Priscilla Abby: From YouTube to singing in front of thousands

Millions of people have seen her YouTube videos, but tomorrow (March 9), young Malaysian singer Priscilla Abby will be performing in front of her biggest audience yet – a massive crowd of 20,000 who will be at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil for the world premiere of the highly-anticipated Lee Chong Wei: Rise Of The Legend biopic.

Priscilla will be performing the movie’s theme song, Cahaya Juara (Chu Guang in Mandarin, or The Light Of The Champion), live on stage at the event alongside actress-singer Nabila Razali.

“I was just so excited when I heard the news! I’m not really nervous, to be honest. I’m the sort who will only get nervous when I’m closer to the stage!” the 21-year-old said, laughing, during a recent phone interview.

Priscilla, whose Chinese name is Cai Enyu, said that the offer to sing Cahaya Juara came as a surprise to her. “When my manager told me that they wanted me to sing the theme song, I was really surprised. I was quite nervous at first because it is such a big film, and I wasn’t sure if I could live up to their expectations,” she recalled.

According to her, the song itself is quite an uplifting and hopeful number.

“The lyrics and the message is very moving and powerful. The movie’s most important theme is to never let go of your dream, and the song reflects that very well,” she said. “The first time I heard the song, I felt a rush of blood to my head, and a wave of inspiration. It’s the kind of feeling you get when you’re chasing your dreams.”

It’s a theme that also resonates with the young singer from Kuching, as she recently took her first step towards her dream of becoming a successful musician.

Priscilla’s musical journey began at a singing competition in 2014, in which she gained praises from judges Kwok Lun Wong, Martin Tang and Kenn C, all of whom are renowned music producers who have worked with the likes of A-Mei, Sammi Cheng and Jolin Tsai.

She has since garnered a massive Internet following, thanks to her popular YouTube videos covering songs such as Namewee and Wang Leehom’s Piao Xiang Bei Fang (Floating To The North). The video has more than seven million views so far.

Priscilla Abby sings Cahaya Juara with Nabila Razali. Photo: The Star/Ahmad Zamir

Priscilla Abby sings Cahaya Juara with Nabila Razali. Photo: The Star/Ahmad Zamir

Her popularity is not limited to covers alone; original song I Love The Sky has more than three million views, and Burn has more than two million views.

After signing a contract with digital entertainment company WebTVAsia in July 2017, Priscilla released her debut EP Burn last December, and performed a mini-concert at KL Live the same month.

Priscilla, who recorded Cahaya Juara in January in Thailand, reckons the producers wanted a Malaysian singer to sing the theme song.

“I think the producers chose me because I am someone who is chasing her dream, and my song, I Love The Sky, is also about that,” she said, adding that Nabila and her sing in both Malay and Mandarin in the song.

Lee Chong Wei: Rise Of The Legend world premiere this Friday will be shown on a specially-built giant 40m x 17m LED screen inside the stadium. The event is set to enter the Malaysia Book of Records and Asia Book of Records as the largest movie screening ever. The version shown at the stadium will also be an extended version that will not be shown in cinemas.

Priscilla is already getting herself psyched up for the movie. “I was already so moved by the trailer … I think anyone who has ever chased their dreams should go watch it. “So, yeah, I really want to watch it … and I think I will cry a lot, so I’ll be bringing a lot of tissues!” she said with a laugh.

Lee Chong Wei: Rise Of The Legend opens on March 15 at Golden Screen Cinemas nationwide. Follow GSC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.