J.K Rowling released the first Harry Potter novel at 32, Vera Wang only entered the fashion industry at the age of 40 before becoming one of the world’s most respected names in fashion, Henry Royce founded Rolls Royce when he was 43.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S Lewis.
Some people find success at a young age, while others later in life. Some date for 10 years before tying the knot, while others decide to marry after 3 months of knowing each other.
We all lead different paths in this journey called life, but one thing’s for sure, we’re right where we’re supposed to be.
On the shores of Malaysia, lives a talented singer by the name of Noryn Aziz who at 42, is on a new path of success.
Having started off as a jazz singer in 1996, Noryn, whose full name is Norazmahwati Abdul Aziz began her career as a member for a group called Sister-Sister before going solo in 1997.
A lot has happened for Noryn since she paved her way in the music scene in both her professional and personal life. She’s had her good days, mundane days, and controversial days.
To put a spotlight on some of her crowning moments would be sharing the stage with some well-known names in the world of jazz music, at the International Java Jazz Fest 2006. Some of them were Bob James Quintet, Patti Austin, Tania Maria, Incognito just to name a few.
She also took home three gold trophies for the R&B, pop and Broadway categories during the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) which was held in Los Angeles back in 2008.
While her first marriage wasn’t heavily talked about, her second marriage to Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad in 2010 was widely discussed in the media, as her husband is a well-known politician who holds the post as the Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister.
It was also that same year when Noryn debuted herself wearing hijab. Four years after they tied the knot, her son Raja Bariq Umar Shah Raja Baharin Shah was born, and this is when she slowly strayed away from the spotlight to focus on becoming a full-time mother.
But it’s not like she left music completely – she still performed at private and corporate shows.
Fast forward to October 2018, the spotlight shined on Noryn again after news of marital troubles emerged. Until now, the status of their marriage remains a question mark, as Noryn remains apologetically tight-lipped over her marital issues.
WISEN UP AND RISE AGAIN
Noryn admitted to losing a sense of who she was, over motherhood. “I thought it was the end of my career.”
She said she began to devote herself fully to her son, to the point where she forgot about caring for herself.
The need to set a good example for her son and to provide him with a good life, was a strong enough wake up call for Noryn to get her act together again.
So, despite her marital troubles that were on display for the public to judge, and a career she left hanging years ago, she picked herself up again, realising she needed to make full use of her musical talent.
That led her to join a local singing competition called Gegar Vaganza in 2018, as she saw that as a chance to make her comeback to the music industry.
Her determination proved a successful outcome as she was eventually crowned winner of the competition. Thus, began her new path to success.
“Alhamdulillah, Allah has granted me the willpower to go on and be strong. I realise it’s incredibly crucial to love yourself. You have to respect yourself enough to know what you want in life,” she said.
A BURNING DRIVE
Noryn wants people to see her in a new light, as an independent woman who is passionate about her career in music.
Did you ever think that maybe you were 10 years too late to chase your dreams again? – we asked her. “No. If I think about that and I get carried away with my thoughts, that will bring my spirits down.
“It may be a little late, but I don’t care. I need to do this for myself and for my son. I admit, the troubles that I endured in my personal life was what drove me to come back as a singer, but that’s not the only reason. I’m doing this for my son too, he’s my everything” she said.
“If I can show people that even at this age I still have the energy to work, to pursue my passion, chase my dreams – then best believe I’m taking good care of myself,” she said.
But of course, coming back to the music scene in her 40s, what more with new up and coming young singers popping up wasn’t and still isn’t easy for Noryn.
The key to her perseverance is having a positive mind. “It’s hard to stay positive sometimes because we are human beings after all, but you have to try.”
NO MORE JAZZ
Noryn loves jazz music but feels that it’s time she embarks on a different chapter with music, now focusing more on mainstream genres like pop.
“I used to be so focused on creating music that I was passionate about, not having a single care in the world if people enjoyed listening to it or not.
“The jazz industry in Malaysia is so small and it’s such a niche market. I’ve grown out of that comfort zone and am ready to experiment with new things,” she said.
Most recently, she performed alongside two of Malaysia’s great female vocalists Misha Omar, and Siti Sarah. The supreme performance featured some of the greatest hit songs in Malay and English, accompanied by state-of-the-art sounds and lights with amazing visuals at none other than the prestigious Istana Budaya (Palace of Culture), Malaysia’s main venue for all types of theater and classical concerts.
“I never thought my life would be where it is now, but I’m glad to have gone through these challenges. It wouldn’t have made me who I am today,” she said.
“At the end of the day, these life obstacles are what makes life interesting. Sometimes, you have to take it with a pinch of salt.
“Live life as it is, just go with the flow,” she said.
Behind the Face of Salam
- Face of Salam : Noryn Aziz
- Project Manager & Co-ordinator : Shah Shamshiri
- Text: Syahirah Mokhtazar
- Editor : Ili Farhana
- Photographer: Whitenery
- Graphic Designer: Asyraf Tamam
- Stylist : Faizal Harun Nasution
- Make-up Artiste: Jib Salim
- Wardrobe : Wanpa
- Accessories: Stylist’s own