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Press play: How social media filters turned Iman Fandi from model-influencer to pop princess

Press play: How social media filters turned Iman Fandi from model-influencer to pop princess

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Iman Fandi first came onto the scene at the tender age of 15 as a model, but the world had already known her name before that. The daughter of the famous local soccer player Fandi Ahmad, the now 24-year-old is making her own mark by pursuing her passions in music and establishing herself as a musician in the industry. 

In just over a decade, Iman has shifted through numerous brand identities as she transitions from a model to an influencer and now a musician, but the latest is perhaps the most authentic to her. Placing large emphasis on elements such as authenticity, personal touch and an understanding of one's target market, Iman is determined to be taken seriously in the industry as an artist. 

Most recently, the musician dropped her latest single Leave you on read from her upcoming album. The song, according to a statement by Universal Music Group, acts as a vibrant manifesto for self-care and personal growth, asserting that sometimes, the most empowering act is to prioritise oneself. 

In this series, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke with Iman Fandi to get to know how she markets her music and the most exciting campaign she's run up till now. 

Don't miss: Press play: Lullaboy crashes weddings in the name of love 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: Tell me the story of your first big moment when you felt you made it in the industry?  

Iman: For me, the moment where I felt like I made it was when I was performing at the 2023 National Day Parade. That was a platform for me to showcase myself as a singer and allowed me to be on a local and public stage. When I started out as a model, I started to work with brands and then slowly that 'influencer' label just came on me, but because music was something I had dreamt of always doing, I started to move into that direction in 2021.

That was the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic where everyone was putting out music. Are people going to take me seriously as an artist? I felt like the moment people started to take me seriously was right after National Day. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What’s the most exciting way you’ve marketed your music? How did you go about it?

Iman: The most exciting way was when I marketed Timeframe. At that time, filters on Instagram were becoming a new thing.

We created a filter that could interact with the audience.

The audience could use the 'Timeframe' filter where they would be in a car and my song Timeframe will play in the background. It tells the story of the song because I had actually written the song in a taxi.

It was really fun seeing people's interpretation of how they want to act in the car and it was a fun way to interact with the fans and get them to engage with my music. There were even kids using the filter with their parents, it was really cute.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What are some challenges you faced in marketing your music?

Iman: My challenge has been establishing myself as an artist. Singapore is so small that I sometimes think there's a limit to my audience reach. That is something my team and I are working towards a lot this year, to see what we can do to establish myself as an artist here in Singapore and regionally and to not just be labelled as an influencer that does music.

Like I said, anything that you do on social media, whether it's to promote your music, or working with brands or companies, it can be very clouded. She's posting reels of her holidays, she's working with brands, she puts on makeup, and she does music - so what is she? This is a new challenge and a new venture for me, and it can take time for people to take that in. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What’s one marketing tip you’d like to give fellow musicians who are starting out and are struggling to get their music out there?

Iman:

Be authentic. Do what you love, show it off as well. Ask the fans what they want.

And with so many platforms - TikTok, X, Instagram Threads - it can get a bit clouded. Are you going to show the same things on all the platforms? Having different angles on different platforms is important. Nowadays, everybody's attention span is getting a little bit shorter, with quick videos and things like that so be open to create more short videos.

I am still figuring out how to use the platforms right. My engagements are very up and down, and sometimes that worries me, but then again, it shows me where we are going right, and where we are going wrong. It's important to take it more as a new challenge of how we can tweak things and how we can make things different.

Lastly, I do want to say that although everything is on social media, and everybody's lives are now on social media - not everything actually has to be on social media. Keep certain things private. That is always the fun part because when you get to meet people and or you meet your fans and your supporters, there's something new you can tell them about. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: How do you think brands and corporations can support artists like you? 

Iman: I think it’s important to support local artists because it helps us to inspire the younger generation to believe and pursue their dreams whether it may be in the corporate or entertainment industry.

A way they could support us is to provide more opportunities to showcase our talents through endorsements, shows, public appearances, or even using our sound bites.

Join us on 12 June 2024 for an exciting experience as Content360 makes its debut in Malaysia! Brace yourself to join the crème de la crème of the content marketing industry hailing from across the region. Immerse yourself in a dynamic atmosphere, and uncover the latest trends with thought leaders and solution providers from the realm of content.

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