Shai is a Fighter | Fighter, by Shai Othman

Fighter starts off powerful. A powerhouse vocalist, Shai starts off slow and steady. Fighter’s progression is beautiful. It does not start off soft – because, well, Shai already is a fighter from the beginning – but at a comfortable pace. Her syrupy voice bleeds love and power straight into one’s ears, and I’m so lucky to call this talented vocalist – my friend.

Fighter is a special song. I mentioned its progression briefly in the start, but it is one of the biggest make-it-or-break-it factors of a song, so I must elaborate. What I particularly enjoy about Fighter’s progression is that it starts off slow and of a lower-level power than what Shai – the queen, the goddess – is fully capable of. And this aids in the gradual anticipation built up towards the chorus, when Shai unleashes her magnificent voice, hitting a splendid high note that shows off how much fight she has got.

The syrupy quality of Shai’s voice is brought out in its introduction. With no deliberate pause between lines of the first verse, Shai plays up impact of each word, hiding the full magnitude of her voice until the song’s climax – until her voice scales octaves in the chorus. When it comes to the second chorus of Fighter, the backing instrumental diversifies from piano, providing listeners with the delightful experience of hearing the immense strength in Shai’s voice contrasted with beats of the drum and gentle clashing of cymbals.

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Let’s talk about her lyrics. Shai’s lyrics have a life of their own, standing up like grass, bending in the way Shai wants as she sings them in her a voice that shimmers. Don’t start something you can’t stop / I’m not gonna let them tell me what to do / how to dress / how to look / You are not gonna make me fall – these were my favourite lyrics from Fighter, for they make dents on the narrative that victims need to comply with what had hurt them in the first place, in order to move on. The motif of being stronger and having a braver outlook is highlighted with pre-chorus. “Don’t start something you can’t stop”, and for that, the song truly encapsulates what it means to be a Fighter.

Listen to Fighter here.