She’s still got the groove

Pop­u­lar mid-1980s singer Siti Fairuz is back with a mini al­bum. Tahir Al­hamzah tells us more

New Straits Times - - Groove - Tahi­ral­hamzah@nst.com.my

GET­TING mar­ried in 1990 put a dam­per on the mu­sic ca­reer of Siti Fairuz Sheikh Mo­hamed, who was get­ting pop­u­lar af­ter ap­pear­ing on the scene in 1985. But she made an im­pact on lis­ten­ers dur­ing those mel­liflu­ous years.

Un­der the guid­ance of renowned com­poser Datuk Dr Ah­mad Nawab, she rose to promi­nence with hit num­bers (also com­posed by Nawab) Usah Ber­tanya Lagi and Bila Rindu Kuse­but Na­mamu. Both songs were in the fi­nals of TV3’s Anugerah Juara Lagu in 1986 and 1988 re­spec­tively.

Siti Fairuz was once nom­i­nated for the Most Pop­u­lar Fe­male Singer award at the Anugerah Bin­tang Pop­u­lar Berita Har­ian. Fast forward 28 years later, the singer with a melo­di­ous voice has a mini al­bum ti­tled Rindu, which con­sists two songs — Men­gapa Tak Se­tia and Ti­ada Penghu­jung Si­nar — with an Ara­bic flavour.

While Men­gapa Tak Se­tia was com­posed by Mat Din, with lyrics penned by the late Mama Juwie, the other num­ber was com­posed

I pre­fer to sing my songs in their orig­i­nal ver­sions.

Siti Fairuz Sheikh Mo­hamed

by Hang Mokhtar. The al­bum was launched late last year.

ONE MORE TIME

“I’m back. In fact, I’ve been singing since 2008 and I’m glad to come up with these two tracks,” says the singer, who never thought that she would pick up singing again.

Her di­vorce from Muham­mad Zain­ud­din may have played a part in her de­ci­sion to pick up where she left off.

“I was a full-time housewife and when my mar­riage ended, I thought maybe I could build a ca­reer for my­self by singing again,” says the sin­gle mother of five, be­fore adding, “this is not a large-scale come­back though, more like a vet­eran singer who just wants to keep fans en­ter­tained.”

Siti Fairuz ex­plains that it was a chal­lenge to find her footing again. “What can you ex­pect when you stopped singing for more than two decades? Thank­fully singing is in­nate and I know that this was the right de­ci­sion,” shares the 53-year-old singer.

Nev­er­the­less, Siti Fairuz took al­most two years to get her groove back and find her old singing per­sona. “When I started singing again, I didn’t feel like an en­ter­tainer but more like singing in a karaoke ses­sion. I had to pol­ish my singing skills. For­tu­nately, af­ter a cou­ple of years, it has all come back to me.”

STILL GOT IT

Siti Fairuz says that she has been per­form­ing at events and stage shows, with most or­gan­is­ers re­quest­ing her hit tunes.

“While I may have stopped singing, some ra­dio sta­tions have been play­ing those two songs. That, in a way, res­onates with my fans and younger lis­ten­ers may be fa­mil­iar with the tunes. I was sur­prised to know that peo­ple — es­pe­cially the younger lis­ten­ers — ac­tu­ally recog­nised those songs,” she shares.

Will she give her old hits a new twist when she per­forms them on stage? “There may be oth­ers who take this ap­proach (of giv­ing new ar­range­ments and em­bel­lish­ments to old songs) to keep up with the times, but I pre­fer to sing my songs in their orig­i­nal ver­sions.

“That was how I was taught by Datuk Ah­mad Nawab. He’d never al­low me to ad lib a song. I re­spect his stand on this,” re­lates Siti Fairuz.

She also prefers to stick to the orig­i­nal as fans pre­fer to lis­ten to the songs as they were sung then.”

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