Akademi Fantasia alumni Kaer (Season Two) and Amylea (Season Three) may not have won the local reality singing series all those years back but they were among the contestants that showed the most promise.
However, after the hype of the competition wound down, Kaer and Amylea slowly fell out of the radar.
“I have a few passions in life – singing, interior design, fashion and anything to do with the arts. So, after my first album, 2007’s Menjelma, I left for Jakarta and enrolled in a design school,” shares Kaer, who now owns an interior design firm and a fashion line.
The 33-year-old lived in the Indonesian capital for 11 years and returned to Malaysia for good last year.
“Music has always been on my mind,” assures Kaer, who released two more albums in 2009 and 2012. “I performed a bit, only when I had free time.”
All that is changing beginning this year with the release of Tak Pernah Hilang, a duet with Amylea, which has garnered significant attention and is among the 30 songs competing at the Muzik Muzik semi-finals.
“Now, I’ve pushed everything else aside and I’m concentrating on my music. I’m back in the industry,” Kaer announces.
As for Amylea, she has never stopped pursuing a music career but in a behind-the-scenes capacity.
“I’ve always wanted to be a producer, even when I joined AF. My idol is Alicia Keys. She’s a songwriter and producer. I want to be able to perform and produce songs for other singers. I become a better artiste when I do more than just singing.”
The 32-year-old has been writing and producing music for other artistes since 2006 and even set up a company five years ago.
She specialises in writing music for drama series and has produced 16 official soundtracks to date, amounting to some 50 songs.
She also develops new talents, recently signing girl group Pandoras to her company.
“I need to prove to my new talent that I can do it so that they know that they can too,” she talks about coming back into the spotlight with Tak Pernah Hilang.
The song is slightly different from the power ballads local listeners are used to hearing. Instead of big, dramatic choruses, it sports a breezy, easy-listening vibe.
“In the past few years, it feels like (we keep hearing the) same sort of music and melody. There isn’t as much variety as there was before,” Amylea says.
“We hope Tak Pernah Hilang creates an awareness that music doesn’t have to be just a certain way.”