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Doing it his way

30 Jun 2020 / 12:52 H.

HE is the most sought after Malay wedding emcee around, as not only can he entertain the guests with his banter, but he can also sing. However, there is more to Zamil Idris, who is a star in his own right.

Zamil has come a long way since he was a finalist on the very first Malaysian Idol talent competition way back in 2004. Aside from occasional single releases and musical collaborations, Zamil was also a host on the talk show Hello On 2 from 2005 to 2014.

He has also starred in musical theatre production Tunku The Musical, as well as a couple of TV dramas. He has performed in gala concerts in front of dignitaries, sharing the stage with the biggest stars in the country.

On May 30 this year he released his latest single, Ku Berdiri.

Many people disappear off the face of the earth after entering a talent competition, but it doesn’t seem like Zamil will be fading into the sunset anytime soon.

“I think it is my stubbornness. I need to do something. I have always wanted to be an inspiration to other people. I wanted people to know that whatever they do, they should feel good about themselves. I might be a bit hyper, but I am not always so positive.

“There are things that will put you down and make you wonder if you have done enough, or are good enough. Because of my passion for singing and sharing knowledge with other people, it makes me happy that I have served some sort of purpose.”

Zamil mentioned that there was a time in his life when he wanted to be a jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment world, and that prompted him to audition for Tunku The Musical.

In fact he entered Malaysian Idol because he loved singing and wanted the opportunity to join a singing competition. “It was more about how I could test my talent.”

On why he decided to release Ku Berdiri now, Zamil said: “Actually I did not plan to release this song during the Movement Control Order (MCO), because the song was recorded much earlier.”

As he explains it, Ku Berdiri was recorded years ago but had remained a “work in progress”.

“It was only when the MCO happened that I realised I had to release it now to lift the spirits of all Malaysians. You know, to stand tall, to stay strong so that we can fight this together. It took a bit of time to polish it to make it better.”

“[My] first few singles were different. One song was about love, one was about friendship. My very first single (Pesanan Terakhir) was dedicated to my father.”

Pesanan Terakhir was also used as the tribute song to commemorate the victims of the MH370 and MH17 air tragedies.

He admits he is particular about the songs he releases. “I think it also depends if I am inspired by the song. For instance one of the songs I released two or three years ago was a duet with Hazami called Kudrat. It was a song about friendship that was composed and written by Hazami himself.

“The song was inspired by an incident when he fell ill and I literally carried him to the emergency ward. He was bleeding internally. So that inspired him to do a song with me.

“Prior to that in 2016 I released my second single Kerana Mu. When I was emceeing at a wedding I thought: ‘Why was I singing other people’s songs?’

“I thought I might as well start singing my own songs. So when I started doing that, my clients thought it was good. So I have clients who now ask me to sing for their cake-cutting ceremony, for [a] video montage, or even to perform at their wedding anniversary.”

Zamil said that he was more productive during the MCO.

“I [managed to] release three songs. The first two were collaborations. The first is 14 Days, which featured Malaysian and Thai artistes, while the second one, Kita Mesti Menang – which I was very excited about, –featured former Malaysian Idol contestants including Jaclyn Victor. It was a tribute to frontliners, and told everyone else to stay put at home.

“The third song, Ku Berdiri, I had to juggle [along] with the other songs.”

When asked if he plans to return to doing talk shows such as Hello on 2, Zamil said: “At that time [it] was the first and only English language local morning talk show. I think right now, a lot of people are going online. So I want to do a talk show with a similar concept, but make it available online so that it is accessible to everyone.”

Zamil said he was always ambitious, wanting to be an actor, singer, write a book and even become a fashion designer.

“For me it is about what is next. So hosting a show online will be the next frontier.”

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