It's been a long time coming.
Singaporean Alif finally teamed up with Malay-French rapper SonaOne for an anthem of female empowerment.
The track, titled 'Obvious', points out our tendency to compare with others on social media, which often leaves us feeling inferior.
'Obvious' is the first track off the best friends' upcoming 15-track duet album 'Detail', which will be released in 2019.
We met up with SonaOne and Alif to talk about their latest anthem, paying tribute to the Malaysian hip-hop duo Too Phat, and what to expect on their upcoming album, 'Detail':
SAYS: Hey guys! You've been friends forever but this is your first official collaboration. Why did it take this long?
S: Ask the universe that! We did things that never came out, but we've been very fond of each other's sound.
A: I think it was circumstances, like he (SonaOne) was building his solo career, and I was trying to do the same thing.
If it was before (now), it would've just been a fun project. But this time, we actually worked on something and it's actually going to come out.
S: So it's more like, why haven't we done this earlier?
SAYS: What is the full story behind 'Obvious', and can you apply the song to your personal lives?
S: We initially wrote this song as an ode to a woman's self-confidence. The more we explored the subject, we realised the message was greater and applied to all walks of life.
A: Sometimes people get too caught up with what people around think, that they forget to see what's in front of them.
S: Like for example, sometimes we tell our label about our songs "Why can't you see what we see? It's so obvious to us". I feel like it's a situation most people can get themselves into, this is probably why arguments even happen!
A: We also decided to make it a pop song, just so it's easier to get the message across.
SAYS: A lot of people have been saying that the outfits you wore in the 'Obvious' video were a homage to the legendary hip-hop duo, Too Phat. Was the song, in any way, a tribute to Joe Flizzow and Malique as well?
S: The song wasn't a tribute to them. Even the outfits we wore (in the video) were by coincidence! We had three different time periods in the video: the 90's, the millennium, and today.
So we were looking for clothes for the 90's and the millennium. We went bundle shopping and everything but the director (of the video) loved none of that.
A: The director then gave us colours to coordinate with for the video. Then we were like, who closest to us would have clothes in these colours, and in mint condition?
S: So it was Joe Flizzow, he basically provided the wardrobe for us. Everyone on set then went, "Wow, this is mad Too Phat vibes,". If anything, we're honoured to even be mentioned in the same sentence as Too Phat.
SAYS: What should we expect on your upcoming album, 'Detail'?
A: It's waiting to see the light of day. It's more like, how are we going to release a project like this?
S: It's a very unusual album with a very unusual sound – in terms of arrangement, style, and subjects.
A: We recorded up to like, 40 songs. Then we decided on the 15 songs that gel with each other. We really hope this (album) will leave an impact on producers and performers alike.
This feature is part of the #saysplaylist series, providing your playlist with a breath of fresh Malaysian air.
If you have any Malaysian bands, singers or songs that you think we should feature, let us know in the comments below!