Aizat Amdan is an inspiration.
The 28-year-old singer may not have come out tops on the fifth season of reality singing series Akademi Fantasia (he was eliminated three weeks before the finals), but he has forged a respectable music career today.
Two years later at 20, Aizat was the second youngest artiste to win Best Song at the prestigious Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2009 for Pergi (Datuk Siti Nurhaliza holds the record at 17) besides picking up multiple awards at the Anugerah Planet Muzik and Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian.
The singer is equally inspiring on the personal front when he underwent a drastic physical transformation, going from 113kg to 75kg, a few years back.
“Nobody can deny the fact that he’s incredibly inspirational to the younger generation,” says Faizal Tahir during the launch of Aizat’s new single Jangan Menangis.
“He’s been an inspiration to everyone who think, ‘If I’m this big, so be it, I’m not going to do anything about it’,” Faizal comments on Aizat’s weight loss journey. Aizat is spreading a message of hope and encouragement in Jangan Menangis, co-written by himself, Faizal and Mike Chan.
Aizat and Faizal wanted to recapture the experience of their 1Moment4them expedition back in 2013, where they helped to raise funds for Syrian refugees in Jordan, through the uplifting ballad.
The singer reveals the song comes from a personal place, too, explaining: “Part of the story behind the song is about the feelings I had when I was in Jordan. But at the same time when I was writing it, I was moving out of my family home.”
Being the fifth of six siblings, Aizat shares his mum is very protective of him and it was hard for him to break the news to her. Faizal encouraged him to write the song as an alternative way to convey the message to his mum.
He moved out of his family home in Ampang last August. “The hardest thing about living alone is ironing clothes,” he says with a laugh. Perhaps the change of environment will spark new ideas for the singer-songwriter who owns a production company, Kasi Gegar Entertainment.
Aizat is dedicating the rest of the year to grooming his protege Fattah Amin as well as working on his own release.
1. You produce and craft songs for others and you’re an accomplished singer yourself. Which do you enjoy doing most?
Since I was in Form Two, I’ve harboured dreams of working in the studio as a recording engineer.
When I got out from Akademi Fantasia, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a performer, so I’ve been doing that. But at the end of the day, I just want to be behind the scenes.
At the same time, I love performing live. I love interacting with the crowd and hear them sing along to my songs. I was performing at a music festival recently and it reminded me that the best way to connect to people is to play in front of them.
2. You’re taking actor and budding singer Fattah Amin under your wings. How did this partnership begin?
My team and I had been writing a lot; we did 20 songs in four months. We’ve been trying to push out these songs to singers but no one responded except for Fattah Amin’s management.
So, we looked him up on YouTube and heard him singing (his first single) Hero Untukmu, and I thought, “OK, maybe he can sing.”
We had three practice sessions before recording the song (Wanita Terakhir). The first time he came to our studio, I asked him what he thought of the song and he said, “This song is my soul.”
And true enough, during that session, he kept practising and practising. I was playing the piano and even I was getting tired. I told him we’ve practised enough for the day but he still wanted to continue on.
That made me really want to work with him because he puts in so much effort. I’ve locked down this whole year to guide him.
3. What music goals do you hope to achieve?
The world has become a global village, it’s easy to reach anywhere. It’s a big dream but I want to collaborate with producers and songwriters overseas. It’s not impossible, you need to bring something to them that they don’t have.
I’d love to work with Ed Sheeran. I like the way he carries himself. He’s a performer and a songwriter who also writes songs for others. I’d also want to collaborate with producers Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears) and Rick Rubin (Jay Z).
4. You dropped a staggering 38kg a few years back. How do you maintain your fitness these days?
Before this, I’ve been jogging for 30 minutes a day but it came to a point where my body wasn’t reacting to that.
So, I started doing muay thai about five months ago. The first time I did it my body was shaking. I do it for two hours, three times a week.
I also continue to jog. It helps me maintain my fitness. I can eat anything I want. But there will be a time when muay thai is not going to work and I’ll have to find something else.
5. With your career established now, are you looking for love?
Right now, I’m at that phase where I just moved to a new studio and I have a lot of exciting projects coming in, I don’t have the time for lovey dovey stuff like going to the movies. I want to fully focus on my work.