My name is Gabriel Fairuz Louis, and I was born on May 15th, 1985, in Pahang, Malaysia. Our family, made up of my mother, father, two sisters, eventually moved from Pahang back to our homeland in Sibu, Sarawak when I was still at a very young age and has permanently resided there ever since. I encountered my first, but not last, love for music at a very young age of 8, when I was in primary school. Ever since then, my passion and deep interest for music has continued to expand and is becoming more than merely a hobby or a dream but as a matter of fact, something that I plan on pursuing for the rest of my life. Along the process of realizing my goal, I have continuously gained new experiences, met lots of new, as well as made new friends from a mixture of cultural backgrounds.
My biggest musical influence has always been the much respected and well-known Malaysia’s singing sensation, Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. Her hard work, efforts, singing skills, perseverance and everything else that leads to her huge success were, and still are, my prime motivation on fulfilling my lifetime goal of pursuing a singing career of my own and establishing a name for myself. Ever since I first developed a deep love and passion for music, my main musical preferences had always revolved around our local Iban and Malay scene, but towards the end of my secondary school years, I had slowly began listening to a much broader musical genres and was introduced to the international English music scene such as the amazingly talented Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and so forth. It was indeed, a major change of outlook in the way I wanted to improve my singing skill and my way of interpreting a song through singing, and also allowing me to begin learning more new songs.
All the way through my primary and secondary school years, I was actively involved in a variety of music-related activities, majorly in singing competitions which were held locally as well as within the school where I was attending. With absolutely no musical training or professional vocal coaching being attended, I would spend tons of time practicing and rehearsing on my own, and occasionally allowing the company of a few close friends and family members for suggestions and constructive criticism to improve my singing skill. I started signing up for and participating in various singing competitions held locally during certain events, celebrations and such during those teenage years which some were held by the local radio station, RTM Sibu (Sibu FM) among other local organizers. Most of the time, I would manage to pursue until the semifinal and a couple of times managed to grab myself a spot in the Top 3. Those years had been such a crucial time in building the “backbone” for my singing career which would happen a few years later.
Moving to Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak in 2002 and finally landed myself a permanent job in the government sector based in the heart of the city, I decided to take my singing to the next level. I started looking around Kuching for singing opportunities, whether it be in bars or lounges. I started contacting various people with the appropriate links with people, bars or karaoke lounges that might be looking for singers at that time.
One thing led to another and I managed to land myself some gigs at some of the local bars and lounges in Kuching such as The Cottage, Club Memories, Steppes, The King’s Arms and De Javu, to name a few. That period of time had given me the opportunity to gain a whole brand new of experience in my singing career as I continuously had the chance to meet and perform with some other amazingly gifted local singers too. It also helped in boosting my confidence level in the area of performing to another level. During those couple of years, my daily routine would be performing all the necessary duties for my stable job in the morning till late afternoon, and right after that, I would continue performing for bars and lounges till late night. It was a lot of hard work and a whole lot of things to juggle with, but it was definitely worth doing. I also continued competing in some local competitions including Soulstar in 2009 and also had the opportunity to join Worldstars: Road To Hollywood in the same year and made it till the semifinal, which was held in Kuala Lumpur.
During that time, I had also started to show and develop an interest in composing and writing my own songs. I wanted to be a singer, performing on a real stage and not simply in bars or lounges, or small events. With the help of some friends, I started working on a couple of songs all the way from scratch, in terms of lyrics and the melodies. I also had the privilege to work with a Kuching-based UK composer, Chris Servey (CMP) with this project. Eventually I came up with two English songs, “Give It All” and “The Promise”, which were composed by myself and the lyrics were written with the help of a close friend. It was my first experience of recording in a real studio and after a few months, the songs finally came to live. I was lucky enough to have “The Promise” being played by one of the local English radio station and had been receiving lots of good reviews not only by the radio station but also from the listeners. It also had been well-accepted in YouTube as soon as I posted the song online. I instantaneously knew that it was the beginning of something good and that I should start working on some other new materials, and this time my target was the local Iban music scene. That was when “Genggam Jariku” surfaced.
“Genggam Jariku” was entirely written and composed by myself, and was the first Iban song that I had ever worked on. Instead of going the typical musical style in the Iban music industry, I decided to go the other way and create something different. Something memorable, something fresh. After a few months of recording, the song finally came out. The acceptance for the song was beyond my expectation. The song immediately became a force to be reckoned with in the local Iban music charts and started to attract the attention of several local Iban music producers, including Embat Lala, who is one of the well known Iban singers and producers in the industry. Long story made short, arrangements and agreements were being made, and I finally started working on my first ever full album under Embat Lala’s production company, PBP. On 29th August, 2012, the album was released – a full album with 8 songs, including my early works “The Promise” and “Give It All”, and also the chart topping “Genggam Jariku”, which the new album was also named as. The album was well-received among local music listeners and continued producing new singles which did equally well as the first single, in the local Iban music charts.
The highlight of it all was when “Genggam Jariku” and myself, were nominated for several categories For Anugerah Muzik Dayak 2012, including the biggest awards of the night, “Best Albm”. I was blessed to be able to win three awards that night, “Album of the Year” for “Genggam Jariku”, “Best Male Artiste Award” and also “Best New Artiste Award”. Winning those awards immediately boost my singing career in a way that I never did before, which I was, am and always will be grateful for. It has indeed, marked my own spot in the local Iban music industry, among the rests.
With all of the success and acknowledgment that I continue receiving, I manage to stay humble and grounded, while maintaining my goal in sight. I am more committed to continue pursuing my singing career to the next level and to the highest extent that I am capable of. Holding on to the saying “Nothing Is Impossible”, I believe that I can continue to pursue my goal in making it big and successful in my singing career, and am keen to move along this route in the future.