December 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm
The Malaysia.com team sat down with Joe Flizzow, Malaysian rap artiste and formerly part of Too Phat recently at the Mystical Eve Countdown Party press conference. He was game enough to share with us his thoughts about New Years.
M.com: How does it feel to be invited to perform at the Mystical Eve Countdown Party at Encorp Strand?
Joe: I feel blessed… and really excited because I feel that there is something special about The Strand. The place looks like it’s built for community based and family oriented outings, so I hope that we can provide sort of entertainment for those who are coming. It feels good to be performing on stage with Mizz Nina and Pop Shuvit.
M.com: Do you routinely do countdown parties?
Joe: I have been doing New Year’s eve parties for the past 15 years, so I think I’m pretty experienced in that sense.
M.com: What are your New Year’s resolutions? Or do you not believe in it?
Joe: Yeah, I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions actually. For me, I feel that you do not have to wait for new year to start something. It could be March and if you feel like you want to pick up a new sport, you do not have to wait until New Year’s to do it. Though I do not believe in resolutions per se, I do believe in the symbolism of the new year, like the marking of a new beginning. It is like you are keeping time, but at the same time you want to constantly do better than what you did last year. That for me is what New Year’s is all about. If you speak about New Year’s resolutions, that will always be my resolution every year – that is to do better than before and do big things in the coming years.
M.com: That sounds very good. So do you have any plans in store for the coming year? Professionally, that is.
Joe:: Oh, we got a lot of big plans. I just released a new single with another singer, Rosa. That song is climbing up the charts in Indonesia, so I guess I will be going back there a lot.
M.com: Will Malaysian fans get to hear it here?
Joe: It will be released here soon. I think it’s already online, so you guys can check it out there. It is called ‘One Night Lover’, Rosa featuring Joe Flizzow. Indonesia is a big market that we are looking at to penetrate actually. We have had some success with Indonesia with Too Phat before this, so that is a good thing.
M.com: Do you prefer to perform in English or Bahasa Malaysia?Or you are comfortable with a mix?
Joe: Actually English is my first language for me as I grew up abroad. My family speaks English at home. I am also equally comfortable speaking in Bahasa Malaysia. In fact, my whole next album is actually in Bahasa Malaysia and the album is called ‘Untukmu’. You will be surprised because most people know Joe Flizzow as an artist who started out with Too Phat and sang a lot of English songs.
M.com: Since you said you grew up abroad, how was New Year’s celebration for you when you were younger?
Joe: Ah, I was too young to remember much when I lived in England. Actually, as a kid, New Year’s do not really register much because as a kid, you tend to get excited over Christmas. Christmas was good because my dad used to put up the trees and the presents when I was sleeping, so by the time I wake up in the morning it will all be there. When you are a kid and when you are still playing with the toys you got for Christmas, New Year’s seems like another ordinary day.
M.com: What about New Year’s celebration during your teenage years or during college years?
Joe: When you are in college, you get permission to do things that college kids get to do. New Year’s is always good because I grew up in Subang, a place where it felt like it was 1Malaysia even before the 1Malaysia concept was created. New Year’s was good fun because it was the one time where you get to spend time with your friends.
M.com: So do you miss that kind of New Year compared with the type of New Year that you are going through now?
Joe: There have been a lot of New Years that I have to missed out because I have been performing recently, especially when friends go for vacations or travel. I am still in contact with the same friends that I grew up with since when I was in school. It is not like I have a different set of friends now that I am a rapper. I do have more friends, but I still have the people that I started out and I am still close to the people that were close to me 15 years ago. Actually, this kind of friendship is hard to find.
M.com: Since you were saying that you have been performing for the last 15 years, do you remember any memorable or outstanding New Year’s eve performances?
Joe: I won’t say every year… it’s more like on and off… maybe out of 15 years, it was like 8 or 9 years. I remember one performance with Too Phat at Menara Kuala Lumpur. They booked up the whole place and we had the whole crew there, the break-dancers and others. That was early 2000… somewhere like 2002… 10 years ago. It was good because that was the first time that they booked a rap group to be the main act. Prior to that, we were trying to come up in the underground and prove ourselves. Being invited felt like we were finally getting our recognition. For us, that New Year’s was big.
M.com: How has this year been for you? Was it good?
Joe: 2011 is a good year. I learned that sometimes you cannot do things alone. As much as I want to micro-manage things, I’ve learnt to trust my team. I’ve learnt to trust the younger generation and to empower the youth because I believe that the youth have got good ideas and can do something. Sometimes they just need a bit of confidence for them to shine. That has been 2011 for me.
M.com: So it is like you are mellowing, and taking a lot of mentor roles…
Joe: I won’t say mellowing, but yeah.. in a lot of ways. When it comes down to working as a team, while it is important to be a good leader, it is also important that the leader learns to trust the people that is working under him.