Discover the journey of a mariner who used time at home to connect deeper with God.

Malaysian-born marine captain, Juhazwan Junaidi a.k.a. Awan, hits the local music scene with his debut single The Selawat recently. The mariner-turned-musician composed, and produced the official music video with his very own production company, HeyYa Media.

Driven by a passion to create spiritual music outside the stereotypical confines of songs that usually perceived to be part of this genre, The Selawat explores the act of praying to God through the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as well as explores the different ways through which people worship. Awan’s goal with The Selawat is to remind listeners of the teachings and exemplary behaviour of the Prophet (PBUH).

Coming from a musical family background, Awan grew up watching his late grandfather playing the violin and composing many traditional songs. Apart from that, having uncles and cousins who were in a band both in the mainstream and underground music scene, the dream of creating his own music was instilled since he was young.

Since then, Awan has always had a passion for music, drawing inspiration from renowned artists such as the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee and KRU. But it wasn’t until his years in a religious boarding school that he discovered the genre “nasyid”, spiritual music that is usually performed acapella or with soothing complementary instruments. And while he grew to love the genre, there was an urge in him to create and compose spiritual songs that moved beyond what was normally heard.

“Religious songs have always been synonymous with something serious. And I want to break away from that but still remain courteous. You know, you wouldn’t want to be rude to religion right? It is very holy and I still want to still be respectful,” said Awan “And so The Selawat happened. My vision was actually to make a dua into something that’s easy for people to recite. And music is an element that can help that.”

With the release of his new single also comes the official launch of his own production company, HeyYa Media which he also partnered with Akmal, a former nasyid singer from the group Mirwana. The inspiration behind the creation of this studio was born from a desire to create meaningful content that tells a story, beyond mere aesthetics. Awan partnered with a group of friends who came from different backgrounds to film the music video for The Selawat and spent his time at home working remotely, with his team, to edit and produce the video.

Following the launch of The Selawat, Awan hopes to finish composing two new songs before June 2021, one of which may potentially be a collaborative piece.

“Who knows? By then I may have written a duet for someone. But I’ll never stop making music, because it’s my passion and no one can kill it,” said Awan.