We’re back with another edition of Spinnup Introducing, and this time around the enchanting Tiara Maimun takes center stage!
The Singaporean singer-songwriter wowed us with her first two singles which were released with Spinnup. “If I Told You” and “U and I” skyrocketed upon release, each receiving over 10 Spotify playlist placements including EQUAL Singapore & Malaysia, New Music Friday, Women of Singapore and she was also the face of Fresh Finds SG & MY.
Tiara Maimun’s music is moulded by pop and R&B tunes, and her sultry and jewelled voice proves her to be a rare gem in the Singapore music scene.
Get to know Tiara as she takes us through her journey in music, inspirations, songwriting process and more.
Hey Tiara! Tell us a little bit about yourself and how your journey in music started.
Hey guys! I’m a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from sunny Singapore. I’ve always been a girl with a humongous love for music be it in dance, musical theatre, you name it and I’ll come running to you.
It was only up till recently, say 3 years ago, that I was ready to start properly writing music. I was always inspired by the people around me who were amazingly gifted and would constantly create magic. It motivated me to take the leap and put my songs up for the world to hear.
Who are some artists that have been a big part of your life?
Sam Smith was such an important voice to me while I was growing up and finding my sound. I LOVE the way they tell their stories and not to mention… EXCEPTIONAL VOCALS?! I cried during their concert. And THEY SOUND THE SAME LIVE AND ON RECORD. The only artist I will swear by on this.
Gracie Abrams is another artist that has contributed to my journey of songwriting. She inputs very simple yet complex meanings into her song which is something I truly admire because I love how she doesn’t get carried away with bombastic words. Authenticity at its best!
We love how your hauntingly beautiful and sultry vocals complement your mellow musical tones really well. Not to mention that your songs are so well-written too. This is all reflected in your first release with us, “If I Told You”. Can you walk us through the inspiration behind it?
Believe it or not, I made this song while I was on FaceTime and everything more or less came together in about a day or so. This song was heavily inspired by Gracie Abrams so thank you Gracie, I love you girl.
We wanted to create something melancholic along with a lo-fi electronic groove. This was something I could have never executed well without the help of my producer, Hasyir Ibrahim. He’s someone I’m utterly grateful for because he just automatically gets what I’m trying to convey.
The storytelling of this song is a full circle which you can see in the first pre-chorus and then on to the second pre-chorus. I guess what I was trying to do was display a moment of epiphany and then the resolution to sort of have closure in what this persona is feeling.
I don’t like to spill the true meaning behind my songs because I feel that it spoils the fun of discovering my listeners’ own made up stories of my song.
Watch the music video for “If I Told You”:
We’re also hooked on your latest single, “U and I”. What’s the story behind that track?
I collaborated with Derick Tay, my very good friend, on this track. He produced this one way before I started “If I Told You”, so releasing it felt like an achievement because it’s always a nice feeling to finish something you’ve been working on for so long!
We were always hanging out in his home studio for sessions but never really got down to solidifying a decision, until he played the hook that you guys hear in this song which I then instantly connected with.
This track was something out of my comfort zone so it was a risk to take but it definitely paid off! We were looking into something hip-hop while still maintaining the sultry tone of my voice. It was interesting to work with a different producer this time round as it helped with the versatility of my sound.
Take us through your songwriting process. How would you describe your writing style?
You could say my songwriting is full of authenticity and expressions. Similar to my inspiration, Gracie Abrams, I don’t use a lot of bombastic words and I try to keep it as minimal but complex as possible. I find it rather enchanting that mundane words can sometimes mean so much.
I may not have personally gone through the stories I speak about but I most definitely love hearing about people’s stories and turning it into beautiful creations just so I can let them know that “Hey, you’re not the only one! A song can be your friend, too!” I definitely have so much more to learn and I never want to stop learning and growing.
How do you deal with writer’s block? What keeps you going in terms of making music?
It was hard at first because it made me feel like a total defeat. However, I’ve learned to appreciate and accept that having writer’s block is okay. The first step is to acknowledge the problem and then find ways to cope with it. I tell myself that maybe instead of writing, this can be a way to improve other aspects of being a singer-songwriter, like my music production.
You started off really strong with your releases! “If I Told You” and “U and I” garnered thousands of streams and each release was featured on over 10 Spotify playlists such as EQUAL SG & MY, Women of Singapore and New Music Friday. You were even on the cover of Spotify’s “Fresh Finds SG & MY” playlist which is amazing! What did it feel like seeing your music all over these international playlists?
Oh my God I can never forget the moment I found out. I cried, I really did! It was such a milestone to even be on a playlist but to be on a cover? It made me so proud of myself and my producers that we did something like that!
It was never about the attention because if it was, I would have been so focused and critical about the promotion of the song! To be rewarded in such a way that was so captivating was something out of the ordinary.
I really am so thankful for the opportunity. Not forgetting Spinnup’s help in the features and support from my own friends and families. Unbelievable. Thank you so much.
Tiara Maimun on the cover of Spotify’s “Fresh Finds SG & MY” playlist
What messages do you hope to send out with your music?
I really hope to make music that resonates with everyone in some way or another. I believe that is truly the way to connect and keep your listeners because what else do you have if you don’t form an understanding for each other?
What’s next for you? What are some of your goals and dreams for your music career?
I’m really hoping for everyone to hear my originals live and actually give the listeners the best version of my musicality. New music will definitely be on the lookout and I am anticipating the next era of what I can be as a singer-songwriter. I’m always going to keep challenging myself with new ideas and concepts, with hopes of growing and constantly evolving all the time.
Check out our Spinnup For You Playlist for the latest and greatest music by independent artists across Southeast Asia.
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