Reality TV singer Fathin Amira Zubir overcomes health woes to crack the semi-finals of Asia's Got Talent
Seasoned singing competition participant Fathin Amira Zubir aims to make her mark in new contest
As a former contestant on Channel 5's Singapore Idol 3 (2009) and The Final 1 (2013) as well as Suria's SG Mania (2014), you could consider Fathin Amira Zubir a seasoned reality TV singing competition participant.
She made it to the top nine, top 40 and top four spots respectively before she was ousted from the contests via public voting.
And it looks like she isn't going to stop until she reaches the top.
Her unwavering efforts to make a mark in the music industry are paying off on regional talent contest Asia's Got Talent, in which she has secured a place in the semi-finals alongside 23 other contestants.
Her placement in the semi-finals and second performance will be revealed in tomorrow's episode.
Asia's Got Talent airs every Thursday at 8.05pm on AXN (StarHub Ch 511).
Viewers will then get to vote for their favourite semi-finalist via SMS, Facebook and the Asia's Got Talent mobile app, after which nine of the most popular acts will advance to the Grand Finals on May 7.
Fathin, who is the daughter of veteran traditional Malay music composer Zubir Abdullah, wowed all four judges on the episode that aired on March 26 with her rendition of Mamma Knows Best by British singer Jessie J.
Taiwanese-American actor-singer Van Ness Wu, Indonesian singer Anggun, former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm and Canadian music producer David Foster gave the 23-year-old four yeses.
Their comments, with Anggun praising her voice and Chisholm calling her "a joy to watch and listen to", were met with disbelief by a stunned Fathin.
"I'm just this small Singaporean girl on such a big stage. I felt like I belonged and it gave me the recognition that I've been working so hard to get," she told M last week.
For the aspiring musician, she is hopeful that her time on Asia's Got Talent will lead to her big break.
"Even if I don't make it to the finals, I have made it this far and I consider it one of my biggest achievements to date. I feel that this is going to be a life-changing experience for me," said Fathin, who was nominated last year in the Best Song (Singapore) category in regional Malay music awards ceremony Anugerah Planet Muzik for her song Sebenarnya.
For Fathin, her interest in music is more than just a burning passion - it is her "cure".
Known for her R&B singing style and impressive vocal range, she was born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot and underwent a high-risk open heart surgery at the age of two.
According to her, she experiences heart palpitations, dizziness and difficulty in breathing if she gets too excited or is overworked - something that she battled during the semi-finals.
It is the reason that her 45-year-old housewife-mother Madam Masayu Johari accompanies her everywhere she goes to keep an eye on her.
At the age of 16, doctors found that Fathin has two uteruses and only one kidney. She has since undergone two surgeries to remove cysts on her uterus.
She is now on regular hormone medication and goes for regular check-ups for her various conditions.
Despite her positive outlook, Fathin worries about her health. Doctors are already warning her of an impending risky surgery to treat a leakage in her heart.
"Sometimes, I dread going to the hospital because it scares me. I feel sad at times because I don't feel normal like others. But my passion for singing and this competition makes me a stronger person and keeps me going. Sometimes I think I don't need medication, I need music," said Fathin.
"I've never given up on my passion and will do whatever it takes to get there. My dad has always told me to be patient, disciplined and carry on trying if I am serious about becoming a singer."
For now, her focus is on making it far in Asia's Got Talent.
"I think I have a chance to make it to the finals. Even if I don't win, it's okay. What is important is that I give a winning performance that everybody will remember... that is enough for me," said Fathin.