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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

"Thirsty Thursday" Featuring Lyia Meta

Thank you for talking with us! Since every project has a story, what’s the story behind your EP? A fairy tale!! A story of two very strong women who came together for a common goal: to make music!! They dreamed a dream and made it a reality!!! Lol!

Seriously, my latest release is a collaboration with Los Angeles-based songwriter Denise Dimin. Although our paths had crossed digitally online in the past, the pieces all fell into place when we “met” again via Facebook in early 2021 when we discussed her music and her songs and the possibility of me recording one. It really was something very unexpected and unforced. There was no urgency and yet we knew it was right. When I released the first single, “THIS ONE'S FOR YOU,” we knew we had something good going on so we decided to do an EP. I think it's one of my best works so far and with Denise's absolute trust in the direction I wanted to take, it was all the more better. Although I co-produced and spearheaded the direction of the EP, I couldn't have done it without seasoned Nashville producer Bob McGilpin and his guidance. “15013” fuses blues, R&B, and soul and dips its toes into the warm waters of jazz! I put a lot of myself into it.

Which song off of your EP is the most dear to you and why? I love them all and it's tough to choose. It is like bottling so much emotion and handing it over to you in six songs!!! In saying that, however, I love how “DAYLIGHT” and “THIS ONE'S FOR YOU” make me feel.

What has changed in your life between recording your last album and this one? My previous two releases were in the metal and country/blues genre. The juxtaposition of these two genres and my latest EP “15013” has peeled back more layers of Lyia Meta. This emergence and the revealing of another facet is in fact timely and most welcome as I have always marched to the beat of my own drum. It is the very core of who I am, no explanations needed!

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about pursuing a career in music? My partner, Zack, told me this years ago: "When there isn't any more passion left, it is time to leave the stage. If you're doing it for the money, you'll be disappointed. If you're doing it for the fame, it won't last. But if you're doing it for the love of it, you've got something special. No one can take that away from you!" Best advice EVER!

What’s the story behind your album’s title? The EP was named “15013” after the hours that separated me from Los Angeles and Nashville. Malaysia is ahead of Nashville by 12 hours and Los Angeles by 15 hours and the zero in the title is Malaysia, the home base! Bob McGilpin, my producer, marveled that he was speaking to someone “from the future” every time we exchanged emails, which is the only way we communicated!

What is an example of a menu you would prepare if I came over? Well, hello and welcome to my humble abode and SUPER HOT kitchen, “Pot to Plate”!!! Malaysia is blessed with diversity that is reflected in our food. If you were a guest of mine, I would prepare you something from our melange of cultures that would entice you to explore our gastronomic servings further.

Since we don't stand on occasion and our food is served without going through courses, every dish would be laid out at once on the table. I would prepare a mixture of dishes that would include Malay, Portuguese Eurasian, Chinese and Indian.

The spicy Portuguese Eurasian Curry Debal (Devil Curry), which is a heritage dish from my Portuguese roots, is made with pork or chicken and served with white rice or sometimes eaten with bread.

Ulam, a Malay-style salad that is prepared with a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables like betel leaves, cucumbers, banana blossom, etc., will be blanched or served raw and topped with a Malaysian sauce of my choice, the sambal belacan (a shrimp chili-based paste).

My favourite Chinese stir-fry, Kung Pao chicken (more well-known around the world!), is served with a topping of fried cashew nuts and deep-fried lamb kofta, which I like making into small patties.

All this is served with a cool glass of mango lassie!

Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown? I was born in Malacca City, a historical city that dates back to the 14h century when it became a trading port. In the 15th century, the Portuguese conquered Malacca, which was soon followed by the Dutch in the 16th century and finally the British in the 18th century. My favourite place to eat (before the COVID lockdown) was at a corner restaurant in Melaka Raya that served the best dry Kolo Mee ever!!! It is a simple dish made of egg noodles tossed in special chili sauce topped with fried shallots and sliced BBQ pork and served with a side of pork and shrimp dumplings in a bowl of soup.

What's your favorite family recipe? The Portuguese Eurasian Curry Keluak. Keluak, or the kepayang fruit from the kepayang tree, is soaked for a few days, then the nut is cracked and cooked with pork or chicken in a spicy curry. Unique to both the Malaccan straits-born Chinese and the local Portuguese Eurasians, it is a very tasty dish.

What should every kitchen be stocked with? Flour, salt, onions, garlic, ginger, butter and eggs.

Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? Godiva chocolates because the tone and sound of my voice has been compared to deep dark chocolate that oozes sensuality and teases the palette to yearn for more. At least that is what someone said of me...Who am I to disagree?


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