How did you first get involved with playing music?
I’ve always been a singer – since about the age of five when I started joining school choirs and such. By the time I was thirteen I was in all of the school choirs at my school Canberra Girl’s Grammar in Australia, which is when I began classical guitar lessons.
From there I studied jazz guitar, and by the time I was around fifteen years old, I had written my first few songs by incorporating my poetry and newly learned guitar skills.
How would you best describe your music?
My music is within the indie acoustic, alternative acoustic realm. Most – or rather all – of my music is based on pain, which has always been my inspiration; whether it’s pain I see in other people or within myself. I would say my music is soulful and very mellow and calm, but with an indie twist and thought-provoking lyrics.
What are some of your music idols that you’ve looked up to?
My largest inspiration is Tracy Chapman. I found in the beginning of my song writing process as an early teen, I was drawn to writing story-like soulful songs that were resonant of Tracy Chapman’s sound. I would say the indie side of my inspirations would be Patrick Watson’s singing style, mixed with Angus and Julia Stone’s guitar style.
Any memorable gigs you’ve been to that have inspired you to become a musician?
I would say the first gig I played that made me really want to be a musician would be when I was about sixteen; I was still living in Canberra and had been song writing for some time. I had written a song called ‘Over and Done’ – which will be on my upcoming album – and had played it for a talent show with an audiaudience of over a thousand people. When I was playing the song the audience was absolutely silent as if everyone had been hanging off my every lyric. When I had finished the song the applause was a cacophony of roars, cheers and flourished claps. I ended up coming second in the talent show and won a bass guitar that I still use to this day! That was when I knew that music is the love of my life.
Could you tell us a little bit about how your upcoming album came to be?
My upcoming album will be called Would It Be So Bad – based on the feature song of the album. The all-around theme of the album is quite solemn and slow, with an indie vibe. Honestly, it feels amazing to be fulfilling my dream at what some would say a fairly young age!
I couldn’t have done any of it without the help of my sponsor Priscila Teo Ley Peng, who is the owner of all of the Academy of Rock schools. The recording process, while at times has been slow and tedious, has been an all-around awesome experience!
You got to perform for ANZA recently at our VOYA event in May.
Yes I did! I’ve loved coming to perform at the VOYA event over the years. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve had some really great support from ANZA.
What other gigs have you had in Singapore recently?
Recently I’ve been playing a lot of gigs at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orchard, as well as The Beast in Arab Street. These past few months I’ve been getting more and more gigs around town, and hope to have my album launch at Timbre’s The Arts House when the album drops!
Would It Be So Bad launches on 3 October at The Barber Shop. Doors open at 6pm. Find out more at malaikagreen.com.