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Faizal Tahir: "Challenges and obstacles helped me musically."

KUALA LUMPUR: When award-winning singer and songwriter Faizal Tahir was in his teens, he remembers that his mother broke his guitar.

“Back then, she did not want me to become a singer or songwriter. She would rather I become an academician, teaching in public universities as Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM),” said Faizal in an interview at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) after his Faizal Tahir One Night Only showcase last night.

“I eventually studied communication and media studies at UiTM for four years, graduating in 2003. But I continued my love affair with music, and eventually, my mother approved of my decision to join the entertainment world. Today, she’s one of my biggest fans,” he said.

Faizal said that the challenges and obstacles he faced along his musical journey actually helped him grow in his chosen career.

“Another major challenge I faced was when I got banned by the Government in 2008 for three months from appearing on television. It was an 8TV anniversary concert and I performed without my shirt on...

“The ban was a setback for me, but I learnt an important lesson that some gimmicks from the West aren’t acceptable here. The ban also forced me to be more focused on my music and to come back with a bang.”

Faizal did return to the stage with a bang. In 2008, after the ban, he won big at the Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) taking home Best New Artiste, Best Vocal Performance in an Album (Aku.Muzik.Kamu), Best Rock Album (Aku.Muzik.Kamu), and Best Album (Aku.Muzik.Kamu).

And at the Anugerah Juara Lagu the same year, Faizal’s song Sampai Syurga won Best Ballad, Best Vocals and Best Performance.

Faizal’s concert at DFP lasted 80 minutes and featured guest performers Elizabeth Tan and Aziz Harun. The show was hosted by Alif Satar.

“It’s my very first concert in DFP, and I’ve always wanted to perform in this world class concert hall with a superb sound system. They invited me in March, and I’ve been rehearsing extensively since that month in preparation for the big day,” he said.

Faizal is currently working on a new album with 10 tracks, set for release next year. It is a collaboration with songwriters and composers Audi Mok, Mike Chan and Omar K.

“In the long run, I’d love to produce a TV programme on Malaysian entertainment scene, focusing on talents who create their own music and go global.”

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