Five minutes with Mizz Nina
Justin Bieber may be hogging the headlines with his appearance at this month’s MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia, but the Canadian megastar is not the only performer with a new album on the shelves. Local hip-hop star Mizz Nina recently released ‘Takeover’, her highly-anticipated follow-up to 2010’s ‘What You Waiting For’ that featured the immensely popular Colby O’Donis-aided title track. Ahead of her World Stage debut, the former Teh Tarik Crew member talks to Wong Boon Ken about Jay Park, her plans for global domination and the next big things in Malaysian music.
What excites you most about performing at this year’s MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia?
I’ve been an MTV fan since the now-defunct Asia Awards, and to be involved with the brand is just an amazing opportunity. When they called me, I was like ‘what!’ I’m just so excited; I went to one World Stage that featured Katy Perry a couple of years back, and it was just such a crazy atmosphere. I’m looking forward to sharing a stage with Jay Park, as I want to see if what they say about Korean men is true [laughs]; Kara, whom I’ve gotten to know about earlier this year, and of course Justin Bieber.
You’ve worked with the likes of Colby O’Donis and Flo Rida in the past. Is there anyone else in particular you’d really like to collaborate with?
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with some great musicians over the years, but if I was given a choice, I would really like to work with Pitbull.
When did you realise that you were making a name for yourself in the industry?
I’ve been in the scene for over ten years now, with the Teh Tarik Crew and a few radio shows before becoming a solo artiste, but ‘What You Waiting For’, I think, was when people really started to notice me.
Among all your records with the Teh Tarik Crew and your solo albums, which one is your favourite?
This is such a tough question! Teh Tarik Crew’s first record will always have a special place in my heart while ‘Takeover’, my new album, is definitely one of my favourites. Can I just say I love them all equally? [laughs]
Who do you rate as the next big thing in the local music scene?
I think Najwa, who is currently studying music at Berkeley, and Nadhira can be really huge. Also, this young hip-hop artiste who is signed to Joe Flizzow’s Kartel Records, a 16-year-old Nicki Minaj, is set to make waves. I don’t remember her name, but I’ve seen a video of her and she’s amazing. I love talking about girls, but if I have to name one up-and-coming male artiste, it’s SonaOne, who is this talented rapper who can rap in English, Malay and French.
With a new album under your belt, what’s next on the agenda?
Possibly an Asian tour after next month’s World Stage, with stops in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and hopefully Japan. I’m waiting for a US record label to knock on my door, but besides America, I would like to tap into other markets as well, including Europe. I’m also currently in talks with a K-pop artiste to collaborate on a new song, though I can’t divulge the details at the moment.
What can we expect from your set at MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia?
I’ve been given half an hour to perform some new tracks. We’ve been practicing really hard as well with new choreography, so it’s going to be a spectacular and never-before-seen performance.