#Showbiz: Awi Rafael's take on nasyid tune

SINGER Awi Rafael was up for the challenge when he chose to reinterpret the classic spiritual tune, 'Hanya Tuhan Yang Tahu' (or Only God Knows), as his latest single.

The 37-year-old artiste, whose full name is Muhammad Nabawi Erwan Gunawan Rafael, said he was comfortable performing the track by local nasyid group, UNIC.

He added that he put his own spin on the song, taken from the group's debut album, 'You And I See', which was released in 2002.

"The new track is completely my own version of the song. I'm very comfortable with performing this tune since it's very unique.

"It was a popular nasyid ditty during its time. I took this as a new challenge as it's not easy to recreate with a more modern musical arrangement that includes pop rock and new singing techniques," he said of the track, which took two weeks to complete.

The project to create a new version of the meaningful song was spearheaded by Alternate Records and TV3.

It also serves as part of the soundtrack for the upcoming drama series, 'Cinta Bersemi Di Wadi Safiyyah', which is scheduled to be screened on TV3 soon.

Aside from producing and arranging 'Hanya Tuhan Yang Tahu', Awie also played the piano, acoustic guitars and drums on it.

The singer, who was the third-place winner of the 28th edition of 'Anugerah Juara Lagu' added that he was thankful for the opportunity and support to do something like this.

"I am very grateful to have received advice from the label and drama production since it made it very easy for me to achieve the final result for this new version of the song.

"My hope is that fans in Malaysia will continue to support my work, from this song to my other new songs next year.

"I am also determined to continue working creatively to ensure that the younger generation will be more familiar with evergreen tunes such as this particular one," said the Singapore-born artiste who is also lead vocalist for the pop rock band, Bhumiband.

Known for songs like 'Pulanglah' and 'Bila Aku Jatuh Cinta', Awi has been active as an artiste in Malaysia since 2011, when he released his eponymously titled debut studio album.

He is also the first solo artiste from Asia to record a song at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, which is a renowned music studio.

Fans of TV3's drama series can look forward to watching 'Cinta Bersemi Di Wadi Safiyyah' soon.

The series, revolving around love and family, follows a forbidden relationship between a couple that creates tension and tests the strength of their love and conviction for one another.

Produced by Zeel Production Sdn Bhd and directed by Shuhaimi Zulkefli, the new series stars Aniq Suhair and Rita Nadira as the lead characters.

'Hanya Tuhan Yang Tahu' is currently available for download from iTunes or on other streaming applications, such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Tidal and Deezer.

For more information on Alternate Records & Talents and its various projects, visit its official YouTube channel or Instagram account.

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