YUSEF KIFAH remembers the moment when he first fell in love with electronic music.
“I was 10 years old when I happened to listen to Ravers Fantasy by Tune Up!, a very iconic track in the Hands Up genre. It was my first exposure to electronic dance music and it felt as if a switch just flipped. I have always loved music – one of my ambitions was to be rock star as I looked up to My Chemical Romance, an alternative rock band from the US at the time.
“I took guitar classes when I was six and eventually went on to produce my own music, with the support of my parents,” said the 19-year-old whose most recent achievement was receiving the Taylor’s Talent Scholarship to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication, specialising in Advertising.
Yusef, who has been involved in the electronic music industry from the young age of 11, shares about being recognised by Taylor’s University for his talent.
“It’s not often that a university accepts an application like mine, let alone award a full tuition fee waiver. To have Taylor’s University, one of the top private universities in Malaysia, award me the scholarship is right up there in my library of memorable moments,” he said.
The teenager has an illustrious career in the electronic music industry. He started out producing simple tracks and remixes with Garageband on his mother’s computer when he was 11. Yusef’s father gifted him with a computer a year later, which he used to make music using FL Studio, a digital audio workstation software. He then went on to sign his first record deal in 2012 when he was just 13, with his track Vortex. Since then, Yusef’s career has blossomed.
With performances at venues like KL Live, releases with major international electronic music record labels, receiving support from well-known DJs, providing music production services to companies as well clients from all over the world, Yusef is establishing himself as an electronic music artist to keep an eye on.
“Although my passion is in music, I also know the importance of higher education. Completing a degree in Mass Communication has also been my goal. Thanks to Taylor’s University, my dream is halfway there,” said Yusef who scored 4As in his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations to qualify him for the scholarship.
Yusef, who is a recipient under the Other Talents category, is one of the nine talented students who have been accorded full scholarships through the Taylor’s Talent Scholarship.
Besides the Other Talents category, the award programme also recognises individuals who have excelled in sports. Yeap Zheng Yang is one of the recipients of the award programme through the Sports Talent category.
The national swimmer made headlines recently when he swept up three individual gold medals, two team gold medals, and one silver medal during the 2018 Institutions of Higher Learning Games (SUKIPT). He also managed to break three records in the individual events in the competition, bagging the title of SUKIPT Sportsman.
Yeap, who’s enrolled in the American Degree Transfer Programme at Taylor’s University, shared that he was excited to learn he was successful in his application for the award programme.
“I heard about the award programme from a fellow national swimmer who is also studying at Taylor’s University. He encouraged me to apply and after looking through the criteria for the application, I was motivated to try my luck,” he said.
The social advocate
The most recent recipient of the Taylor’s Talent Scholarship is Daniel Devan, a 23-year-old aspiring doctor who spent the past four years of his life working to make a difference in a community.
Daniel was awarded a full scholarship to pursue a medical degree through the Other Talents category, specifically the social advocate section.
Daniel has done impressive work in Sarawak and Kelantan through the social initiative Where Holistic Experiences Empower (WHEE), which works with rural communities to mitigate the effects of rural depopulation through entrepreneurial development, based on the local culture and environment.
“I worked mainly in Bario in the highlands of Sarawak, as well as in Kota Baru, using young volunteers as catalyst for social change. This initiative was a way for me to solidify my aim to be a doctor as it allowed me to be 100% certain of my childhood dream.
“When researching universities, I wanted to do my medical degree at an institution that was community centric and came across Taylor’s University’s MBBS programme.
“I paid a visit to Taylor’s Lakeside Campus and learnt about the award programme. I immediately applied and was elated when I learnt that the application was successful just a few weeks ago,” he said.
Daniel’s extensive involvement in social development saw him selected by the United States’ State Department to be part of the Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).
Through the platform, Daniel was able to attend Temple University in Philadelphia thanks to an academic fellowship and participate in various civic engagement programmes in Cambodia, Laos and South Korea.
“It was after all of this that I felt a stirring to do my degree,” said Daniel, who scored 8As in his SPM examinations.
The unique capabilities and diverse life experiences of Daniel, Yeap and Yusef are the reason Taylor’s aims to recognise the importance of different life experiences.
The fabric of life at Taylor’s becomes more vibrant through the diverse threads of the experiences of youth like them.
Through the Taylor’s Talent Scholarship, impactful youth like these three young men will be empowered to accelerate their development in their respective areas of interest.
Taylor’s strives to recognise exceptional candidates who possess an excellent academic record with talent in areas such as music, drama, sports and social advocacy among others.
To find out more about Taylor’s Talent Scholarship, visit Taylor’s Lakeside Campus today.
This article is brought to you by Taylor’s University.