Rap star CJL eyes Kollywood after releasing Lepak Mamak

Just over a year ago, not many had heard of Logeswara Rao or better known as CJL.

But that all changed when he entered a Tamil rap competition on Astro Ulagam and stunned the judges to become the inaugural winner of the competition.

Now, he has released his first single – Lepak Mamak – which is making waves in India and CJL hopes it will be the first step towards conquering Kollywood.

“My dream is to make it big in Kollywood. I am honoured that I have done a couple of interviews with the Indian media (following the release of his first single). I hope that will be the break I need,” the 25-year-old from Skudai, Johor, told Twentytwo13.

“Rap Porkaalam gave my confidence a big boost. I was hesitant to compete in the competition as I did not think I had what it took to win the show.

“However, a good friend whom I consider a brother (CJ Satish), convinced me to give it a try.

“I was nervous and felt I was not at my best during the audition but I received a call to say I had earned a spot on the show.”

He was one of the top 16 chosen from 80 who auditioned for the programme.

“It was a new experience even though I have been writing lyrics since I was 18,” said CJL, who started listening to hip hop and rap at the age of 11.

“During the show, we had to write lyrics to a given beat. The programme taught me how to entertain the crowd and become a better performer.

“It is not just about rapping. You need to build a rapport with the audience.”

He also thanked the show’s judges – Tamil hip hop pioneer Emcee Jesz, award-winning singer and producer Sasi the Don and illustrious composer and producer, Navin Navigator – for helping him.

Asked how he came up with the name CJL, Logeswara said it was based on a band he and Satish were part of during their school days.

“The band was called Crowns of Johor. So I took its initials and my name to come up with CJL,” said the final-year mechanical engineering student at Universiti Tenaga Nasional.

CJL said he is now busy working with Sony Music Malaysia to promote Lepak Mamak, a title he feels would resonate with all Malaysians.

He collaborated with singer-songwriter, Santesh on his musical breakthrough. Santesh, a Tamil pop virtuoso, had a hit Bahasa Melayu single entitled Amalina.

“No matter what race you are, almost everyone will use lepak when they want to hang out.

“The song is a combination of Malaysian style of rapping with Indian instruments like thavil and urumi,” said CJL who credited his family for influencing his taste in music and for believing in him.

“My father (A. Polnaidu) introduced me to Malaysian rap songs which he played during our car rides,” said CJL, who idolised Yogi B while growing up.

“My mother (J. Narayanamah) is my biggest supporter while my sisters (Shalini Devi and Hanusri) keep my feet on the ground as they are my biggest critics!”

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

MALAYSIA TO USE ASTRAZENECA

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said Malaysia will use the AstraZeneca vaccine for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

The use of AstraZeneca was discussed during the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee meeting. The vaccine has come under scrutiny following cases of blood clot among recipients which has led to several nations in Europe suspending the use of the vaccine.

Dr Adham Baba said clinical data of the vaccine showed there were more benefits than negatives.

GOVT QUANTITY SURVEYOR AMONG THOSE NABBED OVER RM3.8B PROJECT TENDER CARTEL

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) picked up a civil servant who is believed to be linked to the RM3.8 billion project tender cartel.

The 38-year-old quantity surveyor, who was picked up from his home in Ampang, is believed to have prepared the Bill of Quantity for projects offered by a government agency.

He is said to have received bribes amounting to RM1.2 million paid over four transactions.

He is part of a syndicate that monopolised 354 tenders from several ministries and government agencies nationwide, involving projects worth RM3.8 billion.

Yesterday, anti-graft personnel discovered RM3.5 million in a house belonging to a Datuk who is believed to be the syndicate leader. MACC investigators also discovered the 47-year-old man had two helicopters and a luxury yacht, among others.

WORK ROTATION FOR CIVIL SERVANTS HOLDING SENSITIVE PORTFOLIOS

The Public Service Department has been directed to rotate civil servants holding sensitive portfolios following the crippling of a syndicate monopolising government tenders.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali said: “I assure you that firm action will be taken against any government servant proven guilty in this issue or other cases of misconduct which mar the image of the civil service.”

DATUK AMONG FIVE ARRESTED FOR FAKE WORK PERMIT PASS STICKERS TO FOREIGN WORKERS

A Datuk, believe to be the mastermind, was among five people arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for being involved in the issuance of fake work permit pass stickers (PLKS) to foreign workers.

All five, aged between 33 and 43, were nabbed following surveillance by the anti-graft body and the Immigration Department over the past year.

The fake PLKS caused the government hundreds of millions of ringgit in losses. The case was being probed under Section 17 of the MACC Act 2009.

RINA HARUN’S FATHER DIES

Mohd Harun Mohamad Khairi, the father of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun, died at the Sungai Buloh Hospital earlier today. He was 71.

He will be laid to rest at the Kampung Salak Tinggi Muslim cemetery in Sepang.

OF ARCHEGOS, FAMILY OFFICES AND DAY TRADERS

The collapse of Archegos Capital Management sends a stark warning to financial markets and regulators about the dangers of hidden leveraged risk-taking and the power of family offices.

In light of the saga, local day traders need to pause and ask themselves if they know they are running their own leveraged family office, and if so, whether they can afford to do so, writes Azizul Amiludin.