She’s still got the groove
Popular mid-1980s singer Siti Fairuz is back with a mini album. Tahir Alhamzah tells us more
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.”