By Penny K
When Sezairi Sezali emerged champion at the nation’s biggest singing competition last year, there was talk about how he didn’t deserve the win. Just a little more than half a year later and Sezairi proves the naysayers wrong. His first single “Touched by An Angel” made it to the 987FM Top 20 Chart and his second single, “Broken”, has proven the 23-year-old’s got talent – you must listen to know. His newly released debut album, “Take Two”, looks and sounds mighty promising too.
We were lucky enough to have a chat with Singapore’s third idol winner, who shed some light on his music, what inspires him and what’s to come.
In 6 words, how would you describe the feeling of winning the nation’s biggest singing competition?
Describing it will cheapen it’s bliss – There you go, six words, but it isn’t nearly enough! I think you get my drift. Haha.
We are honestly hooked on your debut single, “Broken”; it’s a very heartfelt track. Do the lyrics reflect something you’re currently going through in your personal life? (Yes, this is a secret question about whether or not you’re in a relationship!)
“Broken” is a very heartfelt track and yes I have been through something of the sort in my lifetime. I think it doesn’t have to be something a person is currently going through for him or her to be able to relate to songs like broken. It’s part of the cycle of life and all of us at one point or another will have to or already have faced it, that’s what I think is most beautiful about this song.
Take us through the process of recording the track. We understand you worked with Jez Ashurst and Ben Montague, what was that like?
I didn’t exactly physically work with them, though I wish I did! But me and Ben do keep in touch and he often asks me how the song is doing and we exchange information about big events in our career. That’s the great part about doing music, it’s a universal language.
You’ve lamented the “we can’t make it” mentality of local artistes. What words of encouragement would you give to a Singaporean who may have the talent but none of the guts?
I would tell them to firstly keep an open mind. There will always be cynics and detractors and I think negativity affects our dreams a lot more than we consciously know. Work hard, believe in yourself and when others tell you otherwise, do not dismiss, but rationalise and learn.
On that note, who are your favourite local artistes?
Back then I was a really big fan of Parking Lot Pimp. I also really love local bands like Allura and b-quartet.
Musically, who are your greatest inspirations?
Tough question! I am really inspired and grew up listening to musicians like Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, people who overcame odds. In a modern day situation, I’d say Corrine Bailey Rae’s songs really touch my heart and I am her biggest fan.
You seem a genuinely nice guy, is there an ugly/scary side to Sezairi?
You got that right! I really don’t think there is a scary Sezairi, I am pretty sure im not bi-polar!
Has your life changed in any way? You’re currently doing NS; any preferential treatment there? Does your mother now prepare your favourite food more often?
Life has definitely changed in a lot of ways. People don’t look at me the same way anymore and most of them just whisper into each other’s ears everytime im around! On a lighter note, personally, nothing much has changed with my friends or at home, which I am really glad for. And no, I do not, get any special treatment in the army, or at least none that I am aware of. Okay now you got me thinking. Haha.
So, what can we expect from you in the near future?
More music making! What I’ve totally loved the past half a year was being able to make music, and carving them into stone with this new album. Listening to all the tracks make me feel like I’ve achieved something special and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
4 Swift Sezairi Facts
What’s your favourite food ever?
Pizza or deep fried chicken wings – wait I can’t decide!
Seriously, is Ken Lim a nice guy?
Seriously he is.
Before winning Idol, where were your regular hangout spots?
Cybercafe’s playing lan games, no I’m not kidding.
Name a pet peeve!
People who play music on their cellphone speakers while on public transport!