Indie Music Pioneer Abdul Nizam
Abdul Nizam, an award-winning Singapore indie filmmaker, and musician died of liver, lung and pancreatic cancer on Tuesday. He was 50. His wife, Madam Siti Nafisah Bee Sayna Abdul Kadir, 51, tells The Straits Times that the cancer was diagnosed just last week.
A month ago, Nizam had suffered from severe constipation and went to see a specialist in Kuala Lumpur. He and his wife, his 75-year-old mother, and sister-in-law – all Singaporeans – have been living there for the last four years, although he often travels back to Singapore. He and Madam Nafisah, who married in 2001, have no children.
Singer-songwriter Leslie Low of local art-rock band The Observatory will be looking back at his past on Sunday.
He and singer-guitarist Don Bosco will be resurrecting their 1990s band Twang Bar Kings as an acoustic duo to perform at a tribute concert to Abdul Nizam, the indie filmmaker and singer-musician who died of cancer at the age of 50 last month.
Low says: “Don and I will be doing some songs to remember Nizam by. Both Don and myself were big fans of his band The NoNames and were inspired by how he sang and played drums and still sounded so soulful. They were a band we looked up to.”
He and Bosco, whose band Daze had a local No. 1 hit in 1991 – Sexy Little Boy – will be performing classic rock songs that Nizam and The NoNames used to cover.
It will be the first performance in 20 years for Twang Bar Kings, who will be joined at The Substation by two other bands, The Endless and Gary Chand & Friends.
All the musicians performing at Remember Nizam: A Celebration In Music have made music with or were close to Nizam.
Chand, best known as a founding member of Singapore’s earliest reggae band Igta, was a good friend. The Endless comprise Nigel Hogan, former guitarist for The Padres, a band that Nizam had also played in, as well as musicians who played football with him.
Chand will play songs by Nizam’s favourite artists such as folk-rock icon Neil Young and Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, while The Endless will play original songs dedicated to Nizam – That’s Why I’m A Fool, Stargazing and You Soothe Me, Man.
Almost everyone involved in the show has either worked with Nizam or was inspired by his music and films, says freelance writer and music blogger Ivan Thomasz.
He is organising the show with freelance writer Dan Koh and The Oddfellows founding member Casey Soo.
Nizam’s death from liver, lung and pancreatic cancer came as a shock to many who knew him. The cancer was diagnosed only a week before he died.