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LAST_UPDATEThu, 23 Nov 2017 7pm

'Pakcik Ibrahim', The Latest YouTube Singing Sensation

A screengrab from Ibrahim's first YouTube video of him singing 'Unchained Melody' by the Righteous BrothersA screengrab from Ibrahim's first YouTube video of him singing 'Unchained Melody' by the Righteous BrothersHE can croon out tunes as well as the likes of Engelbert Humperdinck and Tom Jones.

Ibrahim Ahmad, a cute grandpa of 66 years old is the most recent local YouTube sensation to hit the Net.

His debut video, a soulful singing of the Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody, was first posted on YouTube by one of his daughters on March 27. It received rave reviews with more than 13,000 shares and 'liked' by over 7,000 people.

It has also been reposted by several others on social networks and YouTube. On one of its Facebook shares, via the account of one Mohamad Fazlin Nari, the video has been shared more than 30,000 times and has been liked by over 17,000 users.

Following the success of his debut cover and also due popular demand, his daughter, Norinah posted another video, this time Ibrahim’s own rendition of Humperdinck’s ‘Am I That Easy to Forget’.

That video has gotten more than 2,000 views on YouTube so far.

Ibrahim's overnight fame is understandable. He’s a singing grandfather – in the first video, he can be seen accompanied by his grandchild's friend on a blue classical guitar – and everyone loves a singing grandfather. Especially one who sings as well as he does.

It's not just the way he controls his pitch either. People find him endearing. A comment on one of the videos on YouTube mentioned how refreshing it is to watch Ibrahim sing while the rest of the country braces itself for the upcoming election.

Ibrahim during his younger days in the early 60s. Pic: Norinah IbrahimIbrahim during his younger days in the early 60s. Pic: Norinah IbrahimThen there is the fact that he attended the Boys Culture Music School for a year, and you begin to wonder less and less why you like him so much. In fact, you begin to feel like it is a crime if you don't.

Ibrahim's infectious voice had reached a global audience even when he was working as an assistant engineer on cargo ships, and it was on board those ships that he did most of his singing.

He encountered many foreign sailors at sea, and said that he would always be asked to sing while he was sailing.

"The mat salehs were always in awe of me. They found it very hard to believe that an Asian man can sing better than them," he chuckled.

According to Norinah, at one point, her father was even asked to pursue singing professionally by a captain from the United States, but her grandmother asked him to cut the trip short, scared that he would lose his way and religion on foreign soil.

After surviving an iceberg in Honduras, Ibrahim had enough of the sea and decided to return home to Sabah. He has since retired and now lives in Kudat pursuing his hobby of sewing shoes. And of course, singing covers on YouTube.

But why those two songs?

"I love English oldies," Ibrahim replied.

"I also like Malay and Indonesian songs. I enjoy Broery Marantika's Widuri, Angin Malam and I'm also a fan of Carefree's Rindu Bayangan," he added.

Ibrahim laughed a lot during the interview, perhaps he was wondering why suddenly he has become the subject of interest.

Ibrahim, who is a Muslim of Bajau and Chinese descent, was as jovial as he looked in the videos. He was especially curious of his new-found fame.

When asked how the video came about, Norinah said it was just a simple recording made by her sister, who currently resides in Selangor.

"Before she went back to Selangor, she wanted to record my father singing for her own personal viewing.

"Then a friend on Facebook insisted that I uploaded it on YouTube," she said.

Norinah said she was shocked that the video went viral and that people would react so positively to her father singing.

When MD asked Ibrahim about the video, he said,"Norinah has always encouraged me. She always said don't bother about being too old or anything. Just sing.

"I love my daughter very much."

Norinah never expected the video of her father's singing to go viral the way it didNorinah never expected the video of her father's singing to go viral the way it didPerhaps that was what inspired Ibrahim to dedicate the second video recording to Norinah. Her mother, Fatimah, passed away in 2009. She has six other siblings; Noreen, Khalid, Rahimah, Sajid, Irmah and Hanif.

According to Norinah, Ibrahim’s talents has somewhat rubbed off on her and her siblings but they only sing for fun. Only Noreen sings professionally with a Marhaban group.

"I honestly did not think this video would be so well-accepted and liked. I am now getting requests from Facebook friends and YouTube viewers asking my father to sing Malay songs," Norinah said.

She added that she will soon post a video of her father singing ‘Rindu Bayangan’ to fulfill the requests made.

MD also asked Ibrahim if he would consider entering any professional singing contests, to which he replied, "Why not?"

 


 


 




- mD