Najwa (Najwa Mahiaddin) is another local singer songwriter which I got to know about at Urbanscapes 2014. Hailing from the southern state of Johor and blessed with a versatile and rich voice, Najwa burst into the local music scene with the release of her debut album, Innocent Soul, in 2011 which featured the hit single ‘Got To Go’ and quickly earned her a Best Local English Song as well as the Best New Artiste at the Malaysian Music Industry Awards.
Najwa’s story is one gutsy lady who is determined to follow her dreams; she dropped out of her engineering course while in Melbourne, followed her inner voice and enrolled herself in a Berklee College Of Music program in Malaysia, during which she linked up with her band members and honed her musical skills. The engineering world’s loss is the music industry’s gain so to speak.
Currently based in New York, Najwa’s current album, Aurora, sees a marked departure from earlier soul and R&B works, a sparse and contemplative album which features a sombre and minimalist electronica influenced musical landscape. Hit single ‘Seri Mersing‘ is a bold experiment in blending the new with the old, turning the ever popular Malay ghazal folk song into a contemporary musical piece with electronica orchestration.
Look forward to listening more of your works, Najwa. Syabas, and all the best.
All Photos: Fuji X-E1 & X-E2 with XF lenses