1. How did you get involved with Titian Budaya?
I was graced with an invitation by the organizers to take part in Titian Budaya.
2. Your collaborations with Charlie Lim have always been a treat for the fans. Are there any other Singaporean artistes whom you’d love to work with?
Would love to collaborate with Sezairi one day 🙂
3. Favourite memory of Singapore?
As a kid, I fondly remember walking on Orchard Road with my family during school holidays, and feeling overexcited with the beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere!
4. How did you get into music?
I started playing around with the guitar and writing songs/lyrics at the age of 14. It has always been something that I’m fascinated with. I began performing at gigs and open mics with my band Estrella after completing university back in 2006.
5. Please describe your musical style?
Chilled, introspective, dreamy kind of pop stuff.
6. Who would you say has been your greatest influence, musically?
Joni Mitchell and P.Ramlee.
7. What are your constant sources of inspiration?
People are the most constant source of inspiration for me. The way we are and how we function as human beings – our nature, characters, emotions, memories, words, expressions, feelings, experiences etc.
8. You get to travel quite a bit for work. Which has been your favourite place to perform at?
My favorite outstation performance so far, is at Jarasum Jazz Festival in Korea.
9. Dream concert venue?
Too many to name.
10. Most defining moment in your career so far?
The moment when I received a carefully hand-written letter from a 10 year old, requesting for me to attend her school’s Canteen Day. I was so touched by her invitation and her effort. That’s when I realized that music makes me extremely happy. It touches others and brings me closer to strangers who relate to my music. To me, that is an amazing feeling.
11. Tell us about the sessionists you work with. How did you come to work together?
My sessionists are: Firdaus Zulkeple (Pito) on bass – he also played percussions for my old band Estrella, so we have worked together for about 8 years. Ruviyamin Ruslan on drums – Ruvi was introduced to me by Pito, as I was searching for sessionists after going solo in 2009. And my newest sessionist, Rudy Iskandar is from local KL band Nastia who I have worked with since 2012.
Music collaborators and sessionists are found through mutual friendships and introductions. The music scene in KL is pretty close-knit, and tons of friends end up playing or sessioning for one another.
12. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
I have previously worked as a PR practitioner/ Manager. If I was not a musician, I would most probably be busy pursuing more experience and growth in the PR/media industry.
13. A musical instrument you would love to be able to play?
I would love to play the piano well. I started picking it up about 2 years ago, and there is so much more to learn.
14. Thoughts on the local music industry?
It is thriving and bursting with new young talented musicians, songwriters, singers and performers. I’ve seen them myself at small gigs and cafes around town and am blown away every time. All of them will boom in due time, we just need to sit and wait.
15. Is there anything you would like to see done differently in the local music scene?
I am happy with the way local music is supported by organizers, media, brands and fans. There are plenty of good opportunities and outlets for independent artistes or up and coming acts, good music venues, and a growing appreciation for local talents. Of course there is always room for improvement i.e. we need better/ more radio airplay for local tunes. I feel that radio will help musicians a lot in building awareness for their songs. However, things are changing fast now with the availability of the Internet.
16. Music aside, what else are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about discovering new stuff – new ideas, people & experiences. I’m passionate about traveling, I’d like to do more of it. I love reading + animals + friends + flight tickets + desserts + cosy solitude.
17. Top 3 places in KL to chill out at?
These are my personal fav spots to chill out – Tous Le Jour bakery at Empire Damansara, Butter & Beans coffee at Seksyen 17 Petaling Jaya and Quartet in TTDI, KL.
18. Favourite cuisine?
Traditional Malay or Nyonya dishes and desserts. Banana leaf rice and cendol. And love Heong Peng biscuits. It’s a special kind of biscuit from Ipoh. I can live on those biscuits.
19. Things you never leave home without?
Wallet, mobile phone, power bank, lipbalm + sunblock.
20. What was the last favourite movie/TV show you watched?
Last fave movie was Polis Evo, it was pretty good!
21. Favourite Malaysian dishes?
Char Kuey Teow and Telur Masak Kicap with hot white rice.
22. What are 5 essential items we will find in your bag when travelling?
Money, passport, phone/power bank, earphones, clothes
23. Tell us one item off your bucket list.
To travel and visit world renowned art museums around the globe.
24. Where will we see you in the next 5 years?
I can’t foresee the future, but hopefully somewhere with a lot of sun, sea, passport stamps and music!
Liyana Fizi will be performing at Next Door @ Publika (part of Titian Budaya) on 21-22 November 2015.
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