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Sunday August 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday August 18, 2013 MYT 9:47:42 AM
by nadine fernandez credits : photos: azman ghani hair, make-up: iman ali styling: farah ali wardrobe: dior, AND mizz demeanor
Mizz Nina has been creating waves in the music scene since 1999.
From hip-hop to fashion, local singer Mizz Nina shows no signs of slowing down.
SHAZRINA Azman, better known as Mizz Nina, has been creating waves in the local music industry since 1999.
If you didn’t know, the singer-songwriter co-founded the seminal Malaysian hip-hop group Teh Tarik Crew with Altimet (Syed Ahmad Abdul Rahman), DJ Fuzz (Farzwa De-Attaher Emir) and Fiquetional (Sa’ed Mohamad Taufique) for which they can boast two Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) nominations in 2002 for the group’s full-length album How’s The Level?.
By 2004, the group had two more AIM nominations, this time for their sophomore album, What’s Next?
The 33-year-old, who is married to Noh Salleh, vocalist for the band Hujan, is the youngest in a family of five – two older brothers and two older sisters.
Her mother, Tunku Arishah, was the creative influence in the family – the songstress chuckled as she said she was the black sheep being the only one to follow in her mum’s footsteps.
“I naturally fell into music and am the only child who isn’t into finance and business. I was eight years old and went to singing classes at my mum’s school. I even performed in school and college which finally landed me gigs with the underground hiphop scene”, she explained. “Singing and rapping was something I was into from a very young age as the music made me feel so free. Also, I probably got away with it because I am the youngest”, she added, laughing.
After the Teh Tarik Crew disbanded, Mizz Nina took her time with releasing her first solo album in 2010 which was aptly called What You Waiting For. It featured collaborations with international singers including Theo Martins on the song Let Me C U Get It, Colby O’ Donis on What You Waiting For and Grammy nominee Planet Asia on the song Hope.
Having branched out into the pop genre, Mizz Nina’s music reached a wider audience and gained her greater traction especially in Malaysia.
A second album was released in 2012 where Mizz Nina teamed up with American rapper Flo Rida on a song called Take Over.
“The music video for that song was filmed in Miami and when it was released, the music video earned 1,505,221 views on YouTube. That was a very exciting achievement for me,” she shared.
“I was very attracted to their performances and their onstage presence as well as their song writing abilities. Getting in touch with them is not as hard as one may think. My management got connected to them through online social networks. We expressed interest in doing a collaboration and sent them a song and before we knew it, we were recording in the studio,” says the petite star about the international collaborations, adding, “For the effort with Jay Park, his management actually sent me a song and we liked it so we did the song together. As big as superstars as each of them are, they really are just very down to earth people with amazing talent.”
Having recently finished a concert, for which a DVD was released after Raya, the creative soul can now add fashion entrepreneur to her list of designations.
“I have a fashion line called Mizz Demeanor. It is an urban fashion label that was a natural extension to the brand that is Mizz Nina”, she expressed.
As a huge fan of Missy Elliot, who has an album called Misdemeanor, Mizz Nina also explained that the name of the brand is a play of the word itself as it meant two things.
“Firstly, misdemeanor means naughty while secondly, it is a reflection of the way someone carries themselves. As there are various facets to my personality, I wanted the brand to incorporate the various demeanors of other women.”
She got into fashion when the merchandise for the Mizz Nina brand like t-shirts and other memorabilia gained popularity.
With some encouragement from friends she decided to start her own line: “It is a great challenge as I never went out to study fashion nor about the industry but I am most definitely happy with efforts of the team. Inspiration for the line comes from everyday people and what they wear on the streets. It is also derived from some favourite blogs and magazines.
“I do wear my clothing range every few days depending on what I am doing. They’re really comfortable as the materials are light. A lot of cottons and cotton mixed fabrics were used. We’ll probably expand to include maternity wear and a children’s line next. As for designs, we still experiment and work on a trial and error basis but we most certainly are growing and learning together and I’m really happy about that.”
The self-described nice, patient and laidback personality also says she will be hosting a children’s TV program.
“It is an edutainment-based programme and I really thought it would be a great way to give back to society. I do plan on having kids someday and love children so it seemed a great fit.”
Looking to the future, Mizz Nina hopes to grow Mizz Demeanor as a fashion brand within South-East Asia and if possible, globally while building her Mizz Nina brand simultaneously.
“Of course my love for music will never fade and so, I will definitely will be coming up with more music, and albums.”
Following one’s passion is the only way to success, she says.
“Don’t do it for the fame as that will fizzle out. Do it for the love of music or whatever your passion is. Happiness will come but you have to work hard as nothing comes easy in life. If you don’t work hard, the opportunity may not work for you. Take the good criticism and leave out the negative and finally, you must have the drive and never give up.”
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