Filling her soul with oxygen, Ummu Nadiah Suhaimi, 24, a mechanical engineering student at UTP says, “Music is an intellectual reward for me."
Prior to releasing her first single “Oksigen" or Oxygen in Malay, Nadiah first tried her hand at singing by joining an audition at a battle of the band competition held by UTP's music club, UTP Virtuoso.
She says, “After the audition, UTP Virtuoso roped me in as one of their singers. In a way, this provided me the opportunity to sing at numerous events inside and outside UTP."
Apart from singing with UTP Virtuoso, Nadiah is also the lead singer of the group's side gig, Pemusik Tradisional (PETRA). Often, PETRA is an accompanying act that plays traditional music alongside other UTP traditional performing arts groups such as Gamelan Sanggar Kirana and UTP's Performing Arts Group (UPAG).
After crossing Zaidin M. Nor's path who Nadiah calls Cikgu Zaidin through her involvement in PETRA, Nadiah says, “Cikgu Zaidin is PETRA's music instructor. After a few years being coached by him, he offered me to sing his song."
According to Nadiah, Zaidin M. Nor is a household name in the local music scene. A well-known composer in the 70s, Zaidin had composed songs for a number of famous bands who rose to stardom during the era such as Alleycats and Illusi. Most notably, some of the songs that Zaidin composed had won numerous prestigious Anugerah Juara Lagu awards in the past.
Nadiah, who grew up in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, has always had a flair for singing. “It was my mother who encouraged me to sing. I started humbly with singing Nasyid songs," explains Nadiah.
Since releasing her debut single, Nadiah hopes to carry on with her work in the music industry in addition to pursuing her academic interests in engineering. She says, “My debut single is a ballad song titled “Oksigen". The song is about the story of an inseparable couple."
However, according to Nadiah, the recording, which was done in Batu Pahat took a year to materialise. Nadia says, “It took us a year to finally do it. I was really busy at the time, balancing my study and commitment with UTP Virtuoso. In May last year, we finally headed for the recording studio and the song was produced in September 2019."
“The song is now available on all digital platforms," says Nadiah. Sharing her plan for the song, Nadiah says, “When I get back to Malaysia after my internship, I want to help out Cikgu Zaidin with the promotion of the song." At the time of writing, Nadiah is currently doing her internship at the Universitas Gajah Mada, Indonesia.
She says, “I'll be going to local radio stations to see if I could get them to play my song. This is something that I never thought would be possible, but I'm so happy we came through."
Now, the PETRONAS scholar attends a busy schedule singing for UTP Virtuoso inside and outside UTP.
Indeed, Nadiah is another prime example of UTP's profound career connected learning and industry collaboration. From the work we do, we foster long-term relationships with our global social-impact partners to prepare our students, people and researchers as global citizens.
As a leading university in engineering, science and technology, our graduates are driven to exceed their professional objectives and contribute towards overcoming capability deficit across all sectors and industries.
Published on 17 November 2020