All for bal­ance

Singer Siti Nurhal­iza re­alis many of her hopes in her 17th stu­dio al­bum, Simetri writes Tahir Al­hamzah

New Straits Times - - Groove - Tahir.al­hamzah@nst.com.my

SIMETRISITI is like one dream among the many which have come true for Malaysia’s top singer Datuk Siti Nurhal­iza Tarudin. “I’m very happy with this al­bum as some of my wishes have been re­alised here,” says the 38-year-old.

First, she had al­ways wanted to per­form a duet with In­done­sian singer Judika. And sec­ondly, she had al­ways wanted to record an al­bum, fea­tur­ing a live orches­tra.

In the 10-track al­bum, her 17th to date, the duet with the In­done­sian crooner is ti­tled Kisah Ku Inginkan. Com­posed and writ­ten by In­done­sian Ivan La­hardika, the song is pro­duced by Mu­jahid Abd Wa­hab, with singer Yasin Sulaiman as Siti’s vo­cal pro­ducer.

While the rest of the songs in the al­bum are copy­righted un­der Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic and Siti Nurhal­iza Pro­duc­tions, the rights for Kisah Ku Inginkan is shared be­tween Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic and Sony Mu­sic. In In­done­sia, the pow­er­ful track will only be avail­able in Judika’s up­com­ing al­bum.

“Since I wanted to have this duet with Judika, I agreed to the terms stip­u­lated. It was worth it,” ad­mits Siti smil­ing.

As for the strings orches­tra, Siti was ac­com­pa­nied by the Bul­gar­ian Na­tional Ra­dio Sym­phony Orches­tra for five of the tracks in the al­bum. The songs are Ber­san­dar Cinta, Ikrar Cinta, Se­gala Perasaan, Ma­nis Terindah and Tak Perlu Ragu.

“The orches­tra has done work for the leg­endary Ger­man film score com­poser Hans Zim­mer for some of his works,” shares Siti, ex­cit­edly.

The record­ing for the five tracks, which took place in Bul­garia, lasted for hours. The record­ing was then sent here for mix­ing.

Be­sides Ivan, who con­trib­uted two songs, the com­posers fea­tured in this al­bum are fel­low In­done­sians Ade Govinda and singer Opick; Aubrey Suwito, Ami­rah Ali, Mo­hariz Yaakup and Sid Mur­shid.

Aubrey, who is also the al­bum’s project di­rec­tor, con­trib­uted two com­po­si­tions for the al­bum. Siti con­trib­uted a song which she both com­posed and wrote.

Ini­tially, Siti and her team re­ceived some 300 com­po­si­tions and it was cer­tainly not easy to nar­row the list down to only 10. The se­lec­tion process alone took more than four months. Ac­cord­ing to Siti, the se­lec­tion process was done with­out knowl­edge of the com­posers’ iden­tity, to en­sure the team would not be bi­ased.

“So in the end, I hope we’ve cho­sen a var­ied mix of songs which will ap­peal to ev­ery­one.”

“That’s why the al­bum took some time to com­plete. I wanted to make sure that the se­lec­tion is thor­ough.

I wanted the tracks to fea­ture var­i­ous beats and moods. That is why the al­bum is called SimetriSiti, a re­flec­tion of the al­bum’s bal­anced reper­toire. It is also to re­flect that all 10 songs re­ceived sim­i­lar treat­ment; not one is more sig­nif­i­cant than the other.

“The al­bum also re­flects me, as a well­bal­anced per­son and the kind of mu­sic which has been as­so­ci­ated with me from the day I started my singing ca­reer. From mas­ter­ing to the mak­ing of the al­bum cover, ev­ery­thing has been given equal love and care,” she says, smil­ing.

Mean­while, among the lyri­cists fea­tured in the al­bum are Ad Sa­mad, Sulu Sarawak, Dian and the renowned Hab­sah Has­san.

Siti has also com­pleted mu­sic videos for Ber­san­dar Cinta and Penghiburku.

For Ber­san­dar Cinta, Siti takes up the man­tle of a su­per­hero char­ac­ter who spreads love while in Penghiburku, a song ded­i­cated to her fans, she has in­cluded some of her fans act­ing as pa­parazzi, and she, play­ing her­self, the star.

“The sec­ond video was done si­mul­ta­ne­ously when we shot for the al­bum cover. So some of the be­hind-thescene shots ac­tu­ally took place,” Siti says, grate­ful her fans could be part of the video and on the cover.

“I hope the cover will win Best Cover award at the next Anugerah In­dus­tri Muzik. Among all the ac­co­lades I’ve been awarded, I have yet to add this award to my col­lec­tion,” adds Siti with a laugh.

The al­bum also re­flects me, as a well-bal­anced per­son and the kind of mu­sic which has been as­so­ci­ated with

me from the day I started my singing ca­reer.

Datuk Siti Nurhal­iza Tarudin

Siti and Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic (Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore)’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Kenny Ong at the al­bum launch in Kuala Lumpur re­cently.

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