Many of us don’t realise it, but Sarawak is a treasure trove of immense musical talents. There are several established ones like Dayang Nurfaizah, Hafiz Suip, Zee Avi, Bob Yusof, Matthew Ngau, Alena Murang, Arabyrd and At Adau, all representing different musical genres, from ethnic fusion to hip hop. But besides these familiar names, there are other exceptionally talented artistes hailing from Sarawak as well. One of them is Nisa Addina.
Passion for music
This 20-something multi-award winning violinist from Sarawak is adored for her passionate playing of the violin. She has been honing her skills since she was just seven years old. Much later, she went on to attend the internationally renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, United States.
She made headlines at a tender age of 14 after winning three gold awards at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Hollywood in 2011. She also performed at Malaysia’s biggest song contests of all time – TV3’s Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2015, alongside Indah Ruhaila on the song ‘Percayalah’. On the same year, she joined Boston-based Malaysian pianist/recording artist, JennHwan Wong and his band Fluoroscent Collective, whose other members were also students from Berklee.
Nisa has graced many stages since 2011. They include Johor International Music Festival, the launching of ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) in Kuching, opening and closing ceremonies of Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) 2016 in Kuching, Global Summit of Women in France (2014) and many more. She’s even played for Chinese President, Xi Jinping during his official visit to Malaysia in 2013.
In 2017, Nisa performed with Fluoroscent Collective at Miri’s renowned international jazz festival namely Borneo Jazz. Then in 2019, she graced another jazz festival stage, namely Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival, sharing the stage with the likes of Ning Baizura, Harvey Malaiholo, Ushera and Q Sound.
Besides her live performances, Nisa has also released two albums – ‘Yakina’ in 2014 and ‘Tan Sri P. Ramlee’ in 2015, the latter featuring beautiful violin renditions of some of the most famous songs by the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee.
‘Tan Sri P. Ramlee’ is available to stream on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6RHCrvszfkbPxng3hlo3rz?si=jrVgluMsT8-bcX0rAftbVQ
In 2019, she recorded her latest single ‘Bornean Rainforest’ in Boston, USA with her band just before she returned to Malaysia. The ‘Bornean Rainforest’ is available to stream on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6rjpnvjcuT4tYByEMqMH7g?si=zc0nHuIyToaGy-QV7GQ6zg
Nisa has come a long way from taking up violin lessons at 7 years old to where she is today. She has grown to become one of Sarawak’s precious musical gems. She even has a hotel suite named after her, namely the Nisa Addina Suite at the Waterfront Hotel in downtown Kuching.
With such an achievement, we can expect many more great things from this remarkable musical talent from Sarawak.