NJWA in the hauz! Put it down to rebranding – if consumer goods and professional services needs rebooting to revive interest, why not musicians – Malaysian musicians and artistes at that?
In NJWA’s case, it is her creative juices and artistic talent that has encouraged her to stray beyond what is considered conventional. Her unique and stylised rendition of the traditional Malay tune Seri Mersing last year was panned by critics but hailed by fans for its daring and bold attempt at artistic freedom for re-interpretation.
And why not? For the 32-year-old has more than enough ammo to stand up for herself and say ‘hold up on a second’! Being a Berklee College of Music grad certainly gives puts her in the right state of authority to defend her work that some are saying have ‘spoiled’ desecrated the originalpurity of local music the tune.
But to her, this is just an experiment on evolution, one that is necessary to boot to find new ways to express and appreciate her art.
Another form of evolution comes in the form of her brand itself. Discarding her old name Najwa Mahiaddin, she now prefers to be branded simply as NJWA. Immediately, images of a progressive and modern artiste is conjured up.
Her sounds are far from typical, if there is such a thing for music in Malaysia in general. But according to her, that’s OK! This sultry songstress is not on a mission to please everyone.