I always think of Deanna Yusoff as the beautiful, waif-like, svelte Malaysian celebrity who graced the silver screens and magazines (remember her role in Anna and The King?)
. First as a model and actress, who also crossed over to singing. A couple of years back, I interviewed her when she launched her premium Swiss chocolat
brand, "Grandjean Freres
". Her horror flick "Cermin" had also just ended its run. It was then that I discovered that this remarkable lady has a deep passion for whatever she was doing, and she rarely falls short of being second tier.
With Michael Veerapan's band at Mezze, Medan Damansara, Deanna very much played the part of jazz songstress in belting out smooth and sultry tunes packaged with great showmanship. Among the songs that I really enjoyed were her renditions of "I've Got a Crush on You", "Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler" and an unbelievably jazzed up version of Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back".
Deanna also graciously obliged us for e-mail interview which we are excited to publish here. Thank you Deanna! (For more on Deanna, visit her Facebook page
Najwa pushes the envelope of Malaysian music with Innocent Soul, her long-anticipated album after a string of Facebook playlist demo's, live performances at venues including No Black Tie (available on YouTube) and an appearance at StarHill Gallery's annual timepieces exhibition. This studio version captures much of the glitter and chemistry you will find in her shows, only this time without her band Thing One.
Being a bit of a departure from her contemporaries genre-wise, Najwa finds a niche to fill in what she calls "neo-soul", which is really a mix of blues, jazz, soul and a dash of soft electronica somewhere in between. Which is an amazing mix really.