Backstage with... The Impatient Sisters
In the space of six short months, KL-based sisters Soraya, 26, Nazeera, 22, and Irena, 20, have gone from recording She & Him and Priscilla Ahn covers on their Cempaka Sessions YouTube channel, which is named after their Kampung Cempaka home in Kuantan, to performing live alongside Zee Avi and OJ Law. With a debut album in the works, The Impatient Sisters continue to capture the imagination of the city’s music enthusiasts with their charming and soothing folk harmonies.
What inspired you to start making music?
Irena Music has been with us since we were little.
Nazeera We started taking piano, guitar and drum lessons when we were younger as extracurricular activities. We only really started playing together two years ago for fun.
Soraya We covered songs at home and posted them on my Facebook page. Then, we also performed for our friend’s band and opened for them with a few covers. The owner of the place we performed at asked us if we had any original material, but we didn’t. We went home and thought, ‘Hey, we should write our own songs’, and we did.
What happened next?
N We posted an original song ‘Comets and Stars’ on YouTube, then one of our friends recommended us for the Wknd Sessions and they called us.
S We didn’t think of the consequences of appearing on the Wknd Sessions and then suddenly, wow. We got into this by accident and people discovered us, so we thought, ‘Let’s ride the wave anyway’, you know.
If you could collaborate with any musician in the world, who would it be and why?
S I want to say Karen Carpenter, but she died already.
N Broadway stars!
I John Mayer for his guitar skills.
S Girls Generation! We are still waiting to be discovered by the Korean market.
That’s the target: The Korean market?
S Once we achieve that, then we are done, we can retire, we did it! [Laughs]
So that’s the plan as a band this year? Breaking into the K-pop scene?
S On a serious note, we would like to come up with an album this year and collaborate with more local and international musicians. I guess we want to grow as a band because we are still new. We want to grow and be really, really good. We still don’t feel we deserve that much love yet because we are still working hard to improve.
How’s the album coming along?
S Now, we don’t really have any proper recorded versions of our songs, but we have producer friends who are interested in recording us just for fun, for the sake of having it in our hands. We do have ideas on how the album should be like.
N We don’t want to rush into it. We want it to be the perfect album, but hopefully we will get it done by the end of the year.
What’s the best thing about being in a band with your sisters?
N We get to practise at home anytime we want!
I Yeah we get to write songs when we are watching a show on TV or lying down at home.
S It is a pretty special and personal journey. It would be a story to tell when we are old.
How about the worst?
S We are impatient with each other. Hence the name; we’re not very imaginative that way.
Is that how the band name came around?
S ‘The Impatient Sisters’ came around because we had to call ourselves something for one of our songs at that time, and also because ‘Sue, Adik & Kina’ was just too long.
What were the other options?
S The Volatile Sisters! [Pauses] We’re stuck with our name now though, which is too bad, because I checked a band name generator online, and I found one called ‘Farts Electric’.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
S We just sit really quietly and wait for our turn.
N Sometimes we sit with our mother and just wait, and we’re like, ‘When’s our turn?’
I We just go up on stage and say, ‘Is the mic on? Yes? Can start, can start.’ It’s been a whirlwind few months for you.
What’s the highlight so far?
N I guess everything; the gigs, the support, people talking about us.
S And the fact that all these famous and really talented singer-songwriters are now our friends and we can ask them for advice. For me, that’s so surreal. Wong Boon Ken
Visit www.facebook.com/theimpatientsisters for more info on the trio