Songfest '08: Exclusive Interview With Asri

Written by azhar.

Six hundred tpjcians and teachers congregated in the college auditorium on 18th April to witness our singing talents in action during this year's Songfest concert. The event which carries the theme, Memories, was proudly organized by the team from 22nd Student Council and had delivered its promise of a memorable, yet gratifying experience.

Five soloists and bands battle it out in their respective categories. Their hard work thrown in during earlier rehearsals had paid off as the event managed to live up to its expectations. At the end of the night, Syarifah Malak emerged as the champion for the solo category, while Coriel was hailed as the best band that night, beating the likes of Ready, Set, Zap and Chalk In Paris.

Malak's poster. Done by 22nd Student Council.

The night did not stop there. The winner of last year's Songfest '07, Asri, made a special appearance and took the audience by storm. His rendition of 'Bleeding Love' by Liona Lewis, followed by 'Without You'
by Mariah Carey not only filled the auditorium with a sudden burst of excitement, but also hypnotized some to sing along with him.

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The following are details of an interview by azhar of TPJCian magazine, conducted on 27/4/08 via mobile phone. Some of the questions have been edited for brevity and clarity, and extraneous material omitted.

Q) When did you started singing? Who inspired you?

A) I started mouthing when I was little, then slowly I started learning the lyrics and singing. My inspiration was watching Whitney Houston on Bodyguard. From then on, I just sang in the shower.

Q) How old were you back then?

A) Around 5 I guess.

Q) You seem to have a preference for songs by female artistes. Who is your favourite singer? And what music genre do you love most?

A) Haha. Cause my voice is naturally high! Favourite genres are R&B, soul and anything that is nice. Actually, there is no specific genre for me. Favourite singers are Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Leona Lewis and Kelly Clarkson.

Q) What was the first competition you participated? How do you feel back then?

A) Songfest! It was the first competition I joined. It was just amazing. I felt empowered, sort of. And I felt that people actually accept me and that I am not some weirdo.

Q) Were there any challenges when you were pursuing your dream as a singer in college?

A) Definitely there was, at times. Certain tutors kept saying that I shouldn't always concentrate on singing. But then again, there have been many opportunities like library night and the EU night last year.

Q) I understand that you're a councilor. How do you actually juggle council duties with your passion for singing?

A) I make sure council takes priority unless I have to perform on request. There's always a lot of other councilors around, so they help me cover some duties and I compensate later.

Q) Any funny experiences that you would love to share?

A) I guess the funny experiences are how people react when they hear me sing. They just have this shocked expression.

Q) Is there one thing you feel you could have done better as a performer?

A) Prepared better for last week! I was totally unprepared. And I missed the start of 'Without You' again.

Q) What about in terms of JC life?

A) Probably concentrate more on studies and make more friends.

Q) What are your future plans?

A) I think there's still a long way for me to go. I still need training cause I don't have any. And exposure, too. I am not satisfied.

Q) What do you think of this year's Songfest winners?

A) I think Malak is just awesome. I wouldn't have won if she joined last year. No comments about Coriel.

Q) Now that you have graduated, do you miss TPJC a lot?

A) Yes I do! I miss my tutors, especially Mr Kevin Ng, Mrs Wendy Goh and Ms Dawn Ng.

Do You Have The Same Birth Date As Asri?

He was born on 10th July 1989.


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