Dorothy Perkins for #IWD2020: Bil Musa
Fun fact: Bil Musa never thought she’d be a singer-songwriter in a million years—especially since her childhood dream was so far removed from her current profession. The self-proclaimed foodie with a “crazy sweet tooth” always wanted to become a baker-restauranteur when she grew up.
But fast forward to a couple of years, Musa realised that she really enjoyed writing and intended to make a career out of it after receiving positive feedback from the online community. “People found me and they responded really well to it,” she said. “I thought, ‘Okay, now I can express myself in a different way’. Then I decided that this is the career path I’m going to go for.”
We had a quick chat with the 27-year old singer-songwriter on the challenges she faced in her career and helpful advice she can impart to aspiring female artistes in the local scene:
“Don’t be too afraid to take chances.”
How do you stay inspired?
Apart from composing my own music, I also write for other singers and am currently working on expanding my portfolio to write for more artistes. It’s easy for me to stay inspired in making music. For me, there’s always a story to tell—whether it’s from your own experience or observing what others have gone through. You can really draw inspiration for music from anything.
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How has being an artiste changed you? Were you the same person before?
I’m definitely not the same person as I was before. Diving into this career has really broadened my horizons and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve travelled, met so many different yet interesting people, been pleasantly surprised and disappointed as well. I was a really timid person before and I feel that this path has toughened me up and made me more empathetic at the same time.
What was your biggest challenge you faced in your career? How did you overcome it?
I think my biggest challenge in my career is something I’m still going through, and that’s finding an identity in the music industry. I’m always battling between staying true to myself and conforming to an identity that others want me to be, in terms of my music and appearance. I’m a pretty simple person and I guess it really makes it difficult for me to stand out [in the same way that celebrities do]. I just stick to what I know and that’s writing.
Do you have a favourite quote that gets you through tough times?
That would have to be “everything happens for a reason”. It’s really hard to believe in that when you’re thrown into a situation where you feel like there’s no exit. But once you’re out and you look back, you start to understand why certain things happen to you, and only you. You start to understand that that pain you had to go through was necessary.
Do you have any advice for young women who are looking to do what you’re doing?
First of all, don’t be too afraid to take chances and put yourself out there. Engage with people in the industry and learn from their experiences. When in doubt, always remind yourself of the reason you started doing what you do. Stay kind and humble but don’t let anyone cheat you or step all over you. There’s a lot of scrutiny that you have to face as a woman in this industry, but try your best to ignore the haters and keep doing what you do with conviction.
Get to know more about Bil in the video below: