7 Malaysian Singers Who Started Their Journey To Fame On Audition Shows
1. Jaclyn Victor
Claim to fame: Malaysian Idol Season 1 (Winner).
To start this list with anyone other than our first Malaysian Idol would be a travesty! While initially highly praised and well-liked by the judges for her consistently powerful performances, Jaclyn struggled in the later stage of the competition when she was faced with criticism. In particular, judge Rozlan Aziz said that "she is a super singer but not an Idol" and further said that her performances thus far bored him.
Jaclyn found herself in the bottom 2 that week but managed to survive the elimination and came back stronger than ever. She went on to win the competition with 76% of the audience votes during the finale. Her victory song 'Gemilang' appeared on her first album of the same name and brought her much success and recognition.
2. Nicholas Teo
Claim to fame: Astro Talent Quest 2002 (Winner).
Not many know that Nicholas actually hails from Malaysia as he is mostly active in Taiwan where he has a highly successful career as both a singer and idol actor. It all started when he won 'Best Singer' in a competition that involved all the universities in Taiwan. He was then asked to sign with a company as a backing vocalist, an offer that he turned down.
Passion for music burning, he returned to Malaysia without completing his studies and joined the 2002 edition of 'Astro Talent Quest'. Post-win, he signed a contract with a company in Taiwan and headed back there to kickstart his career where he found success with multiple albums and various acting projects.
Follow him on: Facebook & Instagram
Claim to fame via audition programs: One In A Million Season 1 (Top 40).
Yuna is living proof that fame comes in the most unexpected ways as long as you're willing to put yourself out there. At the young age of 14, she was already writing her own songs and performed them publicly for the first time when she was 19, which sparked her to continue performing via numerous acoustic shows and events all around Malaysia.
In 2006, she auditioned for the first season of One In A Million and managed to make it to the 'Top 40' before being eliminated. But she didn't let that setback stand in her way and continued to work on her music, uploading her pieces on her MySpace page which eventually gained over 1 million plays. This caught the attention of an international indie-pop label Fader, who immediately contacted Yuna and signed her in early 2011. Her popularity and success quickly skyrocketed and she soon became the first Malaysian artist to conquer the American market
4. Prema Yin
Claim to fame: ntv7's Who Will Win Malaysia's Topstar 2004 (Winner).
Prema seems to have been born to sing as she had already started entertaining her family with energetic performances when she was only aged 3. Being proficient at both piano and guitar were a great asset to her song-writing which she started doing at 14.
She joined and won Who Will Win Malaysia's Topstar, the nationwide singing competition held by ntv7 in 2004 and nabbed a cash prize as well as a recording contract. Ever humble, Prema decided that she wasn't yet ready to professionally be part of the music industry and became a part of the local indie music scene first to gain experience.
We couldn't find a clip of her competition winning finale performance but check out the title track from her first EP below.
5. Faizal Tahir
Claim to fame: One In A Million Season One (First Runner Up).
Would you believe that this rocker used to be part of a nasyid group called 'Mirwana'? He had to leave the group in 2005 due to an illness but recovered in time to audition for the first season of One In A Million the following year. He made it to the finals and despite saving himself from the first round of eliminations that night, he still had to settle for First Runner Up, losing out to Suki Low.
Fresh off the show, he launched himself into furthering his career as an artist and quickly rose to great heights, becoming one of the most successful local artistes to date almost immediately with countless hit songs and award-winning albums
6. Misha Omar
Claim to fame: Bintang RTM 2001 (Finalist).
We never knew that one of the most legendary Malaysian singers of all time started out on an audition program! She joined the 2001 edition of Bintang RTM upon being encouraged and challenged to do so by her family who had seen how much she loved singing from a young age.
Despite not winning the competition, Misha caught the attention of Adnan Abu Hassan, a famous composer who recognized her vast talent and insisted on working with her. Their collaboration proved to be a magical one as it launched Misha into stardom with her iconic song 'Bunga-Bunga Cinta'.
Follow her on: Instagram
7. Jess Lee
Claim to fame: One Million Star Season 7 (Winner).
If there's one thing to learn from Jess it's that you should never give up and keep working towards your dream. Before becoming the grand winner of the 7th season of popular televised singing competition One Million Star in Taiwan, she previously showed dismal performances at the auditions for Malaysian Idol in 2004 and throughout her time in Astro Star Quest in 2008.
Yet, she didn't let her failures get her down and kept improving herself until she brought honor to us all by becoming the first Malaysian to win One Million Star. Her finale performance smashed all the records by scoring the highest possible mark of 30 points four times consecutively.
Follow her on: Facebook
Do you know of any other Malaysian singers who first started out on audition shows? Let us know in the comments below.
If they can do it, so can you! It’s time to stop letting fear and nerves hold you back, step up and give yourself a chance by auditioning for Ray-Ban Malaysia's Open Stage Night.
Find your courage to rock it out on stage and who knows, you could be the next Malaysian artist to make it big! All you need to do is record an audition video (both solo and group submissions are allowed) and send it to [email protected].
Shortlisted finalists will be contacted and invited to perform at the Open Stage Night event and share the stage with the one and only Faizal Tahir. There are also 20 passes for a meet-and-greet session with Faizal up for grabs. Event deets are as follows:
Venue: Le Noir @ TREC KL
Date: 29 Oct 2016
Time: 8pm till late
The last time Ray-Ban did something like this, a shy drummer took a chance and ended up having the performance of a lifetime. It's your turn now!