Joe Flizzow turns inward in his somber new single—and first of 2023—“SUNYI.”
The Malaysian hip hop juggernaut continues to explore intimate themes, often relating to his decorated music career. This time, the new track follows last year’s candid discussion on mortality in “Satu Malam Di Temasek.”
“SUNYI”—which translates to ‘lonely’ or ‘quiet’—is Joe Flizzow’s way of sharing the “inexplicable feeling of solitude faced by many. I believe many people, especially celebrities would be able to relate to the song,” he said in a press release.
The idea for “SUNYI” came about during one of his trips to New York City. “I usually never stay at Times Square when I visit New York. It is one of the busiest places in the world. But despite the hustle and bustle at that moment, I felt the loneliest in my life. Being so far away from home, the moment just triggered me.”
He went on, “Many always assume that fame and popularity are the ultimate goals of celebrities, but people sometimes do not realize that they do feel lonely at times… It gets lonely when you’re at the top.”
Co-produced by long-time collaborators SonaOne and Magic Potions, Malaysian hip hop’s ‘Mr. President’ revealed that he first shared the track with both Alyph and SonaOne, hoping they will record the song.
“I really had them in mind. I wanted them to record and release the track. But after they heard it, they thought I would be better off singing it. After all, it has been a while since I last sang and released my own song. However, since the track is quite personal to me, I went with the idea and decided to record it as they suggested,” referring to Flizzow’s decision to sing, instead of rap.
The accompanying visual, helmed by Ganesh Venugopal, sees Flizzow watching his journey as a music artist unfold before him through a montage of videos, some dating back 15 years ago, of him and friends from all over the world. “I want to express how thankful I am, and how I managed to achieve all that I have dreamed of 15 years before.”
Flizzow also opened up about the challenges of globalizing Malaysian hip hop, including personal sacrifices he made, and how “SUNYI” is also a reminder to himself, and to others, that we are not alone. “[We] lost a lot of people along the way, including my late father Ishak Nengah. So, this is also a dedication for him,” he said.
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“I hope this song will be able to remind everyone that you are not alone, and it is OK to not be OK sometimes. It is OK to feel sad, OK to have your ups and downs, and hopefully, when you’re down, this song can be your company in times of loneliness. Just remember, at the end of the day there will always be light at the end of the tunnel, God-willing.”
Watch “SUNYI” below: