Local singer Sufie Rashid has gone from a mere participant at singing competitions to one knocking on the doors of fame.
The 23-year-old has earned four nominations for this year's Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) in the following categories: Best New Artist (Male), Best Song (Singapore), Most Popular Artist (Singapore) and Most Popular Song (Singapore).
This places him among the ranks of accomplished artists like Singapore Idol Taufik Batisah, popular hip-hop duo SleeQ and siblings Aliff and Aisyah Aziz, who have each earned four nominations as well.
But Sufie admitted that rocketing to fame comes with a price.
"There are distractions and attention from girls that can make me lose focus," he told The New Paper on Tuesday.
"They will contact me on social media, constantly send me messages and photos, and get really angry if I don't reply. Once, a girl sent me messages that said just 'hi' for 30 days straight.
"The attention can get a bit overwhelming, but I just stay focused on my music.
"That said, I try to communicate with my fans when I have the chance because they are the reason I am where I am."
The singer is not new to APM. Last year, he was nominated in the Social Media Nova category for the annual awards show that recognises regional talent in the Malay music industry.
This year's APM will take place on Oct 17 at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre and will be telecast live at 9pm on Suria, Ria 89.7FM and Warna 94.2FM.
Sufie, who rose to fame with the success of his single Tiada Pengganti, will be performing at the awards ceremony.
His music career has been rising rapidly since the release of Tiada Pengganti in February this year.
Since then, his schedule has been packed with performances, including over 15 Hari Raya shows in August and a performance at annual variety show Rapsodi in Brunei scheduled for November.
He has also received an offer to sign with a label in Indonesia.
But Sufie, a customer service officer with a local bank, plans to take things slow.
The artist, who plans to release his next single after APM and has an album in the works, said: "I think I've made a huge leap so far but I've always been a safe person. Music is my passion but I always need to have a backup just in case my music career doesn't take off."
Music still a priority for busy duo
For local hip-hop duo SleeQ, this has been a busy year.
On top of juggling promotional duties, Ahmad Syarifullah (better known as Syarif) has been acting both here and in Kuala Lumpur, while Alif Abdullah (Alyph) has been busy with his business, the Neighbourhood Barber Shop.
The cousins, aged 25, are also getting married this year.
Alyph said: "It has been quite surreal. Hopefully we'll slowly ease into the changes. But we're ready and I hope these changes will bring even more good things in future."
Music still remains a priority for the pair who have been shuttling between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as they juggle their increasing workload and marriage preparations with their partners.
"If we're not making music, I don't know what else we would be doing," Alyph said.
The increasing commitments might seem daunting, but they are set on taking things as they come.
"As much as we'd like to plan for five, 10 years from now, it's unrealistic," Alyph added.
SleeQ, which released the singles Tepi Sikit, featuring Malaysian hip-hop artist Joe Flizzow, and Tuck You In this year, chalked up four nominations for this year's Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) - Most Popular Artist (Singapore), Most Popular APM Artist, Most Popular APM Song and Social Media Icon.
The duo have scooped the awards for Most Popular Artist (Singapore) and Most Popular Song (Singapore) at the awards in the past. Said Alyph: "We've always believed in consistency and if the nominations display that, then we are very happy and forever thankful for the support."
Syarif added: "It's easy to rise but even easier to fall, so sustaining it over the years is key and something we work hard for."
Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014
Oct 17, 8.30pm
Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition
Centre Exhibition Hall 601-604
$28, $48, $66 and $88 from Sistic at www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555
This article was published on Sept 5 in The New Paper.
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