Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Achmad Awab Aziz, or as Achmad C. B as he is popularly known, was born on 20 August 1914 in Medan, Sumatera. At the age of five, Achmad followed his father to Singapore then later to Dungun, Terengganu. Even from an early age, Achmad showed a keen interst in singing and was greatly influenced in this area by his uncle, Said Tripoli, a ‘Bangsawan’ exponent.

Politically active at a young age, Achmad was a member of various Indonesian political parties including Gerakan Rakyat Indonesia (GERINDO), where he was tasked with leading cultural section. Here Achmad his talents to further the party’s anticolonial propaganda and sought to inject the spirit of nationalism through his songs and other stage works.

In 1935, Achmad launced his career as a singer and made his first recording with HMV (His Master’s Voice) in 1936 in Singapore. Thereafter Achmad tagged the initial “C.B.” to his name, which is shortfor “Cas Bara” (short fuse), a nickname given to him by by his contemporaries in keeping with his passionate nationalistic outlook. Achmad’s other involvement included a theater group, Seri Pentas Rayuan Asmara, which toured many partsof Sumatera and the Weat Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, before and after Japanese Occupation.
He was also champion of the annual ‘keroncong’ competition in Singapore, winning the title for three consecutive years from 1939. Although known extensively as a singer and composer of many famous songs like Bangun Anakkuand Melayu Raya, Achmad C.B also composed love songs, such as the Famous Bulan Mengambang and children tunes, such as Belalang and Kupu-kupu. Other well-love songs he composed are Enjit-enjit Semut, Belo-Belo, Rentak 106, Cincin Belah Rotan and 31 Ogos.

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