How odd is it for a person who’s so used to being the drummer of a local pop punk band (One Buck Short aka OBS) to be performing his own solo songs, armed with nothing but a genuine voice, a mic, and his trusty guitar? We’re not only talking about the abrupt change in musical style per se – but also the quite obvious (and literal) shift in stage spots.
Oh, you might also recognize him (if not for his role in OBS) from NTV7’s “What Men Want”, a reality TV series where six Malaysian men were picked to represent the different segments of Malaysian men. Yes, he was one of the six. The apparent “hopeless romantic”, they said.
Let’s hear it now from the multi-talented Narmi, who has finally made his songwriting and singing skills public and is ready to release his first ever EP. Like his solo career, he takes center stage in our exclusive interview with the man himself:
Hi Narmi! Thanks for taking time to speak to us. We heard you just got back from a gig in Danga Bay, Johor Bahru. How was it?
“Hellooooo, it is my pleasure! Oh yes, the JB Arts Festival. It was very good thanks, the reception was good and the organizers were really nice. It’s actually my first show in JB as Narmi.”
So, you’re about to release your first ever solo EP. You must be super excited! What took you so long?
“Yes, I am very excited, but a bit scared as well. I’ll be releasing it on the 30th of this month and the launch will be on Livestream. So you can watch it wherever you are, as long as there’s a decent internet connection. It took a lil longer than expected because the tracks were done last year. My Music Director (Jeremy Lim) advised me to wait for the right time to release. Now I see his reasoning behind it – we needed that time to build a fan base and also to gain some experience.”
Tell us a little bit more about the songs that will be released in your EP. Are any of those songs based on real life experiences?
“Actually, all the songs on the EP are based on experience! There are three main tracks on the EP, ‘Tweet in Defiance’, ‘Make Me Whirl’, and ‘The Road Home’. ‘Tweet in Defiance’ is about Twitter as an outlet for our generation, cause that’s where we complain about things when there’s no one else to complain to. ‘Make Me Whirl’ is basically about a girl. ‘The Road Home’ is actually a song I wrote about death. Yeah pretty morbid. There will also be two additional tracks, which are recorded live – ‘Cair’ and ‘Trying to Sleep’. These two tracks will actually be recorded properly for the future album. “
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In terms of songwriting, where do you find your source(s) of inspiration? Are there any musicians that your draw your inspirations from?
“My inspiration comes from anything and everything that can stir emotion in me. It could be a particular line from a song, or a passionately told story from a friend, or it could be the way a certain person makes me feel. There are several musicians that I draw my inspirations from – mostly John Mayer. But that really depends on how I’m feeling at the moment. In different emotional states, the same songs can sound different and mean different things. I try to find double meanings in the same lyrics.”
Answer the following question: You’re stranded on an island, what are the top five things that you must have with you?
“I would actually like to say..a boat. But that would defeat the whole purpose of this..haha! Guitar, sleeping bag, pocket knife, lighter, and 20 cartons of cigarettes.”
Name the oddest job you’ve ever had. Also, tell us what you’d most likely be doing if you weren’t in the music industry.
“I haven’t done many jobs actually. I did translate 100 pages of a booklet from Bahasa Indonesia to English before though! If I weren’t in the music industry, I’d probably be a hobo.”
Now that your EP is (almost) out, what other big projects or surprises do you have in the pipeline for the rest of 2012?
“My team and I are working some things at the moment. The website – which will be accessible after the launch. It’ll be a one-stop site where you can find everything related to my adventures. The new YouTube channel where content will come with better sound, video quality, and interaction. We’ll have themed videos so it’ll be fun, fun, fun! And once iTunes Malaysia sorts itself out, it’ll become another platform for fans from overseas to purchase music. We also shot a video for ‘Make Me Whirl’ last year in Bali and it’ll be released during the launch. Several tours are in discussion for 2013, along with a full album. But let’s save that for next year.”
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