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Strumming with passion

21 Jul 2020 / 11:13 H.

NABIL NAZMI has enjoyed music since his youth, and has devotedly pursued his passion, which led him to establish a band, The Nabil Nazmi Trio, where he performs occasionally at gigs and events.

However, music is not only his forte, as the 27-year-old dedicates most of his time teaching the English language in a high school.

Artistic with a big heart, Nabil is also an ambassador for the Hungerhurts MY organisation. He does not mind allocating his time to various causes that he is passionate about, as he enjoys interacting with people, which fuels him to keep striving.

John Mayer is a huge influence in Nabil’s musical path. – Courtesy of Nabil Nazmi
John Mayer is a huge influence in Nabil’s musical path. – Courtesy of Nabil Nazmi

Can you share the reasons behind the shift from mainly music to English?

“I studied music after high school due to my interest. After attaining my diploma in music, I was considering to be a music teacher. However, I furthered my education in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), after I heard that the demands for a music teacher was quite low. In addition, I am aware that there is a lack of male English teachers.

“I applied for the job as an English teacher after obtaining my degree, and I got the post. It has been a year-and-a-half that I have been teaching Form One and Form Two students.”

What is the best part about being a teacher?

“Being a role model to younger generations, as a teacher is capable of making a vast difference in his students’ lives. I feel like I am carrying the torch to inspire change for the betterment of the future.

“Also, being a teacher allows you to realise the importance of education and analysing the sociological part of a community by communicating with parents and families. A teacher sees an outlook from a variety of perspectives, hence it is a pivotal profession.”

When and how did you pick up your guitar skills?

“I was inspired to play the guitar by the age of 10, but started learning at the age of 13. I was self-taught, learning through online videos and books. My main idol was, and still is, John Mayer, so that’s one reason!

“Growing up, my household environment was heavily influenced by music. My late-father used to play the keyboard, and both my elder brothers are in a band.”

Did you attend vocal classes prior to becoming a vocalist in your band?

“Not formally, but I had to learn when I was doing my diploma in music. Also, through lots of karaoke sessions and practice when I had to perform.

“Definitely could hear the difference in my voice when I initially started singing compared to now. It’s not that great, but I can sing.”

Nabil performs at gigs occasionally with his band. – Courtesy of Nabil Nazmi
Nabil performs at gigs occasionally with his band. – Courtesy of Nabil Nazmi

Can musicians rely solely on the local music industry to make a living?

“It depends on how you market yourself, and how you utilise your reputation once you have established it, from a business perspective. But I don’t think it is sustainable in the long run, if you are involved in the underground music scene.

“Usually local artistes have other businesses on the side. However, if your music is more mainstream then it could be possible.”

What do you do as an ambassador of Hungerhurts MY?

“I am like a ‘face’ for the organisation. If there is new content on social media, I will be the one to speak about it. I also have to reach out to influencers to spread our mission and vision. I attend forums and give talks at universities about our cause.”

You have so much on your plate, what motivates you?

“The criteria for those three things that I am tied to, is that I have to deal with people, with the public. Since I am an extrovert, I like the idea of me spending time being in a crowd. So that explains why I chose to be a musician, a teacher, and an activist.”

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