Iban songbird Winnie Albert overwhelmed by response to her ‘Percayalah’ cover


Winnie regards the overwhelming response to the TikTok clip of her singing ‘Percayalah’ as a golden opportunity to further showcase herself and also represent Sarawak.

KUCHING (Aug 14): Veteran Iban songstress Winnie Albert never expected that her rendition of Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza’s hit ‘Percayalah’ would garner an overwhelming response from fans and netizens, including a couple of Malaysian celebrities.

TikTok user, dinozonefc9, had posted a video of Winnie singing at Rumah Asap Tabuan Dayak, a popular eatery here, on his page last Friday night and the clip quickly went viral, with it being shared on all major social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram, and garnering tens of thousands of likes and reactions.

Those who responded included the song’s composer himself, Ajai, and Malaysian top comedian Harith Iskander.

“It is overwhelming to be receiving such feedback from both of them (Ajai and Harith) who gave praises and comments on my performance.

“To be honest, I did not expect this to happen at all!

“However, as a Sarawakian, I am proud to have reached a point where my talent has been showcased and recognised by the Malaysian artistes. To Ajai, Harith and all my fans out there, I thank you,” Winnie told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday afternoon.

Ajai, in his Facebook post, said Winnie’s cover was wonderful to listen to, pointing out that besides having a good voice and being pitch perfect, the ‘feel’ of the performance without going overboard was equally important in making a song great.

Harith, in an Instagram post, said he ‘had goosebumps’ watching Winnie sing, saying that the power in Winnie’s voice reminded him of the late artiste, Adibah Noor, who passed away in June this year due to cancer. He even offered to feature Winnie in a show that he was planning on.

In response to Harith’s offer, Winnie said she had yet to receive any call as she was currently busy attending to her own errands.

“Maybe tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, I can be contacted. However, for now I have to hold his request first. ‘Lubah lubah, anang kelalu berumban’ (Take it slow, don’t rush into it),” she said.

Winnie also regarded such overwhelming response to the TikTok clip as ‘a golden opportunity’ to further showcase herself and represent Sarawak, adding that she was open to perform in any big shows.

However, preferring to a freelance singer and not wanting to be tied to contracts with companies or recording labels, she said she would have to look into the plans and the programmes before committing to such big shows.

“Currently, I’m not with any recording label or company. The last time I was under a company was with Tiew Brothers Company (TBC) – that was way back in 2005, and then, no more.

“If there are people willing to take me in, I would have to look into what their plans and programmes are; what the agreement is.

“But if I could, I wouldn’t like (to sign any) contracts – I prefer to be a freelance singer,” she pointed out.

Winnie said she would often be invited to sing at various events such as dinners and funfairs, adding that she had once been invited to perform at a high-profile event.

On her talent, she said she had loved singing since she was small, adding that she inherited it from her late father.

An icon and legend in Sarawak’s music scene, Winnie has been singing since 1992.

She had released numerous singles such as ‘Berperang Dalam Petang’, ‘Nadai Ganti Nuan’ and ‘Pagar Makai Padi’.

She had also produced Gawai-themed Iban songs such as ‘Bujang Pengabang’ and ‘Dangdut Gawai’