Sabtu, 28 November 2009

Taiwan Suki Low can be a rocker, crooner and dancer

suki low

IN some ways, Suki Low’s sophomore album Ladies’ Night is her debut.

In the local Mandopop market, that is.

Last year, the One In A Million Season One winner dropped her debut album, a Malay offering titled Finally | Akhirnya.

“I have always wanted to release a Mandarin album,” said Suki, who finally realised her dream on Nov 18, abetted by her labels Monkey Bone Records, Galaxy Music Sdn Bhd, Golden Melody Awards-nominated producer Jae Chong and a making cost of RM400,000.

From the promo stills of Ladies’ Night, Suki looked like a cross between Taiwanese pop princess Jolin Tsai and cutie pie Rainie Yang. No surprise if you consider who is in charge of her image and photography.

Stylists and photographers who were responsible in creating iconic looks for Tsai, and S.H.E were brought in, so as the choreographer whose resume included works for Mandopop superstars Wang Lee Hom, Elva Hsiao and Show Lo.

Musically, Ladies’ Night saw Suki dabbling in multiple genres.

“Galaxy Music has helped discovered my different sides – I can be a rocker, a crooner and a dancer.

“While my previous album leaned more heavily towards pop rock, this one presents variety to showcase the different facets of Suki,” she explained.

One of the sides showcased was Suki the Songwriter.

“I wrote three songs in this new disc – a power ballad, a rock number and a soothing single – thanks to Monkey Bone, who trusts me on this and has given me the freedom to do so.

“I’d written songs in the past but had never shared it with anyone. It’s more like syiok-sendiri,” she said with a laugh, adding that Galaxy Music played a big role in uncovering the composer in her.

“Galaxy Music really pushed me. I told them, ‘I only have a few verses’. They said, ‘It’s okay. We can start from there’. The second song was expanded from the original eight or twelve bars. Along the way, I learnt a lot and gained more confidence. After writing the third song, I find that I am able to do it by myself,” said Suki.

One of her compositions, Ostrich – also the first single off the album – is receiving radio airplay right now.

“The lyrics for Ostrich was selected from over 800 entries. The title refers to the attitude some people – including the old me – tend to have when it comes to facing problems related to relationships, opting to turn away from the problem, fooling themselves that it will pass somehow, rather than trying to solve it. This is just like ostriches, which tend to bury its head in the sand when hiding from the enemy. I think it was a rather unique description,” she said.

Meanwhile, Monkey Bone director Ahmad Izham Omar has every reason to invest big bucks on the 19-year-old.

“Suki is multi-talented. Not only she has a powerful voice, she can write great songs, too. It’s hard to find such a multi-talented artiste at her age. Most importantly, she has her own opinions,” he said.

The appreciation is mutual.

“He has supported me throughout my career. He gives me space to grow and learn without really placing any pressure on me. It’s not easy to find people like that, who is ever patient,” said Suki of her boss Izham, while giving the latter a tight hug.

Her debut Finally | Akhirnya might not seem as big as it was touted to be, but it did not deter Monkey Bone from having grand plans for Suki.

“Monkey Bone is always about pushing the boundaries. Sometimes we make it big; sometimes we do not. Sometimes people understand (what we are doing), sometimes they don’t and might think that it’s too new or too modern, but we would never stop trying. Sometimes it might take two years; sometimes it might take three or even five. The learning experience on making the album is what makes it priceless,” he said.

“It’s even better now that she’s studying music, because we need to have more professional musicians out there,” he added.

Yes, you did not hear us wrong. The pretty lass is taking an online course of music arranging at Berklee College of Music, where Izham graduated from.

“So far I have completed two semesters. If nothing goes wrong, I shall graduate by next year,” said Suki.

Her label is also in talks with major labels in Taiwan about plans to spread her wings in the Mandarin market there.

On top of that, she has just signed with U2 timewear to be its brand ambassador.

Her next gig? Counting down to the new year with a large group of audiences come the end of next month.

“It’s celebration time come the year end. I will be performing at NTV7 Star Live,” she said.

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