mobiles in Malaysia today, surpassing their popular single "Cinta Dewa Dewi".
Ruffedge: Formed as a quartet in 1997, hip hop/R&B outfit Ruffedge are Syed Muhammad Syed Abdullah (Mode), Farish Ramli (Cat), Azanuddin Abdul Wahab (Azan) and Mohd Hamaruzzaman Zain Abdul Hamid (Zain). Their fifth member Amer Munawer Yusoff (Amer) only joined later. From their days of practicing their music in stairwells, Ruffedge have come a long way, with two albums to their name: "Extreme Pleasure and Extra Pleasure" in 2002, and more recently "Defined". Their single "Tipa Tertipu", a catchy ditty about how girls should protect their modesty, was initially banned from radio because it included several languages and not just Malay. But the ban was later lifted, something the band accredits as the cause of the single's success. The band's popularity is undoubted. Their fan base includes females and male fans, the latter being college students try to dress like them -- wearing slanted caps and carefully-cultivated goatees. This has prompted plans to start their very own clothing line, RuffLuv, sometime in the near future.
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Shinhwa (): They offered their fans their magic "Winter Story" tour in February 2004 and then the popular Korean group back to pamper music lovers with more stunning material on their "Brand New" release. It outshined their 6th regular album "Wedding" via more relaxed and stylish music marked with their wild and charismatic image. They produced their new work with Park Koon Tae, while Lee Min Woo, Kim Dong Wan and Eric contributed to the album's lyrics, composition and arrangement. "My Everything" (track 9) is featured w Babble Sisters' Kim Soo Yun.
Se7en (): EMI's secretly prepared musical weapon explodes on the international music scene! The record company is confident enough to compare nineteen-year-young Se7en, to Usher and Justin Timberlake! The hot talent made his debut at the CF of jeans with Jang Dong Gun and Lee Dong Wook, and this time around he teamed-up with professional dancers who were earlier engaged in assignments for Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Rumour has it that Se7en and his staff were haunted by a ghost during the recording sessions. Decide for yourselves whether this is truth or not!!!lol :P
Lee Soo Young (): The Korean Queen of ballad Lee Soo Young, who has just launched her music career in Japan with her Japanese debut "Saigo no Magamama" in June 2004, was fully recharged when returned to Korea for her 6th album. The title track is a wistful sentimental ballad and its music video clip costs over 500 million won in production. That's Lee Soo Young! ;P
Rain (): "It's Raining" in your music box with Rain's inimitable sound. This time the popular star from TV hits like "Sang Doo! Let's Go to School" and "Full House" has teamed-up with top composer/producer Park Jin Young and the result is sure to keep you hooked. Taking his fan's to a higher musical level, he has added hip hop and other captivating ingredients to his hit palette to offer you "IN" tunes like his dance-floor title track "It's Raining".
Shin Seung Hun (): 14 years well established himself as the king of ballads. Ready for something hot and new? Shin Seung Hun says yes on his 2004 album "Ninth Reply". Besides delivering his expectedly high quality love songs, the sensitive sophisticated vocal from Korea strives for your attention with big progress demonstrated on the fast tempo tracks. "Come to Me" spreads the warmth and affection with its Bossanova arrangement and touching lyrics, which make you love it once you hear it. The fast tempo ballad on the 10 track shows a balanced mixture of Shin's masculinity and compassion while the house music on the 11 track brings out the energetic side of this honest kind man.
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