Far, far away from home and now based in New York City; is KL born and bred Hameer Zawawi. After an extensive journey where he toured through Europe and in the US, Hameer puts together a three-piece EP entitled “Plug Out The Machines” that had two tracks produced by NYC-based Recording Artists Development (RAD) and a track that was produced earlier by Ashwin Gobinath (Leader of the KL band, Nadir) and was mixed by Alvin Wee (a Malaysian engineer at Amplitone Productions, Los Angeles) who also worked with his brother Rendra Zawawi on various projects including Ola Bola’s “Arena Cahaya” and for the SEA Games’ “Together We Rise”.
Hameer Zawawi is indie-theatrical folk meets Dexter
Upon listening to the EP, “Plug Out The Machines” sounds finely-calibrated and all the more sophisticated with its diverse range of sounds and harmonies. It’s an innovative change from his previous release, “National Fantasy”‘s raw and acoustic-based build.
Seasoned and adventurous, Hameer brings one of the best of Malaysia’s acoustic performers to the world stage and puts up epic shows wherever he sings. The newly crafted EP is yet a great addition to his name and brings out his expansive sound and poetry in his composition and lyricism.
Labelling his music as “Indie-theatrical Folk”, his musical influences range from the eclectic virtuosity of Dexter’s OST to the grueling odes of Last of Us’ intros. Heavily influenced by fantastical and dark pop culture, his lyrics are a reflection of his constant visualization of epic places beyond “the confines of his small bedroom and backyard”, as he likes to put it.
The first track and the EP’s eponymous title is “Plug Out The Machines“, and it puts the listener into his introspective world with its ebullient and haunting symphony. A melody is set, where Hameer’s poetry delivers an image about the beauty of nature, with an aching chorus to fit. The track’s dynamics transition into this powerful crescendo, where the lines “Pull out of the race for power, you are not a god, pull out the plugs from your machines, they poison your land” brings out this story, as you get lost in this sonic palette. Poignant, yet elaborate with technical skill- it’s the perfect EP opener for the other two tracks.
“Heart’s Gold” is a thrilling ride throughout the entire track. Based on his dilemma to find what he truly desires to do, he discovers his passion and finds peace by leaving behind all doubt and forges on ahead. The song is riddled with subtle bits of organ and percussion, that compliments Hameer’s soulful bravura as he perfects his vocal style to fit seamlessly with the sound. The lyrics in “Heart’s Gold” showcase more of Hameer’s ability to tell tales with vivid imagery that is capable of invoking emotions that are relatable to the listener.
“Deeper meaning-wise, the song is about trying to find peace with what I wanted to do in life, but the end of the song is a cliffhanger. The listener is left with no resolution as to what decision I will make!”- Hameer Zawawi
The last piece of the EP is titled “Deaf Ears“, and the song’s theatrical aspects shined tremendously throughout the entire sound. Teamed up with Florian Antier on the cello, it sounds like what could’ve been an Assassin’s Creed OST, but much better than the actual game and film. The Persian-like influences create this grandeur, cinematic atmosphere that really reels in the listener into this captivating world. “Deaf Ears” has to be Hameer’s most complex song to-date; in terms of composition and his ever-expanding vocal range that brings this track to life. It’s sure to say that this song will be an instant classic for his fans and listeners to come.
Though the EP may be short, good things come in small sizes. He’s come a long way from performing at Urbanscapes in Malaysia (from 2013-2014) to the Brooklyn-based Indie festival For Us Fest earlier this year. Plug Out The Machines EP was a long-awaited release and Hameer’s musical journey has only just begun to take center stage.
Here’s a link to his first track Plug Out The Machines that available for listening on his SoundCloud:
Don’t forget to share it with friends and family if you like it! A little support can go a long way!
Credit for featured image goes to Kevin Hernandez. Here’s a preview of how his EP would sound like from his live performance in Sidewalk Cafe NYC.
To keep yourself updated with Hameer Zawawi’s music, here are his social media profiles: