“We are still brothers. That relationship remains intact. Our company remains as KRU. But our story as a musical group, we are closing the chapter on that.” said Datuk Norman Abdul Halim during a press conference to promote KRU’s three-day Gergasi KRU25 concert at Istana Budaya, happening May 4-6.
Norman and his younger brothers Yusry Abdul Halim and Edry Abdul Halim formed KRU in 1992, and enjoyed tremendous success in the music scene especially in the early years.
In a career that has spanned 26 years, KRU has released more than 10 albums including Canggih, reKRUed, Awas and KRUnisme.
The siblings also formed KRU Studios, extending its reach into the entertainment industry by producing albums for other acts, as well as directing and producing movies.
The company is behind the special effects-laden superhero film Cicak-Man, and with each film it strives to challenge the norms of a local movie like it did with the epic Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.
“It’s time for us to claim our own identities,” said Edry. “Not because we are not proud of the name KRU, but we want to be known as Norman, Yusry and Edry. We want to challenge ourselves differently.”
Edry also has another reason for calling it a day. “I turn 42 next week, and I have four children. My third child is autistic and non-verbal.
“The schools in Malaysia are not equipped for this, so I am looking at special schools in Europe for his education and betterment. I have taught people to sing but I haven’t been able to focus on my own child.”
He added that he’d stay for at least one year overseas to see how his family adapts to the new environment before deciding on his next move.
According to Yusry, all three of them came to the mutual decision of KRU’s disbandment. “If you had asked me two years ago, if we would break up after 25 years as a group, I wouldn’t have said yes. (But it’s time) to move forward as each of us have our own individual projects,” Yusry said.
Besides singing, Yusry also acts and directs. He also heads a special effects team at KRU Studios.
Meanwhile, Norman takes care of the business side of the company.
Of the three, he was the most emotional when making the announcement. At the same time, Norman said: “We are almost at the finishing line of a marathon. Right now, we just want to cross the line.”
The 46-year-old promised the Gergasi KRU25 concert is going to be different than the group’s previous concerts.
For one, unlike the open air stadiums where KRU had performed, this concert will be staged at the prestigious Istana Budaya.
Yusry, who is also directing the concert, continued: “We are going to perform 20 of our hit songs – some are medleys; it will be a walk down memory lane. We are calling all our old musician friends to perform with us, people who are familiar with KRU songs.”
All three siblings are training hard for the concert, while looking into the concert nitty-gritty like costumes and dance moves.
“There’s more than just song performances that fans can look forward to,” mentioned Yusry.
In line with the concert too, KRU is releasing a two-disc compilation album consisting of 30 songs. Edry said: “It was difficult to finalise the songs, as we want a bit of everything for everyone.
“The album has one new song titled Tahan Lama, featuring Joe Flizzow. It’s a song about grit, and facing various challenges over the years – it’s a statement of success.”
Tahan Lama will debut on local radio on April 30. The compilation album will be sold at Istana Budaya during the concert dates.
“Gergasi KRU25 is KRU’s final concert and Tahan Lama is KRU’s final song,” concluded Yusry.
“KRU has shaped and changed our lives. We don’t have any regrets. We have enjoyed the last 25 years.”