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Thursday July 11, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday July 11, 2013 MYT 7:33:51 AM
by wong pek mei
Making waves: Muhammad Hafiz singing ‘Always Be There’ by Maher Zain and ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey in a video which he submitted for the Awakening Talent Contest.
PETALING JAYA: A 21-year-old Malaysian is making waves on a worldwide YouTube singing competition and is hoping Malaysians will support him to secure the top spot.
Muhammad Hafiz Zainal impressed worldwide audiences and four judges, including famed religious song singer Maher Zain, resulting in him being chosen as one of three finalists for the Awakening Talent Contest.
The Johor Baru aspirant, who is a dental surgery second-year student at Alexandria University in Egypt, said he loved music because “it did not judge or discriminate”.
“When I sing, I feel so alive. It gives me a lot of strength, especially when I feel uninspired,” he said.
Muhammad Hafiz, who is currently in his hometown for the semester break, said he was about four years old when he first started singing after encouragement by his kindergarten teacher.
He said he was initially coy about singing in public but eventually mustered confidence to perform in front of a crowd when he was in secondary school.
“Eventually, a teacher realised
my potential and requested me to sing for several school events,”
Muhammad Hafiz admitted to being not confident when he first joined the singing competition as it was open to everyone worldwide.
According to the Awakening Records YouTube channel, the contest received more than 1,000 videos from 66 countries.
The top prize is a contract with Awakening Records, while the runner-up will perform “live” on stage with one of Awakening’s artists.
Muhammad Hafiz said his housemates intially did not believe he could make it even to the top 32 list.
“Once my name was announced, many friends started to pitch in by helping me film better quality videos and sound,” he said.
He appealed to the Malaysian public to vote for him via social media, including liking, sharing and commenting on his latest video on www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS_wOdcun-g.
As of 4.23pm yesterday, his video had received the most “likes” and views – 1,512 and 27,844 respectively – since it was uploaded on July 4.
The judges will take into consideration the viewer’s opinions when deliberating.
“I hope my fellow Malaysians can help make my dream of becoming a singer come true,” said Muhammad Hafiz, who is facing off against a participant from Indonesia and another from the United Kingdom.
The final results will be announced on July 14 via YouTube.
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