Radio announcer turned Emcee and now, social media influencer, we got a little Facetime with Fiqrie to really get to know him. After having worked with Fiqrie on a few events, we were intrigued by his onstage charisma and the way he engaged with the audience was short of amazing.
Share with us how did you get into the industry?
I was an intern for 8TV before continuing then last semester of my degree in broadcasting. 3 days after my last paper, HOT FM called me up for work and two days laters, I signed the HR contract. I became a radio announcer quite fast, even before my results came out. Things went back to back fast, and that’s how I got my first start in radio! I also did an assortment of TV shows with TV3, TV9 and 8TV.
I moved to Singapore shortly after to continue my studies and worked with Singapore Swimming Club where I did events from scratch and briefly worked with PRADA, before getting a call from Astro Arena about being a sports commentator for the Commonwealth & ASEAN Games, and THEN RED FM called.
Interesting, and how did you get into emceeing?
I didn’t know emceeing was a profession until I entered the radio industry. While working with radio, there were many roadshows and events that were running. After doing this for a while, the foundation of emceeing comes naturally. Soon after, emceeing jobs started coming and that’s how I pretty much started and I seriously made a profession out of it.
With over 8 years of experience, these are some of the recent Emceeing Events Fiqrie has done:
What was your fondest first memory of emceeing?
I would say it was when I was doing the red carpet for Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM), Malaysia’s version of the Grammys. Of course, I was star struck! But I realized that emceeing was not just about being there and then, it had a lot to do with capturing that moment. Doing AIM was the first time I hosted a red carpet event.
What surprised you most about being an emcee?
The amount of work that goes into emceeing surprised me most. People assume you just go up there and just wing it – but winging is only 5% of it – to make it look like not much hard work has been put into it.
It’s the same with Fashion, people think it’s just about dressing people up, but it’s not. I stay by the motto that I have, ‘If people think it looks that easy, that means you must be doing your job well’ – especially when it comes to entertainment.
The whole point of being entertained is to de-stress yourself from whatever issues or problems you’re facing out there but then again in order to tackle it in such a correct manner, people think ‘Oh my god this is so natural for him, it must be part of him, who he is’. Actually, a lot of hard work goes into it.
Would you say gauging how your audience is would be the most challenging part about emceeing an event?
Usually no because that’s where homework comes in. I have to know what their interested in, what the event is about and that’s pretty much it. It’s all about doing your homework.
What’s the best thing to happen to you since you started?
I guess whenever you achieve something new, it would always be interesting. So when I got the offer to become a radio DJ, I was super excited because I did not expect it. Though I studied – diploma in MassComm and degree in Broadcasting, I actually wanted to be a newscaster! I liked conveying information and dressing good for the TV – cause you always look smart. However, it didn’t work out after two months and I switched to entertainment and had really good people as my protégé. I was under the training of Rina Omar and I was the first intern for 8tv Quickie under Adam C and Marion Caunter – so I’ve got a really good background when it comes to hosting live shows and emceeing cause I had/have all these people to give me great tips.
What would you like people to know about you?
That I am very well trained in what I do. Whether it’s acting, DJing or whenever I do something, I believe that talent is not everything – especially when it’s not put to good use.
Hard work pays off and I believe in working hard and working smart. I put in 110% in whatever I do and I’m highly disciplined.
What don’t people know about you?
That I’m actually quite an introvert. I’d be more than happy just staying at home and catching up on Netflix or going to the movies on my off days and I treasure people that I call friends. I spend most of my time watching movies and reading. It’s safe to say I’ve always been a movie buff!
Do you have a role model?
I do, especially when I was growing up. If it was someone who is really good in hosting and someone who has done emceeing – it would be Dato’ Mahadzir Lokman because the guy was on TV, he did news, he emcees and most importantly, he speaks eloquently. He was also one of the only announcers/emcees who speaks perfect Malay, English, and French. He was one of the reasons I started taking French classes in primary school as I attended an international school and spent most of my student days in international schools in Japan, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia. My French has gotten rusty but I can still speak and get by when in went to Paris.
My role model would be Ryan Seacrest. He came out of nowhere and I don’t think people believed in him when he first started and took him as a joke instead. I want to be the phoenix that rises from the ashes. Back in university, I was a social outcast and even after I’ve made it on TV and radio, there are people who are still doubting me (now). You have to know where you stand and sometimes you gotta focus on the possibilities rather than on the limitations.
So, tell us about being a social influencer?
Well apparently, I’m a social influencer now. I got onto social media because of my first sponsorship deal with Havainaas. Growing up in the MIRC/Myspace era, this whole social influence thing is relatively new to me. To actually be a part of it and be a part of the game, especially after Facebook gave me a blue tick (yeap, I’m verified), I was quite a surprised! Thanks to that, I have been getting offers from Advertising agencies all the way from New York. This landed me a column in The Star Lifestyle section every Mondays. For me, if you want to do something, do it sincerely, honestly and put you heart and soul into it because people can actually see that.
If you read my captions on Instagram, you can tell that I don’t post something for the sake of likes (although it does play a role in social media), those who follow me do care about me and I take social media seriously because it could generate revenue. Coming from the Myspace era, people don’t actually know you and judge you from this. I think its highly important that people have a straight communication between influencers and followers so they know what you go through.
Tell us one person you follow on social media?
I follow people that I look up too and Katy Perry is one of them. I actually saw her show during the half-time of the Superbowl the other day and although she can’t sing live to save her life, she has worked her way up to be able to sing live that well and it’s evident she has put a lot of hard work into it. She was rejected a couple of times before ‘I Kissed A Girl’ because people said her music was neither here nor there. She never wanted to be super sexy or do fully rock, she just wanted to be herself. Finally after 6 years, she got her big break.
To be honest, I actually grew up with speech impairment – as you can see I stutter sometimes. That’s why it was actually a challenge for myself when I did MassComm because I wanted to improve myself. I’ve always been that person who is constantly trying to improve themselves.
Speech classes were one of the classes offered in UiTM during my university days – learning about where your vocal comes from, diaphragm and all. I think it paid off as my voice has become my source of income and I don’t think I’m bad at what I do, considering I became a radio DJ upon graduation!
And that’s that. But just before we sign off, did you know that Fiqrie was the only male radio DJ who got shows in Capital FM, Red FM, and Suria FM. Although the language is the same, the approach and delivery was different. So, if you’re looking for somebody who is highly versatile and highly bilingual, you know who to engage!
Check out Fiqrie in the video below.
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Have a good one!