Anugerah Planet Muzik

Sufi beats mentor Taufik to win Singapore's Most Popular Artist award

Singaporean Sufi Rashid (above) with his trophies for Singapore’s Most Popular Artist and Singapore’s Most Popular Song.
Singaporean Sufi Rashid (above) with his trophies for Singapore’s Most Popular Artist and Singapore’s Most Popular Song.PHOTO: MEDIACORP
Big winner Ayda Jebat (above).
Big winner Ayda Jebat (above).

After Singapore singer Sufi Rashid won two major awards at the recent Malay music awards show Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM), he went to bed with the trophies for Singapore's Most Popular Artist and Singapore's Most Popular Song.

"I went back straight to the hotel and slept with the trophies," he says with a laugh in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur, where he is now based.

Sufi, who was nominated in six categories, is especially grateful to be named Singapore's Most Popular Artist.

"I wasn't expecting to win that, because it was a tough category, especially with other artists like Taufik Batisah and Aisyah Aziz."

He feels humbled by the win as he regards Taufik, who has won the award in the last six years, as one of his mentors.

"I am also very grateful to my fans who voted for me at the awards, and I plan to organise two special gatherings, one for fans in Singapore and another one for fans in Malaysia, to thank them."

Sufi is in the midst of recording his debut album, a mix of rock, pop, ballad and R&B songs, which he expects to release at the end of the year.

The 25-year-old bachelor made headlines last year when he became the first Singaporean to win the popular Malaysian reality singing show Akademi Fantasia.

Signed with Malaysian broadcaster Astro and record label Warner Music, he is now so busy with shows, recordings and other promotional commitments that he says getting enough sleep is a luxury.

The biggest winner at APM last Friday night was Malaysian singer Ayda Jebat, who took home three trophies - Most Popular APM Artist, Most Popular APM Song and Social Media Icon.

Like Sufi, she joined Akademi Fantasia in 2011, but was voted out early.

Ayda, 24, who is also popular for her acting roles on Malaysian television and film dramas, had five nominations, including that for Best Collaboration (Song).

Organised by Mediacorp to celebrate Malay music from Singapore and the region, the 15th edition of the annual awards show was held at the MES Theatre last Friday at the media company's new building at Mediapolis@one-north.

Other notable winners include Caliph Buskers, a Malaysian group made up of visually impaired singers and musicians (Best Song, Malaysia and Best APM Song); Indonesian singer Rizky Febian (Best New Artiste, Male); and Yuka Kharisma, also from Indonesia (Best New Artiste, Female).

Veteran Singapore-born songwriter, composer and producer S. Atan was honoured with a Planet Music Special Award and Malaysian songstress Yuna, now based in the United States, picked up the International Breakthru Artiste Award.

The awards show also featured performances by Indonesian band Musikimia, as well as joint performances by Sufi and Caliph Buskers and Singapore-born Malay music icon M. Nasir with Indonesian singer Armand Maulana.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2016, with the headline 'Sufi beats mentor Taufik to win Singapore's Most Popular Artist award'. Subscribe