HE may be only 18, but As’ad Motawh is slowly climbing up the ladder of success as an artiste and entertainer.
As’ad’s love for music began as a child growing up listening to Michael Jackson.
At 16, he started posting song covers on Instagram and other social media platforms.
His first post was Justin Bieber’s Cold Water, but it was his version of Luis Fonsi’s Despacito which went viral and brought him to the attention of record company BeGood Muzik, which subsequently signed him on.
Since then, he has released two original songs, Senyum, and Percaya, which have increased his fanbase.
In an interview session, the Selangor boy admitted that his parents are not musically-inclined, although he said his mum does sing on occasion. The middle child of five jokingly claimed that he is the only singer in his family.
Not content with being known for his singing, last year As’ad starred in a Raya tele-movie called Batang Buruk Lesung Batu.
While he confessed that he did not enjoy the experience as much as he hoped, he still plans to give acting a shot in the future.
What is it like working with your record company ?
“They provide me with everything. They put me in touch with songwriters and composers, and we explain what we like.
“For the first song (Senyum) I hadn’t started composing songs and writing lyrics yet. For the second song, I wrote the lyrics, and for my third song I plan to contribute more.”
As a young singer breaking into the music scene, do you see social media working in your favour?
“If you were to compare the past and present, people would say it is easier now because of the technology.
“I also hear people saying that [singers who made it big on social media] don’t deserve to be called artistes.
“It is now 2019, and technology has progressed greatly. With the digital platform, I don’t have to go for 101 press conferences. So for me, it is a good and helpful thing.”
Criticism from keyboard warriors is rife. How do you cope with that?
“I always think that haters are the best supporters. In a way, they are the ones who actually care a lot about you, but just don’t know how to put it in words.
“My fans are nice and are always there for me.
“For the future, I just want to be a proper, clean artiste. My job is just to entertain, and to sing.”
Are you concentrating only on your career?
“Last year I was focused on my SPM, but this year I plan to focus only on singing, because I am going to release my first album.
“Senyum and Percaya will be featured on it, along with other new tracks. It will be released later this year.”
Are you writing your own songs for this album?
“I will be collaborating with other songwriters because I have trouble writing songs in Bahasa Malaysia.”
You often sing in a mix of Bahasa Malaysia and English. Is that going to be the trend for your songs on the album?
“I think I am going to stick to that trend. There is also a track that is inspired by the 1980s style of music, and I also rap on one of the tracks.”
Do you plan to have an entirely English album?
“Actually the original plan for Percaya was to sing it entirely in English, but we changed our plans and did it in both Bahasa Malaysia and English.
“So for now, I think I am going to stick to what works for the Malaysian market. In the future, I will do a full English song, and a full English album.”
You have made fans outside of Malaysia, especially in Indonesia. How does it feel having the world at your feet?
“As an 18-year-old, I did not expect my music to grow that fast, that quickly. I am always grateful that I get to go to other countries, and the people there know my music.
“Thanks to digital technology, our music is able to be heard in other countries, but I also feel that we still have a lot of talent here who need the opportunity to grow.”
Many people go on reality show competitions to get recognised. Why did you not try the same route?
“Before this I wanted to join The X Factor in Australia, but I felt I should train a lot more. Right now I am just going to focus on the market I have now.
“Right now I am in the British Academy Of Performing Arts (a Selangor-based pre-university performing arts academy), and I am focusing on my voice, and how to perform properly.”