You know Iman Fandi as the stunning daughter of Singapore sporting legend Fandi Ahmad and South African-born model Wendy Jacobs. She’s often in the spotlight for being the only girl in the couple’s clan of five children who include soccer heart-throbs Irfan, Ikhsan and Ilhan. And to anyone remotely clued into the local social media scene, she’s the influencer whom more and more brands want a piece of as she emerges from her teens (she turns 20 in May), revealing to-die-for cheekbones; an increasingly adventurous taste for fashion and makeup; and an alluring confidence all in front of 59.1K followers and counting.
As her Instagram profile states, she’s a “public figure”. But Iman Fandi… the singer?
History has not produced many famous sports families with credible musical credentials (do we really want to count Victoria Beckham?). Iman herself admits that it’s an unexpected move coming from her, but as it turns out, news scoop: she was in talks with a major record company at press time.
With her youth, telegenic good looks and convivial personality, she makes prime material for the all-manufactured pop star-making machine, whatever her vocal talents. The casual preview this writer got of the one track that she’s recorded hints that she’s got the singing chops (her natural speaking voice is well-modulated, slightly raspy and comes with a charming lilt). She also wrote and got the song – an effervescent, synth-laced pop ditty that has all the makings of a chart hit – produced herself, even before the big boys came calling.
Music, she says, has always been a big part of her life (fun fact: her father released a Malay album titled Anugerah in the ’90s) and she’s always harboured dreams of hearing herself over the airwaves. Scroll through the numerous playlists she’s curated on her Spotify account “Iman Fandi Ahmad” and you’ll get a taste of her eclectic, hip hop-heavy range of influences: from crunking remixes of Rihanna and Selena Gomez to the soothing, modern R&B tunes of Jhene Aiko to the hard-hitting gangsta rap sounds of the A$AP Mob.
It’s still early days, but like a pro, she has the habit of keeping voice notes whenever inspiration hits (she also has a book full of song ideas that she’s been penning down since early 2019, she lets on) and her goal is to be a musician who “makes people feel”. “Writing music to me is like writing a journal and I want to create songs that people can relate to; that make them want to dance or cry,” she says. “And as a performer, I want to give them a show; to entertain – to basically be me.” Get in line, people.
Photography Stefan Khoo, assisted by Alif Videography Alicia Chong Styling Damian Huang, assisted by Jamie Lee Hair Sean Ang Makeup Sha Shamsi, using Chanel All clothes and accessories Chanel unless otherwise stated
This article first appeared in the February 2020 issue of FEMALE.