The English-language music market in Malaysia is still rather small but up-and-coming singer Katrina Roshan isn’t deterred by this.
Katrina, or simply Kat, marked her debut with the Malay-language Rasa. She followed up the effort with two self-penned English tracks You and Lost Again this year.
More than fame or monetary gain, the 17-year-old tells StarLifestyle she is simply driven by her love for music.
“I find it easier to convey my emotions and to write in English. I didn’t really consider the market and I have no sales target or goals to achieve other than to write and produce the best music that I can, ” Kat, who is of Malay-Chinese parentage, talks about her decision to release the English tracks.
“I believe music is international and transcends all languages, ” she continues, adding she has plans to release a Mandarin song too.
Kat’s passion for music is evidenced by her commitment to master the piano and violin at just six. Then at 10, she began writing songs and later picked up guitar at 11.
After crossing paths with Indonesian producer and composer Chossypratama, the two collaborated and produced her debut track Rasa last December.
Just as Kat’s music began to gain traction, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Yet, she went ahead and released her two English tracks.
Asked if she felt it was risky move to put out new tracks and introduce herself as an artiste in the midst of the pandemic, Kat responds: “I thought it was the right time to start and although the pandemic made things very difficult, the show must go on.
“Being locked up at home, a lot of people would’ve turned to music - I know I did!”
And the show will continue to go on for Kat, who has scheduled the release of her third English track, Last Summer, on Sept 28.
Unlike her two decidedly melancholic English tracks previously, Last Summer is an EDM-driven, uptempo track.
“There are moments in life when we are just so happy and content. And we want that moment or feeling to last forever but that’s not possible.
"The song is about being grateful for those moments and making the most out of them when we experience them, ” she teases the song.
The musical teen, who has completed her secondary education, also had her overseas music education plans derailed as a result of the pandemic.
Kat is enrolled at Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, the United States, but instead of completing her studies there, she is pursuing it remotely here.
“Due to the pandemic, all my lessons are currently conducted remotely via Zoom... It’s very challenging for me at the moment as I have had to adapt to the time difference between California and Malaysia. We are 15 hours ahead, ” she shares.
As such, her classes are at odd hours of the day, 9pm to 1am, daily. “Hopefully, the cases in California will ease and I will be able to travel soon to study in the same time zone.”
Kat is also pursuing a songwriting course at the same time. Besides music, she also hopes to further her studies in criminal law in the future.