“Setiap Waktu” by Sasqia, from Element Tree Music House

Element Tree’s new artiste is SASQIA. She is part-Rungus and part-Dusun, and comes from Sepanggar, a sub-district of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

“Setiap Waktu” starts like a folk-ballad, so striking in its simplicity. Sparse piano chords and gentle guitar picking provide a carpet over which a cello pulls long dignified notes, and the hint of an oboe voice appears just in time to lead into the main part of the song.

“Sometimes simple is healthy – like salad 🙂 ” said Mok Qi. He would know! The music and lyrics were written by him.

The song is exactly like that! The freshness of Spring. Ah, but they don’t have Spring* in Sabah. So, in this case, it’s like the simplicity of Innocence. Sasqia sings as if she is smiling in her song. Her voice is pretty and clear, and listening to her makes you feel happy. Kind of like Spring!

In the break, Mok and Matlan weigh in with their electric and bass guitars, making the song heavier and a bit more powerful.

By the end, it’s gentle rock, and Sasqia gets to hit a few high notes. But “Setiap Waktu” is a crossover song more than a Malay pop song. The lyrics are Malay, but the structure of the song is Western folk-rock and familiar to me. It was easy for me to really enjoy this song.

Sometimes, simplicity is best.

* For those who might not know, Spring is the season which follows the cold Winter. In Spring, warm weather gradually returns, daylight stays for longer, buds appear on the branches of trees, flowers and leaves grow again, and wild animals come out of hibernation. It’s like the whole world is reborn. Gardeners love Spring…

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