Before Selesta made it into the local music scene, Adam, Adly and Jo-Esu are former members of the Malaysian band called RVL from 2013 to 2016 in which they attained notable accomplishments in the music industry. One of it is getting into the top 5 Southeast Asia’s best bands in a competition at MTV Aloft Star in 2014.
With RVL’s disbanding in 2016, they formed a band called Selesta. This time, it’s Adly, Jo-Esu and a frontwoman/singer, Falla. In 2017, the band recruited Falla and are currently in production of their first studio album. They played live shows in Kuala Lumpur while in progress of producing singles after singles for their debut EP called ‘Selesta’.
We sat and spoke to this awesome band (Jo-Esu was not present during the interview), and spoke plenty of topics.
Why the name Selesta?
It comes from a spanish word which is a female name that means celestial. Basically, it’s simple meaning is universal. All of our songs have a background story to it. Not just story from us but the people from our surrounding. Our music is compiled into few different genres into one, hence, universal.
Falla, what does it feel like to be surrounded by an all boyband group?
I have an amazing chemistry with all of them, so it doesn’t feel weird to me. It’s more or less chilling with my girlfriends. We all connected through our love for music and somehow slowly we are now the best of friends.
Adly started his journey into music when he interned at Warner Music Malaysia as a Public Relation person. In that job, he had experience in artist management, setting up tours and executing it.
How did you bring what you learn in Warner Music to Selesta?
I’ve learned that the market for English songs is hard to sell. There’s limited platform for us to grow into the music world. In order for us to succeed further, we have to create our own trend. People want to hear music from the future and that’s what our song is all about. We incorporate few genres into one.
“Say Yes” is one of your songs on the upcoming album, what is the story behind it?
It’s actually about a song of how a prostitute falls in love with a client. However, the client only sees her as a sex worker and nothing more. This is based on a true story where our composer loves to volunteer in the community hall and he was sitting and talking to one prostitute about her life. That’s how the song came about. With that being said, the story sounds very dark but we want it to be a happier and upbeat song. Every album has a different theme to it.
Who wrote the lyrics and melody for the song?
Adam(former RVL member) wrote the lyrics and as for the melody, Adly and Jo come up with the signature sound that Selesta is known for, which is ambient pop.
What exactly is an ambient pop genre?
It’s basically a direct kind of sound, you can easily figure out what instrument it’s playing when you listen to our song. We like to see ourselves as the bridge between indie music and pop. The ambient sound comes almost sounding like electronic sound and beat-drop that gives you as a chill vibe.
How long did it take for you to finish up “Say Yes“?
It took us 3 to 4 months to finally complete it. What caused the delay was partly we weren’t satisfied with how our signature sound is not perfected. However, in the end, we are very happy with the end product. For our music “Stay”, that song represents Selesta well and we want to make our mark on every song we produce.
What is the obstacle some of you have to face as a band?
Falla: I had a sore throat few times because I was doing my other single and performing too. Sometimes we reach for the rehearsal, recording time, there’s certain pitch or note I can’t reach and that in itself, causes a delay.
Adly: I guess it’s just the mixing and mastering of the music. We need to find a different melody for every song to fit in well with our Selesta signature music. Took us some time but it paid off to stick to our roots and keep building good music for our fans.
You’ve been in the local scene for a while now. What can be done to encourage people to support local music scene?
Falla: We’re scared that people would not accept our English songs because it’s in Malaysia. I feel if we can reach an international level, our songs can be spread out to our younger generation and create a better credibility for us as well. We are using the artist like Disclosure and Chainsmoker for our reference so we can relate to the people in Malaysia.
Adly: As for me, it’s more of an economic problem. Our generation now would not prefer in buying an album but they would stream online. Most of our purpose is to survive. Let’s give an example if you have RM30, would you buy a ticket to our concert or buy something less for yourself? Of course, a majority of the people would choose the latter. I notice we got a lot of moral support but they are not going to spend money downloading songs from iTunes because they don’t have extra money for it. So to move forward with music and also, film-wise, we need to improve our economy.
What is your advice for people to form their own band?
I know this sounds cliche, but don’t give up. We’ve been doing this for few years and not been paid some of the time but because we have a deep passion and music, we are blessed beyond your imagination. Also always be confident and share your creativity. In music there is no right or wrong, you can share your opinion and views too. That is how music becomes special.
Selesta’s album is expected to complete by the end of October. In the meantime, have a look at what ambient pop genre is all about through their music.
Listen to it here;
Or follow their social media to know about the latest performance, updates from Selesta;
Instagram : Selestamusic
Special thanks to Keep It Local Entertainment for setting the interview up.