QUEENS OF THE SCENE

CLEO (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - By Eliza Thomas

The hottest fe­male gigs in town!

Whether they’re col­lab­o­rat­ing with for­eign artistes, kickin’ it at a small gig or even rock­ing var­i­ous venues around the world, th­ese hot acts are tak­ing the scene by storm and mak­ing Malaysia proud!

R&B

DREAM PLACE TO PER­FORM:

MADI­SON SQUARE GAR­DEN, NEW YORK

Nad­hira

Nad­hira is all about con­nect­ing with her fans in in­ti­mate show­cases. Her songs like “Tear Us Apart” with Aus­tralian heart­throb Ron E. Jones and “Closer” are in­ter­na­tional hits, and she’s work­ing on more stuff that she hopes will get the same at­ten­tion. Fans, whom she calls her Troop­ers, are her driv­ing force and she fo­cuses on cre­at­ing mu­sic that pleases them as much as it does her. Her favourite thing about the lo­cal mu­sic scene is the ca­ma­raderie that ev­ery­one shows in terms of sup­port­ing and em­pow­er­ing each other. Also, artistes who are true to their work in­spire her. Nad­hira loves the vibe that ev­ery­one is ex­ud­ing in get­ting their work out there whether it’s mu­sic, fash­ion, or even a café. For more in­spi­ra­tion in mu­sic and style, she looks to other R&B singers like Ciara, Cassie and Ashanti. She’s per­formed in coun­tries like Sin­ga­pore, In­done­sia, Aus­tralia, France and Canada but re­frains from spec­i­fy­ing where ex­actly she choked on her saliva be­cause nerves got the best of her. Nad­hira’s got some pretty cool awards un­der her belt and has also shared the stage with 90s R&B leg­ends, All-4-One.

FAVOURITE LO­CAL ARTISTE:

TENDERFIST AND SONA ONE

Arabyrd

Arabyrd is un­sure whether it’s a bless­ing or a curse but she’s never ex­pe­ri­enced stage fright. She’s rar­ing to go and can­not wait to strut her stuff on stage. She draws in­flu­ence from Malaysia’s Queen of Jazz, Sheila Ma­jid, hav­ing grown up watch­ing her on and off stage. Arabyrd says Ma­jid’s re­al­ness and orig­i­nal­ity is a con­stant re­minder of why she’s do­ing what she does. De­scrib­ing her­self as im­pul­sive, she is cur­rently work­ing on new ma­te­rial, play­ing gigs with Twinkies (a dee­jay duo she’s a part of), and record­ing tracks for other lo­cal artistes. Arabyrd keeps her­self on a con­stant grind and says that if she wasn’t do­ing mu­sic, she’d be an im­age con­sul­tant. Arabyrd is prob­a­bly one of the most down-to-earth artistes you will ever meet but ad­mits to hav­ing fully jus­ti­fi­able bouts of diva-ness when un­punc­tu­al­ity comes into the equa­tion. DREAM PLACE TO PER­FORM:

O2 ARENA IN LON­DON

Kayda

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously study­ing for a de­gree in psy­chol­ogy and work­ing on her mix­tape The Good Pain with rap­pers Dose Two and Juz­zthin, Kayda tries to in­ject in­spi­ra­tion that she draws from Bey­oncé, Too Phat, Tim­ba­land, and even her mother, Sheila Ma­jid. Be­ing the daugh­ter of one of Malaysia’s big­gest stars doesn’t daunt her be­cause Kayda stands strong in her own spot­light. Her one and only pur­pose is her mu­sic and says if she wasn’t in the mu­sic scene, she’d be kick­ing her­self ev­ery morn­ing for not do­ing what she loves most. As many tal­ented, creative and dif­fer­ent mu­si­cians as there are lo­cally, Kayda wants to see more peo­ple come out and flex their cre­ativ­ity. She isn’t one to be picky about whom she col­lab­o­rates with be­cause di­ver­sity drives her to be cre­atively fluid. She as­pires to be cre­atively likened to Pharell Wil­liams for his mu­sic ge­nius, see­ing that they share the same birth­day. She adds that be­ing con­nected to him ro­man­ti­cally wouldn’t hurt as well.

ALL-TIME FAVOURITE AL­BUM:

RA­DIO­HEAD’S OKCOMPUTER

Al Caponey

When asked to de­scribe her­self in one word, this girl first calls her­self fun, but changes it to nuts and then opts for schiz­o­phrenic. Yes, she’s aware that she’s given us three words but she doesn’t care. That’s the same at­ti­tude Al Caponey ap­plies to her mu­sic. In her opin­ion, that’s what makes her, well, her. Draw­ing in­flu­ence from the an­i­mated se­ries Ad­ven­ture Time, she aims to be ev­ery­thing the show is: Trippy, colour­ful, hon­est, in your face, and happy, all rolled into one. Poney’s been likened to Uffie, a Paris-based Amer­i­can un­der­ground elec­tronic mu­si­cian, song­writer, rap­per, and fash­ion de­signer. She’s a writer by trade and muses that should she have not got­ten into mu­sic, she’d be writ­ing or get­ting up to no good. Other than self-pro­claimed anger is­sues and get­ting a pro­posal out of her long-time boyfriend and fel­low rap­per Jin Hack­man, she is work­ing on find­ing good beats and the right pro­duc­ers to give her fans a mix­tape or an EP. Talk­ing about fans, she says she’d call them “My Lit­tle Ponies” for ob­vi­ous rea­sons.

Shikara

FAVOURITE LO­CAL ARTISTE:

YUNA

Shikara’s got a mix­tape drop­ping in Oc­to­ber, which is ex­pected to be a mel­low ur­ban un­der­ground al­bum – sort of an old school sound that’s been in­spired by greats like A Tribe Called Quest and Slum Vil­lage. She hasn’t got her own songs yet but she’s been fea­tured on other rap­pers’ tracks; her favourite is with Tact­matic on his song “Hey”. When not singing, Shikara is in school study­ing for a Masters de­gree in Ed­u­ca­tional Psy­chol­ogy. Cur­rently on sum­mer break, she’s teach­ing an ESL class at an in­ter­na­tional school. She’s an avid boxer and a surfer. Given the choice of a sold-out con­cert, a huge mu­sic fes­ti­val or an in­ti­mate show­case, Shikara thinks that as an artiste, it’s im­por­tant that one ex­poses her­self to dif­fer­ent set­tings so she’d like to do all three. She hasn’t had a diva mo­ment yet and doesn’t ex­pect to. She does how­ever have stage fright from time to time so much so that at a lo­cal show last year, she for­got her lyrics and grooved along to the mu­sic in­stead. “Luck­ily, the crowd was su­per sup­port­ive about it, and I just freestyled for 30 sec­onds and ex­ited stage left,” she says.

DREAM PLACE TO PER­FORM:

COACHELLA

REG­GAE

Eyza Bahra

She’s the only girl in the award-win­ning band Salam­musik and that it­self is pretty im­pres­sive. The band per­forms reg­gae mu­sic in­fused with bits of hip hop and rock thrown in with mod­ern and cul­tural in­flu­ences. Al­though the band is mainly reg­gae, Eyza draws in­flu­ence and in­spi­ra­tion from many artistes mainly Lau­ryn Hill – her mu­sic, her lyrics, and even her ur­banBo­hemian style. Hav­ing per­formed at nu­mer­ous mu­sic fes­ti­vals, Eyza says she loves watch­ing fans dance along to the mu­sic and even though the crowds are huge, she’s never re­ally had stage fright. When per­form­ing, she says, the adren­a­line rush is a great boost to her con­fi­dence; it gets her ex­cited to do the shows. This Bor­neo beauty also has a quirky sense of hu­mour and would prob­a­bly be a writer or a lawyer if not per­form­ing in front of fans. While tour­ing and do­ing shows with the band, Eyza finds the time to work on a solo al­bum on the side.

ALL-TIME FAVOURITE AL­BUM:

TRACY CHAP­MAN’S SELF-TI­TLED DE­BUT AL­BUM

ELEC­TRO

ZE!

ZE! has per­formed at some pretty huge fes­ti­vals – To­mor­row­land, SXSW, DanceVal­ley – to name a few and shared the stage with the likes of Joachim Gar­raud, Laid­back Luke, and Steve Aoki. Her mu­sic has been on pop­u­lar TV shows like 90210, MTV Styl’d, and even the video game FIFA Street 2012. She’s worked with Mos Def, Blaqs­tarr, Al­timet, and Malaysia’s favourite dee­jay duo Gold­fish & Blink. But af­ter all that, she prefers the con­nec­tion she builds with her fans, who she calls “Glam­bugs”, at smaller shows. With a Bel­gian TV chan­nel pro­ject and a new mu­sic video that she’s di­rect­ing her­self in the works, this elec­tropop princess is al­ways on the go. She’s brought her brand of flashy to USA, Aus­tralia, Brazil, and a host of Euro­pean coun­tries. If mu­sic didn’t come into her life, ZE! ad­mits that be­ing a travel writer or even a sci­en­tist would have been an op­tion. Al­ways one for go­ing down the road less taken, ZE! wishes to see more lo­cal artistes tak­ing risks and not just try­ing to repli­cate what they see or hear from in­ter­na­tional acts. Just like her idol Bet­sey John­son, ZE! hopes to be do­ing cart­wheels and rock­ing out even when she’s 70.

ALL-TIME FAVOURITE AL­BUM:

MUSE’S BLACKHOLES AND REV­E­LA­TIONS

POP

Ain Zulk­i­fly

In per­son, Ain Zulk­i­fly is a laid-back, fun-loving girl. But once she gets on stage, she is an al­lout pop star diva who brings her A game like no other! Look­ing up to stars like Jessie J., Adele and Pink, she ad­mits the only time she’s ever had a diva mo­ment was at a par­tic­u­lar show where they treated her like a to­tal princess and she de­cided to milk the mo­ment for all it was worth. This jour­nal­ism grad­u­ate works as a re­porter earn­ing the nick­name “The Singing Re­porter”, and is also in the process of record­ing her sec­ond sin­gle with some friends. For some­one who seems at home on stage, Ain says that she once had stage fright so bad, she per­formed from be­hind cur­tains and when she had gath­ered enough courage to come out, she tripped and fell! Ain is sup­port­ive of the lo­cal mu­sic scene and loves that with the In­ter­net, ev­ery­one can be a star. YouTube, she says, is an amaz­ing plat­form to be dis­cov­ered but she wishes mu­si­cians would come up with more “out­side­the-box” ma­te­rial be­cause ev­ery­thing is sound­ing too much alike. Ain has a not-sose­cret crush on Justin Bieber whom she thinks is adorable, and would like to work with Adibah Noor.

DREAM PLACE TO PER­FORM:

THE WIZ­ARD­ING WORLD OF HARRY POT­TER, FLORIDA

IN­DIE

The Im­pa­tient Sis­ters

They’re ac­tu­ally sis­ters and are some­what im­pa­tient when it comes to each other. Soraya, Irena and Nazeera play var­i­ous in­stru­ments in­clud­ing the gui­tar, xy­lo­phone, and the ka­zoo. Th­ese Bey­oncé fans say they have diva mo­ments ev­ery time they hear a Bey­oncé song and find them­selves sim­i­lar to the band Han­son, ex­cept that they’re girls. They take bits of mu­si­cal knowl­edge – from folk to rock ‘n’ roll – and put it to good use on the al­bum they are cur­rently work­ing on. Play­ing on stage to­gether helps keep the stage fright at bay but the sis­ters agree that Irena has a con­stant fear of a wardrobe mal­func­tion. Their mu­sic, an apt re­flec­tion of them­selves, is a good com­bi­na­tion of dreamy, happy and whimsical that cov­ers the in­ci­dences of life like love, death and heart­break amongst other things. Hav­ing per­formed quite reg­u­larly, they in­sist that mu­sic fes­ti­vals are the best places to do a show be­cause not only do you get to see other acts, it’s also out­doors. If forced to give their fans a name, th­ese quirky na­ture lovers would call them “The Out­pa­tients”.

FROM LEFT: SORAYA, IRENA AND NAZEERA.

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