Najwa Mahiaddin

Performed in Sofar Kuala Lumpur

Najwa Mahiaddin is an award winning vocalist and songwriter hailing from Malaysia. Discovering music at the tender age of 3, she found a home that allowed her to fully express her thoughts and emotions through lyric and song. In 2011 the Malaysian “Soulstress” released her debut R&B/neo-soul album Innocent Soul which won multiple awards; Best New Artiste and Best English Local Song “Got to Go” at the AIM 2011 awards (Anugerah Industri Muzik) Adamant on pursuing music as a career, Najwa enrolled in the prestigious Berklee College of Music where she graduated in 2012, majoring in contemporary writing and production. Najwa then moved to New York and returned from a three year hiatus with a darker undertone in her music, experimenting with somber and minimalistic echoes over the usual warm piano accompaniments. Thus the Aurora EP is born; her sounds shamelessly stripped down into a bare electronic setting, her soul’s deepest shadows unveiled. Switching her playlist from Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Billie Holiday to the likes of Little Dragon, James Blake and Emily King, whilst also braving the isolated icy paths of New York City may have had a little something to do with it. Aurora seeks to reaffirm her Malaysian roots by blending traditional elements from her Malay and Indian influenced heritage with a more current soundtrack. Najwa’s first single off Aurora, “Seri Mersing” boldly weaves the ancestral ghazal folk song into a contemporary orchestra- tion, intimating a sacrilegious cultural intercross of the old and the new. ‘Music is an extension of one’s soul’, Najwa believes that through art, the audience is able to experience a visible and audible expression of the artists’ emotion. From her award-winning debut R&B/neo-soul album ‘Innocent Soul’, to her dark and moody sophomore EP, ‘Aurora’, Najwa’s music seeks to reaffirm her Malaysian roots but also pay homage to the roller-coaster experiences she has had living alone in America. Najwa and her music are on a league of its own, set to put Malaysia on the global music map.

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