More than six years after taking a break from music, Singaporean singer Hady Mirza is making his comeback on reality singing series Gegar Vaganza. The 39-year-old came into prominence when he won Singapore Idol in 2006, then Asian Idol a year later. After two albums, he went on hiatus starting in 2012.
“I decided to stop because I didn’t know where my career was going,” he says. “There were other personal reasons too. I thought that if I wasn’t comfortable doing it, I might as well not do it – because when you do something, you have to put your heart and soul into it.”
Hady says he didn’t take on any jobs in the music industry during his time away, focusing on growing his other businesses instead.
“Some were good, some failed,” he says of his ventures. “It’s a valuable learning experience for me. There were a lot of people who tried to get me to join their companies, but unfortunately the companies went down after a few months.
“So I started my own business, a small F&B with my wife. We set up a simple pop-up shop at various events, selling food stuff from snacks to curries.”
This year, Hady started taking small steps back into the pop scene. “When I was around 20, even before Singapore Idol, I was part of a band and I remember I was so happy then. We would sing all kinds of songs, all kinds of genres. So this year I got back on stage with them, to feel happy like I used to last time. That’s all I was interested in.”
Hady adds his musical style hasn’t changed at all: He’s still a R&B/soul artiste. Then, when he got the call to audition for the 6th season of Gegar Vaganza – a competition featuring seasoned singers who have stepped away from the spotlight – he felt it was the right opportunity.
Despite his track record at these competitions, Hady says he feels no pressure to keep up his winning streak. “You’re just supposed to enjoy yourself and soak up the energy from the audience,” he adds.
“I’ve never aimed to win. Even in Asian Idol, I just remember singing with friends from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, and so forth. We just had fun.”