Sufi singing a triumphant tune with AF2015 win
By Jude Toyat
“Being named the champion is just overwhelming,” said an elated Mohammad Sufie Rashid (Sufi) after the 24-year-old had just won the 12th edition of ‘Akademi Fantasia 2015’ (AF2015) on Oct 11, becoming the first non-Malaysian to win the coveted title plus a grand prize of RM50,000.
The full-time indie singer from Singapore performed Mojo’s ‘Andai Ku Bercinta Lagi’ and his new self-composed single ‘Kisah Dua Muka’ for the grand finale held at the Shah Alam Council Auditorium which saw him competing against Syameel Aqmal Mohd Fodzly (Syamel), Nurnajmi Nabila Samsaidi (Bila) and Muhammad Shahrul Amin Kamarozaman (Shahrul).
It was a clear victory for Sufi as he won the grand final tally with 41.3% of votes cast online and via sms, followed by Syamel (21.3%), Bila (19.4 %) and Shahrul (18%).
“I performed my best in this competition and I do think I deserve to win,” he said, adding that the competition had enabled him to be a better singer and performer. “I am very happy and grateful to be given this opportunity to represent Singapore in Akademi Fantasia.”
Sufi, who has competed in other singing competitions in Singapore said that he had chosen Akademi Fantasia as it was the best platform for him to expand in the entertainment industry.
“I am a big fan of the show and looking back at what Akademi Fantasia produced over the years, I am sure that I will do good in the entertainment industry, specifically in music,” he said, crediting the talent show for successfully producing great performers and singers including Hafiz, Stacy, and Aisyah Aziz, another fellow Singaporean.
“I promise to always give my best in the music industry for all those who have been supporting me throughout this competition, both Malaysians and Singaporeans,” he said.
As first runner-up, Syamel from Kuala Lumpur won RM30,000. He performed Hazama’s ‘Sampai Mati’ and his new self-composed single ‘Hidup Dalam Mati’ at the grand final.
Meanwhile, Bila, the daughter of Wings bassist Eddie took home RM20, 000 as second runner-up. The only female finalist, she performed Faizal Tahir’s ‘Karma’ and her new single entitled ‘Diam Saja’ composed by AF2015 principal Edry Abdul Halim.
Shahrul, 19, from Negeri Sembilan placed fourth and won RM10,000. Shahrul performed Bruno Mars’ ‘Just the Way You Are’ and his new single composed by Aiman and lyrics written by Zul 2By2 entitled ‘Hanya Kamu’ at the grand final.
All finalists received a trophy courtesy of Astro and travel package to Dubai sponsored by HNH Tours Sdn Bhd.
Before they announced the winners, the audience was entertained by renowned singers and bands including Sada Borneo and Bunkface who sang ‘Darah Muda’ accompanied by an orchestra.
Caliph Buskers also performed ‘Hanya Namamu’, while Dato’ Sheila Majid sang ‘Sinaran Cinta’ and ‘Pengemis Muda’.
Lawa Nie Gang then appeared on stage with their song entitled ‘Nampak Lawa’ that also featured Erni Dekritawati Yuliana Buhari of Nouvelles Visages.
The four finalists also performed a rendition of Charlie Puth’s ‘See You Again’ before they ended the night with a dance performance of AF’s theme song ‘Menuju Puncak’ which also saw several former students of Akademi Fantasia and teachers appear on stage singing along together.
The two-hour concert was broadcast live on Astro Ria (channel 104) and Ria HD (channel 123) as well as several cinemas throughout the country from 9pm onwards.
The grand finale was hosted by Zizan Razak and Faizal Ismail also saw AF2015 management team donate RM150, 000 to Tabung Bantuan Kemanusiaan MERCY Malaysia during the concert.