By PHYLLIS HO
YOU might recognise him as the drummer for One Buck Short (OBS) and you may have watched him sing and play the guitar on stage at the recent Urbanscapes 2012; but whatever his instrument may be, Imran Fadzil Ishak, or Narmi, is first and foremost a musician.
Already a successful drummer, Narmi decided to become a singer simply because he wanted to connect with the audience – something that he found difficult to do when playing percussions.
“The rush from playing drums is different from anything else, but it’s a different joy when I’m singing and playing the guitar,” said the 28-year-old performer.
He initially wanted to take up guitar lessons, but after watching Lewis Pragasam – one of Asia’s top drummers – in action, he decided to learn to play drums from the master himself.
Narmi is still with OBS, although things have been very quiet for the band as the other members have been occupied with their own work.
About three years ago, he decided to pursue his own music career by uploading his videos on YouTube.
FYI, Narmi is his name Imran spelled backwards. He decided to “flip” his name after realising that his current work is completely different to the kind of music he did with his pop-rock band; and that’s how Narmi the acoustic singer-songwriter was born.
“I would listen to a song on the radio and after liking it, I’ll look for the tabs,” shared the self-taught guitarist. “And I always try and make sense of things in my own way, for example, I’ll develop an easier way to play a difficult chord, so I guess that’s how I got my style.”
Narmi loves having hidden meaning in his songs. He told a story on how he lost a pair of slippers during a show, which inspired him to write a song about someone missing another person.
“It sounds like it’s about a relationship, because they’re meant to be together. Well, that song is for the album next year,” he added cheekily.
“When I’m in love, I’ll write songs about love. But when I’m in a relationship, I write songs about other stuff because that part of your life is fulfilled so you tend to experiment with other things,” he explained.
But Narmi is far from one of those singer-songwriters who only writes about love. “I have a song about death; about my perspective of what it would be like if you’re in the grave instead of the other way around.”
Another song off his newly-released EP, Tweet In Defiance, is about how people generally tweet about anything and everything.
Obviously a fan of social media, Narmi started the hashtag #narmiadventures some time ago as he wants people to come along on his musical adventures. After two years in the making, the Adventures EP is finally out.
He said: “If I can do what John Mayer does and write songs that everyone can relate to, it would actually bring a lot of joy into my life.”