Only 2 Malaysian contestants joined the 3rd season of “Asia’s Got Talent”, and one of them are the talented hijab-clad girl group NAMA who recently blown the audience away with their rendition of Lady Gaga’s hit “Bad Romance” during their audition round.
Though David Foster was not as impressed, the 2 other judges Anggun and Jay Park like the group very much, comparing them to the legendary vocal group The Supremes and saying that there should be more groups like them.
Now, NAMA is one of the contestants in the running for the semi-finals in “Asia’s Got Talent” Season 3 together with another Malaysian contestant Yaashwin Sarawanan, also known as the Human Calculator.
Before we see the girls perform more great songs on the competition’s stage, let’s get to know them a little bit more.
How they met
NAMA members Nur Fazrina (28), Noor Syamimi (24), Norfazira (24) and Nur Farahida (24) met each other in 2016 when they were studying in the University of Malaya (UM) in Kuala Lumpur. In UM, there is a yearly arts festival called Festival Seni where various competition like singing and dancing will be held. The 4 of them were very active in the competition, so they’ve gotten close through the festival.
How NAMA was formed
Even before the group was formed, Fazrina Syamimi, Fazira, and Farah have been actively singing as a nasyid group where they learn how to harmonise and complement each other. Their vocal coach, Rafiq Taib from the vocal harmony group Infinatez was the one who created the group in 2017.
Meaning behind NAMA
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“There’s no specific story or meaning behind the name. We just want something simple, easy to pronounce and easy to remember, especially for people outside of Malaysia,” said group leader Fazrina.
Why join Asia’s Got Talent
NAMA’s main aim is to bring the concept of pop and ballad as a hijab-wearing vocal group. The girl group wishes to penetrate into a more diverse and and wider audience. Though the girls have previously performed at several formal functions and corporate dinners before, they still didn’t have enough exposure.
“The local industry is hard to penetrate, that’s why we decided to join ‘Asia’s Got Talent’, so that we can expand our reach to a bigger and a more diverse audience,” Fazrina said.
Reaction during the audition round
NAMA said that during audition, their aim was actually to impress famous record label producer David Foster. Though they did not meet his expectation, the girls did not take what David said negatively, instead they look forward to improve so that they can impress the judge in their next performance.
How they deal with criticism
The girls admit that not everyone is a fan of their audition performance. Nevertheless, they take all the comments positively and amend their performance accordingly. Some of the most impactful comment by netizen is regarding the girls’ wardrobe.
“There are comments saying that our outfits look like Zumba outfit, which we think is kind of true after seeing the video again. So we will try to work on our wardrobe for our next performance,” Fazira commented.
Dancing and hijab boundaries
The audition round of “Asia’s Got Talent” was apparently the first time that the girls dance and sing at the same time. As the girls are wearing hijab, they need to control their dance move not only to ensure that it is not too overboard, but also to make sure that it doesn’t hinder their singing.
“Usually, we don’t dance. We will just sing on stage. But since this is ‘Asia’s Got Talent’, we figured that we need to up our game and put more effort as we’re competing against other great contestants,” Fazrina added.
Contestants they’re impressed with
Some of the contestants from “Asia’s Got Talent” who blew the girls away include David Foster’s Golden Buzzer, Eleana Gabunada from the Philippines, Japanese magician Takumi Takahashi, and Taiwanese dance group Maniac Family who is Anggun’s Golden Buzzer.
Their musical influence
Individually, the girls have different music influence and icon, but as a group, they refer to accapella groups like Pentatonix or Gamaliel Audrey Cantika (GAC) from Indonesia to learn how to harmonise.
“But we also want strengthen our solo part and not just group harmony, we want to balance both of that,” Syamimi commented.
Roles in the group
Though the group was recently formed, the girls admit that they have compatibility as each member understand their own role in the group. Farah will usually be the one in charge of the higher notes, while Fazira and Fazrina take care of the lower vocals. Syamimi is a master in piano, so she’s usually the one steering the group and making the vocal arrangement.
Plans after “Asia’s Got Talent”
After the competition, the girls wish to release their very own single as well as album. NAMA plans to continued singing as a pop ballad group so that they can reach a wider audience. The group plans to release both English and Malay songs. Currently, they already have one Malay single, ready to be released.