Saturday, June 23, 2007

Juwita Suwito is the Voice behind the VMY Song

DIFFERENT faces yet all the same, with a million dreams.”

"I believe that when the people are high achievers who are always reaching for the sky, the country will have a good chance of going far" - JUWITA SUWITO
This is part of the lyrics of the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007 theme song, Malaysia – One Golden Celebration, and Juwita Suwito's favourite line.

The enchanting voice empowering the song, Suwito feels those words are special because, “On quite a lot of occasions, I have met with the new generation of Malaysians who have big dreams for themselves.

“I believe that when the people are high achievers who are always reaching for the sky, the country will have a good chance of going far.”

When she was given the chance to sing the song, Suwito was overcome with excitement.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and was quite an awesome experience,” said the award- winning singer and songwriter.

She first sang the demo of the song, which was written by Kieran Kuek from Two Am, for participation in a pitch by Tourism Malaysia.

The song emerged winner later and she ended up singing its English and Malay versions.

The song is aired on local radio and television stations, and also played in the background in a television campaign on VMY 2007 featuring the Prime Minister promoting Malaysia.

While many might think that this song has brought fame to Suwito, the truth is quite the opposite.

“Most people do not know that I was the singer,” said Suwito, whose full-time job is YWCA of Malaysia national general secretary.

“After I performed the song at the launch of VMY 2007, I had famous artistes such as Ning Baizura, Nora and Sheila Majid coming up to me and say, 'Oh, patutlah! (No wonder!) You are the one!'”

“With my humble achievements, it was quite tricky for people to imagine that I was the one singing the song.

“But when they knew I was the one, their response was always positive,” said Suwito, who is of Chinese and Peranakan heritage.

Suwito added that she did not feel downplayed as the song was all about Malaysia and thus the focus should not be on her.

Nonetheless, the song had brought her greater exposure to more people.

So far, she has officially performed the song three times, and will be performing it during the coming Merdeka countdown at Ikano Power Centre, Petaling Jaya.

Asked to describe how she felt about the song, Suwito said, “It is a bright song. It makes me smile every time I hear it.

“It really reflects the culture of the country. It has a soaring effect and is uplifting.”

With Malaysia celebrating 50 years of nationhood, Suwito hopes to see bridges being formed so that Malaysian musicians and artistes can make their mark internationally.

“I do not think that it’s difficult. It’s just that we do not have enough effort from every one,” she said.

“Malaysians should lend their support to artistes who are the cream of the crop, because without their support, we really can’t go anywhere.”

Suwito has released two solo albums so far – Brand New World and Juwita Suwito – For Real.

Her plans for the near future include taking her albums overseas, developing her new label, Four Forty Records, which was founded last year, and producing two albums under the label this year.

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Source : STAR
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