Many might recognise M-pop singer Farhan Shah from his run on competition series Singapore Idol, and today, Farhan has blossomed into an established name in the arena of Malay pop music.
Inspired by artistes such as Justin Timberlake and Daniel Caesar, Farhan’s music boasts a fusion of soul and pop. His Malay singles have managed to capture the hearts of many, and top the Singapore Malay radio charts—RIA 89.7FM. His latest single, Pertama, was released earlier this year.
This week, we sat down with Farhan on the top five songs of his life.
Tell us your name, and how you’d describe yourself to someone whom you’re meeting for the first time.
Hey, how’s it going. My name is Farhan Shah and I’ve been spending quite a bit on food deliveries lately because that’s the only thing you can do right now besides working out here and there a little bit but definitely not enough to counter the massive calorie intake during this stay-home madness! Haha, okay that’s a mouthful—but I had to let that out.
What are the five tracks of your life?
1. Location Unknown – Honne
2. What About Me? – Snarky Puppy
3. Someone To You – BANNERS
4. Keep On Singin’ My Song – Christina Aguilera
5. Blessed – Daniel Caesar
Why would you consider this playlist to be significant to you?
It represents different parts and times of my life. If I ever listen to any of them, it will always remind me of a particular time when that song was on repeat—and when I say repeat, I mean, it was literally the only song I will listen for the day/week.
It’s just amazing how we can attach a timestamp, accompanied by vivid memories, to songs and they’ll live with the certain song forever. It’s sort of like an attached metadata almost, if that makes sense.
These memories are set in stone and irreplaceable for sure and there’s nothing you can do to replace them even if you try or if you have to.
Pick one track and tell me your fondest/most interesting memory of it.
Ahh, I can’t pick just one! They’re all so significant to me. Haha. But for you guys, I’ll probably pick the Christina Aguilera track. I remember this was during high school and amidst good times, there were pretty dark times as well.
My self-esteem was at an all time low mainly because as teenagers, surely we all have been through a self-discovery process of finding who we are and who we really want to be. Along the way, there were people who disliked you for the most trivial reasons and it got me into a state of depression.
I was looking for something to keep my head up and stay sane. Every single lyric of the song was super empowering – they spoke to me and resonated with me to a T.
I remember spending all my time after school for a good four days to memorise the lyrics and every little riff. It definitely kept me going during that time period and it’s still one of the songs that I go to when I feel like I need a boost.
If I had asked you this question 10 years ago, what is the one track that your then-self would have picked as your favourite?
Whoa this is a thought-provoking question. Be right back while I try to imagine my foetus self. Haha.
Hmm, In 2010, at the top of my head right now, it’d be Heaven by Bryan Adams. I know, it’s such an odd pick. I think mainly because it was my go-to audition song especially during that time when I felt like participating in a couple of talent shows for the fun of it and also because I was super free to do everything in the world.
It got me past a couple of auditions so I take that as almost like a good-luck charm for me. And also maybe because I was too lazy to memorise lyrics of a new song!
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