Rojak may be Faizal Tahir’s last album, but it’s not his parting gift to fans

WHEN award-winning singer-songwriter Faizal Tahir announced on Instagram last month that he was releasing his final album, many were taken by surprise, thinking that he was calling it quits.

The announcement not only shocked local music fans, but also fellow artistes who flooded his social media account seeking an explanation.

“I never said I was calling it a day as a singer or musician. And this is not a gimmick either,” says Faizal, 40, at the launch of the album Rojak. He says many jumped the gun and came to the wrong conclusion when he made the announcement in a short video shared on his Instagram.

“I said ‘last album ever’. Not that I’m quitting singing, nor am I calling it a day as far as music is concerned. My passion in music has never wavered, so how am I going to stop singing?”

What Faizal actually meant when he made the video was that Rojak, his fifth album, will be the last album he would release, either physically or digitally. The decision is not due to his disappointment or disillusionment about the local music scene. He has his reasons for doing so.

“While many dare not say it out loud, producing a full album is not profitable these days. Instead of resisting, I’ve decided to follow the trend in marketing today’s music, which is digitally-driven.” Faizal says instead of coming out with a compilation of songs for an album, the current trend sees singers releasing one single after another. He adds that as the title Rojak suggests, all nine tracks are quite different from each other.

“And just like the dish which we love so much, this album contains various music genres which I hope will appeal to the myriad tastes of local music fans,” he explains.

Among the tracks are those he had released earlier such as Ragaman, Bisa Aja, Starfeather and Ratu. Meanwhile, the newer tunes are Kamu, Until We Meet Again, and the original soundtrack for the BoBoiBoy Movie 2, Fire & Water.

Faizal admits that singing and making music have always been an integral part in his life, therefore the idea of his throwing in the towel is a little far-fetched. Faizal, who gained popularity after taking part in the reality show One In A Million in 2006, went on to enthral fans with four studio albums — Aku.Muzik.Kamu in 2007, Adrenalin (2010), Faizal Tahir (2013) and Anatomi (2016).

However, he says that after the release of Rojak, he is slowing down his involvement in music to focus on his other love — charity work with his I Am Faithmen project, and of course his family.

“Yes, family is also one of the reasons why I decided to slow down,” says the father of six. “As I’m also busy with the charity projects, something has to give. And as I’m not willing to sacrifice my time with family, it has to be something else. And that’s music.”

Faizal is hopeful that people will not think that slowing down means calling it a day.

“My ability to create music is God’s gift and I cannot just put it aside.” He is still composing and producing songs for artistes under his Faithful Music umbrella. But he also plans to be more selective about future singing engagements.