Struggling makes me a strong fighter
In the second of our four-part series, Aisyah Aziz shares her career ups and downs
Rising local singer Aisyah Aziz calls Malaysian music diva Siti Nurhaliza her biggest inspiration.
In fact, it was the 36-year-old singing sensation who fuelled her childhood dream to become an artist herself.
Aisyah, 21, was barely seven years old when she first heard Siti perform her megahit, Cindai, on TV. She turned to her father and told him she wanted to be just like her idol.
Fast forward 14 years and Aisyah is a force to be reckoned with in the regional music industry, following in the footsteps of her older brother, singer Aliff Aziz.
Since finishing in sixth place on Malaysian reality TV singing competition Akademi Fantasia in 2013, she has won over fans on both sides of the Causeway.
Last year, she scored four nominations and won her first trophy at regional Malay music awards Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM), bagging the award for Best Collaboration (Song).
She might have walked away empty-handed at this year's recent APM despite another four nominations, but she said it was an honour to be nominated in the Best Collaboration (Song) category alongside Aliff Siti, Singapore Idol 3 winner Sezairi and Malaysian rock act Mojo.
Aisyah, whose singles Mimpi and Pilihan Sejati have received frequent regional radio airplay, plans to keep herself busy with new music and song covers.
Her packed schedule also includes back-to-back shows and appearances, including an upcoming performance in the annual President's Star Charity, which airs live on Channel 5 at 7.30pm on Sunday. She will be singing with local duo Jack and Rai and accompanied on cajon drums by local personalities like Fauzie Laily and Joakim Gomez.
What is your biggest challenge as a musician?
Staying relevant and standing out. There is always a new singer every day, a prettier and younger face.
As a female musician, have you ever experienced gender inequality?
There were times when my suggestions or opinions were shot down even before they were heard. I feel like there are times where I have to fight hard to put my point across. For example, if I had a suggestion for a song, I would have to sing the part to demonstrate what I mean before they listen to me. I don't think men have the same problem. Still, if we believe in our own talent, then gender should not be an issue.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced in your journey?
I'm still a struggling performer. I'm fighting to sustain and survive alone in Malaysia, with bills and rent to settle. Sometimes, people tell me they will help me in my career but they end up making empty promises or losing their faith in me.
My mother has warned me that this is the tough reality of this industry. People want to see me fall and struggle, but struggling teaches me to be a strong fighter. It is how I learn to stand on my own two feet. I admit it is hard - at times I do cry.
What are your goals?
No matter what naysayers say, I choose to be in my own league and I want people to know me for my own merits. I don't want to be forgotten in this industry. I have been truly blessed so far but I need to work even harder to be the best of the best.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
I'm hoping to release a third single in the future. Meanwhile, I hope to record new YouTube covers and sing songs by the late P. Ramlee, Taylor Swift and even Meghan Trainor. After all, it was on YouTube where it all began for me. If all goes well, I also hope to create my own accessory line.
Levi's that fit 'like a glove'
Women have different needs when it comes to their jeans, and Levi's new range of women's jeans addresses those needs using advances in fabric and stretch technology to get perfect fitting jeans, regardless of body type.
And for Asians, the Lot 700 collection comes with a slimmer thigh, flattering leg and contoured seat for a little lift. Styles include the 710 Super Skinny, 711 Skinny, 712 Slim, 714 Straight, and 721 High Rise Skinny.
Aisyah Aziz fell in love with the 710 Super Skinny which fit her "like a glove". And though it is her first pair of Levi's jeans, she is sold.
The 1.79m-tall babe said: "They make my legs look slender and slim. I am tall, so sometimes the length is not right. My hips are also not proportionate to my body. But they fit like a pair of jeggings, so it's nice."
If you don't have Aisyah's long legs, here's a trick: Make sure the cuffs are a sliver above the ankles and pair the jeans with strappy heels in a neutral or nude tone.
The 710's mid rise also give a slimming illusion.
If you are curvy, get the jeans in the darkest colour possible.
The new Levi's Jeans Collection is available at all Levi's stores. Prices range from $79.90 to $179.90.