Goin’ Nanas…


Nana, one of the most notable singers-entertainers in Singapore is performing LIVE at Muddy Murphy’s, The Penny Black and Ballymoons. Gashaus shares…


A?dedicated performer and a soulful singer with great passion for singing has been performing in various popular bars & pubs since 1998. Packed with a big voice in a tiny package, bundled with passionate and energetic performances, she is sure to surprise and impress you! With a wide repertoire, Nana brings live music to a different height be it a 2-piece or a 5-piece band. There is Nana & Talib – 2-piece acoustic band, perfect for a chill out evening after a hard day work. Looking for something more upbeat, we have Nana & Friends – 3-piece. Plus on weekends, party with Nana & The Vibes – A 5-piece band that will definitely make you rock. We caught up with her over drinks…

GASHAUS: Can you introduce the band, who’s in it and who plays what…

The band: Presenting Nana and The Vibes, a band made up of five different individuals coming together to create music. Nana on vocals and percussion is also a part-time vocal trainer. Telly on lead guitars and effects is a technical specialist. Bai Fero on bass guitars and effects is a businessman. Aida on keyboards and backup vocals is a schoolteacher. And last, but not least, Rafi on drums, who in his spare time is a national soccer player. Yes, it’s that Rafi Ali. Nana was chosen to front the band after she blew us away in Singapore Idol 2004, where the judges crowned her the “Queen Of Soul”. As friends, we’d all known she could sing for a long time and it’s only seemed right that we got together to create our brand of entertainment.

GASHAUS: What sort of music do you play?

The band: We play a versatile range of music from jazz to classic rock, from RnB to reggae. But we focus mainly on classic rock and soul music such as Aretha Franklin, ACDC and U2, as well as serving up current hits from the likes of Rihanna and Muse once in a while. We cater to different crowds each night so it’s good to play everything under the sun.

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GASHAUS: Do we come down to listen and politely clap or should we wear our dancing shoes?

The band: Well that’s subject to personal taste really. We’ve had people who just love to listen, clap and sing along to our songs. We’ve had others who came all dressed up to party in their dancing gear and even some who actually took off their shoes so they’re able to dance and jump all over the place. We personally recommend a lil’ bit of everything.

GASHAUS: What makes the music and atmosphere special at Muddy’s?

Nana: I think it’s the intimacy of the place. The band is placed close to the patrons, there’s no big, high stage or platform. The patrons can get their requests over or speak to me easily while I’m performing the songs the crowd wants to hear. I make it a point to remember names and address customers personally while engaging in light banter with my audience during performances. Yup, it’s definitely an intimate and personal atmosphere, it’s like everybody know each other in Muddy Murphy’s, a circle of friends getting together.

GASHAUS: What’s your favourite song to perform? What song do you hate but the crowd love?

Nana: I love singing all Aretha Franklin’s songs because she’s my idol and I can relate to her songs, but I don’t have a particular favourite. I don’t have a song I hate either. But I’d have to say the crowd loves “Sweet Child Of Mine” by Guns N Roses so much that sometimes I have to play it on request three times in a night. I mean, the song’s good but it’s definitely overplayed.

GASHAUS: How do you get to be in a pub band? Is this a full time job or just an interesting way to spend your evenings?

Nana: I’ve been performing professionally for 10 years already and honestly I can’t remember how I got to be here in the first place. All I know is that it’s a full time job, I’ve worked very hard to be where I am and I’m definitely loving the music and still having fun with the band. It pays the bills and plus plus. So what more can I ask for?

GASHAUS: How do you calm down and relax after a night’s performance?

Nana: Everyone at Muddy’s will tell you that I drink lots of hot tea. I don’t drink alcohol, I’m just an unstoppable tea drinker.

GASHAUS: Where do you go to enjoy live music yourself?

Nana: I love watching Jive Talkin’ and Sha-Gies. We’re all friends so we support each other now and then.