SINGAPORE – About 30 years after he made his debut as considered one of Singapore’s earliest rappers, Sheikh Haikel is retiring from music.
On Nov 11, the 46-year-old launched his latest single, So You Say What’s Up, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Charlie Lim that’s the first of 10 songs that make up his ultimate album.
The remainder of the songs will probably be launched step by step over the following yr and the final tune will probably be launched on his forty seventh birthday on Oct 10, 2022.
One of many most important causes he’s calling it quits is to present solution to the youthful technology of home-grown rappers, lots of whom look as much as him as a godfather of the native hip-hop scene. When In Doubt, his earlier and fourth album, was launched in 2013.
“I need to take a again seat and benefit from the scene. Moderately than play the sport, I need to let the solar go down on me being an entertainer,” the rapper says in a latest interview over Zoom.
The upcoming songs will function a few of Singapore’s most distinguished rappers, together with Fariz Jabba, Thelioncityboy and Shigga Shay, in addition to rising title Aesop Money.
“I am working with some nice artistes, the individuals whom I really feel would make a distinction within the years to come back,” says Haikel.
Different friends embrace songbird Aisyah Aziz in addition to Malaysian hip-hop luminary Joe Flizzow. He additionally labored with Ezekiel Keran, higher often called Flightsch, considered one of native hip-hop scene’s most profitable producers.
So You Say What’s Up is a deeply private music concerning the ups and downs of his relationship with Ashidiq Ghazali, the opposite member of his outdated rap duo Building Sight.
In 1991, the pair made headlines after they gained Asia Bagus, a regional televised music competitors by Japanese tv station Fuji TV. They later parted methods to concentrate on their very own solo initiatives.
Haikel says that he had at all times wished to work with Lim, as he was an enormous fan. They first met at singer Sezairi’s marriage ceremony in 2016 and Haikel broached the concept of a collaboration.
When he was beginning to work on the brand new album, he met Lim once more and mentioned the inspiration behind the music over a meal.
“He wrote his half, recorded it and despatched it to me at about one o’clock within the morning. I heard it and I used to be like, ‘Yeah, that is it, I see this in my music.’ I did not need him to vary something.”
His 17-year-old son, Sheikh Abbra, wrote a number of the lyrics within the music. Haikel is married to actress-singer Anna Belle Francis, 43, and the couple even have a daughter, Triqka, 18, and one other son, Juz, seven, who seems within the new music’s music video.
The rapper additionally says he’s exiting the music trade to concentrate on his restaurant enterprise. Along with burger chain Fatboy’s founder Bernie Tay, he opened Wakuwaku Yakiniku, a halal Japanese restaurant in 2019 in Bali Lane.
The pair not too long ago closed down Fatpapas, the halal model of Fatboy’s which opened in 2017, additionally in Bali Lane, as a result of enterprise was badly affected by the development works across the space.
Haikel says he’s planning to open new eating companies within the close to future.
“I like to interrupt bread with individuals, I wish to eat and I wish to feed individuals.”
A Lasalle Faculty of the Arts drama graduate, he has acted in films akin to Military Daze (1996) and tv sitcoms akin to Three Rooms, Phua Chu Kang and Below One Roof. Though he has obtained different presents over time, he says that none of them has enticed him sufficient to get again into appearing.
Haikel, who has additionally been a bunch at main occasions akin to Nationwide Day parades in addition to on radio stations SPH UnionWorks’ Radio 91.3 and Mediacorp’s 987FM, turns into emotional speaking concerning the assist that fellow Singaporeans have given him over time.
“I am in a spot the place I am very grateful,” he says, tears working down his cheek.
He recollects how followers would come to his restaurant and inform him how his music had made an impression on their lives. Some followers named their youngsters after him, and one stated that his music Ode To My Lady, from his second solo album For Positive Too (2003), helped her reunite along with her estranged father after three a long time.
“I’ve carried out world wide to so many crowds and audiences, but it surely’s at all times Singapore that has obtained my again and allowed me to be myself. And that is a very powerful factor,” says Haikel.