As we approach the official launch of Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017, Marie Claire caught up with Mia Palencia — writer, composer, and singer for one of the regional games’ theme song. Known for her soft crooning voice with a blend of jazz, soul, and R&B, the challenge to compose a song for the SEA Games was one that Mia was undoubtedly ecstatic about. Mia talks to us about writing So Many Hands while she writes us a haiku — among other things.
What place in your mind did you have to tap into when writing the theme song for KL SEA 2017?
The place that is moved to tears by a good song. It’s the jiwang section in my brain, and is very often stimulated in songwriting mode.
The official video It Takes A Nation To Raise A Champion is two minutes long. Is there a full version of the theme song So Many Hands to be released as a music video?
The full version of So Many Hands has been released on all radio stations, but not yet in film form. There are whispers that this could happen, but no confirmation as yet.
Favourite thing about performing live?
Connecting with people and sharing my stories.
Biggest fear / least favourite thing when performing live?
Bad sound system.
What can the nation expect from your upcoming performance at the regional games?
Just a little old girl from Sabah, standing in a very large stadium with a look of awe on her face, wearing a stunning Hatta Dolmat dress and a very, very big grin.
You wrote for MUD, The Musical, and you’re currently working on Ola Bola, The Musical. What is a surefire way to catch your eye (or ear) during an audition?
There is a very fine line in theatre where it goes from being a genuine and believable performance to an over the top one that doesn’t help me suspend my disbelief. Be yourself, be sincere, and you’re sure to grab my attention.
Write us a haiku about your day.
Expectations versus time
I still haven’t learned.
You mentioned being a sci-fi and fantasy lover in a recent interview with NST. Can we hear your thoughts on the two biggest TV shows this year (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who)?
Truth be told, I don’t watch either, because (1) I missed the Doctor Who boat and I’m not sure if that ship has sailed, and (2) I read George R.R. Martin’s first four books when I was 14 and loved them so much, and then he broke my heart by taking forever to publish 5, and it feels like he’s given up writing altogether now that it’s a TVshow, and and and I refuse to watch it until he finishes the book series, dang it! Ask me about The Expanse and Sense8 next time. 😛
What are you listening to right now?
Jordan Rakei’s album Cloak, and Matt Corby’s album Telluric.
Who would play you in a movie made of your life?
Can I play me? The hopeless romantic in me wishes it to be some kind of low budget indie film that goes on to win Oscars and Grammies for the soundtrack, and Tonys for the stage version. What can I say? I really loved Once.
Mia Palencia performs at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017 on 19 August 2017. SEA Games 2017 runs from 19 August to 30 August, while the Asean Para Games will be held from 17 September to 23 September. Catch the KL SEA Games 2017 opening ceremony live.