Alena Murang’s ‘Warrior Spirit’ scores two wins at UK’s International Music Video Awards

A promotion poster for Alena Murang's 'Warrior Spirit' music video.

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KUCHING, June 27: Sarawakian singer and songwriter Alena Murang’s latest music video, ‘Warrior Spirit’ clinched the “Best Asia & Pacific Music Video” and “Honourable Mention for Best Costume” at the International Music Video Awards (IMVA) in the UK recently.

The music video was also a semi-finalist for the “Best Film” Award 2021 in Los Angeles, USA and was also an Official Selection at the New York International Film Awards.

According to a press statement, the music video, which was released on YouTube on May 27 is the work of the same team behind Alena’s award-winning music video “Midang Midang” (2019), directed by her cousin, Sarah Lois Dorai, and co-produced by Kanid Studio and Project Room.

“Warrior Spirit shows the strength within, “we come from a line of warriors and heroes,” shared Alena, who is of Dayak Kelabit descent.

“My great great great grandfather Balang Nganud was a great warrior, the community called him ‘the tiger that floats enemies’ heads downriver’.

“Though we no longer practise that anymore, we inherited their spirit, their courage, their strength; and moreover, the courage to fight together for something greater than ourselves.

“I think many Malaysians, and people across the world also, can relate to the spirit of the warrior,” said Alena.

On receiving the awards, Alena said: “I feel so incredibly proud of the whole team that put in their time and energy towards this music video.

“It’s been a really rough period for people in film and music so it’s heartwarming to have achieved not just creating this music video, but also the added bonuses of these international awards.

“We can do great things when we work together,” she added.

Meanwhile, the looks and styling for the music video were mainly inspired by Alena’s cultural heritage and that of the peoples of Borneo, mainly Sarawak, styled by Styllar and working with Malaysian designers and craftswomen, and renowned make-up artist Gebriel Padan.

Saerah Ridzuan, who is also Alena’s stylist for most of her appearances said: “We wanted to showcase the beauty of our Bornean cultural heritage amplified by fashion-forward aesthetic that speaks the spirit of a modern warrior.

“I am beyond ecstatic for the honourable mention from IMVA and I hope the world can appreciate the beauty of Borneo through this music video,” Saerah said.

Apart from that, film director Sarah Lois Dorai added: “The wins and selections at festivals only goes to show that there is an interest in the stories that we have to tell from our part of the world, and from indigenous communities.

“We hope that many more films from native voices will be financially supported in the future,” she commented. — DayakDaily