Singing sensation Shikin, who thanks Soundcard for all the opportunities it gave her
Energetic, bubbly, disciplined. This was how Norashikin Imran, 21, one of the top 3 finalists in Suria Channel’s Singing Competition “ANUGERAH”, described herself in three words. Showing up in just a pair of jeans, an NYP shirt and hiding her hair in her cap, this recent graduate from Diploma in Nursing, proves that she is not just another diva but a very friendly person. Behind this seemingly average girl is actually someone who has been passionate about singing since she was 14. We had an exclusive interview with Shikin and here’s what she had to say:
When did this passion for singing started?
I started singing when I was 14, when I was in secondary school. I was actually just singing spontaneously in class… and my friend came up to me and said, “Eh Shikin! You can sing!” and I was like “Really?”
How did you develop this passion of yours?
I joined my first singing competition in my secondary school when I was 15. But when I stepped into NYP, that’s when I decided to pursue singing seriously. I joined Soundcard, so there was an instructor, proper training and everything.
Soundcard was where I really started to develop my talent even more. Thanks to all the help and opportunities given. After I graduated, there were auditions for Mediacorp’s “Anugerah” so I decided to go for it.
Soundcard? But isn’t that in English? And now you’re singing in Malay. How do you handle this sudden transformation?
It was really hard for me at first. To be honest, I have never sung in Malay before.
All the way in Soundcard, I was singing in English. Many of my friends are Chinese and even to my Malay friends, I would speak in English. In “Anugerah”, they exposed us to so many different things like hosting, acting, choreography, interviewing and everything was in MALAY. Thankfully, I managed to get help from my Malay Language Secondary School teacher. She told me that my Malay really “cannot make it lah”. So she taught me how to speak properly in Malay. I got used to it and now I can speak the language fluently.
What made you try out for the auditions in Anugerah?
Two of my friends encouraged me to go for the auditions with them. There were 3 rounds of audtions we had to go through, and thankfully, I succeeded. Unfortunately, my other two friends didn’t make it.
How has your family and friends supported you throughout your journey in Anugerah?
At first, my parents didn’t even know I was trying out for the auditions. It was meant to be a surprise. However, after I got through the auditions, I broke the news to them and I feel thankful that they are really supportive of me. Even my elder brother, whom I wasn’t really close to, supported me throughout my journey in this competition. I felt touched.
My mum constantly asks me if I have clothes for the competition. My friends also supported me by giving me constructive criticism on my performance. For example, there was one round whereby my performance almost got me kicked out of the competition and my friends told me that I must not repeat my mistake again. Because of their honesty, I got to improve myself as a performer and I really appreciated their support.
Describe how you felt every time you got through to the next round of this competition.
For the auditions, I felt as though I really accomplished something because I managed to get through 3 rounds while competing against almost 800 people. Because I’m really good friends with my competitors, it doesn’t really feel like a competition. We are all more focused on putting up a good show than competing with each other. Every time I got through to the next round of the competition, I felt thankful and happy.
How do you cope with the busy schedule of Anugerah?
With discipline. Sometimes, we have to report at the studio by 10 or 11am and only get off by midnight. And this goes on almost everyday! We do photo shoots, interviews, roadshows etc.
One requires a lot of discipline, speed and alertness to manage a busy and hectic schedule like that. Thankfully, I’ve graduated and I’m not working yet, and hence can focus on the competition.
Through what ways do you communicate with your fans?
I have a fan page on Facebook that my friend helps manage. I’m really busy with the competition’s schedule but I do try to make an effort to go online and see what my fans have written for me or reply to their messages. Sometimes, I would write messages to thank my fans and spread my love for them. Because their support means a lot to me and I thank them all for it.
Do you have any message to your fans out there in NYP?
I would really like to thank Soundcard. Because Soundcard was where my journey in singing, hosting… basically, being an entertainer, started. My friends in Soundcard have given me a lot of moral support and encouragement to do this more seriously. It was my first stepping-stone to becoming an entertainer. And also, to my supporters from NYP, thank you so much for all the support. If not my fans, I wouldn’t manage to get through all the way to the finals of Anugerah.
The Anugerah finals were held on Tuesday 28th June 2011. Shikin won the 2nd place! She also got an opportunity to record singles with R Records and Putrivision Empire. Read more about the finals here!