By Catherine Roberts
The New Paper
Oct 2, 2016
Local singer Sufie Rashid is making waves on the Malay music scene.
On Friday, he capped his first year in the industry with the two biggest local awards - Singapore's Most Popular Artist and Singapore's Most Popular Song - at the Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) 2016.
"I'm extremely grateful (for the awards)," the 24-year-old Kisah Dua Muka singer told The New Paper on Sunday.
"I went with no expectations and I told myself before the show that if (the awards) are fated for me, then great but if it isn't, then it just isn't."
Sufie rose to fame last October after he won the 12th season of Malaysia reality TV singing competition Akademi Fantasia.
He garnered 41.3 per cent of the votes cast online and through SMS.
He is the first Singaporean to win the title since the show first aired in 2003.
For the APM, Sufie was nominated in six categories.
In the Most Popular Artist category, he was up against award-winning singer-songwriter Taufik Batisah.
Sufie said: "Taufik is and has always been my mentor and I look up to him.
"Just to be nominate alongside such a phenomenal artist is a great privilege but to win an award that he has so often taken... I'm deeply humbled."
Sufie wasn't the only newcomer to bag awards at the 15th edition of the annual award show.
Singer Haikal Ali, who recently signed up with Malaysian record label Paranormal Group Malaysia, bagged the award for Singapore's Best Song for Bertemu Kembali.
He beat four other local contenders including bands Forty 7 and Klutz.
"I went with no expectations (of winning)," Haikal said on stage after receiving the award.
"But I am very thankful and I'll continue to work hard."
The biggest winner of the night was Malaysian singer-actress, Ayda Jebat.
The 24-year-old, who shares the same recording label as Singapore's Haikal, won the biggest awards of the night - Most Popular APM Artist, Most Popular APM Song and Social Media Icon.
"I cannot believe this is happening but I'm ever so grateful for my fans not only from Malaysia but everywhere because they are the ones that made this happen for me," said the singer.
Another big winner was Indonesian singer Raisa who took home awards for Best Female Artist and Best Duo for her song with fellow Indonesian singer-actor Afgan, Percayalah.
When asked about Afgan being absent from the awards, she said he is in "the midst of his Sides Tour".
Afgan performed in the Indonesian city of Balikpapan on Friday night.
Raisa, who won her first APM award in 2012 for Best New Female Artist and has been Best Female Artist two years in a row, added: "I've known Afgan since high school, he was my senior and I'm sure he will be ecstatic about our win because we worked hard on this track.
"I'm just very happy and grateful that I'm able to bring back an award this year."
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