Born Sharifah Arafah binti Wan Abdillah Edruce, the Sarawakian native has been in the game for a while now. As daughter to two long-established veterans of the music biz, Arabyrd has had roots in the industry from the very beginning.
However, it was the poetic lyrics of Tupac that sparked her interest in pursuing music full-time, introducing the then-tween to the vast world of hip-hop.
"I think I was 11 or 12. I was in school and people were carving
the Wu-Tang logo onto desks—that's how I found out about [hip-hop]," she recalls, smiling. "That's when I went and bought my first cassette." Not long after, a recording opportunity arose during a hangout with friends, when
her cousin's father suggested she hop in on a recording session: "Maybe you need a girl on your song". She went in, did an eight-bar verse, and the rest was history… almost.
While music remained an outlet throughout
her time at school, the path to 'performer' did have its detours. Rather than jump straight into the deep end of the music business, she first went on to pursue a degree in advertising at university, eventually landing a full-time
role at an ad agency.
Her corporate stint didn't last long, though: "I was really focused on my job at the time," she muses, turning to us with a glint of mischievous defiance in her eyes. "Then, I realised that it
was all just bullsh*t. So, I quit my job and I've been a performer since then." It was at 23 that she decided to take the plunge—"I'm going to do what I love"—as a musician.