Every year on August 31, as Malaysians celebrate the country’s independence, more often than not they’re served with the same old stale platter of nationalistic music. The words, “perpaduan”, “kebangsaan” and at times, “cinta” is thrown in to produce at times cringe-worthy music.

Thankfully, many local music lovers are not left disappointed as several of our own Malaysian musicians churn out to give their own perspective on what the word “Merdeka” means through their music.

We’ve decided to create a list and here it is!

Jiwa | Soul by Pulse Soundworks

Featuring 14 talented Malaysian singers the likes of Nigesh Armon from ArmonEndee AhmadAina AbdulChanelle Gabrielle GuerzoOtamJoshua Jarrett from Son of a PolicemanMaha Jeffery from TMJBJJ FernandezIan Tai from The PropositionsPsytrusPip The Turtle, Adam Lewis Yates, Kong Choong Hong and the students of the University of Illinois, Bussiness School,  Jiwa | Soul is a powerhouse by the “fix it generation” of Malaysia.

With the lyrics penned by Nigesh Armon, the composition of the song was a collaboration between Psytrus, Pip The Turtle and Adam Lewis Yates.

“What does it take to be a Malaysian?” the video description asks the viewer. You just got to listen to the song for yourself to find out.

Negaraku (National Anthem) by Brendan de Cruz

Brendan de Cruz‘s rendition of the country’s national anthem, according to a friend of ours, Antares Maitreya, is a “dirge, a lament and a love song all in one.”

It’s so powerful that it is currently setting social media afire after Says shared the video, reaching almost 8,000 views on Facebook alone.

Interspersed with audio from 1957, the year Malaysia achieved independence, Brendan’s ode to the nation basically encapsulates the emotions that many Malaysians are feeling at this point.

EKA – Tulangkata

While Brendan laments, Tulangkata, a poet turned rapper uses music as a medium to showcase his frustration at issues taking place locally and abroad in a witty, sarcastic and entertaining song.

The gist of the song; languages, maps and politics divides us.

Though the song was written in April this year, Tulangkata decided to release it on August 30 to coincide with Hari Merdeka. It really makes you wonder, what does Merdeka truly mean?

Ali AhKao Dan Muthu by Nawamee, David Arumugam and Aniq

Surprisingly, Namewee known for his remarkable courage and prowess for somehow offending certain members of the Malaysian society (remember his hit song, Negaraku?) chose to take a different direction this time around.

Featuring David Arumugam of Alleycats and “Ceria Popstar 2016” winner Aniq, Namewee’s song tells the story of three good friends; Ali, AhKao and Muthu.

Interestingly, the music video starts of with the birthday celebration of all three characters. A hand carrying a cake is seen walking towards the characters before it falls flat onto the table.

At the end, the broken pieces of the cake is arranged haphazardly and presented to the three characters who are shocked at what just happened. Why does it appear it so familiar?

And there you have it, music to listen to during this Merdeka week! It’s not much but it’s still something. Think we missed out on anyone or any Merdeka music? Do drop us a comment below or send us an email at editors@eksentrika.com