11 Inspiring Female Musicians To Know From Malaysia
If you haven’t already, get to know (and hear) these fiercely talented ladies who have earned their musical claims to fame on the local and international scenes.
It’s plain to see: US-based guitar and ukulele queen Zee Avi is living her passion for music day by day. She’s performed at music festivals across Asia and Europe, adding to an already sizable following from her YouTube days.
Earlier this year, the Sarawak-born songstress performed her well-loved singles like Kantoi and Honey Bee at the Los Angeles Moroccan Lounge alongside newer songs that will soon appear in her upcoming album this year. Follow her on Instagram.
Generation T lister Yuna has soared to enviable heights in the local and international music scene, winning the hearts of listeners across the globe with her mesmerising vocals, bilingual songwriting prowess and her down-to-earth persona. Recent collaborations with Owl City and Usher have only strengthened her presence as an artiste in the West. Learn more about Yuna’s upcoming album here, soon to be released in the US.
Malaysia-born singer and songwriter Nadhira launched her debut album 'From Malaysia With Love' in 2010, garnering acclaim that hasn’t dampened since. A classically trained pianist who’s held her own in styles of rock, blues, jazz, soul and R&B, she’s collaborated with various artists, including the region’s renowned female rappers with her hit #AV in 2014. Her second single Hold Me Down features local rapper SXPH and was produced by multi-platinum producer Bryan B. What's next for Nadhira? Follow her on Instagram to find out.
Signed by Universal Music Malaysia when she was just 16, pop singer Nik Qistina released her well-received single Young Hearts in the same year. Past humble beginnings of sharing musical clips on Vine and Instagram, Qistina has performed with American singer Greyson Chance as well as Jes Ibrahim and Sid Murshid. With her SPM examinations done and dusted, she’s set to release an EP this year, featuring English and Malay songs. Follow her on Instagram.
This year, 27-year-old songstress Shila landed a spot in the entertainment category of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. Famed for breaking into the competitive Mandopop industry with her Mandarin and Cantonese-language hits, she’s currently based in China on a mission to promote great religious inclusiveness in the country with her musical influence. Follow this award-winning artist on Instagram.
A household name at all the major jazz and RHB music festivals in Malaysia and Asia, Penang-born artist Bihzhu’s smooth melodies and uplifting lyrics rarely disappoint.
Her 2011 debut album ‘Nightingale Tales’ earned well-deserved airtime on Malaysia’s national radio stations and in several music stations in the US as well. Fun fact: Bihzhu wrote the lyrics for the riveting theme song “We Will Believe Again” in the 2016 hit film ‘Ola Bola’ by Chiu Keng Guan. Follow her on Instagram.
Aissa Maryam Sufian
Only 18 years old, Aissa Maryam Sufian has achieved what most aspiring musicians her age would only dream of. The youngest daughter of Datin Alissa Fitri and Dato’ Sufian Majid recently composed a musical piece which was played during the annual Piazza di Siena International Horse Show in Rome this year. Aissa’s vocal coach, Sonia Jones, has worked with big names like Rita Ora and Rihanna. Follow Aissa on Instagram.
A familiar face in music for more reasons than one, Dasha Logan’s musical career is divided between Malaysia and the UK. The daughter of Alleycats vocalist, Datuk Loganathan Arumugam recently shared that she will be rerecording some of the Alleycats greatest hits with a few contemporary touches. Dasha’s single ‘Cleverly’ quickly bagged the no. 4 spot on the UK Soul Chart within 2 months of its release in 2014. Follor Dasha on Instagram.
Malaysian songstress Gin Lee made it big in Hong Kong, a journey that began when she was invited to join ‘The Voice 2’ a singing competition by TVB in Hong Kong back in 2010. Her latest single “Trust” is considered her simplest and most bold work yet, with its lack of background music and backup vocals. Click here to know more about Gin’s recent album Live In The Moment, produced with Universal Music. Check out the latest happenings with Gin on Instagram.
KL-born singer and actress Elizabeth Tan first rose to fame on Youtube with her cover of rapper Joe Flizzow’s ‘Havoc’ several years ago. Fast-forward to 2018, and her recent single Police Entry has garnered more than 2 million views on Youtube, lending an edgier vibe on the 25-year-old artist's ‘sweet girl’ image. Stay tuned for updates by following Elizabeth on Instagram.
Tan Bee Keow
Adopted and raised by Chinese parents, Tan Bee Keow made her unconventional foray into the music scene when she entered a Taiwanese singing competition and impressed the crowds with her fluency in popular Hokkien, Mandarin and Cantonese songs. The Perak-born singer's performance impressed Singaporean director Royston Tan so much that he cast her in his comedic musical film, 3688.
Listen to the top tracks by the artists in this story on Malaysia Tatler's Spotify playlist: