Froya’s been making waves with her saccharine blend of ambient pop music. Her stage name itself is just as intriguing as her music, and came up when she jumbled up five letters of a Latin mushroom. Her wistful spirit and determination to do what she wants makes her a Go Forth pioneer.
Tell us a little bit about where you come from.
I was born in Malacca but I grew up in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It's a beautiful place where you’re surrounded by nature and lots of nice beaches and islands. In fact, my house is situated right opposite the sea front. Every time I go back to KK, I'll find myself gorging on fresh seafood! It's simply irresistible as it's delicious and cheap - which is hard to get in Kuala Lumpur! Also, I find that people there are more relaxed and warm. Perhaps the lifestyle is less stressful there, as we seldom get stuck in massive traffic jams!
What do you usually dress up for?
Personally, I don't like to overdress myself. I like something that’s simple and comfortable, yet elegant. I mostly dress up for my shows. I'll have my professional makeup artist friend help me out with the makeup and styling. Aside from that, I dress up for posh dinners, anniversaries and birthdays.
How does dressing up play a part in what you do?
When I'm standing on stage all dolled up to perform, I find that wearing nice outfits and make up does give me that extra confidence boost. It brings out the other side of me. It’s as if it's a mask to cover up my shyness and awkwardness. Nowadays, when I shop for clothes, I tend to think of what would suit the performance’s personality and visual style. But, of course, it still has to be comfortable to me. It's important to think about that because I find that people do "listen" to music with their eyes, aside from with their ears. Fashion and music go well together. I supposed it proves that music videos still need to exist because it really gives an impact to how people relate your music to themselves.
What did you originally envision yourself to be doing before this?
I used to think that I’d end up like my parents, and pursue graphic design or art. That has a lot to do with my dad's history as a painter - he used to teach me neat little painting skills when I was little. I've won lots of drawing contests in school and even thought of continuing down the path of graphic designing. However, my passion for music was stronger, and maybe because I wanted to try something new that no one in my family had done before. To me, it's exciting and adventurous to go into fields or places that you've never been to before. I've always liked challenges and exploring new things in life.
Can you tell us more about that one moment in time that inspired you to pursue your passion?
I was offered a job as a piano teacher after I finished my music Degree, but I ended up resigning after one week because deep down, I knew that it wasn’t me. I have always wanted to create something of my own. I'm not a big fan of routine and repetition. From that moment on, I knew that I had to pursue creative work to keep my passion alive.
I realised that songwriting and composing gave me just what I needed, so I applied for a job as a composer and never looked back. Being a singer-songwriter gave me an avenue in which I can express myself, but the core of it all has always been composing.
What were the difficulties that you faced when you first started out?
Stage fright! The transition from being a bedroom singer-songwriter to having to perform in front of big crowds is scary, and something I wasn't entirely prepared for. I also have the tendency to worry too much, and it ends up distracting me from getting into the mood during live performances. But I’m slowly getting better now at handling myself as I continue to play more shows and functions.
What do you feel sets you apart from everyone else?
Being myself sets myself apart from everyone else. I think everyone has their own uniqueness, in some little way.
What's your proudest moment thus far?
Generally, I’m quite happy with where it’s all been heading to this year, considering that I only just began to expose my music to the public around late-2011. The proudest moment would have to be getting one of my original songs, which I collaborated with an Indonesian composer, Andhika Triyadi, "Fries In Cream", being aired not only on local radio, but also being featured on the Woman of Substance Radio station based in Los Angeles.
What're your upcoming projects for the future?
I'm currently working towards releasing an album in March next year. I've been approached to play some overseas gigs, which I'm really excited about! Aside from my solo work, I will also be part of a few electronic music projects with local and international music producers.
What do you want the world to remember you for?
I’d definitely want to be remembered for my music. Although I know there are too many brilliant musicians in this world, I can only hope that what I make musically and lyrically will resonate with others in some way, as it comes from my honest heart, humble background and experiences. I hope that my music will get people to stop, listen, and perhaps think for a while. That is a big satisfaction for me.