Bil Musa

In the #3Questions series, we get to know the selected artists, performers and people that comprise the #YSDAF2018 lineup.

Bil Musa is a serial songwriter and singer, who began playing the piano at the tender age of seven and started writing her own songs at 16. Her entry into the Malaysian music scene is a classic combination of tremendous talent and impeccable timing.

The story goes that Bil was performing at her friend’s brother’s wedding in 2014, when she was scouted by Yuna’s manager. Three years later, she released her first full-length album, Young Adults, which touches on the struggles people often face in their twenties.

Question 1

How did your musical journey begin?


I first understood music when I picked up the piano. I was exposed to music early in my life because I didn’t have many friends [laughs]. So I spent a lot of time with my parents. One of my earliest memories of listening to music was Queen, as my mum was a big fan of theirs. I was also exposed to the music industry thanks to my second cousin Joe Flizzow. Growing up, I really enjoyed listening to indie bands, which has greatly influenced my music today.

Bil Musa
No More Excuses

Bil describes this track as the epitome of Young Adults. The song covers commitment issues, drinking problems, gambling problems, not knowing how to save up, and of course, love.

Whilst most of her songs are easy-going, “No More Excuses” shows off Bil’s feisty and shade-throwing side.

Question 2

What is the writing process for all your songs?


I usually write from feelings of extreme anger, sadness, or happiness. I can’t write from any normal moods [laughs]. I start writing with these emotions; then I’ll take notes and turn all of that into lyrics. After all of that’s done, I’ll record what I have using GarageBand at home, and I’ll send it to my producer. I draw inspiration from stories of my friends, and of course, my own experiences.

My personal favourite song is 4AM from my album Young Adults. When I wrote the song, it was a different process from the way I usually write songs. My friend was talking to me on the phone about a past relationship; and, out of habit, I was doodling and taking notes. This was the first time I wrote a song with another song in mind, called Lost In The Light by Bahamas. So I first wrote the lyrics, and only later moved to the melody. Usually, I do both together. I was very proud of it, because I don’t know how to play the guitar; everything I know, I’ve learnt from YouTube! [Laughs] So yeah, this was a different process for me. I strayed away from my usual structure.

Question 3

What are some things Malaysians should know about our local music industry?


In the underground music scene, most of us are struggling. We’re not struggling financially, but more so in trying to get exposure for the music that we produce. Unfortunately, most of the exposure is usually given to mainstream artists.

So we really need all the support we can get. When you like an artiste, go all the way! Buy their music, go to their shows, and support them in every way that you can. It would mean a lot to them, I’m sure.


Join intim sessions with Bil Musa this #YSDAF2018 on 18 & 19 August, between 4:00PM to 4:30PM at the Small Lawn of klpac. She will be serenading listeners with songs from her latest album, Young Adults.

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