When The New Paper spoke to singer-actor Aliff Aziz last year, his image had taken a huge beating.
The Kuala Lumpur-based Singaporean star was slammed in the media as a "bad boy", reportedly notorious for his lack of discipline at work and "player" ways.
This year, he is adamant that he has "grown up" - and he has his younger sister Aisyah to thank in part for that.
Now that she has joined him in Malaysia in a bid to make waves there, he feels the pressure to clean up his act.
"I'm proud of her, of course. But it becomes my responsibility as her elder brother to take care of her and it's a wake-up call to set a good example. If I mess things up again, how am I deemed as fit to advise her in any way?" the 23-year-old told TNP over the phone from Kuala Lumpur last week.
Having been in the Malaysian entertainment industry for nearly seven years, he said he is aware of the risks and dangers.
"I advised her to stay grounded, improve herself, know the people she mixes with well and not entertain any indecent proposals," said Aliff.
Asked if there's sibling rivalry, Aliff said only "healthy competition" exists.
"We constantly guide and challenge each other," he said.
Aliff is starring as chef bachelor Syed Azmi in Astro drama Jodoh 2, opposite Malaysian host Hanis Zalikha. He is also busy with his upcoming fourth album, which includes a song about a personal heartbreak.
Aliff said the track, titled Hari Ini, is based on a true story about a man who fell in love with a woman and had plans to marry, but she ended up tying the knot with another man.
While he did not refer to a past romantic interest, it was widely reported that Aliff and Malaysian actress Nasriah Ngasri were to wed in 2012, until she chose Umno Youth executive secretary Mohd Sumali Reduan over him.
Despite that, Aliff insisted that he does not relate to the past any more and is a changed man.
His new album will reflect this and will have "a more streamlined focus and mature feel," he said.
"My previous albums were a mix of everything like ballads as well as pop and R&B songs."
His past records include Aliff (2007), It's Aliff's Time (2009) and Aliff Aziz (2012).
When asked if the shift is a reflection of his personal life, Aliff said: "Definitely. I feel like I'm more mature now and my main focus is my family and of course, my career."
This article was published on April 7 in The New Paper.
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