Young & musically-restless
Article from the Sun daily by Marion Fernando (posted on 08 Jan 2019)
MALAYSIAN-FILIPINO singer/songwriter Yazmin Aziz has been performing in singing competitions since she was 11 years old.
Managed under hurr.tv, the now 17-year-old recently debuted her studio single Lihatlah in October, after competing in her latest competition, Bakat Malaysia Ohsem (BOM).
All these accomplishments, and the passionate performer who speaks English, Tagalog, and Bahasa Malaysia has not even obtained her SPM exam results yet.
Yasmin even creates sweet music with boxer Manny Pacquiao’s son - her beau - Michael Pacquiao on her own YouTube account.
Having spent some time in the Philippines before returning to her birthplace of Kuala Lumpur she grew up listening to “oldies” on the radio.
She said: “My grandmother would put on the radio and I’ll just be listening. The first one was My Girl - so I listen to a lot of old songs and Broadway.”
M Zulkifli - known for his work with Siti Nurhaliza, and even her vocal coach Vince Chong - translated the interpretation from her original track in English to Malay.
While the powerful lyrics to Lihatlah can be applied to any romantic relationship, the strength of her voice does not waver as she sings about rising through the hurt caused by an absent parent.
How did you want to approach the writing process of Lihatlah with the intention of having the song as your debut single?
Honestly, I wanted everyone to know my life story first because Lihatlah is basically about my father. My father who left when I was really young.
I wanted to show everyone that through singing, I basically tell my story because all the songs I wrote are really about my life and everything [in it].
So when I wrote Lihatlah, I think it’s to just really show how through music I can pour my heart and soul out about my dad and everything.
I wrote that to tell people that look, I was once a weak girl. I was this because I was left and everything but in the end, I showed everyone that, you know, I can do it.
I can still continue whatever I’m doing, even if I’ve been through a lot.
Vince Chong co-composed and produced Lihatlah, on top of being your vocal coach. What is the most valuable career advice you received from him?
He’s always told me to not listen to what other people think. You do you. For him, it’s like look, if you want to reach that note, if you need to go up, on top of a hill, let’s go. That’s him. If you can’t reach that note, what will help you? What will help you reach that note?
We actually tried many ways [and] that hill story is actually real. We actually went up on top of a hill and I actually belted out that note. To him, it’s just you do you. What you think suits you, what you think people would like. Just make sure you have your own mindset.
You’re not only in a relationship with Michael Pacquiao, but the two of you have collaborated on a track titled Heart & Soul. How did the musical aspect of your relationship come to be?
I was honestly really shocked because when I met him, I was just like hey, I wonder what this guy can do, right. He started beatboxing and I thought ouhh, okay, let’s try and do Stolen. So I said look, I’m gonna sing a song, you just go with it, okay. He said wait, it depends on what song. And I said no, no, no. Just go with it. That was our first one. It was Stolen. He did the beatboxing and I thought okay, this guy’s cool.
When he went back to the Philippines, and you know, we started having our normal lives again, he told me to listen to his track, and I said what track are you talking about. The first track I listened to was Heart & Soul. So I was like, you didn’t tell me you could produce music and everything! We should try and do something.
He came up with different tracks until we found that particular track for my lyrics with Heart & Soul. The day he sent me that track, was the same day I wrote the lyrics. Even though we are far apart, to us it’s just like, look, let’s just email whatever we have to each other.
What do you plan to focus your creative energy on after Lihatlah?
I think my plan after Lihatlah is to really produce more of my originals. I already have a lot of lyrics stacked and some songs composed. All we need to do is to clean it up and make music from it.
I’m really hoping that one day someone will call me to do an acting project as well cause I love musicals. I’ve acted in one, which is The Fortunettes, [where] I played Diana.