‘Singer and actress Liyana Jasmay is back with two new singles.’
DETERMINATION is perhaps one of Liyana Jasmay’s strongest features. The Best Actress award winner at the 2009 Malaysian Film Festival, and at age 21 no less, is undoubtedly sound in the acting department.
What about singing then? Some would question the point of doing it just to end up like other pretty actresses who insist they can actually sing.
“Whatever I have today is the result of hard work, with the help of people around me including my sister who has supported me since day one. She is always there to help bounce ideas and share honest criticisms,” says the 28-year-old actress and singer who has two new singles (Oh Na Na and Selesa Tanpamu).
Liyana began her acting career in 1997, at 9, in the TV drama Si Lembik, produced and directed by Datuk Aznil Nawawi.
Over the years, she became a household name acting in numerous TV dramas such as Dendam Terlerai, Balqis, Orang Kasar, Cinta Sempadan, Najwa, and Cinta Si Rempit. She made her silver screen debut in the Datuk Rosyam Nor action vehicle, Castello. The role earned Liyana her first nomination at the FFM in 2006 for the Best New Actress award.
Her win finally came in 2009, for her role in the box-office hit Papadom.
That same year, she also launched her singing career by releasing Aku Tak Percaya Cinta, composed by Ajai. Since then, she has also released two other singles — Aku Jatuh Cinta, and Cinta Bersatu.
“I just wanted to explore other avenues. I’d been acting for a while but I also love singing,” she says.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. There were times Liyana questioned the direction of her career. “Around 2011, I felt like I wasn’t appreciated as an actress and that talent wasn’t a priority.
“I really wanted to quit acting. It felt like it wasn’t worth fighting for anymore,” recounts Liyana, who then co-founded Mermaid Studios, together with sister Adriana.
LIFE GOES ON
On Feb 2, 2013, Liyana started a new chapter in her life, marrying longtime love, businessman Fathuddin Mazlan.
Blessed with two daughters — Sofia Arissa (born in May 2014) and Selena (last January) — she took a break from singing. But she is now back with a couple of new singles, complete with music videos.
“Thankfully, after such a long break, I’m finally releasing two new singles, composed by Alif (Muhammad Alif Abdullah from the now-defunct hip-hop duo SleeQ),” says Liyana who did a lot of research before deciding on working with the Singaporean composer and singer.
“I wanted something different. I listened to various singers as reference. I’ve had discussions with several composers, even those from Indonesia. However, when Alif sent his demo, I immediately liked the melody,” says Liyana, of the single Oh Na Na.
She recorded the song twice. Not satisfied with the first recording, she sought advice from her vocal coach, Sarah Ismail.
GOING ALL OUT
Although still nervous, Liyana believes that she’s gaining confidence from the positive vibes of those she surrounds herself with. So much so, after recording Oh Na Na, Liyana asked Aliff for another song, a duet.
“After searching for a male singer to perform the number, I finally decided on Syarif (Ahmad Syarifullah, the other half of SleeQ),” says Liyana, who travelled across the Causeway to record the song with the Singaporean singer and actor.
While Liyana only wanted to record two singles, Alif was confident that she could come up with a full album instead.
“We’re looking to release the album next year,” she says.
Liyana is also planning a meet-the-fans tour at the end of this year. “In fact, I’m planning mini concerts in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta,” shares Liyana excitedly.
Interestingly, Liyana worked with Warner Music Malaysia to film the music video for both new songs. The shooting took Liyana and her team all the way to Los Angeles in the US. According to a representative from Warner, it was perhaps among the most expensive local music videos ever, costing between RM50,000 and RM70,000.
“I’m happy with the end result and I hope fans will like the music videos as well as the songs,” she says of the videos which serve as a two-part story.
While the Oh Na Na music video has been released on YouTube, Selesa Tanpamu will be out at a later date.
Aside from singing, Liyana’s Mermaid Studios is set to put out a new film, starring herself and Juliana Evans, titled Bella & Jamie, next year.