19 November 2016
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"Anak Rantau" Tribute Concert to the late Kassim Masdor is to recognize his contributions to Malay music and film industry over the decades.

31 best musicians from the Radio Television Malaysia Orchestra (RTM) led by Dato Mokhzani Ismail will perform and accompany top singers from Singapore and Malaysia during the 90mins concert.

Kassim Masdor is an instrumental figure in the development of modern Malay music in Singapore. Making his name as a musician and arranger in the golden era of Malay films in the '50s and '60s, he went on to become one of the foremost Malay music composers in the Singapore music industry for over half a century.

By 1956, Kassim had established himself as an up-and-coming composer and arranger. He made his foray into the music industry and started working at EMI Singapore, going on to meet and work with many of the popular Malay singers. When Shaw Studios closed in 1958, Kassim was asked to join EMI Singapore as a producer, composer and arranger. He agreed, and went on to stay at the company till 1974, producing around 60 music albums in five years. After EMI Singapore, Kassim continued his musical activities, founding Senada Records in 1977.

Throughout his career as a sought-after composer, Kassim composed more than 400 songs, with most of them having lyrics written by his good friend a fellow Malay music pioneer Yusnor Ef. With his music, he introduced many singers who would go on to become top Malay singers such as Kartina Dahari, Ahmad Daud, Sanisah Huri and Sharifah Aini. Some of his best songs - Gelisah, Anak Rantau, Gelombang, Pelangi Petang and not forgetting patriotic songs such as Bahtera Merdeka, Malaysia Baru which are frequently used during Malaysian National Day.

Kassim's film music output has also been prolific. His first song for a film debuted in "Darah Muda", and he went on to serve as music director for 18 movies for Shaw Studios and Malaysian film companies.

For his contributions to Malay music and film over the decades, Kassim has received recognition from both industry and his peers. He received the Best Song award for the film Setinggan at the Malaysian Film Festival in 1982, the Meritorious Award by the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore in 1998, and the Anugerah Seri Temasek award in 2011. In 2002, Kassim received the Lifetime Music Achievement Award by PERKAMUS (Association of Malay Singers, Composers and Professional Musicians).