Here’s one person we haven’t seen or heard from in a very, very long time – our very own Malaysian artiste, Sasi The Don. So imagine our surprise when we were given an exclusive interview with him from our friends at Universal Music Malaysia. We spent about half an hour chatting with the dude and he reveals that not only has he been working hard, but he’s definitely reaching for the stars! As a matter of fact, Sasi has got a new album ready to hit the shelves of your nearest music store and get this – most of India’s music stores too.
For real! Check it:
Hi Sasi! So good to be speaking to you. How are you? We hear you’ve got a new single and album coming out. What took you so long?
“Hello! I’m okay. What took me so long, well, I think I was pretty caught up with my personal life like, I’ve got my full time job. I went from working in an advertising agency to running my own agency. Moving to my own agency..I’ve just been too busy with all these things that were going on in my life. Then I decided to take a little break. I haven’t performed on stage in the last two years and I only started performing this year. I just wanted to focus on myself first. Then I realized that okay, now is a good time. So my new album is coming out at the end of the month!”
Let’s talk about your new album. What is it going to be called and is there a significance behind the name that you’ve chosen for your album?
“Malaysians are going to be surprised by this but my new album is going to be called ‘Hello India’. The reason is because, well, first and foremost I’m Indian, and I’ve been given the opportunity to work with Universal Music India. Prior to this, I’ve performed in India several times, I’ve spent some time in Bombay, and I used to be there for (my advertising) work. So when the opportunity came for me to do this album, India gave me a three-album deal, and since I’m going into their market for the first time, I thought it’d be good to be humble. Hence the album name. I look at India as one; I look at India in a beautiful way.”
Right. The thing about India is that their entertainment industry is huge! It’s a billion-dollar industry and it’s so self-sufficient. So what do you think the challenges would be for you to break into the market?
“Wow, that’s a good question. I haven’t faced any challenges as of yet – until the album is released. But in some way, I’ve identified some of the challenges already. In 2010, I was introduced for the first time in Mumbai when I performed for a huge music conference called, ‘Nokia Music Connects’. After that, I realized that the one challenge would be me not being able to speak Hindi. I speak Tamil and I’m fluent at it but not Hindi. Hindi is really popular in North India. I want to be seen as an artiste that’s for all of India, a universal artiste for the whole of India. On top of that, the advertising and marketing. Advertising and marketing in India is not cheap!”
What do you think has notably changed in you as a person, when you compare yourself to the last time you released music and now?
“I last released music in 2011 and I think there’s definitely a huge difference because at that time, my vision as an artiste and my outlook on my musical career went only as far as Malaysia or at most, Singapore. But today, I have to look at it from this way – there are approximately about 10,000 ‘Malaysia’s inside India in terms of population and size. And ‘Hello India’ will be released in seven countries out of India such as Maldive, South Africa, Mauritius, so on and so forth. So I have to think global and I have to be ‘correct’ when I talk because whatever I do will reflect upon me being Malaysian. I have to be very strategic in what to do. It affects me overall as a person. But I’m ready for changes and I’m ready to accept what I need to do for the betterment of what I’m doing.”
That is true. And what can we expect from you in the near future? Have you ever thought that you might or might not collaborate with any Indian artistes soon?
“I would love to! There are many big names in India. I would also love to contribute my music to Bollywood films. See, when we watch English movies, the songs you hear in there aren’t made for the movie. It’s picked out from international artistes and then put into the soundtrack. But with Bollywood, they usually create songs fit for the film. However, trends can change. I hope that I’ll be able to achieve that someday, to get my music featured in a Bollywood film.”
Yup. Sasi The Don is definitely going places this time. We wish you all the best, Sasi! As for everyone else, if you haven’t already, check out his new music video, shot entirely in Colombo:
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