Date of publication: Mar 12, 2007
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 19
Byline / Author: By Nur Aqidah Azizi
HAVING to hold the title as a wife and a mother-of-two is not an issue to Ziana Zain. When it comes to rocking the stage, she is all set to fire up fans again in her upcoming Secretary's Week show on April 5.
Since it has been some time since her first (and only) such event in 2005, the singer with the high-pitch voice will be taking fans down memory lane with her ballads which once conquered the airwaves. Presented for the first time by PNB Darby Park Kuala Lumpur, the hour-long show is something to look forward to, considering her low profile on the centrestage lately.
Taking the local music scene by storm in the early `90s, Ziana captivated fans with her signature single, Madah Berhelah. Since then, there was no turning back for the 38-year-old singer, who mesmerised the music scene with hits like Anggapanmu, Setia Kasih and Puncak Kasih. Her talent was established internationally when she was crowned Voice Of Asia in Kazakhstan in 1995.
Ziana also jumped into acting when she had her first stint in Datuk Yusof Haslam's Sembilu. The leap was worth it, as she grabbed the Best Actress award in the 1997 Anugerah Skrin through her role in Maria Mariana. The last movie she appeared in, Sonata Film Sdn Bhd's Qabil Khusri Qabil Igam (QKQI), saw her acting alongside Erra Fazia, Rusdi Ramli and Hans Isaac. Whatever I do, my first love is still singing which I hold dearly to my heart, she said during an exclusive interview with Flip.
All set to pamper her special guests, Ziana's talents as an entertainer will once again be put to the test. Whether she still has the X-factor is something that will be answered soon when she hits the stage again this year. Getting herself into gear, Ziana shares with Flip her preparations for the show, the latest development and something larger than life ...
You've been off the singing stage for a while. Why?
I'm still around and pretty much kicking! [laughs] Actually, I was busy filming QKQI when my new album was still in process.
This is your second time doing a Secretaries Week show. Having had the experience, how did you prepare yourself this year?
I would say that so far, I am 50 per cent ready. But, of course, you need to hit 110 per cent to deliver the best for the fans. I'm planning to have a live band to accompany the show which I think will add more spice compared to just using the minusone CD. I have already picked songs for the show as well as practising the steps with the dancers. For costumes, I'm designing them myself, exclusively for the show. Still, there's a lot to be done.
That's the technical part. Mentally, do you think you are ready for this?
Of course, I am! I've been doing this for more than a decade now. But yeah, each show is always a new experience and challenge, regardless of how many times you have hit at the same thing.
Since you've been keeping low for quite a while now, what can your fans expect from the show?
They can expect to be soaked in loads of ballad which helped me make my name. Oldies from the `60s and `70s are also on the list. Apart from that, I'm still figuring some English numbers to be included in the show. But this time, it will be no ordinary numbers. I'm planning to sing something that is unfamiliar, but catchy enough for the guests.
Any special elements?
Of course, there will be ... but I prefer to leave that as a surprise! Whatever it is, the most important thing here is that the guests enjoy the show.
You had your last album four years ago, and that was only a compilation. Any details or dates for a fresh one?
It is still in the process, but I hope to release it sometime this year. I've been asked the same questions many times by friends and fans, but I don't want to rush things. Since I will be dumping my own money into the album, which will be produced by my production company Zig Zag Beat, I feel there's nothing wrong with adding extra details, and being careful on the choice and quality of the songs. At the end of the day, of course, who wouldn't want their album to make a profit?
Can you give us some names of composers you're working with for the album?
So far, I have Audi Mok, Azlan Abu Hassan, Ajai and a few other composers. Fifty percent of the album will feature ballads songs while I'm planning to include some fast numbers for the rest. I'm also toying with names like Erwin Gutawa and Melly Goeslow, but I'm not sure whether it can be done.
It must have been a tight schedule for you. Between those busy times, what is the thing you most miss doing?
I miss lying in bed for hours! [laughs] I hope that I will be able to steal some to time for that! I've been working so hard that I don't really have time to rest. I also miss spending time with my seven dear good friends, the ones that I grew up with. I thank God that we managed to organise a small gathering last year. If we have the time, we will make sure to meet one another over a teh tarik. I'm fortunate to have an understanding husband.
After QKQI, do you have any plans to accept any offer?
It depends on the story, and whether it suits my time as a wife and mother. I can't simply accept any offer since my priority is my family. I don't mind acting in dramas, as long as it fulfill the criteria I've set.
Any specific directors that you look forward to working with?
I'm a fan of Yasmin Ahmad. I see honesty in her works. They're very straight-forward.
With the mushrooming of new talents, do you think it threatens your position in the industry?
Not a bit. I feel that it's an encouraging development for the senior artistes to better themselves and to prove that they still have their own identity compared to any other artiste. So far, I'm grateful for the talent that I've been blessed with.
How do you juggle your time between work and family so far?
It has been great; everything is on track. I'm fortunate to have an understanding husband who has never stopped supporting me and giving me strength to keep going in the industry. Not forgetting the apple of my eyes - my two sons, Mohammad Aiman and Mohammad Amar. Watching them grow makes me realise that there is something larger than life. It's not just about me now; it involves the people that I love: my husband, my sons and, of course, my family.
Have you ever thought about putting a stop to your career?
I will quit from the industry once I've performed the Hajj. That's my promise. When? I leave it to God ...
* PNB Darby Park's `A White Affair' Secretaries Week Luncheon will be held on April 5, from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, at the Perdana grand ballroom, Bangunan Felda, Jalan Semarak.
The first-tier ticket costs RM230++ and the second-tier ticket is RM200.
First-tier ticket buyers will receive Ziana's signature perfume - Truly by Nutrimetics worth RM129 each.
The perfume is available during the function at a 30 per cent discount.
An exclusive photo session with Ziana and AC Mizal will be held after the show.
For reservation or details, call 03- 74903333/579/496/578 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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