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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NST

Entertainment: Shazroul hopes to make it big

2009/07/16

HIZREEN KAMAL

Not everyone can make it as a singer but this does not deter newcomer Shazroul from having big dreams, writes HIZREEN KAMAL.




A POOL of new talent has been flooding the music industry lately, thanks to the various TV reality shows.

While some, such as Mawi, Aizat, Adam, Faizal Tahir and Jaclyn Victor have made it big, others have not been so lucky.

However, newcomer Shazroul is determined to make an impression.

“I have loved singing since young and am aware that it is not easy to make it a career. But I hope to do my best,” said the 24-year-old from Kuala Lumpur who released his debut album, Cuma Satu, last month.


Determination aside, what makes Shazroul stand out from his peers is his natural tenor voice that is suitable for songs in the classical-pop repertoire.



When he was a teenager, his favourite album was the Three Tenors (Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti). His collection also extended beyond opera to Broadway numbers and pop.

“I enjoy the way they sing with their strong operatic voice. It is inspiring, and the fact that it is not an easy feat, makes me want to learn it even more,” said the vibrato-voiced singer who hopes to become a great classical-pop singer.

Shazroul, who admires Grammy-nominated American singer Josh Groban’s singing style and music, always belts out Groban’s popular track You Raise Me Up as his closing number at his performances.

“It’s a great and inspiring song. Some people may say that I am imitating him, but I disagree. We have different tones. I just want to learn as much as I can at perfecting my vocals,” said Shazroul, who prefers singing songs that are inspirational.

Shazroul’s love of singing started when he was nine.

His grandmother, Maznah Musa, 70, was a runner-up of Bintang Radio in the 1950s. She raised him and was the first to notice his vocals.

After Form Five, he took part in singing competitions. Shazroul’s big break came in 2006 when he auditioned for AF4.

He was selected into the Top 20, but only managed to reach the prelude concert stage. Instead of discouraging him, it only pushed him further to make singing his career.

After his stint with AF4 ended, he secured a three-month contract with the now defunct Maestro Talent and Management Sdn Bhd, which saw him performing at various events.

Soon after, he turned to singer/composer/album producer Hazami for vocal assistance. Hazami, who saw potential in Shazroul trained him for six months on the techniques of classical singing.

Shazroul’s debut studio effort is a pop album fused with different types of sound and it took him two years to complete.

Featuring nine tracks composed by new as well as seasoned composers, the album was produced at a cost of RM70,000.

Hazami also contributed two tracks to the album — Usah Sesali and Cinta Luhur. The album also features three compositions by famed Indonesian composer Ryan Kyoto who has worked with big names such as Dayang Nurfaizah, Nassier Wahab and Datuk Sheila Majid. The tracks are Selamanya, Telah Terhenti and Cuma Satu which is also the album title.

“The album took some time to come out as I wanted to make sure the tracks appeal to everyone.

“Hopefully, the album will encourage feedback from the public, so that I would be able to chart on the direction of my next album,” said Shazroul, who hopes to take up piano lessons in between his busy schedule.

The album is a major accomplishment for Shazroul.

“I need to create visibility in this industry. Previously, when people asked me whether I was a singer, I just smiled because I had nothing to show them.

“This album makes all the difference. It’s like a trophy. It has also helped boost my confidence.”

In terms of album promotion, plans are underway for a road tour around the country. Also in the planning is the re-packaging of the album for the Indonesian market. To be launched in Jakarta in November, it will feature five tracks.

Cuma Satu is available via www.2ps.com.my or call 019-6060-658.

FANS can meet Shazroul this Sunday at a charity event at Saloma Bistro in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur where he will belt out three songs. Artistes Dafi, Aliya and Fazli Zainal will also be there.

Organised by Friends Ukwah (a charity group led by actress Zahida Rafik), the dinner and dance themed “Enchanted” aims to raise funds for orphans, single mothers and those affected by HIV/Aids.

Guests are required to dress according to their favourite fairy tale character.

A table for 10 is priced RM1,000 and there will be lucky draws. For tickets, call Ina at 013-261-7782 or Eka at 019-228-6209.

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