“by Olesya Ivanova
People who watch carefully Voice of Asia international festival are aware that this summer it was the thirteenth time when contestant from 13 countries gathered to compete for the best singer, best voice, best lyrics and music.
All four days beginning from August 2 and till August 5 Almaty city was absorbed by melodies and music news. The last day of the festival discovered best singer for 2002. Siti Nurhaliza contestant from Malaysia conquered not only members of jury, but also the whole audience, saying nothing of tremendous eminence in her motherland. The audience admitted her deserved merit and applauded when her name had been announced as the possessor of Big Golden Trophy and $10 000 Premium.
Veriko Turashvili from Georgia has outstanding vocal abilities, despite she is the youngest contestant of this year for which she was presented a unique old phonograph by one of the sponsors. And within the framework of the festival she was awarded with the First Prize and, having got Golden Trophy and $5000 Premium, burst into tears because of such a sudden surprise of fate.
Voice of Asia festival has a tradition to award two second and two third prizes. Arnee Hidalgo from Philippines was awarded with the Second Prize that is Silver Trophy and $3500 Premium, as well as Kazakhstani performer Takhmina Ashimbekova, who was also the winner of Kazakhstani song competition run alongside with “”Voice of Asia.”” Roberta from Bolgaria got the Third Prize or Bronze Trophy and $2000 Premium as well as Aldabergen Dzaksybaev (Kazakhstan).
Returning to the major winner of Voice of Asia in 2002, it should be mentioned that the The AH’s correspondent was interested in Siti Nurhaliza from the first meeting. On August 1 according to the tradition of the international festival all 15 contestants met for drawing in order to determine the order of contestants performances during three days. Siti Nurhaliza happened to be the fourth in the first day, the 13th – in the second, the 12th – in the third. If to rely on prejudices the 13th festival and the 13th number to perform – Siti Nurhaliza had a certain chance to become the winner. The Almaty Herald newspaper did not miss the opportunity to make acquaintance with the fantastically popular singer in Malaysia. Taking into consideration the fact that The AH newspaper is in good terms with the Embassy of Malaysia, so the wish to interview such a brilliant person increased.
Corr.: Do you remember your childhood?
Siti Nurhaliza: My childhood is like one of normal person. I went to school and finished the secondary school and since 16 years old I participated in city competition, which was broadcasted. I won the first prize, after that I became recording artist. By this moment I have 9 solo albums and my music is traditional and pop at the same time.
Corr.: How did you manage to combine such different styles?
Siti Nurhaliza: Traditional music is our cultural music. My parents are also singers but they do not record their songs. My mother in particular always sings traditional songs. She gave me an advice to sing and record traditional songs in order to bring to people and to teenagers traditional songs. You know that traditional songs as a rule do not enjoy popularity. So I added to it a bit popular trends and my songs became very popular. Concerning the pop music I can say that I love pop music and will seek for good balance of traditional and pop in the future.
Corr.: Your songs resemble some Indian notes?
Siti Nurhaliza: I have to correct you. My melodies resembles not Indian but Arabic sounds. It is because of in Malaysia Arabic singers are very popular now. So I decided to put some Arabic elements in my songs and my famous song “”Nimala,”” which I performed at the festival bears some Arabic culture.
Corr.: How many children are in your family?
Siti Nurhaliza: Actually there are eight children but, unfortunately, one passed away. Now we are seven and I am in the middle.
Corr.: I know that your parents now are very proud of you?
Siti Nurhaliza: My parents always support me. Despite my strict father, who is policeman. They always believed in me.
Corr.: After achieving so many awards will you have a wish to give up your singing career?
Siti Nurhaliza: If I am a singer in 10 years I still will be in music industry because even now I have my own business a recording company – Sitri Nurhaliza production (M) SDN BHD.
Siti is a vivid representative of her Malaysian culture, she is quite shy and smiling person who is ready to familiarize with her culture everybody who is interested in it.