The Star: Redefining Prema Yin

Redefining Prema Yin


'At the end of the day, what keeps you going is your passion and love for music,’ says Prema Yin. – Photo by RAYMOND OOI/The Star

At the end of the day, what keeps you going is your passion and love for music,’ says Prema Yin. – Photo by RAYMOND OOI/The Star

The Malaysian singer-songwriter is moving on from her controversy.

In 2011, singer-songwriter Prema Yin faced the wrath of the Internet when her music video Marilah was slammed for being too provocative. The four-minute video showed Yin singing and dancing passionately in what seemed like an attempt to rekindle a dying relationship.

While many celebrities will shy away from questions related to unflattering moments in their career, Yin, 26, says she has no problem talking about it.

“It’s the music industry – people will not like everything you do. I realised that it’s a just a phase, eventually I and everyone else have to move on from it,” says Yin, adding that she was “taken aback by the negative responses”.

“I didn’t expect people to get so worked up about it. A lot of people who knew me said they were affected by it and I felt bad. It was not my intention. I was just playing a fictional version of myself in the video.”

She learned to be a stronger person from that episode and has come to terms with the whole thing.

“Of course you get your feelings hurt but this is the life I chose. I want to be Prema Yin the musician. I take it all in stride and eventually I’m able to say ‘whatever’ … It’s just a bump!”

Yin got a jumpstart in the local entertainment scene when she emerged as the winner of Ntv7’s Who Will Win: The Malaysian Topstar series in 2004, where she bagged RM50,000 and a singing contract. Since then, Yin has released a five-track album in 2009 titled Eyo Eyo. She has also kept herself busy by performing in music festivals in China and Singapore. In the process, she also collaborated with musicians like Reefa and Moots of Pop Shuvit.

In 2013, Yin hopes to re-emerge as a different kind of musician, the girl she had wanted to be in the first place.

“In my career, there were a lot of things that I stopped myself from doing because I kept listening to other people. It didn’t make me happy. For me, when I sing I really let my emotions out. Performing, for me, is about myself, my microphone and forgetting the world.”

She has a new album in the works and is eager to release some tracks soon.

“I’m taking on a new direction from what I used to do (pop rock) to a more acoustic, raw, folk-pop sound. The songs will be fused with Indian instruments and singing. It will be more percussive music.” There is also a duet with fellow singer-songwriter Narmi.

To prepare for her upcoming album, Yin had to do some soul-searching in Germany.

“About a year ago, I went abroad to figure out my musical path. I had more time for myself to reflect on the kind of artiste I want to be. I want to write music that is personal and have meaning to me. In the future, I can listen back and be proud of what I wrote.”

Yin also talks about being an independent musician and why it’s important for artistes to “think outside the box”.

“It can be really frustrating at times when you don’t have a label to back you up. You have to invest a lot of time and finances into your own music. At the end of the day, what keeps you going is your passion and love for music.”

As a treat for fans and music lovers alike, Yin will be releasing four new tracks in a special edition pendrive. She says the new tracks will show listeners the real Prema Yin.

“I don’t want to be known as the ‘peti sejuk girl’ (in reference to her dance moves in the infamous music video). I want to let the real Prema Yin come through and not let other influences to take control anymore.”

The pendrive will be made available at a launch in Crystal Plaza, Petaling Jaya, today. She will be heading back to Germany at the end of the month and hopes the experience will warrant her enough material for a full-length album.

“I still do music because a lot of people have believed in me since Day One. Quitting is not an option. I just can’t see myself letting them down.”


For more information on Prema Yin’s latest tracks, log on

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