Enough of women trying to make it in a man’s world! Here’s to redefining, reinventing and reigniting.
Just last week, the world celebrated International Women’s Day and one of its targeted missions is to focus on women creatives. The mission aims to help increase the visibility and promote their work so they gain more recognition, projects and awards (as they should).
So in the true spirit of women helping women, let’s give some much-needed attention to one female artist straight from Kuala Lumpur who’s dropping bangers after bangers – SYA.
Signed as the first female artist to Def Jam South East Asia, her journey began back in 2019 when she dropped her first-ever freestyle that went viral on social media. As she was gaining momentum over her raps, she also caught the attention of local Hip Hop OG’s SonaOne and Joe Flizzow.
Wasting no time in making her presence known, she later dropped her first single, PrettyGirlBop by the end of 2020 and continues to wow JUICE with her confident personality and creativity.
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In conjunction with IWD, we decide to ask SYA about her growth as an artist and to share with us ten tracks that helped her become the woman she is today. Check it out:
How does it feel to be the first female DefJam artist in South East Asia?
SYA: Well, I’m actually really happy that Def Jam SEA has expanded and included more girls into the label like Emcee Pradaa (Thailand), Tiffany Lhei (Philippines), Kowachee (Malaysia) and more! It’s amazing to see what these women bring to the table even though we come from different places and different backgrounds.
As far as how I’m managing as their first female artist signed? I think now I’ve gotten comfortable with it and embraced the opportunity that’s given to me and I try to make the most out of it for myself. There is that slight pressure of needing to prove why I deserve to be here, but then over time, I’ve learnt that I only need to prove it to myself and believe myself enough as to why I’m here and what impact I bring to the table.
You’re always confident in how you carry yourself and in your music, do you have any tips out there for women struggling to find that in themselves?
SYA: Rihanna says it best “pretend” – hahaha. To this day, I do struggle with my self-confidence sometimes, especially with how crafted the beauty standards are these days and on top of that, being in a male-dominated genre and industry. But the people who have always had my back are my girls. You really don’t understand the power of a group of strong, caring and understanding women and what they can do especially when it feels like the world is against you.
Most of the time, women do face a lot of obstacles not only in their careers but also socially, religiously and more which are relatable to each other’s struggles. Having lost my mother, I leaned on to these women in my life because they became my sister, my mother, my best friend and my true lovers. My confidence has always been inside me, but they helped me to fully embrace it and let it shine through in everything I do. So on top of working on loving and choosing myself, it feels amazing to have these people who reassure you and love you for all that you are. That transpires into my music; THEY transpire into my music.
So my tip is – choose the right group of people who not only choose you every day but pushes you to be a better person and friend. Aside from that, you also need to do the work of believing in yourself and truly value who you are as an individual because, at the end of the day – you only got you.
Why did you choose these 10 songs?
SYA: These are a mix of songs that make me think of my girls when I miss them, songs that make me feel sexy and empowered and most of all, feeling like I’m THAT bitch. xD