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Ballad for insecurities

18 Feb 2020 / 10:43 H.

WITH two albums and numerous singles already under her belt, songstress Bihzhu is set to make waves with her latest single I Am Enough, released on Feb 14. Meeting with theSun, the singer speaks at length about herself and the circumstances that led to the new single’s conception.

“My parents let me do whatever I want,” Bihzhu confidently claims, explaining that she was singing as far back as she could remember, in singing competitions and choirs, and even in the pop jazz band Rhapsody that she began with her friend in college.

“It started when I wrote a poem about unrequited love, and I proposed putting some music to it,” Bihzhu says. “She composed a melody for it and we started asking random people in school: ‘Hey, do you want to hear our song?’

“We would then burst into the song in the middle of the corridor or whatever. The response we got was honestly very surprising. Then my friend asked me if I wanted to start a band”.

While she quit her job in 2009 to pursue music full time, Bihzhu does not deny the decision came with a lot of challenges.

While singing remains her main focus, she has five sources of side income – freelancing for a magazine, social media management for a music gallery, managing an artist, doing editorial work for a hair salon and teaching vocals part time at Sunway University.

Anyone who has listened to Bihzhu’s songs would find it hard to categorise her music, as each sounds uniquely distinct while the lyricism shares similar threads. The singer claims that on her website and biography, it is written that she is a “creator of heart music” because she does not know how to describe the sound either.

“I feel like the stuff I do and the things I am interested in cross so many genres. It is not confined to one thing, like life or who you are; you are not just one person, and you are made out of so many facets,” she says.

In her new single, the chorus: “I am Soul, I am beautiful, I am loved, I am enough” is repeated several times. It is a reflection of Bizhu’s triumph against her own real life negative experiences, such as low self-esteem, insecurities and fears.

“Unfortunately when I was in high school, I sort of responded to insecurities in a not great way. I was a bit of a bully in high school.

“I felt really fat and unattractive. So I picked on girls whom I thought were fatter and more unattractive than me, to distract attention from how I was really feeling,” she says, a hint of remorse in her voice.

“Even when I was doing that, I knew that it was wrong and that I did not like the person I was; someone who would hurt other people. But when you are young, you do not necessarily have the vocabulary [to explain] the reason why you are behaving that way”.

However, the bullying did not last beyond Form 4, as she decided she was not going to be that person any longer. Change came when Bihzhu reached out to her former victims to apologise.

“I was very lucky [to be forgiven] and we continued being friends until we graduated. In that process I think I also learned how to forgive myself”.

The words in the chorus became a mantra that Bihzhu would tell herself in the mirror. The words eventually transformed the way she looked at herself.

“These words have been with me for a long time but it took me until last year before I wrote this song,” the singer explains.

“I hope that I Am Enough will spark a similar love affair [within listeners], whether they are already on the journey or whether they have [started]. All healthy relationships start with ourselves.”

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