Unabated star power

Singer Ernie Zakri continues to make her musical presence felt

05 Jan 2021 / 13:42 H.

DESPITE entering the music industry in the late 2000s, singer and actress Ernie Zakri’s ascend in the local music industry saw the biggest growth several years ago. However, the artiste, who has a colossal following, continues to keep herself humble.

“(It went really well) from 2009 to 2020. I’m not too sure why, but maybe it was not my time yet, because many new artistes emerged with fresh songs that were in line with what listeners wanted at that point in time,” said Ernie, who entered the industry at the age of 17.

“At the time, I was still young. I did not know what to do. I merely recorded songs that I considered good and liked, but I did not know how to market myself. There were a few mistakes and issues that cropped up. To put it simply, there was simply no ‘rezeki’ at the time.”

Two years after winning Bintang RTM 2009, a national competition, Ernie released her first album Sinaran. Other than the singles released since then, the singer never released another album.

“There are plans for a full album next year, insyallah,” the singer revealed.

On the prevalence of her own singles and the industry trend in general, Ernie explained that she thinks in this era, most singers do not release albums as singles are much more effective.

“But for me, an album is important to show people what your concept is, and the identity of the singer at the time. The concept is important to introduce our brand. It is not enough to just release a single, because other singles will change our concept and image.”

“So I think maybe I need an album to give to my fans who are constantly supporting me. At least then, they will have a memory of me. And I will also have a memory of the music industry by having two albums.”

The songstress further elaborated that while most would view her 11 years in the industry as a long time, she only sees herself as truly being in it for about two to three years.

“There is still a lot of knowledge and experience that I have yet to get, especially to tell the next generation.”

“In the past 11 years, I have matured and become more resilient, especially against negativity that comes from certain people,” she said.

Not one to remain stagnant in her pursuit to do the things that she loves, Ernie made her first dive into acting last year, with a starring role in the television series Suri Katriana.

“I like acting, exploring and watching movies. I thought I could act, but actually being on a set, I realised how much of commitment I had to invest, and the passion that is needed for that career. For now, I’m focusing on singing,” she said.

“As for acting again, there are certainly offers, but I might pick a role that is not as complex as the first drama role I had, as I felt that I was not skilled enough to play such roles. After this, if an offer arises, I would take on a simpler character.”

Yet like many others, Ernie’s blossoming career also took a hit this year.

“In my career as a singer, we work by entertaining people and if there are none, of course my work is affected. But, alhamdulillah, there has been work with television stations, which does not involve an audience. To me, it is not important for me to be selective of jobs. I just feel grateful that there are still people who want to see me on TV.”

For what lies ahead, Ernie said there will still be a music drama with fellow singer Syamel (Syameel Aqmal Mohd Fodzly).

“There will also be a solo single, and a duet single with him. Both will be out next year. We will also be involved in a few businesses, such as opening a cafe. We will be more involved with the F&B industry.”

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