Known for the hit songs Hanyut and Hopeless, The Impatient Sisters are — you guessed it — sisters! How sweet is that? Born in Kuantan, Soraya, Nazeera and Irena share a passion for producing and performing music that’s romantic, cultural and happy. What’s also very interesting about the band is that they always perform with a unique combo of acoustic guitar, xylophone and kazoo.
The sisters have been making music since 2012. We had a lovely chat with them about empowerment through music, motherhood and sisterhood.
The Malaysian Women’s Weekly: How did you get the band name The Impatient Sisters?
The Impatient Sisters: “We were impatient to get our tracks online, back then on Soraya’s personal FB account. We thought we were being rather impatient as some of the songs weren’t even that ready (for release) yet. We didn’t think we’d get to play gigs or festivals. If we did, we’d have named ourselves something cooler!”
MWW: What inspired you to be indie musicians?
TIS: “After opening for a friend’s band – doing covers and not as The Impatient Sisters – we were inspired to write original songs for fun. The response we got kept us going and the band was formed.”
MWW: What was your first reaction when you found out you’d be performing at Good Vibes Festival again?
TIS: “We felt honoured and flattered that they approached us again. The last we performed for GVF was in 2013. In the past 6 years, we have grown up. Soraya’s a mum, Nazeera’s a chef and Irena’s pursuing music full-time. We’re definitely excited and just a tad bit nervous to be sharing the stage with all the other amazing acts. But we can’t wait to show where we are creatively now.”
MWW: What message or feelings do you wish to convey through music?
TIS: “Our songs are like a shoulder to cry on, or a friend to laugh with. As sisters, we’ve always had each other. There’s always been a bond. So when we started the band, and after meeting our listeners at shows, we wanted to extend this family bond. We can’t help it – most of our first few listeners are our friends now.”
MWW: What is it like to be women musicians in Malaysia’s music industry?
TIS: “The current local scene is strong. There are quite a number of female rappers, producers and singers coming up with really cool stuff. You can see a tidal wave taking over – from indie pop, hip hop and folk. In the 90s, we had Juliet the Orange and Liyana Fizi. Then we had Yuna and Zee Avi paving the way. Across the board, there are amazing female talents – in art, theater and dance. Being a part of this community is very inspiring and empowering. We have so many female role models to look up to.
MWW: Using only three words, how would you describe your band’s identity?
TIS: “Sisterhood, girl power, dreamers.”
MWW: Will there be a special debut at this coming Good Vibes Festival?
TIS: “We will debut our new song 7 Years on a very big stage, finally. It’s about rising up from the ashes and leaving the past behind. Soraya saw an article about how our body renews itself every 7 years and got to writing.”
MWW: What is your advice to aspiring women artists?
TIS: “Stay true to yourself, and create honest art that comes from your heart and your soul. Keep at it and never stop creating. Don’t forget to share your creation and joy with the rest of the world. And don’t ever be scared; just jump in and do it!”
Question: How does your music empower women?
Answer: “Women are entitled to their feelings and should express themselves however they want. Our music was not written specifically to empower women. But we tell our stories and feelings through our music. And we feel music can be a platform to express your feelings and to empower yourself. Women empowerment comes from many different angles – it’s about family, being a friend, being true to yourself, and being a good sister. It’s also about picking yourself up when you’re down. If our music lifts you up that way – that’s our job done for the day.”