PETALING JAYA: Elizabeth Tan, the 20-year-old singer behind the cover of the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad’s hit, Tanggal 31, did not anticipate her rendition going viral on YouTube and social media networks.
In an email to The Star Online, Tan said she recorded the cover and posted the video on her YouTube channel on Aug 20 to help invoke feelings of pride, joy and unity in Malaysians.
“I just wanted to be able to share the Merdeka spirit through a platform that I already have, and the fact that it has been shared around beyond that is a great bonus. I’m glad that I’m able to use what I have, to hopefully bring a feeling of pride, joy and unity to the people of this country who come across my video,” said Tan.
The video has been viewed a total of 19,816 times, with 726 likes and 10 dislikes since it was first uploaded, with Facebook groups like “We are NOT Malaysian Zombies” sharing it.
In introducing the cover to viewers, Tan had said in a comment; “An early Happy Independence Day to all Malaysians! It’s been a long year for all of us, but here’s to staying strong and staying together! ”
Asked why she chose the song, Tan said Tanggal 31 seemed the most familiar to her out of all the other Hari Merdeka songs.
“Well, I was going through a list of Merdeka songs to cover, and this song seemed the most familiar to me. Growing up in Malaysia, we hear a huge variety of Merdeka songs every year, but this one seemed to have stuck to me the most,” said Tan.
She added that she chose to do a cover and not write an original song as she thought a cover would be easier for viewers to relate to.
“I chose to cover an already known Merdeka song because I figured that it’d be easier for people to relate to the video as they would already have known the song. This means that people would be able to sing along easily to my video too,” said Tan.
On choosing songs to cover, Tan said she had become more selective of her choices as she had become more noticed.
“I used to just cover any song that I like to sing, record it and post it up. However, having gained more attention in the recent months, I have to be a little more selective with my song choices, leaning more towards what my viewers or listeners would like to receive from me,” said Tan.
She added that in selecting songs to cover, she would only choose ones she could put her own spin on, saying that she had started to receive more hits from the fourth quarter of 2013, when she began recording and posting YouTube covers more seriously.
Asked what genres influences her singing style, Tan said modern jazz, indie, folk and acoustic music were her primary inspirations, and she credited singer-songwriter Yuna as an influence.
“I will always give credit firstly to Yuna. I’ve been listening to her music since my high school days, when she was still only found on MySpace and it was her music that had inspired me to start writing my own songs,” said Tan.