Veteran singer Aishah not letting Covid-19 beat her as she prepares for first solo orchestra show with MPO after 37 years

·5-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — She was crowned Malaysia’s most famous female singer from 1990 to 1992 and was awarded with Anugerah Industri Muzik’s (AIM) best female vocals in 1995 and 1996.

Datuk Aishah whose real name is Datuk Wan Aishah Wan Ariffin is truly no stranger to the local music industry.

And after 37 years of singing with over 160 songs recorded, Aishah has reached yet another milestone in her career as she will be doing her first solo show along with the melodious strings, drums and sounds by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO).

The “Aishah & MPO: A Symphonic Rendezvous Concert” will see the 57-year-old songstress taking the centre stage for a two-hour set this August 6 at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) in KLCC.

Initially, the concert was planned for April 2020 however, the concert was delayed due to the first movement control order (MCO) to combat the spread of Covid-19 in March 2020.

According to the Janji Manismu singer, she has been practicing her vocals continuously especially after she had been infected with Covid-19 not once but twice with the latest one on February this year.

“I can really feel the effects especially in the first two months. I tend to get tired easily but after learning about these side effects, I’ve been practicing my vocals more frequently.

“Not just by singing but also through reciting the Quran. I also make sure to have a balanced diet and live a healthy life,” she said.

Although having to struggle with the effects of Covid-19, Aishah remains determined and excited for her first show with MPO as she describes it as a dream come true for any artist.

“It’s every artists’ dream to do a show like this. I am excited. Everybody has to raise their level of performance actually; new sets of skills and I have to come up to that level of performance.

“Previously I was an unlearned singer, but now that I’ve learned a bit, I feel a bit more prepared because even at my age, to get this kind of experience with an orchestra, it’s rare,” she said.

Aishah will be performing around 23 songs that she personally selected for that night which includes her top tracks from over the years.

She also describes the night to be a journey through all the different eras since she began her music career in the late 1980s.

Besides that, Aishah will also be performing songs that she seldom performed live.

“So, there are some songs that are almost my personal favourite. There’s this one song, I don’t think I ever performed it ‘live’ or have forgotten about it.

“But this song, when I look back at it, has its own fans and followers. This song even has fans in Indonesia, and I was like, okay,” Aishah said without disclosing the song title.

Aishah also disclosed some of the challenges when performing with an orchestra includes having to keep up with the new arrangements.

She added that aside from having to memorise all her lyrics, she also needs to memorise all the transitions and arrangements.

“I want to enjoy my concert. For an artist to be able to enjoy, you need to know your content so well that you can do it in any circumstances. Even when someone walks past you or screaming crowds, you must go on.

“That’s also how well I must know the arrangements so that if anything happens, I can still go on and that’s the only way for an artist to enjoy with their audiences.

“Because you can’t enjoy it if you’re still hesitating. Just go, if you know it, just go. Audiences will sense that as well and hopefully my audiences can enjoy it as well,” she said.

On the orchestra side, the concert will be led by MPO’s conductor Ahmad Muriz Che Rose, and all songs are specially arranged and given fresh interpretations by arrangers such as Gerard Salonga, Luqman Aziz, Jenny Chin, Ahmad Muriz Che Rose, Ilham Subri, Vivian Chua and Azhad Sulaiman.

“Anyone who has worked with Aishah would most certainly want to explore her wide range of vocals. So, this time, this is what we’ve decided to task her with.

“Sometimes we can’t be too technical, or too scientific, but at the same time, Aishah herself is rediscovering her songs and this concert is for the people, so it must be people-oriented but at the same time, we need to have something new, something fresh.

“It’s an immersive experience for the audience, when they come, they’ll get to experience Aishah’s songs in symphonic sounds,” Muriz said, hinting that they’ve prepared special arrangements with Aishah for that night.

Coincidentally, on August 6, local singers Anuar and Ziana Zain will also be holding a concert at the Plenary Hall in the same building and when asked about the potential changing of venues, Muriz said that they will remain with the original venue.

“Looking at the current liveliness of the industry, we see it as a positive growth. We didn’t need to perceive it as a competition per say.

“Aishah has her own strength, she has her own magic and further than that, she has her own followers.

“This is Aishah we’re talking about and with our batch of music arrangers, they will bring justice to her music,” he said.

Muriz added that another reason as to why they won’t be changing the venue is because of logistics issues that could arise.

The “Aishah & MPO: A Symphonic Rendezvous Concert” has sold out their C Reserve seating (RM255).

For more information on ticketing purchase, please click here.

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