Impromptu duet with idol Sufi inspires fan to join competition
It was the duet that reignited the cooling embers of his singing dream.
That special moment happened when Mr Taufiq Karim was pulled on stage to perform a song with his idol Sufi on Saturday.
He was at Sufi's meet-and-greet event with 50 fans at restaurant Citrus By The Pool at Woodlands Swimming Complex.
It was Sufi's (real name Sufie Rashid) first ticketed fan meeting here since becoming the first Singaporean to win Akademi Fantasia (AF), the popular Malaysian reality TV singing competition, in October.
Mr Taufiq, 20, and Sufi, 24, sang Potret by Malaysian rock group Akim & The Majistret.
It took convincing from Sufi and his friends to get the Institute of Technical Education College West student to perform.
But when he did, he showed he could carry a tune, even though he has no formal training.
"I was quite nervous, I really wanted to just drop the microphone and return to my seat," Mr Taufiq told The New Paper.
"But when I hit that high note and when Sufi joined in, the feeling was so good, I forgot all my nerves."
Mr Taufiq auditioned for this year's edition of AF at Johor Baru Waterfront in May, but was eliminated in the second round.
"I was disappointed and discouraged, but after tonight, I really want to try again in next year's edition," he said.
Sufi with fans. TNP PHOTO: JEREMY LONG
Speaking to TNP after the fan meeting, Sufi praised his impromptu duet partner.
"He can sing!" he exclaimed.
"He needs to be a bit less nervous on stage and he needs to work on his vocals, but he can sing," he said.
Now based in Kuala Lumpur, the rising star has signed a three-year contract with Malaysian broadcaster Astro and has high hopes for 2016.
"I'm going to work hard to be more successful in the Malaysian entertainment scene," Sufi said, adding that he had told Astro that he was game for any opportunity.
SKY'S THE LIMIT
"Be it singing, acting or hosting, I won't limit myself," he said.
"Even if it's to just (be an) extra in a scene with Aaron Aziz or something, I am willing. I have to start somewhere!"
Sufi also said that he hopes to record a song with Malaysian singer Ning Baizura next year.
"It's still early days on that," he said.
More concrete are his plans for his first album, which he intends to release in the middle of next year.
If the response for it is anything like that for his new single Kisah Dua Muka, he will be a happy man.
The music video was released on YouTube only in October, but it already has over a million views and is being played on radio in Malaysia and Singapore.
"I'm so happy the song was well-received," he said. "Now, I have to work hard for my upcoming album."
For Mr Taufiq, though it was only one song, the duet left a lasting impression on him.
"I'm going to have to practise to improve my vocals," he said.
"I definitely want to try out for Akademi Fantasia 2016."
"I was disappointed and discouraged, but after tonight, I really want to try again in next year's edition."
- Mr Taufiq on how the duet has inspired him to participate in singing competition Akademi Fantasia again.