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.
She 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 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,” she said.
The video has been viewed 24,944 times (at press time).
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 Merdeka Day songs.
“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 with 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.
“This means that people would be able to sing along easily to my video too,” she said.
Asked what genres influence 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.
The Kuala Lumpur lass first shot to fame when her rendition of Joe Flizzow’s Havoc went viral on YouTube and eventually on radio and television.
At that time, she had just completed her studies in the United States and was playing around with her ukulele at home here, thinking about how to pursue a singing career.
Tan had initially wanted to be a television host before realising her true calling for singing.