"The funky songbird from the East, Irma puts together grooves, melodies, and harmonies that reflect her journey in life, love and music. With the ability of arranging and producing music organically and electronically, Irma brought her traditional Malaysian root sound into the music of Soul and R&B and make it her own distinct blend. Finding her ground in the “Big Apple” NYC after touring in the US, Europe and South East Asia, Irma is constantly spreading her wings reaching out to new souls with one mission-bringing people together through music."
Born in Penang, Malaysia, Irma was raised in a small town in Bangi, Malaysia. She was an active sports woman who sang Malay traditional music throughout middle school. Daughter of a musician, her dad has exposed her to every kind of music ranging from traditional to contemporary at a very young age.
In 2008, Irma enrolled in the Berklee Transfer Program at International College of Music (ICOM) in Kuala Lumpur and transferred to Berklee College of Music after two and a half years. At ICOM, she was known as the risk taker as she would try every kind of music presented to her – Pop, Malay traditional, Funk, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Disco and many more.
Being the active and high-achiever that she is, Irma participated in many events even when she was in college. She was the lead vocalist in the ICOM Celebration Series Tribute to The Eagles, Michael Jackson, U2, Queen and ABBA, and also the KL Foundation – a national show popular in Malaysia. Irma was also the vocal leader and arranger for most, if not all of the tributes.
Plunging into the local music scene, Irma was featured on a local TV show - Mentor (Talent Show) as a background vocalist and as the artist of the month on Hitz.TV. She then performed at the Michael Buble Crazy Love Tourʼs pocket stage and went on to be featured at the Indie Youth Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival Preview. She also started writing her original music avidly during that period.
In Fall 2011, Irma started her studies at Berklee College Of Music and was awarded with the Berklee World Tour Scholarship. She immediately got involved with various clubs and ensembles at Berklee, such as the Berklee Reverence Gospel Choir. She was also the music arranger for Berklee’s Singer Showcase for a few semesters. Irma then dived into the Boston music scene and started performing at various festivals such as RAWBoston, Utica Music Festival in New York and the New England Indonesian Jazz Festival. She was recently featured in the WWS Magazine and was announced as the RAWBoston Artist of The Day. Her appearances on Marie Claire January Issue (Malaysia) and on Malaysian Airlines Music on Demand were probably the highlight of her career thus far.
Working at Berklee has also spun her Euro Tour in Helsinki, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia. The band was supported by Berklee and they got to collaborate with many other musicians in Europe. She was featured in the Close Encounters festival and Cultural Festival by the US Embassy in Helsinki.
Irma’s music is heavily influenced by Funk and R&B musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, Heather Headley, Rachelle Farrell and Etta James; bigtime Neo-Soul Erykah Badu, Jill Scott; and not to forget Jazz queens like Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald.
Irma has released an EP entitled “Of Growth and Conversations” and is currently working on releasing her album. Catch her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reverbnation for more of her news!