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25 October 1984 |
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
|Genres||Acoustic, Folk, Pop|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, creative writer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano|
|Associated acts||Yuna, Fynn Jamal, Ana Raffali, Liyana Fizi|
Wani Ardy (born 25 October 1984) is a Malaysian creative writer and independent singer-songwriter. She was born in Kuala Lumpur and raised in Subang Jaya. She identifies her music as acoustic and lyrical poetry.
Wani did not grow up in an artistic, or musical environment. Her father came from a religious Johorean family while her Singaporean mother had always been very strict about her education. Though her father was a multi-instrumentalist during his time in Malaya University and her mother was an English teacher, their occupations changed soon as they had children.
Unlike her siblings and cousins, Wani did rather poorly in school, describing herself as "a slow learner" and "a foolishly stubborn child who will not study what she did not like". Her mother finally allowed her to choose her own path after she passed her Malaysian Certificate of Education exams with mediocre results (she only excelled in English Literature and History).
Wani was the first in her large conventional family to pursue arts and literature. In an effort to better appreciate her Salatiga background, she began to use the name Guritno Purwakanti as her pseudonym.
Education and career
Upon finishing her undergraduate degree in performing arts, screenwriting, and screen arts with first-class honours, Wani subsequently functioned as a scriptwriter at Red Communications. Working alongside host-writer-actress Rafidah Abdullah, she wrote scripts for a few episodes of Gol & Gincu The Series, Goda and kids program Number Squad. She did captioning for a few episodes of 3R, Sadiq & Co., Breeze Padang Pintar, as well as subtitling for the film KAMI The Movie under Redfilms. She then became a lecturer at Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College, teaching film studies and basic English language. Later she moved on to Universiti Teknologi MARA, teaching scriptwriting, fiction writing, poetry, and lyrics in Faculty of Film, Theatre, & Animation.
Wani completed her postgraduate degree in creative writing at Macquarie University and has resumed to her full-time job as a lecturer. She was also heading a research team for an upcoming epic film; a collaboration project between Malaysia and Australia.
Music and Literature
Wani started writing short stories at the age of 7; penning poems, lyrics, and melody at the age of 16. She has been performing her original songs since 2002, both individually and in groups within Malaysia and Australia (Sydney).
Her earliest musical companion was Shukor Fuad whom she had a band with named Boneca. Their single Cela (sung by vocalist Nazila Abu Zaidi, written and composed by Wani) grew quite popular that it was aired by various local radio stations without their consent. Today her sessionist is her band The Guitar Polygamy which includes her percussionist-cellist husband, Syafiq Zakaria.
In 2011, Wani's song Hujan was selected to be played throughout the month of May on Dandelion Radio, an internet radio station founded in June 2006 with the aim of pursuing the musical legacy of the popular and influential BBC Radio 1 disk jockey John Peel. The station takes its name from the British record label Dandelion Records founded and run by Peel between 1969 and 1972.
At the end of the same year, Wani wrote and composed a couple of songs for a musical theatre staged at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center. Produced by Dato' Faridah Merican and directed by Joe Hasham, Malaysian Girls was dubbed "the year's most glamorous musical" and received positive feedback from media, critics and theatergoers in general. Her songs What Is This Feeling and Now You See Me, Now You See Me More were recorded and compiled in the soundtrack album.
Apart from writing, teaching, performing, organising, as well as participating in book markets and art events around Klang Valley, Wani is assisting her husband with their family businesses; Aftertwelve Studio, a live sound reinforcement company and Gravy Baby!, a Malaysian cuisine restaurant with live acoustic set. Together with a couple of friends, she also sets up a little label; Kaos Malaya which focuses on selling t-shirts, artworks, and books.
After joining a group of women writers for an anthology in 2009, Wani released her own collection of poems and prose; Langit Vanilla in 2011. Abdul Ghafar Ibrahim, winner of Southeast Asian Writers Award 2005, described her writings as "honest, vertically heavy, effective, energetic, synergetic, authentic, unpretentious and filled with strong messages."
Admitting that her guitar skills are "extremely basic" and writing is something that she "cannot escape from", Wani sets being a lecturer as her top priority over being a singer-songwriter. She outlines music as "simply my escapism, my therapy."
In 2010, she decided to don the headscarf on stage which led to criticism and speculation, mainly comparing her to Yuna. When approached by Esquire Malaysia on this, Wani replied, "I really can't afford to spend my time satisfying people who have already decided to stereotype me. All I can do is pray and hope that they would see what's in my head rather than what's on my head."
- Senikatawati, EP (2008)
- Meanwhile, EP (2010)
- Langit Vanilla, single album (2012)
- Tiga Venus, Compilation (2009) Artists: Ana Raffali, Fynn Jamal, Wani Ardy
- Mighty Melody: Malaysia Indie Scene, Compilation (2011) Artists: Yuna, Liyana Fizi, Wani Ardy, Ferns, Furniture, Love/Comes, The Hollows, Couple, Nicestupidplayground, Khottal, Romancesa, The Sofa Sessions, The Drives, Crashin' Butterfliez, Poppy, The Fridays
- Perempuan Simpanan, women writers anthology (2009)
- Langit Vanilla, a collection of poems and prose (2011)
- Mesin Cahaya Masa, a collection of poems and prose (2014)
- Jason (15 July 2009). "Rock N Roll Kot?". Junk.
- Kwan, Brian (April 2009). "Backstage with... Wani Ardy". Time Out Kuala Lumpur.
- Yap, Adrian (30 October 2009). "Labour of love". The Star.
- Yap, Adrian (January 2010). "The lone gunmen". Time Out Kuala Lumpur.
- Official website
- Wani Ardy on Facebook
- Wani Ardy's channel on YouTube
- "Bercakap dengan Wani Ardy"
- "Wani Ardy – Meanwhile"
- An Interview with Wani Ardy (29 September 2009). UKM.
- Wani Ardy: "You think you choose love but to me, love chooses you. (27 June 2011). Esquire Malaysia.