A singer, composer, and producer rolled in one, Imran Ajmain is a nothing short of a prominent figure in the regional music scene. His single Seribu Tahun catapulted him to the top of Malaysia’s pop charts in 2006, where he stayed at for six weeks.
Tell us your name, and how you’d describe yourself to someone whom you’re meeting for the first time.
Hi! Imran Ajmain here. I’m a Singaporean-born singer-songwriter based in Kuala Lumpur for the past 15 years.
What are the five tracks of your life?
1. Tricks Of The Trade – Paolo Nutini
2. Your Cloud – Tori Amos
3. Derita Merindu – Ahli Fiqir
4. The First Taste – Fiona Apple
5. Waiting For That Day – George Michael
Why would you consider this playlist to be significant to you?
As a Malay songwriter, I’ve always pushed the emotional landscapes that are covered in the music that I write. While I grew up listening to an eclectic mix of music, a lot of popular Malay music has largely been about “leaving and being left”. This is not right. We go through so much in our daily lives that inspire our art, and I feel that some of these songs capture that so well. It’s so important that art reflects the times too.
Pick one track and tell me your fondest/most interesting memory of it.
Going through Fiona Apple’s The First Taste credits taught me that some of the musicians are heavily involved in other songs in other genres that I love so much. This opened such a wide door for me as I’ve always dreamt, during that time, that all local music and art to have blurred boundaries. The song itself, albeit sung by a female rock artist, introduced me to my love for Spanish/Latin music. It was wild for me.
If I had asked you this question 10 years ago, what is the one track that your then-self would have picked as your favourite?
It would be George Michael’s Waiting For That Day because as someone from the pop music scene with a background in Hiphop music, I learnt that this song samples a line from an older Rolling Stones song. George Michael being British Pop music sampling from a rock band was so new for me. It is common today, but back then, it was so exciting.
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