ISN’T IT amazing how much you can brighten someone’s day with just your voice?
That is what radio announcer Ili Ruzanna Iqbal loves most about her job, ever since she earned the title of Fly FM’s Flydol in 2017, and joined the local station.
“It’s just people telling me ‘I had a bad day today. I heard your voice and it just made my day.’ Even if it’s not me doing it directly but like, I’m a part of it and if they smile, that’s good enough for me.”
The pun-tastic 24-year-old - whose bubbly voice can be heard in her slot 8-12 with Ili on Fly Fm every Monday to Friday - also doubles as a ukulele-playing singer who sings covers with her cute cat, Miyu.
Crediting her encouraging father for planting the seed in singing, the radio personality hints at releasing original music to a song she wrote five years ago about a boy two years younger, called I Don’t Mind.
While nothing is set in stone yet, Ili is simply enjoying her job interviewing celebrities that she sometimes gets to whip out her ukulele and sing with, in addition to having an impressive pun-bank.
What has been the most striking change since you were announced as Fly FM’s Flydol in 2017?
“I guess the biggest change would be putting myself out there all the time, because that’s part of being a radio personality. You’re not just on air in the studio, like quiet behind the mic. You always have to be very active on social media as well, and you’re always going out to events.
“It would be me just experiencing very new things especially having to interview artists, and not just local artists. It’s international artists as well. I think one of the biggest artists that I interviewed was probably Alessia Cara and Troye Sivan, so that’s pretty crazy.
“I think the change is just me. Right after I graduated, Flydol happened. It’s been two years since then, and I feel like things are just coming to me. Opportunities are endless, so I’m just hustling, I guess.”
Who do you count as your most memorable interview?
“My most memorable interview has got to be Alex Aiono. He’s really big on YouTube. He does mashups of songs in one for like two minutes. But now, he’s an actual artist who’s making his own music.
“I think that interview was so fun because he loves puns, and I love puns. We were just, like punning to each other, so definitely that one.”
On top of your love for puns, you’ve actually been singing and playing the ukulele even before your job as a radio announcer. How did you start singing?
“[I’ve been singing] since I was really young - 10 maybe. My dad sings [and] would usually bring me up on stage with him. I remember people telling me that my voice sounded like a duck. I was like, uh oh, maybe I shouldn’t sing. But then, I guess puberty didn’t hit me yet. From there, I just started singing.
“I knew singing was something I loved doing but I never really thought of it as a career. It was more of a hobby, but then growing up, going into Uni, I would sing for concerts, I would sing for weddings, I would sing for whatever event that would come my way, and from there, singing was on the sideline.
“These days, it’s kind of hard to sing because I do the night show. Most events that want me to sing for them is always at night and it’s always on a weeknight ... I still sing but low-key sing.
“I do want to pursue my music career. I do have some songs that I’ve written myself. I don’t know when I want to push it out. Hopefully this year there will be a song out. But for now it’s just radio and other things, like events, emceeing, videos.”
Do you have a social media habit that you wished you would stop doing but never do?
“I think it’s saying the word ‘guys’ a lot [laughs]. I feel like everybody does it. Like when you start ... ‘guys’, you know, ‘guys’. I don’t know, maybe change it up a little bit every day or do something different. Sometimes I feel like I’m too repetitive. And I kind of feel like I’m annoying but I wish I could just change it up, I guess.”
What is something you think everybody should do once in their life?
“I would say bungee jump because I did it. I cried. I will never do it again. But you know, at least I can tell the world I’ve done it. I feel like that kind of relates to everything else in your life, like if you want to do something, just do it, cause you never know until you try, right? So yeah, I would say bungee jump, but relate that to everything else you want to do in life [laughs]. Just do it.”
If you had more hours in the day, what would you do with the extra time?
“I feel like I don’t get enough sleep. There was this one time, I was so sick, and I realised it was because my body just did not have enough rest. That’s what the doctor told me, and I’m like, okay, that’s sad. So I think if I had more hours in the day, I would sleep.”