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We never really get any encore.

You know, that chant for more — from a receptive, appreciative and passionate bunch of audience. Be it big or small, you know when the crowd’s happy, the quantity don’t matter.

But last night, after over two years of musical hiatus, we played Boco x Kawan Fest in front of a small crowd and we got ourselves an encore.

“We want more!”

The feeling was indescribable.

Out of breath, I tried to be rational. We could easily do another cover or one of our older numbers but deep down inside, I know I couldn’t.

Not because I don’t want to. Because I just can’t.

There’s a reason why when a performance is due, a set list is created. And that set list is sacred.

It’s sacred because there’s a reason to why every single song was selected. Apart from the obvious reason that we’ve been focusing on them during practice, I on the other hand, have to make sure that I’d carry the emotions well.

No, I don’t take performing lightly.

Not in a way that I want the world to know that I can sing, but in ways that I want to be able to deliver and inject the right emotions into the songs I’ve selected.

Having majority of the lyrics to the songs being self-written, I had the advantage of understanding the deeper meaning of each word to project my emotions right.

I needed to be in the moment — having the right state of mind, to sing my heart out — sharing stories about being jealous and in love; yearning and broken hearted.

To me, singing is a passion but performing is a sacred ritual to express that passion. And no one can simply force it out of me, unless I want to. Unless I know I get to tell the story right.

Maybe there won’t be any more request for encore in future but who am I to know. I just hope when that day comes, I’ll be able to respond to that chant with a number.

Just as brilliantly as my idol, Jazmine Sullivan did recently during her encore performance of my favorite “In Love With Another Man”.

THIS, baby… is an encore. Sacred. Priceless.

All in all, singing is by itself a lifting experience.

If I don’t have any other passion or talent, I’d probably work my ass off to pursue a career in music. But I guess that might not happen in the near future. I’d rather have it as a side thing that keeps me sane from time to time.

Meanwhile, if you’re an organiser, looking for performers doing pop/soul/jazz music, do holla. I would love to perform for you.

Also, shout out to the amazing people behind Pasar Boco especially head honcho and multi-talented singer-songwriter/author/poet in her own right, Wani Ardy for doing what you’re doing when pretty  much everyone else’s pushing the Quit button. You’re such an inspiration.

Sharing some Instagram shots and tweets from The Heart Stripped Band’s performance at Boco x Kawan Fest on Saturday:


Anugerah Persembahan Tersedap Edisi Sabtu. Edisi esok hanya Rani Kulup yang tahu. #BocoxKawanFest

A photo posted by Taufiq Azhar (@tulangkata) on

Oh, oh. As always, look from my a Sunday well spent with another inspiring individual, my brainy session partner, Marnix Troudes. This is what Marnix call my “honest laugh” at his effort to take my photos.

Details of my look:

Ombre hijab from Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman; kimono cardigan, white T-shirt & skinny jeans from H&M; Vans sneakers, Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag.

Photo credit to Marnix Troudes.


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