This Fly FM DJ Puts A Lighthearted Ukulele Twist On Her Song About Heartbreak

Ili Ruzanna's new single 'I Don't Mind' was released in June.

If you listen to Fly FM on weeknights, then you know Ili Ruzanna's singsong voice and sunshine personality well

The 25-year-old is currently the radio announcer for the 8pm - 12am slot, but she's not stopping at just talking about music - she's a singer-songwriter herself.

Her first single 'I Don't Mind' was released on 21 June.

In an interview with SAYS, Ili Ruzanna discusses how it was like winning Fly FM's Flydol contest, her new single, and why she turns painful experiences with heartbreak into relaxing, ukulele-accompanied songs:

SAYS: Hey Ili! You're currently a Fly FM radio announcer after winning Fly FM's Flydol contest in 2017! How was that experience like?

Ili Ruzanna: Winning Flydol was insane! Right after I graduated from university, I interned with a production house for a bit, and Flydol 2017 auditions were happening at the same time. I found out about it, and thought "Hey, why not?". After getting through and competing with nine other girls, I won.

It was the best feeling ever, knowing that was the moment I was going to be on the radio. I talk a lot, so being able to do that as a job is crazy amazing!

SAYS: What was the inspiration behind your new single 'I Don't Mind'?

Ili Ruzanna: It's a real life story! In 2014, I met this guy, and we hit it off. Two months later, I was chilling with him in the car and I said, "You know this customer at Starbucks [where I worked] was trying to get my number, but I was like sorry fam, I'm with someone."

He looked me in the eye, confused, and said, "Wait, you think we're dating?". My heart broke into a million pieces.

Ili Ruzanna: After that I had a melody stuck in my head for days, and I thought I should write about it. It was a form of therapy, I wrote about it to get it out of my system, and it worked!

The song was written five years ago, and I'm only releasing it now. All thanks to my longtime friend, and producer from FarOffRecords, who asked me every single year if he could produce the song for me, and finally in 2018, I said yes.

SAYS: You describe the song as "a ukulele acoustic sing-along". When did you learn to play the instrument?

I picked up the ukulele when I was 17, because the guitar was too big for me!

I taught myself how to play it through YouTube videos, and after a while it just became a part of me!

Some people call me ukulili, so there's that.

SAYS: What's your favourite lyric from the song?

Ili Ruzanna: "When I look into your eyes, I see all of the things that make me sigh, and it helps me to believe, that we were never meant to be."

I remember singing that part one time during a live show, and thought in my head, "I think I've moved on!" and it was the best feeling ever!

SAYS: What message do you hope to get across through 'I Don't Mind'?

Ili Ruzanna: Everyone can relate to a first breakup. Everyone's been there, but I think sharing something so personal like that with anyone isn't easy, and people think that things like that should be kept hidden away.

I'm hoping to tell my true raw stories through music, hoping that people would be able to realise that personal stories should be shared more, because that's healing.

I think that makes the world a better place.

SAYS: Do you have an upcoming single that you're excited about?

Ili Ruzanna: Yes! After another very heartbreaking and emotional breakup, I wrote a song about wanting to believe my truth compared to the actual truth. I was just angry and hurt.

Hopefully that comes out in either August or September, so stay tuned!

Listen to Ili Ruzanna's newly released single 'I Don't Mind' here:

For more updates on her music, follow Ili on Instagram and Spotify.

This feature is part of the #saysplaylist series, providing your playlist with a breath of fresh Malaysian air.

Image via Pixabay/SAYS

If you have any Malaysian bands, singers or songs that you think we should feature, let us know in the comments below!

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