Sezairi Sezali returns after a 6-year break and HYPE sits down with him to uncover the intimate details behind his new EP.
By Isabelle Liew
Fresh, raw and unfiltered – these are the words that Sezairi Sezali, 28, uses to sum up his recent self-titled extended playlist (EP), released on July 8.
Inspired by his 7-year relationship with his wife, Syaza Qistina Tan, 24, songs from the EP include gritty details of rocky times in their relationship.
Sezairi finished recording and mixing the EP in a matter of 15 days in January last year, but he wasn’t ready to put out the album as “some details in there were too explicit”.
“These songs were personal (and) written in times when I really needed to let out (my feelings),” revealed Sezairi. “It’s very different from anything else I’ve done, partially because it’s my first time producing and writing an entire album.”
Staying true to his promise, Sezairi reveals glimpses into the very private compartments of his life as he pens down the most passionate and emotional moments – so much so that he feels some may make him seem “like a crazy person”.
The song he found hardest to write was “Empty”, one that his wife refuses to listen to.
“It is about the many times we just went on a rampage, and for days on end we wouldn’t talk to each other,” he explained. “At the end, there’s no purpose to all of it, and you just feel empty.”
Despite their hurdles, Sezairi shared that his wife has always believed in him.
“We started dating before I (found success), and (even back) then she told me that I would be who I am today,” he smiled fondly. “Other girls came and went, but she saw it in me, and that’s why I married her.”
Since his debut album Take Two in 2010, Sezairi has been on a long break from music – during which he completed National Service and was busy filming movies – but said that the hiatus had not made him lose touch with his musical direction.
“It’s always been the same, it’s just a little different… in terms of packaging (the music) and I guess the soul and essence of (each song),” he said, citing the influence from major labels as the reason he’s never been able to be the artist he wanted to be.
“I really like his new song (“Fire to the Floor”), you can really see that he’s changed a lot,” said Lee Jia Hao, 16, who enjoys listening to Sezairi’s music. “He seemed very shy on Singapore Idol. Back then he didn’t really show off his personality a lot.”
Through the blood, sweat and tears, Sezairi is still passionate about being a musician as he loves when fans are able to relate to his lyrics.
“I have a lot of responsibility and power that I didn’t even realize – I can affect many people through my art and performances. I need to be very responsible with what I do,” he said. “I need to serve the music and serve the people.”
Check out some highlights of Sezairi’s career:
1. His first English single in 6 years, “Fire To The Floor“, truly set fire to the charts by jumping to number 10 on 98.7 FM’s Hot 20 within 2 weeks of its release. In this catchy song, Sezairi sings about the “thrill of the chase”.
2. Sezairi famously proposed to his girlfriend, Syaza Qistina Tan, on the set of the movie 1965 in 2015, by showing his on-screen “mother” the love of his life while still in character. He then went off-screen and got down on his knees to propose to Syaza.
3. Sezairi’s first single, “Broken“, off his debut album Take Two that was released in 2010, soon rose to become the highest ranked Asian song on 98.7 FM.
4. At the finale of Singapore Idol 3 in 2009, Sezairi sang “Touched By An Angel“, a song composed by Ken Lim. Later that evening, Sezairi became the third Singapore Idol.