Malay Songs Are Winnie's Passion

8 Oct

Winnie K has released her fourth album, Kau Ada Di Mana

Winnie K loves Malay songs and her fourth album was first released in Indonesia recently. SHARIFAH ARFAH hears about her journey in the music world.

AN early start in singing, it is believed, is preferred for those intending to achieve stardom.

But after a placing within the top three in a regional singing contest and recording four albums, singer Winnie Kok aka Winnie K attests that it’s not as easy as it sounds.

“It does depend on luck as well. It’s not easy to be an artiste,” says the 28-year-old lass.

She has just released her fourth album Kau Ada Di Mana in Malay. It was released in Indonesia in March.
A collaboration between Malaysian and Indonesian composers, the album sees contributions from Malaysian composers Audi Mok, Cat Farish, Ajai, Ramli M.S., and Siew; while Dewiq and Yudis Dwikarono make up the Indonesian composers.

“I knew the Indonesian composers through a mutual friend there. They saw how passionate I was about singing, and that led to the recording deal signed with Trinity Optima, who also releases albums for Indonesian artistes such as Rossa and Ungu,” said Winnie.

Kau Ada Di Mana was released in Malaysia in June under the Warner Music label.

Her first single for airplay is a track after which the album was titled, followed by Kekasih Gelapku.

Jakarta is now her second home, her base for her promotional tours.

“I know it’s not easy for me to break into the Indonesian market where they have so many of their own singers trying to make a name, so I have to be diligent with my promotional activities,” she said.

It took three years to finalise her first Malay album to ensure that it met standards.

“It wasn’t easy selecting the songs to fit the concept I wanted – catchy, with easy-to-follow lyrics,” she said.

As a fan of Malay songs, Winnie doesn’t feel awkward singing in Malay.

“Since secondary school, I have loved Malay songs.” Her favourite artistes those days included KRU, Fauziah Latiff and Sheila Majid.

An exposure to Malay songs was also acquired while campaigning as an ambassador for Pepsi.

“I got to know Siti Nurhaliza and KRU back then, and I learned a lot about the local music scene from them,” said Winnie.

When did it all start? As early as when she was three years old, apparently.

“My mom said I sang every day at home,” Winnie said.

She took part in as many talent shows as she could fit into her days.

One of the turning points came in 1993, at 13, when she entered the Asia Bagus singing contest. She emerged runner-up in the grand championship final.

“After the win, many people recognised me,” Winnie said.

She was eventually offered a recording contract by PonyCanyon due to her sterling performance in Asia Bagus, but she had to decline.

“I felt I was too young, so I continued with my studies instead.”

She went on to graduate with a degree in Business Administration from Sunway University College, and did a six-month stint in TV presentation at Wesley College in Melbourne, Australia.

“I began to regret then not taking up the offer (by PonyCanyon). I wondered how I would have fared, with the exposure I may have had in Japan. I love singing, but I know that it’s not enough to just be a singer without something solid to fall back on.

“Many singers come and go, and it’s so easy for people to forget you when new stars arrive.”

New Straits Times

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