Renowned Malaysian singer Datuk Zainalabidin Mohamed recently graced Limkokwing University, bringing a wealth of experience and insights from the creative industry. His visit, marked by engaging discussions and future collaboration proposals, underscored the importance of nurturing local talents and providing platforms for creative expression.
Datuk Zainal Abidin Mohamed, commonly known as Zainalabidin or Zainal Headwind, is a celebrated Malaysian male singer born on 4 November 1959. His musical journey began as the lead vocalist for the band Headwind. In 1989, he embarked on a solo career, releasing his first album under his name in 1991 with Roslan Aziz Productions (RAP). Datuk Zainalabidin is renowned for his world and spiritual music genres, with songs often centred around themes of love, humanity, and the environment. His music has captivated audiences both locally and internationally. Throughout his career, Datuk Zainalabidin has produced eight albums with Headwind between 1983 and 1989. As a solo artist, he has released four highly acclaimed albums that have significantly influenced the Malaysian music industry
Datuk Zainalabidin, familiar with the limelight of concerts and the fashion runway, has recently found a new stage in educational institutions. His visit to Limkokwing University was not just a mere appearance but a commitment to share his 45-year journey in the music industry. This move from the stage to the classroom embodies his dedication to guiding the next generation, leveraging his real-world experiences, which, as he pointedly notes, “You don’t get in school.”
Datuk Zainalabidin emphasised the critical role of creative platforms in channelling the energy of Malaysia’s youth. He believes in diverse forms of artistic expression, from music to sculpture, as vital avenues to prevent young talents from veering towards negative paths, saying “because the young people in Malaysia, they have a lot of energy to throw. With this kind of exhibition, this kind of platform, they can express themselves in terms of creativity. But as long as they have a platform for them to showcase their talent, so they’re not going wild into drugs or into something else that’s very, very negative.” His vision aligns with making such platforms a regular feature, fostering a consistent space for creativity.
Datuk Zainalabidin expressed his enthusiasm for future collaborations with Limkokwing University. He envisages a partnership transcending traditional academic boundaries, combining his industry expertise with the university’s innovative approaches. This collaboration aims to create a “brighter future for the next generation,” as he puts it, allowing students to learn from his experiences and avoid similar pitfalls. “With 45 years of experience in the music industry, I think if we can work together, I can contribute more to the university. I can share my experience, telling them not to do what I have done wrong. So there will be a path for them to do it correctly without making mistakes like what I have done before,” he added.
A striking aspect of Datuk Zainalabidin’s vision is the emphasis on global outreach. He encourages looking beyond Malaysia’s borders, urging students and the university to embrace international opportunities, saying, “now the world is open widely. Do not focus on the small little population in Malaysia. Let’s go abroad.” His proposal for a Limkokwing recording label and artist management division reflects this global mindset, aiming to produce and export local talent worldwide.
Datuk Zainalabidin extended a heartfelt invitation to prospective students. He underscored Limkokwing University’s commitment to offering the best rather than simply catering to expectations. “My advice, you know, to the upcoming students that want to be part of Limkokwing. We are here to give them the best that we have. We just show them the best. We just give them the best. So Limkokwing will produce and give you the best.” This philosophy, rooted in excellence and innovation, is poised to shape the university’s approach to education and creative production.
Datuk Zainalabidin Mohamed’s visit to Limkokwing University marks a significant milestone in bridging the gap between industry and academia. His experience and the university’s forward-thinking approach set the stage for a vibrant, globally oriented-future in Malaysia’s creative arts education.