[EXCLUSIVE] Senja Is The Girl Power Group To Plug Into | Malaysian Band Spotlight
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What started off as a one-time show turned into the birth of Senja, a girl-power band comprising of Kasih (vocalist), Myra (bassist) and Inarah (keyboardist), three friends who’ve decided to make music together.
The girls find inspiration anywhere, even in the most mundane situations. “Senja’s music is very personal. We dig deep into ourselves; harvest the bad, filter out the good and polish what’s left into an experience that can be translated through song. The three of us are in the midst of growing up, and our discography is basically an inspired documentation of our lives in transition to adulthood,” Kasih says.
They use their songs as a medium of storytelling. Some are more poetic, some are more direct. But each song carries deep meaning to the girls.
what’s the story behind the name?
One night, we started brainstorming and Kasih’s boyfriend, Zim, actually suggested the name ‘Senja’ to us. After thinking about it, we realised it made sense because we would always meet after sunset to rehearse.
What kickstarted the journey into music?
The three of us have always been lovers of music, even though we don’t listen to the same genres. Myra and Inarah have always played music recreationally and Kasih used to perform solo in the scene. Our first show was definitely the kickstarter, and it definitely opened more doors for all of us, as a group and as individuals.
How would you describe your music style?
We would say that we don’t have a particular style or sound that we subscribe to – because we’re still in the midst of figuring out ourselves and our musical journey. Though, over the course of a year, I feel that we’re definitely not looking to be boxed under a genre any longer, and we’re just writing music that sounds good to us and for everyone else.
I suppose if it’s anything seriously definitive, it would be that we’ve given ourselves the moniker of Mataharindie, which is an umbrella term for our music. We’d say that we give our own Senja twist on a genre or sound, and make it accessible alternative pop. We’ve bounced from indie-punk, power ballads, surf-folk and ambient galore in our Phase 1, and we’re not going to stop experimenting there!
Are there any artists you look up to that inspire your music/style?
I think this varies between the three of us… Hahaha!
What are your views on the Malaysian music industry?
Internally in t he indie music scene, all the artistes here are super-kind and supportive towards each other. There’s almost an unsaid understanding that we have where we know we’ve got each other’s backs through this journey, because it’s not easy (we could list more than a few challenges). So in Malaysia, we feel we’re very blessed to be surrounded by so many welcoming and kind artistes. They not only share the same hardships as us, but also the same aspirations. Externally, we’d love to see our indie scene expand to greater heights because we think it has mad potential not just nationally, but globally as well.
Are there Any changes you’d like to see in the industry?
Firstly, there’s been many cases of artistes getting cheated off their intellectual property, recording deals, and also money. We wish for less bullies like this in the industry so our artistes can soar to their full potential.
Secondly, hear us out. Don’t judge until you’ve read to the end! We feel like many artistes in the industry are criminally underpaid. It’s true that we’re not in this for the money. We aren’t. However, artistes do at least deserve money to cover their gas and toll expenses, which is ultimately used to get to rehearsals and shows, and pay for rehearsal space in the first place. You’d be surprised, sometimes there isn’t even enough money for that. This isn’t always the fault of the organisers. Most of the time it depends on the turnout of a show. So ultimately, the change we’d wish to see in the music industry is more support from you guys!
What has been the biggest challenge you faced?
To put it simply; we’re full time students. Some of us have jobs. On top of that we have rehearsals at least twice a week, and we’ve had to train and get accustomed to a total of 9 different sessionists throughout our one humble year of being together. In this context, you could say that time is our biggest enemy. We don’t eat or sleep right, we hardly see our family or friends, and we fall sick all the time! But, is it worth it? Let’s hope so! We have a goal and we’d like to try our hardest to work towards it.
What are Senja’s plans for the future?
Our future plans are hopefully to settle down for the time being and start recording our music. We have a lot of material that we would like to release and show everyone! Other plans would be to definitely try and sleep better, and hopefully cut down on McDonald’s and mamak food (because those are the only things that we have been consuming for the past year).