He would have turned 37 on May 31.
But Audionauts bassist Mohamed Zakie Mohamad never saw the day. He passed away on Friday in his sleep from cerebrovascular accident, which results from an interruption in the blood flow to a part of the brain.
The member of the popular local Malay rock quintet leaves behind a wife and a pair of twins.
When contacted, Audionauts' frontman and songwriter Mohamed Rizal Mohamed Noor was calm.
"We were in the studio, mixing and mastering the new single when (band guitarist) Malon got a message from Zakie's wife about his passing between 1 and 2am. We couldn't believe it, we thought it was a prank. We were so taken aback," said the 35-year-old, better known as Ryzal.
"Nothing seemed amiss. He had returned from work the previous evening, played with his children and joked with his wife as per normal. It was only when he slept that his wife noticed he wasn't snoring like he usually does. When she touched him, he was already cold," he said.
Zakie was buried on May 30.
Despite the loss, Ryzal is determined to keep Audionauts going. The band, also comprising drummer Hishamuddin Abdul Rahman, guitarist Mazron Nizam Ayub and keyboardist Demi Heng, have plans to release new songs. They also have appearances on the cards.
"I feel sad that he never got the chance to perform at (regional Malay music awards ceremony) Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) before he left. He always said he wanted to. We hope we get to (perform) at the next APM in memory of him," said Ryzal, whose band won the Most Popular Singapore Artist award at last year's show.
"We just have to keep moving now. Zakie would have wanted that for us," he said.
This article was first published on May 30, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.