It’s hard to pierce deep into one’s soul in order to zero in on their exact dimension. Especially with celebrities, with all the hoopla surrounding them, people tend to make their own assumptions of how they are as normal people.
SalamToday had the privilege to sit down for a tête-à-tête with Erra Fazira, whose full name is Fazira Wan Chek. Her warmth, smile and easy going character shows she’s a person of humility.
Erra, is a Malaysian actress-singer, TV host, fashion model, film producer as well as a former beauty queen after being crowned Miss Malaysia/World 1992 when she was just 18. If there’s one life lesson we can learn from the legendary artist, it would be the importance of staying true to yourself.
Now 45 years old and a single mom to a beautiful daughter, Erra is a class of her own and remains as one of the industry’s strong players despite the rising competition from younger celebrities.
She has appeared as lead roles in many motion pictures and hosted multiple television shows, besides having 8 studio albums under her belt. All that spanning across two decades – phew! Her impressive resume is a prime example of why Malaysians attribute her as a prima-donna.
She is also adored by many for her beauty and grace. To be regarded as one of the most beautiful celebrities in Malaysia – Erra admits she does have that reputation to live up to, but strongly feels she only needs to do that while on celebrity duty.
“There are two sides to my character, when I am out in public I am Erra Fazira. This is when I put extra thought and effort in the way that I dress so that usually comes with a lot of research and a glam squad in order to achieve a certain image.”
“But when at home and around my friends and family I am Fazira Wan Chek. Fazira is simple – she doesn’t need a lick of make-up to go out. It gets to a point where my friends actually complain I look too simple (laughs).”
“Because I already wear make-up and dress to the nines for work, it’s important for me to strip away that image when I am done with work and off camera.”
“I get a sense of who I really am again, sans all the make-up and glamorous wardrobe. It’s important for me to stay true to myself when I’m out of the spotlight,” she said.
HER HIJAB STORY
This would be the 4th year Erra has fully donned the hijab. Taking us for a walk down memory lane, Erra shared with us her journey before she decided to wear the hijab full time.
“I went through three phases of wanting to wear the hijab. First, it was in school, and then another one in my 20s-30s, and finally another phase was before I decided to go ahead with the headscarf wholeheartedly.
“Through those phases that I went through, I think it was Allah’s way of telling me it’s time to wear the hijab, but somehow I didn’t listen to it.
“I was too concerned about my image as a celebrity and that wearing the hijab would potentially jeopardise any job offers.
“So it was almost as though I was stuck in limbo because somewhere deep in my heart I wanted to wear the hijab but so many things in my life persuaded me otherwise.
Leading up to the year she transitioned into her new appearance, Erra shared she continuously prayed for guidance and that Allah would open her heart wholeheartedly to wear the headscarf.
“I prayed and I said Oh Allah, I am ready to wear the hijab, but there are certain things that are setting me back from going down that pathway.”
“I prayed hard for signs and eventually, something in me just clicked. That feeling is indescribable, but I just knew it in my heart that it was time I wear the hijab. I never looked back since.”
NEW ERRA IN MUSIC
The early 2000s saw Erra’s trajectory in the music scene with one hit after another. But it’s been years since fans have heard her melodious voice paint the music industry.
This coming July, Erra will be releasing a new single titled ‘Menangkah Cinta’, (Love Wins).
Erra describes that the song is about a woman who finally learns to put herself first in a relationship, someone who has learnt to be a little more assertive.
“It’s also about someone who has done their absolute best in a relationship, and there comes a time when she makes a decision for herself.
“Even if that decision will hurt those around her, they have to accept it,” she said.
Erra admitted she needed that extra push to make a comeback to the music scene.
“I’m thankful to have a management team who is passionate about pushing my career to greater heights.
“I’ve been putting off my comeback to the music scene for a while, but the team encouraged me to just go for it, and I’m happy to,” she said.
“I’m excited for what’s to come and can’t wait to connect with my fans through my music again.”
Behind the Face of Salam
- Face of Salam : Erra Fazira
Project Manager & Co-ordinator : Shah Shamshiri
- Text: Syahirah Mokhtazar
- Editor : Ili Farhana Mohamed
Photographer: Bustamam Mokhtar, White Studio
- Graphic Designer: Asyraf Tamam
Stylist : Helmi Anuar
Make-up Artiste : Ary Muzamer
Hijab Stylist : The Latifi
Wardrobe : Seth and Luna & Amaze Atelier