Image credit Happyfingers Photography
For someone who travels daily via the KTM Komuter from Seremban to Sentul, I consider myself a special kind of crazy person.
As it turns out, singer and songwriter Aina Abdul is just as crazy as me albeit alot more special!
At 17-years-old, Aina would travel daily after school from her hometown in Seremban to Kuala Lumpur to attend her vocal lessons with Cikgu Shafi, daughter of the famed late Malaysian singer M. Shariff.
“I started singing when I was in highschool and my musical journey consists of various phases,” Aina tells me when we met at The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) recently.
See, Aina began her foray into music by singing traditional Malay songs. was first discovered through her teacher, Puan Shamsiah through a talent audition in her school.
Having supportive parents and teachers, Aina began participating in various singing competitions in Negeri Sembilan with her first being Sayembara Puisi in which she grabbed the grand prize.
“I used to perform Gamelan and Cak Lempong with a group at weddings nearly every week and earned around RM50 for each gig as well.”
For each gig, Aina had to sing some 30 songs. That was when she first discovered that she could make a living by being a musician.
“But for that to happen, I have to be properly trained. So one day, my mother chanced upon an article in the newspaper on Cikgu Shafi,” the 23-year-old says, adding that they contacted the vocal instructor.
And that was how Aina began her crazy rides to Melawati on almost a daily basis for close to three years. Daily she would arrive home close to midnight.
“It was a good experience. Because I was trained classically, I began developing my diaphragm, resulting in improved vocal tonality,” she says, adding that she also studied singers such as Beyonce and Belgian singer, Lara Fabian.
“I purchased their CDs and watched how they performed. I admire Beyonce for her showmanship and Lara for her capability to sing in any language.”
Once she was done with her vocal training, Aina pursued music at UCSI University. It was here she gradually realised that it was time that she ventured out and begin singing in English.
“I remember feeling embarrassed that I was unable to sing in English. Usually it’s very easy for audience to spot if a singer’s mother tongue is in English or a different language.”
But it was a challenge that Aina took head one and one that resulted her becoming the finalist of Bintang Irama 1 Malaysia RTM 2010.
In 2011, Aina came in second place in Berita Harian’s Bintang Idola and she won the first place a year later in Golden Voices of PJ.
2014 was when Aina’s musical career truly made a headway. She was awarded the Senior Vocalist Champion Of The World in World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) held in Los Angeles.
Not wanting to stop there, Aina auditioned for Mentor Legend and was mentored by Malaysian rockstar, Ella.
Her diversified musical journey has lent Aina the ability to transform her songs thanks to her Malay traditional music background.
“Of late, I have been experimenting with music alot and I discovered that due to my background, if I combine the melisma of both worlds, I can create a totally different feel for a song.”
She has been experimenting with Arabic, Malay and even a little Indian influence in her music which is obvious if you check out her latest single, Reminiscing.
This amazing songstress is fast making waves in the local music scene. Her recent original soundtrack for Tombiruo, Ribut Hati has reached over 165,000 views on Youtube.
Aina Abdul will be performing at The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre at intim sessions #5 this November 18 alongside Endee Ahmad. Show is at 8.30pm, venue Indicine and entry is a minimum donation of RM15. Copies of her latest single will be sold at klpac. Purchase it on iTunes Follow Aina on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.