Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Doppel Indie Picks: Najwa releases new EP 'Aurora' & original version of 'Say Something' by Ian Axel


DoPPelganger Indie Picks is a tradition and we usually select two artistes to share with you, our readers. So in this issue, we're pleased to share with you two artistes - NAJWA, a Malaysian singer songwriter now based in America and IAN AXEL (below) of A GREAT BIG WORLD with their re-recorded song "Say Something" with Christina Aguilera. We share a video of an earlier concert by Ian Axel below. Enjoy!

 Source Wikipedia: "Say Something" is a song by American recording artist Ian Axel, taken from his solo album This Is the New Year (2011). On September 3, 2013, Epic Records released it as a single from Is There Anybody Out There? by duo A Great Big World, in which Axel is a member. Following its usage on American reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance, the track gained attention from singer Christina Aguilera, who wanted to be featured on the song. Quickly afterwards, Aguilera appeared on the re-recorded version of "Say Something", released on November 4, 2013.
A music video for the Aguilera re-recorded version was released on November 19, 2013. It features the trio singing as people "act out the heartbreaking lyrics." To further promote "Say Something", A Great Big World performed the track on The Voice and at the American Music Awards of 2013 with Aguilera; meanwhile the solo version was performed on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
image courtesy: +najwamahiaddin 

 We were recently contacted by the publicist for NAJWA, an independent songstress now based in New York City. Well, we're stoked to share that her new release will soon drop 10 Feb. We'll be right back! Meanwhile, freshen up again with her music video below, "GOT TO GO". 


March 5th, 2014 at 12:00AM

New York, NY (February 3, 2014) – Malaysian singer-songwriter Najwa, most well known for her award-winning R&B/retro pop single “Got To Go” (view video below), will digitally release her new EP Aurora on March 5th. The EP’s folk/electronic bonus track, “Seri Mersing” will be available digitally on February 10th wherever music is sold online.   

 Speaking of “Seri Mersing”, the only non-English track on the EP which boldly manipulates the Johorian ghazal into an unconventional form, Najwa says, “Going to Berklee and learning about everyone’s different culture and music has made me realized that as a Malaysian I too have a unique identity to share with the world. Why should I be ashamed of my heritage? There’s always a sense of pride when I sing my folk songs here and hearing someone who doesn’t speak the language enjoy the melody regardless.”

Aurora embraces a minimalistic electronic approach and marks a drastic departure from Najwa’s vintage R&B aesthetics. The sounds are still soulful, just electronically based. Collaborating with producer Harsya Wahono, she notes, “The songs can acoustically stand on their own as I will always be a singer-songwriter at heart. They are just stripped down into an electronic setting to match the contemporary style that I am leaning towards from being inspired by James Blake and Little Dragon.” The EP comes nearly three years after the release of her debut album Innocent soul in 2011, for which she won Best Local English Song and Best New Artiste at AIM (Malaysian Music Industry Awards).

Aurora is digitally self-released under Najwa’s own record label, Nada Biru Muzik. The full track listing is as follows:
1. Lover
2. Before
3. Floatin’
4. Wonderland
5. Seri Mersing - Bonus track

Currently New York based, Najwa will be performing at a select few NY dates, with her first headlining performance on March 28 at Ella Lounge. Tickets: http://bit.ly/1aE61LE

About Najwa:
It all started with a shade of black, and then there was no turning back. A multiple award winning singer-songwriter, New York based Najwa is returning from her three year hiatus with a darker undertone in her music, experimenting with somber and minimalistic echoes over the usual warm piano accompaniments.  Thus the Aurora EP is born- her sounds shamelessly stripped down into a bare electronic setting, her soul’s deepest shadows unveiled.

Perhaps it was the barren winters of Boston, having spent the last three years pursuing her music degree at Berklee College of Music. Switching her playlist from Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Billie Holiday to the likes of Little Dragon, Evy Jake and James Blake while braving the isolated icy paths far away from home may have had a little something to do with it.  A drastic departure from her debut R&B/neo-soul album Innocent Soul back in 2011, Aurora seeks to reaffirm her Malaysian roots by blending traditional elements with a more current soundtrack. Najwa’s first single off Aurora, “Seri Mersing”, boldly weaves the ancestral ghazal folk song into a contemporary orchestration- intimating a sacrilegious cultural intercross of the old and new. The single is set for release this February, followed by the EP release in March.

For more information visit:

For press/booking inquiries, contact hananadabirumuzik@gmail.com.

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