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Unveiling 5 of Malaysia’s Iconic 90s Pop Girl Groups: Spice Up Your Music Playlist Today!

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Source: Beautiful Nara

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Calling all music buffs! By now you must know that Malaysia has a pretty colourful music history. Due to the rapid expansion of musical genres and new artists, a lot of our past musicians sometimes go forgotten or are grossly underrated as time goes on.
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That’s why today, we’re going for a blast from the past with a list of iconic 90s M-pop (Malaysian pop) girl groups! If you’re into nostalgic funky sounds or a fan of K-pop girl groups, you’re sure to be surprised by our own local version of the “Spice Girls”.
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Following the 90s musical western trend of producing girl groups, Malaysia actually had several of them too, way before DOLLA even existed. Media coverage on popular local musicians that our elders used to listen to are also rare nowadays but we know how Gen-Z’s love re-discovering trends that once boomed in our local culture.
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So if you’re foreign to this part of our history, then it’s time to get cultured, people! No matter your age, this list is bound to spice up your playlist.

1. Feminin

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Being the first ever M-pop girl group in the 90s, it’s said that Feminin walked so that other Malaysian girl groups could run. This four girl group started their entertainment career as dancers and then went on to debut their first album in 1993. They managed to produce 4 hit albums before disbanding in 1997 due to internal conflicts and the Asian economic crisis.

The four women in the group are As, Yatie, Deq Nor and Along, thought later Along left the group after their first album. What’s cool about this M-pop girl group is that apart from their music they were known for their trendy fashion and short pixie-cut hairstyles that were often followed by teenage fans of that era.

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Among their hit songs at that time were Kini, Kembali, Rindu and Tetab Bersama. Feminin was also the winner of the first edition of the Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) for the Best New Group Artist category in the year 1994. How old were you then?

 

 

2. M’Steen

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Next up on our list is M’Steen, which stands for “Malaysia’s Teenagers”. They may not have gained as much popularity and success as the other groups on our list but they stand out for being the first female local group to venture into the rap genre for their first album and having the youngest members, debuting at just 16 years old.

The story of the formation of this group is pretty interesting as 4 of the members, Intan Azura, Jaja, Myra and Shankey were recruited to form a girl group by a record company, Denoris Records.

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Their talents were scouted by the recording label after participating (though they did not win) in a rap competition in 1993. Their 5th member, Fadillah Ali (Dilla) was called to join the group soon after completing the finals of another Asian talent show.

 

They had a short run in the music industry and most of the members moved on to other career avenues except Myra who tragically died in an motorcycle accident in the year 1996.

 

 

3. ELITE

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Elite was established in 1995 and is the first artist group under KRU Records. The group originally debuted with 5 members, Shasha Saidin, Azza Zawari, Linda Rafar, Watie Sadali and Abby Abadi (who’s also a well known actress in the local drama series, Gerak Khas). The group brought a very 90s style pop to the local music scene at the time and was also referred to as the Spice Girls of Malaysia.

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ELITE also went through a number of group member changes before deciding to disband in the 2000s. Due to how popular they were in the 90s, they decided to do a reunion in 2021 after 20 years of their disbandment. They came back with a whole new different, more Islamic look with a single song titled Alhamdulilah.

In the past though, their hit songs such as Tamparan Wanita, G.I.G, Trauma and many more were much more edgy and popular for teenagers back then. Fun fact! They were supposed to be named Baby G initially but the name clashed with a popular watch brand so the name was changed to ELITE.

 

 

4. RES’2

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Formed in 1992, RES’2 was the first group artist of the famous recording company Suria Record and branded themselves as a (mainly) rap group as rap was a booming music genre in Malaysia at the time.

Consisting of 5 ladies, Erin, Baby Arin, Umie, Watie, Yatie and Dida, RES’2 was once popular with the song Kepastian Pengertian, Rasa Sayang dan Sentuhan Cinta.

Throughout their tenure as recording artists, they managed to produce three albums before breaking up in 1997. Before becoming a rap group, they were also part-time dancers of the Tag Dancers group that served as backup dancers for various artists during the 90s.

 

 

5. Freshies

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Last on our list is the Freshies group that was established in 1992 and consists of four girls namely Ina, Ejie, Shima and Melor. As many of the artists at the time, Freshies also mixed the genres of pop and rap together.

This group was known for their authentic and strong vocals, it’s no surprise as they had experience as backup singers for a band named Wings in Malaysia.

They were also backing singers for Datuk M. Nasir when he performed at the 1994 Juara Lagu Award with the song Tanya Sama Itu Hud Hud.

At the end of 1996, the group disbanded but their hit songs like Semalam Dan Selamanya, Keindahan Bersamamu, Cinta, Jutaan Getaran and many more continue to entertain us till today.

So, there you have it! Our top 5 90s M-pop girl groups.

We hope you find at least one song to vibe too and enjoy discovering the nostalgic sounds of our past musicians. The next time you or anyone you know thinks that Malaysia might not have that many “cool” musicians with catchy, quality songs then, think again!

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Would you appreciate more local music related content? Share with us your thoughts in the comments and let us know if you’d like for us to write a Part 2! 

 

 

 

Also Read: Ready to Relive the Past? Here are 10 Nostalgic Shows for M’sians Who Grew Up in the 2000s

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Source: Shopee
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Cahaya Pena
Source: Discogs
Source: Wikipedia

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