Liy and The Alia formed Dizzy & The in 2008— after years of supporting each other as best friends, lightning struck at a sleepover and they decided to experiment by crossing over into each other’s territories (of poetry and music respectively). The Alia likes to do a million music projects at once, and Dizzy has massive stage fright and wanted to find someone to hold her hand onstage by any means necessary. We thought it would be an interesting way to perform poetry; in a structured musical format as opposed to on its own or with a freestyling guitarist. We also just wanted to have fun while planning everything to death.
Dizzy & The bio: The Alia is a classically trained musician— she plays & teaches piano, cello and keyboards. She has also played in & around Malaysia, Singapore & Bangkok as part of Malaysian indie band Furniture. She sessions for other bands too. Other than the previously mentioned instruments, she also plays the guitar, her vocal chords & kitchen pots & pans.
Life after Dizzy & The: In 2014, Alia Ali was nominated and won Best Music & Sound Design for the Azmyl Yunor musical-slash-biopic Something I Wrote, directed by Mark Teh and presented by Five Arts Centre. She also joined contemporary gamelan ensemble Rhythm in Bronze and is super active in the Lindy KL swing and blues dance scenes.
We went onstage for the very first time at ‘Ceritaku/Readings’, a gig series run by Bernice Chauly at No Black Tie. Not only were we the only girls onstage, the lineup made our heads bleed— Shaarad Kuttan, Peter Hassan Brown, Reza Zainal, Farish Noor & A. Samad Said. And us. PAK SAMAD OK. The feedback was overwhelmingly encouraging. It was a lovely crowd, size and response. We were swooning from being on the same bill as all those intimidating men. We may not have been political (Shaarad), adorably lucky (Reza Zainal), spontaneously eloquent (Farish Noor) or imbued with the fierce fire of several decades (Pak Samad ok), but it was nice to know that we brought something different to the stage that night. Thank you Bernice for having us.
We headlined at The Arts House, Singapore alongside Singaporean band Amateur Takes Control. A complete stranger cried and told us about it afterwards.
Performed at interactive art playground even This Is Now, at Dram Projects next to Food Foundry in Petaling Jaya. People came in and freely wielded brushes, pens, crayons and spray cans (!) on walls of paper and lengths of cloth- writing poetry, drawing dreams, and creating strange imagery.
“Tonight we went to see Mokhtar of iseekmusic at his cavernous yet cosy home studio for preliminary discussions about the EP. The man will be recording, mixing, mastering, producing, what-have-you for us, and because of his ‘sporting’ness we shall henceforth dub him Johnny Thunder (inside joke). So far so good: costs are being roughly finalized, schedules are basically planned. Imam of Lightcraft was also there, and might lend his vocal chords and guitar-strumming fingers to us for a tune or two, so that’s something else to look forward to! We’re pretty excited to see what Johnny has in store for us next week since we’re both floundering in unchartered waters. In the meantime, I’ve to get the guide tracks done, along with all the other assignments I have due this week. Next up: Cari groupies.” — The Alia
First day of recording!
More coming soon, still going through all my archives to put this timeline together, but am distracted by LCW at the Olympics! — Liy