Thursday, June 3, 2010

Keeping it Real

With a starring role in Kita the Musical, Sarawak-born singer Hafiz graduates from reality TV show winner to serious contemporary artist, discovers Ezilea Omar
Posted Monday, 31/05/2010 at 8:15 AM

VKL: You made a name for yourself after winning local reality show Akademi Fantasia. What made you want to audition in the first place?
Hafiz: I have a passion for singing and wanted to be able to express myself commercially through song. I wanted my voice to be heard and hopefully inspire others – especially those who want to start a career in the music industry.

VKL: Do you think being on Akademi Fantasia helped prepare you to be an artist?
Hafiz: Yes, of course. There were many things that I studied when I was in AF but I think what drove me, and all of us, was that time was gold. We had just a little under a week to prepare for the show’s concerts – with choreography, sometimes a little bit of acting, and new songs to learn and memorise. It was a lot of pressure, but a fantastic training ground.

VKL: What should fans expect from your performance in Kita The Musical?
Hafiz: I want them to be able to see beyond the ‘Hafiz’ from Akademi Fantasia. I also hope that my fans will see me as a versatile artist... and not just a guy who can sing.

VKL: Why else should people watch Kita?
Hafiz: To support our arts. We have a lot of promising artists, and it would be a waste to have their talents unacknowledged. Also, the show has a good message.

VKL: That would be the 1Malaysia theme, why do you think this is important?
Hafiz: We are exposed to the 1Malaysia programme via TV and newspaper everyday, but I think [the message is] more engaging through a musical. By creating awareness, we may be able to reach another segment of the community.

VKL: What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
Hafiz: I love the adrenaline of being on stage, with the crowd in front of you... My favourite performance was my final AF concert, when I performed R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly. It will remain with me forever.

VKL: How does AF compare to American Idol?
Hafiz: AF and AI are two rather different shows. In AF, Malaysian viewers become more attached to the participants as their progress is shown on a daily basis... whereas in AI, you don’t really connect with the participants because you only see them on concert night.

VKL: Do you like Kris Allen or Adam Lambert?
Hafiz: Both artists are gifted and are so different from each other, but I think Kris Allen’s genre is more like mine. Mainstream pop rock that appeals to everybody, regardless of age, gender or background.


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