Taufik turns down M’sian role to spend Ramadan with wife
Local singer Taufik Batisah has established himself as one of the region's most successful singing talents, earning himself legions of fans in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Soon, the popular #awakkatmane hit-maker will be recognised for his acting chops across the Causeway as well.
He recently wrapped up filming in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and Pekan, in Pahang, for his big-screen debut, and has since received plenty of lead role offers for telemovies and films.
But the 33-year-old, who returns as a judge with Ken Lim on the second season of Channel 5 reality singing competition The Final 1, declined a role last month to be home with his wife Sheena Akbal, 31.
After returning from Pahang on June 17, he was required to leave the following day for Kuala Lumpur and then the Indonesian island of Sumatra to film a telemovie.
It was the first day of Ramadan, the fasting month, and he had promised to be home with his wife.
"Filming would take place during the fasting month and besides, my wife misses me. It would be unfair to her if I took off again for a week. I had already promised her I would be home on the first day of Ramadan and be with her and our families," Taufik told The New Paper yesterday.
He landed his first role as Dr Khairul in local telemovie Demi Adriana, which was aired earlier this year.
He then took on a leading role as Dr Dani in Malaysian film Dukun Doktor Dani, which also stars Malaysian actress Fasha Sandha, after director Sabri Yunus spotted him at Malaysian comedy competition Maharajalawak Mega 2014, where he was a judge.
While singing is almost second nature to him, acting does not come as easily.
"Singing is so much easier and quicker. With acting, the call time can be from 6am to midnight. So I have a lot of respect for actors and their dedication," he said.
Now that he is back home, he will be busy with The Final 1, which airs on Sundays at 9.30pm.
Taufik and Hype Records boss Lim, 51, will be joined by a new female judge - whose identity remains a secret until the third episode on July 19 - who replaces local singer Kit Chan from 2013's first season.
That season saw winner Farisha Ishak bagging a $50,000 recording contract with Hype Records and a $50,000 cash prize.
This season, there will be no public voting until the judges have determined the final two contestants.
CHANCE TO SHINE
On the talent he has seen so far, Taufik said: "We're a lot pickier about who we put through and that's why we decided against the voting portion. We want to give the good ones a chance to shine."
While juggling judging duties, Taufik and his wife are also preparing for the upcoming Hari Raya festivities - their first as a married couple.
When it comes to goodies and outfits, he gives her full reign over decisions.
"Ladies are usually more well-versed in things like these, so I will chime in whenever I'm needed.
"Anything goes - as long as there are chocolate cookies, I'm good," he said.
Since tying the knot in early April, Ms Sheena has also had to get used to being in the public eye. She gets recognised on the streets, with strangers coming up to talk to her.
"Once, she went to Starbucks and the barista took a photo with her before giving her free coffee. Even I don't get free coffee," he said with a laugh.