Soraya Taib: The Awkward Sister

SORAYA TAIB is one third of buzz band The Impatient Sisters, voted Best New Find by JUICE readers last year. Like a lot of YouTube wonders, their career trajectory moves in sudden bursts — intimidating them in the process. After all, who can remain sane after going from 3 siblings making songs for the heck of it to getting cosigns from the likes of Liyana Fizi and Zee Avi? Here, the eldest sister speaks of the band’s abrupt rise, her cool(er) sisters, her inelegance in handling a bit of fame, and the great unknown ahead of their fledgling career.


… is what I usually say to test a mic, and every time I get taken aback when the audience says hello back. I see them sometimes, when it’s not very dark, but then I see my sisters beside me so it’s quite alright. My youngest sister, Irena, is quite the professional, asking for more treble for her guitar, tuning it for the right sound, ignoring us while she chats with our cellist, Ershad. My other sister, Nazeera, is just too cool. Have you seen her? Too cool. I should really get used to saying ”test, test, test” when testing the mic, although I don’t really know what exactly I should be testing. I figure when our voices sound loud enough, that should be good enough.

I remember performing in public for the first time. We arrived at The Wknd Sessions’ studio all wide-eyed and nervous, with our instruments in tow; Irena’s guitar and our trustworthy xylophone we borrowed from Tok Busu. We successfully sang three songs without panicking; proud we didn’t mess up or trip over one of the wires and crashing into the speakers. A few months later, The Wknd Sessions opened the season with The Impatient Sisters’ ‘Comets and Stars’. We were quite proud of ourselves. We were well-received on The Wknd Sessions too, something we definitely did not expect and if you had told us last year that we would be crowned JUICE 2011 Best New Find, you would probably be getting blank stares and a harmonised “what?”. Actually we did stare and question the magazine; we also went to the abang behind-the-counter and said “Bang! TENGOK NI! Ni kitaaaa!!!”

2011 has truly been an exciting year for us. A year I thought would consist mostly of chauffeuring my sisters around and applying for jobs became a year of sharing music and making more music. Gig invites came our way and we performed live to large crowds and every time; when I see them listening, I think to myself “Who are these amazing people? Do they really love the songs as much as we do?”. We don’t hide as much after performing now, although we’re still getting used to the attention. A girl came up to us once and told us we were magical. Stunned, we said thank you and she left; when in truth I wanted to hug her right then and there and tell her she’s the one who’s magical. We are grateful for the support of this magical girl and also to all the other sweet people out there that have been so encouraging and supportive.

We do not know what is in store for us next year, but that is what’s exciting. The unknown. Would there be a record deal? Or an album? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps you would settle for a photo album? There is bound to be a lot of figuring out to do but we are more than ready. We are ready for the new year and the challenges and opportunities that await us in 2012. We are ready to learn and experiment and master the art of telling a story through song. You can trust us to stick around because there will be more songs to paint, more stories to sing.

There will be more live performances and perhaps I’ll start saying ”test, test, test.” Hopefully we won’t be as shy and awkward, but I highly doubt it.

Soraya Taib is the eldest sister of sibling trio The Impatient Sisters. She’s really cool actually. Find their videos at Like them on Facebook here.