SINGAPORE, 26 October 2021 – Singaporean singer-songwriter Aisyah Aziz writes about love and “being in the present”, in a single, Euphoria, that will be released as the second song in the UTOPIA Reimagined initiative – commissioned by the Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise (“The Foundation”) – that sees four artists reimagine a symphony inspired by Singapore, written by a Russian composer and recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO).
Aisyah’s starting point for this single is to question what utopia means to her. “I’ve been in the space of love for a while but then the anxiety is whether love will last. My concern is change – how everything evolves within seconds – and nothing ever stays the same. I don’t want to be busy obsessing about what’s happened in the past though so when I wrote the song, I was exploring being in this love space, and exploring about being present in the moment,” says Aisyah.
“We’re small, we’re flawed, but we can be who we are” is a line that resonated again and again in my head,” she notes. Aisyah starting songwriting about two years back, and took the lead in Euphoria, together with her usual collaborator, co-writer Harun Amirrul Rasyid bin Mohamed (also known as RHAUN), and first-time collaborator, producer Adir Kaisan.
Euphoria is best described as groove pop with good vibes, which is a departure from Aisyah’s sentimental style. “Since Covid-19 happened, my songs are more reflective of how I feel, rather than to write about others experiences,” she says.
While her aim has always been to be recognised as an artist in the Southeast Asian region, she welcomes The Foundation’s network that aims to expose Singapore artists to an even more global audience. “I feel artists in this region have a lot to offer, and everyone is looking for something fresh, something unique.”
UTOPIA Reimagined is an initiative that commissions artists to respond to Vladimir Martynov’s UTOPIA Symphony (“the Symphony”) that was recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra on its own LPO label and released last November. The Symphony was commissioned in 2003 by then Ambassador to Russia Michael Tay, who currently serves as Founder and Executive Director of The Foundation.
Michael said: “The work has been progressing well on the UTOPIA Reimagined initiative, and we’re really quite excited to hear the variation of interpretations on one symphony by the four artists. We feel that the project embodies how Singapore is only one instance of this evolution towards Utopia, always striving, reinventing; a Utopian movement in the arts space. As the artists share their inspirations, we hope this will spark their listeners and fans to start imagining their utopia as well.”
Aisyah, who embarked on her professional music career in 2014 that now spans Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia; was partly responsible for the over 1.1 million views of the National Environment Agency’s Clean and Green Singapore campaign video in 2019.
The next single in this commissioned series after Aisyah’s will be by ShiGGa Shay, followed by Charlie Lim. The album covers are by local artist Kenny Low, who expanded on his original artwork used in the LPO’s UTOPIA Symphony’s CD album cover.