Watch also on Youtube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

List of the finalists

01. Malaysia, RTM - Mohd Rizal Ahmad - Di Sudut Kamar Hatiku
Rizal Ahmad was born in Malaysia in 1975. He started singing at the tender age of 10. He has performed in many local events. In 2009, he was a winner in the Bintang Nostalgia, a competition organized by a national Radio Station.

He loves jazz and plays the guitar in his free time. He loves music and plans to take it further by producing his own album soon.

02. Pakistan, PBC - Marryum Hussain - The Soft Song of Peace
Miss Marryum Hussain (مریم حسین), the singer of “Soft Song of Peace” is about 15 years old and belongs to middle class family of Kohat in the North West of Pakistan. She is studying in a government High School in class 10. She has been a high position holder in academics since class three. Her aim is to be a doctor.

Marryum started singing from the age of 7 and got the first position in a singing competition when she was class 2. She learns from her mother Mrs Shafqat Nigar, although they do not have any singing background. Marryum represents her school in all local and regional competitions.

She is determined to sing more for Peace as her land has many untold stories of shattered families over the last 10 years.

03. Iran, SMC - Moghtada Gharbavi - Bezar Asheget Bemoonam (بذار عاشقت بمونم) (Let Me Remain Your Lover)
Moghtada has been a singer from the age of 7. Plays various instruments, such as guitar, ney and sitar. He is also teacher of music at the university in Iran. Has appeared at various Iranian radio and television programs. His song Bezar Asheget Bemoonam is about a man asking for a love of God in order to help reach out for his lover.

04. Thailand, Radio Thailand - PRD Band - Kwam Smakki (Unity)
The PRD Band is a mix of Thai classical music group and the western music group. The band was originated in the 19th century by the Public Relations Department of Radio Thailand and has been continuing to make its mark.

The band is comprised of a number of versatile artistes with four lead singers Chanat Pattanakunnum, Pravet Trachoo, Marutida Boonmongkol and Sureeporn Krangsa-ard. Most of the band members have had their training in performing arts.

Lyrics of the song “Unity” encourage people to understand the power of unity. The Unity is the strength of every nation. Their music represents mix of Thai classical and Western music.

05. Brunei, RTB - Neff Aslee - Juliet
Hit single Juliet by one of the top male artists in Brunei Neff Aslee became a regional hit and remained in the number one spot for more than 20 weeks in local airwaves Pelangi FM in 2012 and present, and also topped the Kristal FM Chart for weeks in early - mid 2013. Song has been composed by Neff Aslee on lyrics by Nizam & Udi Luqman. Produced & arranged by Udi Luqman, Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Udi Records 2012. Neff Aslee has also released his previous songs in-collaboration with other talents such as Zul, Faz, Jeff, Zul Unlimited, Nizam, Ezah, Fiq, Sri Nazrina & Udi Luqman.

Singing career, involvement and experiences:
Singing from the age of 19. Specializes in jazz, R&B and rock.
2006 : Best 914 Singing Competition
2010 : Finalist P2F 2010 (“FRIENDSHIP AWARD” and 4th place), Persembahan “Meriahnya Raya Bersama Top 18 P2F 2010” sempena Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2010, performance for M.O.U “ Alai Pa Plern” between Brunei & Thailand, performance for “Ramah Mesra Aidilfitri Bersama B.S.P”, “ Charity Event” for special needs childrens, Charity event “ Music Of Heart 3”
2012: 'Artist spotlite Mac 2012'Pelangi FM, 'Artist Of The Month Oktober 2012'Pelangi FM, Anugerah Pelangi 2012/2013 : Top 10 Artis baru pilihan, Anugerah pelangi 2012/2013 : Top 10 lagu Pilihan (Juliet).

06. Singapore, MediaCorp - Nana Karia - Boneka Ku Hilang
29-years old Noor Hasanah bte Zakaria, better known as Nana is nick-named as Singaporean Queen of Soul.

Singing from 1998. She is an alumni of Singapore Idol Season 1 (Top 12) in 2004. Her vocal abilities earned her the title of “Singapore’s Queen of Soul” by one of the judges. A breakthrough to her came only a 10 years after, when she submitted song "Lafaz" to Projek Rentak competition, where it won 2nd prize, after it charting in Ria Radio for 12 weeks and bringing her nominations for the Most Popular Singapore Song and Best Vocal Performance at the prestigeous Anugerah Planet Muzik.

Nana, who is married to local drummer Fairoz Samil, 35, is now a regular performer at venues such as Ballymoons Spirit Bar and Muddy Murphy's at Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade and J Bar at M Hotel. She is working on a debut 10-track rock and funk album comprising original Malay and English songs. She also plays the piano, guitar, harmonica and percussions, and is learning jazz and bossa nova from two Kuala Lumpur-based jazz musicians, Maria Angela and Willie Rahmat Abdullah.

'It is important to embrace the different genres and know what people are listening today,' she says. She also sings R&B and soul. She adds: 'You can't be complacent. I still rehearse with my band, Nana & The Vibes, twice a week in the studio.' Her old blog is available here.

Her song "Boneka Ku Hilang" written by Nur Diana Bte Saad is about teenage pregnancy and stand anti abortion.

07. India, AIR - Mangka Mayanglambam - Tamla Loibi Napom
Mangka Mayanglambam, aged 17 years, student of class 12 standard, is an amateur Folk Singer from Manipur State of North-Eastern India. Sings folk, Indian, classic and contemporary music.

Since her tender age, Mangka developed proclivity towards folk music and performing arts. At the age of 9, she started following Moirang Sai and Basok , a rare folk performing art form of Manipur performed by females only. Beside folk singing, she is fond of Indian Classical Music and Manipuri Dance.

She has won huge appreciation for her talent and is recipient of National Talent Scholarship in the field of Manipuru Folk Song by Cultural Resource Training Center, Govt. of India in 2008. She begs many awards including Best Folk Singer on Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan’s Sate Youth Festival 2009. She is receiving training on Manipuri Traditional music from Ima Langathel Thoinu since 2006 and Pena from Oja Kh. Mangi. She is an approved artiste of All India Radio, Imphal 2009.

Her song "Tamla Loibi Napom" is about beauty of her home town Manipur. Her father who is a well known Manipuri traditional Pena performer will join her on Festival stage.

08. Iran, IRIB - Peyman Talebi - Wave of the Infinity (موج بی نهایت)
Peyman Talebi (پیمان طالبی) is a 28 year singer and musician. He has B.A in civil engineering and he is now one of the host of Radio Javan (IRIB Youth Radio).

He has started learning music when he was 14 and he has produced promos, jingles and musical songs for IRIB Youth Radio. The song was originally presented at "Third Annual Young International Radio Festival" performed by a group of hosts of IRIB Youth Radio earlier this year. You can check his website here.

09. Australia, CRA - Iluka - 12th of July
ILUKA, the inaugural winner of the commercial radio industry’s Australian music initiative ‘First Break’, has received massive radio support from commercial radio stations across Australia for her first single “12th of July”. The single, released via Liberation Music (part of the Mushroom Group), is a fitting vehicle for the emerging twenty-two year old, whose soaring, yet smoky vocal and unique songwriting finds her positioned well beyond her years.

With a bold and vibrant look to match her sound, ILUKA has shared the stage with acts as varied as Matt Corby, The Rubens and Georgia Fair and in October last year performed in front of 1200 radio, music and media executives from around Australia at the 25th Australian Commercial Radio Awards in Brisbane. ILUKA received an outstanding response when she performed a stunning live set at the exclusive First Break Showcase at the Oxford Art Factory in front of music and program directors from major commercial radio networks across Australia.

Chief Executive of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said First Break winner ILUKA has had 12 months of development support and guidance from Mushroom, the number one independent music group, and now commercial radio will support her with radio airplay and support valued at $2 million. Chairman of the Mushroom Group, Michael Gudinski said: “It’s great that commercial radio is pushing upcoming Australian artists, and we think the partnership between commercial radio and Mushroom in First Break is the perfect combination for any developing Artist that has reached a certain point but really wants help to to take it to the next level”. “For me it’s all about creating a sound that is unique but one that is also accessible and when people hear it they will hopefully say, hey this is different but I really like it.” said ILUKA.

Produced and mixed by Tony Buchen (The Preatures, Andy Bull), 12th of July is ILUKA’s first commercial release since winning the Commercial Radio Association’s First Break competition in 2012. Liberation Music Managing Director, Warren Costello said: “We have worked very closely with commercial radio to allow the First Break winners to develop their craft in a very organic and timely way – ILUKA is an outstanding example of an artist who is independent and uniquely talented but equally ready to accept the offer of a helping hand to reach a wider audience.”

First Break is voted for by the Music Directors and Program Directors from commercial radio stations around Australia, and aims to discover and develop a new crop of outstanding Australian musicians whilst simultaneously giving winners all the tools necessary to grow and develop their careers. ILUKA is also gaining a strong live following, supporting the likes of Matt Corby, The Rubens, Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, and takes her alluring live show on the road this coming May in support of ‘12th of July’.

You can hear the single and watch the film clip at her website

10. Sri Lanka, MBC - Shehara Liyanage (Shey) - Something Bout' You & I
Shey is today well known both as one of the anchors of YES FM’s ‘Morning Show’ and an extraordinary soloist with the all-female choir ‘Soul Sounds. A gifted performer, she has kept many an audience spellbound with her powerful voice, loveable personality and stellar stage presence. Shey is one of the key drivers of the choir, constantly lending her expertise towards music and choreography, and can always be found, together with her fellow top soprano's, engaging in playful banter with the altos in the group.

Apart from that she has been singing with Soundarie David Rodrigo since 1996. She was initially a part of the Merry-An Singers with Mary Anne David, and with a great passion and liking for singing was very much involved with the senior school choir at Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya. As she is currently working for a media organization and is a Radio Presenter hosting the Morning Show on Yes Fm, Shehara loves merging her work with her singing, adding that it helps her learn more about the kind of music that’s out there, making her appreciate the various styles to singing by building and bettering her own vocals as a singer.

She has two mottos that defines herself, “When there’s way too much to handle, take it one day at a time. And always be true".

At the Festival she will performing publicly for the 1st time original song "Something Bout' You & I"

11. South Korea, KBS - Seokwon Ryu - A Regular
Seokwon Ryu (류석원) was born in Seoul in 1988. He majored in Applied Music in college and has performed in the Korean independent music scene since 2010.

He enjoys singing to guitar accompaniment and likes Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson. He has sung in clubs and various festivals. He hopes to be a singer who sings about love and freedom. You can find his Facebook page here.

12. Sri Lanka, MBC - Super Stars - Boot Song
Just a few month ago a Youth Conference has been held in Sri Lanka, MTV and MBC have produced original song to mark this special occation. The “Boot Song” is sung by four young artists whom were competing in "Sirasa Superstar" (winner of season 5 Dasun Madusan, season 3 and 6 finalists - Achala Madushanka, Kanishka Salinda, Nuwan Bulathsinhala and Rajitha Banuka) and "Shakhti Superstar" (season 3 winner) which are the most popular reality TV shows for singers in Sri Lanka in Sinhalese and Tamil.

Hailing from different backgrounds and different parts of the island, their ultimate achievement is reaching wide spread popularity by winning the Sirasa Super Star reality show. They will be accompanied by the national Youth Service dance troup.

Other entries

Brunei, RTB - Rapul Rezal - Inilah Sebenarnya
India, AIR - Abhijith Kishan - Be The Change
A versatile singer , keyboardist and a music producer known for his vocal range and high tones, Abhijith Kishan (AK) started singing & playing keys at the age of 5 learning Indian Classical music. He also started listening to MJ, Guns n Roses, LinkinPark, BrunoMars, BSB & other famous artists on the go. These influences drove him to make his own music, inspired him to develop his own style.

As a solo artist, he has won many western solo events at college Fests. He has been collaborating with different musicians in India and abroad for last 5 years. Abhijith Kishan has composed and produced over 15 singles.

Iran, IRIB - Mohammad Saveh - Fountain of the Sun (چشمه خورشید)
Mohammad Saveh (محمد ساوه) was born in 1983 in Kerman, Iran. He has diploma in Mathematics/Physics and earned his degree in M.A in agriculture engineering in Tehran University. Currently he is studying for a master program there and is working in subsidiary organization of the Ministry of Agriculture.

He started learning to be a vocalist in 2000, taking part in several competition, and after years of trainings he has created tracks including My Country, Fountain of the Sun, The glass of the age, Sunny tomorrow, Story of the stars and Life. As is usual with IRIB entries in ARSF, he has been chosen through a International Radio Festival held in Iran every year.

Iran, SMC - Heshmatollah Rajabzadeh - Larzan (لرزان) (Trembling)
Heshmatolla Rajabzadeh (حشمت الله رجب زاده), 40 is from Khoramabad in Lorestan Province, Iran. He started his training as singer of hymns in 1985 in an institute and later continued his study under guidance of renowned teachers.

His first music album “Nasime Sahar” (Breeze of Sunrise) was published in 1989 and made him famous. Heshmatolla Rajabzadeh is still continuing his training from renowned music teachers.

Latest news

Around 400 people packed into Colombo’s state-of-the-art Stein TV Studios on Friday night for the ABU Radio Song Festival 2014. Twelve finalists from 10 countries were picked from dozens of entries to perform on the live TV and radio show. The countries represented were: India, Australia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, South Korea and Sri Lanka. The home country and Iran had two acts in the finals.

Compared to 1st edition of the Festival in 2012, no special awards were given during the show this year, but all performers received a token of appreciation from the organisers of the show, which was aimed to celebrate the diversity of the many Asia Pacific countries through the medium of song and radio.

The show was co-organised by Sri Lankan media group Capital Maharaja which owns Stein Studios. The Song Festival runs alongside the RadioAsia2014 conference which has been attended by hundreds of representatives from Asian broadcasters and continues on Saturday. The event was streamed live on MTV Sports Channel and is expected to air on several radio and TV networks across Asia over the next few days.

ABU's Senior Executive Radio Programming, Ms Vijay Sadhu, said the audience and viewers were given “an exquisite offering of songs of various genres coupled with a brilliant production. The fare provided was extraordinary and world-class. In a brilliant exposition of song and dance, the cultural richness and diversity among the countries of the region captivated the hearts and minds of the audience.”

Watch news report from the show here.

Watch the show live today on MTV Sports at 19.00 local time (15.30 CET). Delayed broadcast will be available on Sirasa TV on Sunday at 22.30.
Show will be presented by Shaq, Suhail and Thanuja Jayawardana. Special guests will include Umaria Sinhawansa and several dance acts.
You can find the running order below and stay connected with Singaporean RIA 89.7 FM host Aura Shai who will be instragraming through the show live.

The red carpet will be rolled out for performers at the second ABU Radio Song Festival in Sri Lanka later this month. The biennial night-of-nights for unsigned talent from across the Asia-Pacific will take place at the Stein Studios complex in Colombo on the evening of 23 May 2014.

Organisers say last-minute touches are being put to the gala program, which will begin with red carpet arrivals before the audience settles in for a an evening of music from Australia, Brunei, India, Iran, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the hosts Sri Lanka, who will also provide several performances by local artists around the international acts.

Current list on both official ABU and RadioAsia sites omits Malaysia from the list of participants leaving followers of the show puzzled once again. Considering that two days ago Rizz Ahmad was at broadcaster for the latest preparations for the show, we assume he will be taking part as earlier scheduled.

The organisers say the festival brings together fresh young unsigned musicians from nine countries who share the same passion for music and song.

“They will perform and interact in an environment of mutual respect and harmony where music transcends all language, national and cultural barriers,”

Gala Night will be held at Stein Studio on May 23, at 7 pm. There will be shuttle buses from the Radio Asia conference venue to the Stein Studio that will start at 6 pm from Mount Lavinia Hotel.

There are more indeed. Today 2nd entry of Sri Lanka, and entry of Pakistan, the only country that has been omitted from the final yesterday, were added to the list of finalists. Will we still get the entries of Vietnam and Indonesia as promised earlier?

Official ABU Radio Song Festival today has announced the list of finalists of the show. Contradicting with previous report, only 10 entries have been listed as those qualified to the final of competition - from Australia, Brunei, India, Iran (IRIB and SMC), Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Earlier report, published by the ABU main site included Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam in the list of the countries qualified to the final of the show.

According to the rules of the competition, number of finalists should be 15.

It is currently unknown, whether there will be 5 more candidates added on a later date, but change of the wording from "Stay tuned for more entries" to "Enjoy the music" suggests the list could be the final. If that is so, it seems the interest to the ABU Radio Song Festival has significantly dropped from the 1st year, when in total, 26 entries from 18 radio broadcasters have been received.

Current list shows just 15 entries, submitted by 11 broadcasters of which 10 entries by 10 broadcasters are marked as "Selected". Pakistani broadcaster PBS is the only one omitted in the list of finalists.

Radio Thailand is the only new broadcaster in the list compared to 2012, while there are no entries from ABC Australia, CR101 Bhutan, FBC Fiji, RRI Indonesia, NTS Kyrgyzstan, AAAN Malaysia, SNPR Sudan, VOV Vietnam.

Performers from 12 Asia-Pacific countries will light up the Gala Night finals of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union’s 2nd Radio Song Festival in Colombo on 23 May this year. Singers and musicians from Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam will perform live at Stein Studio in Colombo in front of a grand audience.

The event culminates this year’s ABU Song Festival, which attracted national level performances of the best songs and singers selected by ABU members in 12 countries. The Song Festival is being held in conjunction with the ABU RadioAsia2014 Conference from 22-24 May in Colombo. Through participation in the Radio Song Festival, ABU radio broadcasters discover up-and-coming talented performers, helping to promote unsigned talent in the Asia-Pacific and recognising cultural diversity through the medium of radio song. MTV/MBC Radio of Sri Lanka is hosting the two-hour Gala Night performances.

Ms Vijay Sadhu, the ABU’s Senior Executive Radio Programming, says she is very happy with the way the second year of the ABU Song Festival has developed.

“The festival provides international exposure to the singers, composers and other artistes. The festival is all about those making music in their own communities and audiences under their own effort. The ABU Radio Song Festival is unique and the only one of its kind in the Asia-Pacific.”

The original music and song tracks of the participating artists are being showcased on the Song Festival website so that ABU members and people around the world can access and play the songs. One of the objectives is to offer a variety of original music to the public, opening a gateway to the music and culture of the participating member countries.

Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union has started publication of the submitted entries to the ABU Radio Song Festival 2014. They can be heard here. It is important to note, that though each member organisation may submit up to 2 entries, only 15 of them will be chosen to compete in the live show.

Qualifying round in South Korea has been completed. The final show has been aired live on March 3, from 14.00 to 16.00 local time on KBS Radio Cool FM (89.1 MHz). Entries have been accepted from January 27 to February 21 from the solo previously unpublished singers with their acoustic songs. Nine finalists were selected.

Winner of the preselection, Seokwon Ryu (류석원), has been awarded Gold prize of 1 mln won and compensation of his costs for the travel to the festival in Sri Lanka, runners up got 500.000 won and 3rd place finished - 300.000 won.

The second ABU Radio Song Festival gala awards night will provide one of the highlights of the RadioAsia2014 conference in Sri Lanka in May. Organisers say the final list of performers will be selected from the many entries around the Asia-Pacific and an international judging panel will reveal the top three acts at the gala evening on Friday 23 May in Colombo.

"With an incredible array of talent, style and musical abilities on show, selection for the finalists will be difficult,”

said Mrs Vijay Sadhu, ABU Senior Executive for Radio and Festival Coordinator.

Radio’s unique qualities in providing musical and spoken word entertainment will be further underlined at RadioAsia2014 through a co-hosting opportunity with the prestigious ABU Radio Song Festival. Sadhu says RadioAsia2014 will showcase the importance and creativity of radio programming and content in satisfying listening audience expectations and accessing audiences in the Knowledge Society on all relevant technological platforms. “In a meeting of minds, radio programmers and executives from across the commercial and public service broadcasting spectrum will share the exciting new ideas which are enabling radio to continue to re-invent itself to meet the challenges and requirements of the changing audience environment,” she said. The conference, workshops and eight formal sessions will run over three days from 22-24 May 2014.

ABU has released the official rules and information about ABU Radio Song Festival 2014 that will take place on May 23, 2014, in Colombo, Sri Lanka within framework of RadioAsia2014 conference that will be held from May 22 to 24. The conference comprises a two and a half-day conference and four workshops which are open to members and industry partners. The theme for the event will be It’s All About Content: Positioning New Radio In The ‘Knowledge Society’.

Each ABU member has been invited to participate in the show with deadline to enter being 10th of November 2013. Each member organisation may submit up to 2 entries with deadline of February 2014. Submitted entries must unequivocally be unsigned, amateur original compositions and musicians (amateurs are defined as those that are currently not or have not at any point had a professional recording contract for the sale of their musical works).

Submitted entries will be ratified by the ABU Working Group and in March 2014 published on the official website of the Festival. An international panel of independent judges will choose the best 15 songs to be performed at the ABU Radio Song Festival Gala event. This selection process will occur 3 months prior to the event.

Member organisations are accountable in full for the cost of their entrants that might be performing at the ABU Radio Song Festival Gala event in Colombo. This includes, all transport, accommodation and per diem amounts associated with the entrants performance.

The ABU Radio Song Festival Gala event in Sri Lanka will be a maximum of 2 hours and will be co-hosted in English and Sinhala languages. A single winner will be chosen based on outstanding performance with a second and third prize also awarded by the judging panel. MBC will record the show for Radio and make it available to all ABU members. Live video streaming will be arranged as well.

Information about the contest

Every second year, ABU is organizing ABU Radio Song Festival, aiming to "showcase some of the best of the best unsigned local talent to an International audience". Thus, it is focusing on "Discovering, encouraging, introducing and promoting new song compositions by unknown artists among ABU member countries". Each member broadcaster is able to submit up to 2 entries to the contest, being "unsigned, amateur original compositions and musicians". It has contest format with professional jury awarding top places and has recorded broadcast on radiostations of ABU members.

ABU Radio Song Festival concept has been presented in November 2011. Original idea was to limit age of participants from 18 to 40, but this has been dropped. There are no language, length or publication date restrictions as well. Contrary to TV festival, all expenses including travel and accomodation for the performers have to be covered by participating broadcasters themselves. ABU Radio Song Festival coordinator Ms Vijay Sadhu says:

"The Festival will foster understanding, awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity that exists accross the region"

"It is not about the established stars, it is about those making music in their garages and in their communities, not about the people who are already on stage and on air. A lot of music exists behind the popular music, and we want to it become viral in the cyber world as well as to be played on stations across the region",

explaines Mike McCluskey, CEO of Radio Australia, as Radio Australia is chairing secretariat for the radio portion. First ARSF took part on 11th of October 2012 in Seoul and it's winner has been Korean band "Bily Acoustie" with "For A Rest". ABU Radio Song Festival 2014 will take place on May 23, 2014, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Every year, ABU is also organizing ABU TV Song Festival - aimed to bring together the best of Asia-Pacific’s top solo or group talents hailing from an array of national music scenes. Organizers specifically note, that it is "not a competition among amateur musical talents", but "a celebration of popular music featuring high-profile musical talents". ABU TV Song Festivals are being organized within framework of annual ABU Assembly meetings - thus 1st ATSF took place on 14 October 2012 in Seoul, South Korea, 2nd ATSF is scheduled for 26th of October 2013 in Hanoi, Vietnam, and 3rd is expected to be held in 2014 in Macao.