Liza Hanim believes the answer to the question of whether seasoned artistes are still relevant in today’s industry could not be clearer with the strong showing of singers like herself, Siti Sarah, Misha Omar and more at the semi-finals of song competition, Muzik Muzik.
“It’s not only one or two of us who made it to the semi-finals, it’s a whole bunch of us. That’s a good sign. It shows we still have a place in the industry,” she enthuses.
“It’s a boost of confidence for myself. It means the fans are still there. That’s why I feel I really need to go on stage, despite my condition.”
Indeed, when she stepped on the Muzik Muzik stage last week to perform Mimpi, the 39-year-old singer was seven months pregnant with her fifth child.
The final round of the song competition will take place around the same time her baby is due, in January.
“If I give birth in early January, I may have time to recover and prepare.
“Of course, if tomorrow is the finals, and suddenly I give birth today … there’s the possibility of me not singing.”
Since making her debut in 1997, Liza has cut seven studio albums and racked up hits like Siapa Sangka Siapa Menduga. She went on a hiatus around 2007 to focus on raising her family. She returned last year as a contestant on the fourth season of Gegar Vaganza, and placed second.
Striking while the iron is hot, she released Mimpi this year.
Asked if she feels pressured to sound current, Liza believes in staying true to her roots.
“I have my own style. Let people know me for who I am,” she replies.
“I take this as an opportunity for me to introduce myself to the younger generation. I hope with the various demographics in Muzik Muzik’s viewership, I can reach out to them.”
Still, Liza says the message of the song makes her offering very much relevant.
“Mimpi is about two people who are very much in love but their relationship is not meant to be. It’s inspired by a true story of a newly-married couple. They happen to be friends of the songwriter. Just a few days after the wedding, one of them passed away because of an accident.
“I think something like this also happened again recently to another couple. The wife passed away shortly after nikah because of cancer. I would like to dedicate my performance to them as well,” Liza says.
Asked her favourite memory from Muzik Muzik, Liza recalls advancing to the AJL finale and winning Best Vocal Performance for Gelisah Mimpi in 2002.
“It was the first time the category was introduced. It means a lot because I’ve never won an AIM (Anugerah Industri Muzik, Malaysia’s equivalent of the Grammys) before.
“Receiving the best vocals award for a live performance at AJL is something I cherish a lot.”
Muzik Muzik is a weekly music chart show. Viewers vote for their favourite songs to enter and remain on the chart for as long as possible. Thirty songs that clock in the most weeks on the chart by the end of the year will advance to the semi-final round. Here, each song is performed live in front of a panel of judges who will then whittle down the 30 songs to only 12. In the splashy finale known as Anugerah Juara Lagu (AJL), these 12 songs are performed live again to a panel of judges for a shot at the prestigious title, Best Song. The semi-finals of Muzik Muzik airs for three Fridays, beginning Nov 9, Nov 16 and Nov 23 at 9pm on TV3. The AJL finale will take place on Feb 3.