Singaporean rising singer-songwriter Shafiq Haziq has always found comfort in music even at a young age. He released his inspiring debut single Fly High on November 20, 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a recent interview with The Independent Singapore, Shafiq shared about how he went through bullying and faced emotional abuse. He sought solace in music and it helped him out tremendously. Shafiq shared that he was being bullied in school and it made him feel unworthy and burdensome.
It even led to thoughts of suicide. He isolated himself from everyone and stayed in his room, using his computer at home and listening to music with his old Walkman.
“I would spend a lot of time karaoke-ing or choreographing to the music that I love which really made me feel happiness in those tough moments. Singing gave me back my confidence and helped pull me out of my dark hole. It made me feel like I was worthy of a voice,” he shared.
He said that listening to music gave him hope and faith that everything will be okay. According to him, it is important to believe in ourselves and find our own path to happiness in order to truly take flight in life. Shafiq also hopes to empower everyone with the importance for standing your ground, believing in who you are and living the life you chose for yourself.
Shafiq believes that songs can connect and empower people and that he hope his music can do that for those who struggle like him.
Shafiq was 15 when YouTube started becoming popular. He discovered Mariah Carey online and was impressed with her five octave vocal range, her melisma and effortlessness in singing live. He identified with her as her songs were about her being bi-racial in the US and not feeling like she belonged anywhere. Mariah also went through an abusive marriage at that time. The songstress is a ‘hero’ for Shafiq and he spent his nights belting out her hits in his closet.
In 2019, Shafiq graduated from Lasalle College for the Arts Musical Theatre BA (Honours). He was involved in his first professional music theatre production after graduation, titled Urinetown the Musical by Pangdemonium. He also acted in a show called Whispers of the Dead Season 2 in MediaCorp Channel 5, coincidentally playing the role with his own name.
“It was especially memorable because it was one of the rare chances that I could play a forensic pathologist, investigate dead bodies and crime scenes. Stepping in the shoes of other people’s stories and occupations is the very reason I love acting. It encourages empathy,” said Shafiq.
Shafiq also gave advice to people who are going through pressure to meet the expectations of others.
“Focus on what makes you happy and make choices that liberates you to be the best version of yourself,” said Shafiq.
Speaking on future plans, Shafiq said, “I hope to release more songs in future and eventually have a label to represent me. I am already working on my next single that is largely inspired by Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song”. It is very different from Fly High, and I hope people will enjoy it too!”
Shafiq is looking forward to having a music video for Fly High but as for now he is seeking the resources that he needs to deliver the content and quality that he wants.