By Jocelyn Lee
The New Paper
Saturday, Oct 04, 2014
Most songwriters draw on personal experiences for inspiration when composing their next big hit.
For local singer Taufik Batisah, 33, that inspiration came after watching an online video he posted go viral.
The idea for the single titled #awakkatmane, which is from his new Malay album, came after he posted a video of himself asking his fans where they were.
This was during Ramadan in July, when he was on his way to meet them to break fast. "Awakkatmane" is a Malay slang word for "Where are you?".
The video unexpectedly went viral and sparked countless parodies from his fans.
Taufik told The New Paper over the phone on Thursday: "I'm thankful to my fans for giving me the inspiration to write this song after the initial video went viral.
"The song itself is slightly different from what the phrase means. It tells the story of a suffocating relationship where someone can't leave her partner alone and keeps calling to ask where he is. It's a fun tongue-in-cheek song and people have told me that they like it."
Indeed, fans have been praising the song after seeing Taufik's performance on television.
The track became a trending topic on social media, following his well-received guest performance during the finals of the inaugural reality singing competition SG Mania on Tuesday night. A pleasantly surprised Taufik explained that the song, which features catchy beats and sleek dance choreography, was the last song to be included in his new album.
Ms Juraidah Jumat, a senior secretary, said: "The song's very catchy and simple. It is very popular even among children now. It reminds me of those popular K-pop songs and the dance steps are quite easy to follow."
The 37-year-old mother-of-four added: "It's no longer just a song. It has become a trend among my friends and family. My eight-year-old son will start dancing whenever he hears the phrase 'awakkatmane', and my daughter, who is three, will giggle and laugh."
Housewife Nordiana Akbar Ali, 34, agreed, saying: "It's a good song with excellent choreography, and the kids love it. Taufik's a great yet humble artist, which is why he's our idol."
Taufik's new album, titled Fique, is his first in six years, following his last release, Suria Hatiku, in 2008. The 13-song album, which was released on Sunday, is available at CD-Rama stores islandwide.
The singer, who emerged from the first season of Singapore Idol 10 years ago, explained the long wait for his new album:
"After my last album, I took a step back to analyse my work. I wanted to work harder and produce better music - I didn't want to put out an album just for the sake of it."
However, that did not mean that the boyish-looking idol was not worried about losing his fans.
Taufik said matter-of-factly: "Being in the entertainment industry, I know that I have a life span. People have told me to milk the industry while it lasts, while I'm still relevant. I'm constantly worried that my fans (would have forgotten) about me in the past few years."
He added: "I have no idea why my fans are still here with me, but I'm very appreciative."
Regional executive Zara Amirah, 24, said that fans like her continue to support Taufik because of "his love for his fans".
She explained: "He remembers his fans by name and even replies to them on Twitter occasionally. He's also charismatic and good at composing songs."
Similarly, Ms Siti Jamilah said: "Taufik has a strong passion in music. He doesn't give up easily and doesn't stop looking for ideas to write good music."
The 27-year-old production operator added: "I like Taufik because he's handsome and has an endearing personality. He's also humble and has a positive attitude towards others."
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