It is by sheer determination that Fazura is able to finish recording all the songs on her self-titled debut album within an allocated time.

“The whole recording process took me about five months to complete. I have to do it in between appearances, shoots and other commitments. When I’m done with work for the day, at night I head to the studio to record my album,” she said during an interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

In just one year, the 34-year-old actress has released a number of projects including one box office movie J Revolusi, Indonesian comedy film Rafathar and won hearts as Nura Medina in the popular TV series Hero Seorang Cinderella.

In September, Fazura also managed to squeeze in time to attend the New York Fashion Week where she exchanged pleasantries with pop star Selena Gomez. After that, she travelled to Europe to shoot scenes for upcoming Indonesian film Ayat-Ayat Cinta 2.

For this interview, Fazura has just returned home from Iran, where she is shooting a new telemovie with director Bernard Chauly. She joked that she hasn’t slept at all. Though she may be tired with so many engagements, all is forgotten the moment she hits the recording studio.

What fuels Fazura in the studio?

“I just need my coffee. That’s it. I bet people out there are thinking no wonder I can’t sing. It’s because I drink coffee during recording,” she said, poking fun at herself.

Since releasing her first single Sayangi Dirimu in 2014, Fazura is fully aware of criticisms that she has received for her singing abilities. Nasty videos that have gone viral and negative comments are not going to put a dent on her singing dreams.

“I’m aware that I have fans who look up to me as a role model. So, if I just give up, then I feel that my fans would also give up on the things they want to do in life.”

She added: “I love to sing. I won’t give up just because of some criticisms. I can take all that negativity and use it to improve myself instead.”

Her self-titled album released on Nov 2 has eight songs including previously-released singles like Bisa Apa, Bangun and Cinderella (a duet with Hero Seorang Cinderella co-star Fattah Amin). She wanted the album to convey feelings of heartbreak, hopelessness, love and positivity at the same time.

“Yes, these feelings are conveyed through the album. That’s why we just decided to name it Fazura because the songs are like my life stories. It’s important that others can relate to these songs as well,” she explained.

She said that recording the track Hanya Tuhan Yang Tahu (English version: Only God Knows) was an emotional experience: “I think this song is haunting. A lot of people can relate to this feeling where you have probably loved someone so much but due to some challenges, can no longer be with that person. We’ve all experienced heartbreak. It’s just a feeling that most people will remember for a long time.”

Is a new album on the way?

Fazura described the release of her debut album as a dream come true. She doesn’t know how people would respond to her latest efforts but plans for a second album is already underway. Indonesian singer and Dewa 19 vocalist Once Mekel is listed as a future collaboration.

No matter what anyone says, Fazura is not going to stop singing as there is a sense of satisfaction for her: “When you’re acting, you’re becoming somebody else. The satisfaction comes from telling the character’s story and experiences.

“It’s a different kind of satisfaction I get when I sing. I’m singing a song from the heart and the story I’m telling comes from a difference place. It could be my own story or somebody else.”