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Q&A: Into the mind of Singapore’s next It Girl, Iman Fandi

Even today, mention the name Fandi and you’ll find most associating it with Singapore’s most beloved sports icon, Fandi Ahmad. Yet, it seems that it won’t just be the veteran athlete that’ll be cementing his name as a talented representative of the country. Three of his four sons, Ilhan, Irfan and Ikhsan Fandi, are national representatives in the realm of football. But his only daughter, Iman Fandi, isn’t just a pretty face either; in fact, she’s quite the multi-hyphenate herself. Apart from being a model, she’s also signed under Universal Music Singapore, joining Singapore’s growing talent pool as a rising singer-songwriter.

The 22-year-old muses, “As I got older and started pursuing my dreams, it was hard to prove that I could have accomplishments on my own. I doubt I’d ever be able to break away by means of association to my father but I believed that no matter what, I can be proud of what I have achieved on my own today.”

On set, the young artiste is a quiet and extremely professional. Despite significant hair and makeup changes throughout the shoot, she brought her A-game with zero grouse and prepped herself for the poses that were required of her.

Iman Fandi
Knit cardigan with turquoise fur, skirt and high heels by Gucci
Jewellery from Bvlgari

It’s hard to ignore the 81.1k followers she has on Instagram, but one has to recognise the hard work and effort that has gotten her this far. She launched her modelling career at only 14 years old, much earlier than many of her peers who worked towards a regular career trajectory.

“Growing up around my mother who was a model and being around her during shoots really sparked my interest to be in the modelling industry. It was definitely something I had chosen for myself since young — up till this day, I enjoy every moment of it because each shoot is a different learning experience and I get to meet interesting people in the creative industry.”

“Some of them have even become my closest friends!” she quips, even though we could already tell. Iman is seen talking, laughing and taking selfies with the makeup artist team on set, which includes Kat Zhang of The Suburbs Studio.

Despite being in the limelight even before she officially debuted, Iman keeps herself grounded with teachings from her father. The iconic Singaporean sportsman is often described as humble, filial, and compassionate, so it isn’t surprising when she elaborates, “he has always told us that irregardless of what we do in life, or meet along the way, we should always be respectful, hardworking, and humble. My father is a great example as despite his success, he continues to live by example and that has always inspired me to want to be like him.”

Iman Fandi
Turtleneck pullover, skirt and golden boots by Prada

Even in the face of close familial ties, Iman’s music career began in confidentiality. In the context of a conventional family setting, one might understand wanting to keep a creative career a secret for fear of disapproval, but in the case of her parents — both of whom had fairly unconventional professions — it seemed like there shouldn’t be any reason to hide.

For Iman, keeping it her “little secret” wasn’t anything like the reasons that first came to mind. “I wanted my family to hear about my venture into the music industry when I had everything planned and put in place. I guess it was a form of maintaining control before presenting it to the world and I wanted everything to be perfect because it is a big step stepping into a new industry, which was an unknown territory.”

Although her debut track Timeframe leaned more towards Trap, her second single Love Me a Little More is a Pop bop that brought listeners straight into the summer heat. As a newly minted singer in the scene, Iman is clear that she’s keen on expanding her repertoire as a singer. “I would describe my music style to be a fusion of Pop and R&B with some influences in House and Afro beats. I do have a direction I want to go with my music but I am still very much open to experimenting and finding new sounds.”

Iman Fandi
Left: Tube dress and heels by Bottega Veneta
Right: Ruched short dress and heels by Versace
Jewellery from Bvlgari

That being said, both hits are inspired by relatable, real-life situations, with the songstress expanding on concepts like separation, distance, and unrequited love. Love Me a Little More, for instance, was written to capture the essence of a one-sided relationship, “where everything you do might not be enough to keep the one you want.”

Don’t be mistaken, however. Analysing the lyrics word for word in an attempt to find out dirty details about her life won’t get you anywhere. Iman elaborates that even though most of the songs that she writes and puts out come from personal experiences, she does tweak the storyline a little. “My environment, family and friends also inspire me to write about many different things. I want my songs to be relatable and to show a variety of emotions. I hope people can dance, cry, and be happy listening to my music.”

Iman Fandi
Suitcases from Rimowa in Lavande (Cabin) and Silver (Trunk XL)
Twill blazer by Jacquemus and Linen midi dress by Zimmermann from
Jewellery from Bvlgari

Now that she’s graduated from school and is officially diving into her music career full-time, Iman reveals that she’s looking forward to putting out her EP and holding a concert, but there are no specific plans for the future. After all, who knows what the future holds? “(I just want to) continue what I love doing and putting out as much music as I can.”

Fans of the Would you love me, babe singer can expect collaborations in the future, although there hasn’t been any concrete plans as for now. While we imagine her clear vocals being suitable for a variety of genres, she lets us in on a couple of artistes she’d personally like to collaborate with in the future.

“Locally, I would love to collaborate with YAO because he is such an amazing lyricist and great at coming up with melodies. Internationally, I would love to collaborate with Astrid S or Zara Larsson because I look up to those singers so much and I love their creations.”

Printed puffed jacket, printed skirt and Patterned gaiters by 2 Moncler 1952 Women
Jewellery from Bvlgari

When asked to describe herself, Iman isn’t afraid to share that she’s “adventurous, independent, and open to trying anything.”

“I can be a little quirky and I embrace my weird side. Fashion, beauty, dance and music inspire me. I also love sports and am open to anything new and that I can challenge myself with. People might also not know this but there are sides of me where I am pretty shy and sensitive too.”

For the uninitiated, the multi-faceted personality once dabbled in the world of sports as well, joining the sprint team when she was studying at Singapore Sports School. Iman, however, is quick to admit that while it was something that she was interested in and enjoyed when she was in Secondary School, being a professional athlete wasn’t something that was on the cards for her.

Iman Fandi
Knit off-shoulder top and printed skirt by Alexander Mcqueen
Shoes, Miu Miu x New Balance 574
Jewellery from Bvlgari

“It was a phase that I outgrew and decidedly moved on from. I’m always open to trying something new because these transitions help me get closer to what I am meant to do and who I am meant to become,” she reflects.

Disregarding the fact that she’s been creating NFTs and TikToks on top of her busy schedule, she’s also seen creating lifestyle content like vlogs, shorts, and makeup videos on YouTube. “YouTube is a platform I love going back to because I get to document parts of my life for myself to look back on and at the same time give people the chance to know me better.”

It seems like dreaming up ideas never stops for Iman, as she’s recently started a new series called #ImanTries on the video platform. “Life can get really busy for me at times and that makes it hard to produce videos as frequently as I would like but I am looking forward to creating more content and continuing with #ImanTries. I had so much fun filming it and just love the new experiences,” she says.

Iman Fandi
Knit pullover, denim jeans, knit hat and mini triomphe in bright green by Celine

It’s inherently important to have difficult conversations about race and racism even in the diverse tapestry that in Singapore. For Iman, who grew up with mixed heritage, she admits that when she was younger, people questioned her hair curls and looks and even questioned if she was actually Asian, but the positive personality always took it in her stride. “(I) never took it negatively and I embrace being mixed,” she adds.

“I wouldn’t say I had difficulties but it was definitely a different experience that I had compared to my friends who were not mixed race.”

Maturing amidst a childhood of different ethnicities, including living abroad a couple of years in Indonesia with her family, she believes that while diversity is important, people can do better to be more mindful about minority races here.

“Singapore is such a multi-racial country and there are people from all walks of life who lead their lives here. I think being accepting of one another and embracing each other’s cultures and traditions are aspects we should always respect because everyone has different beliefs and upbringings. We should not bring anyone down just because of their race or minority status.”

In light of National Day this month, she ends with a personal vision for Singapore — “to grow and develop even more than it already has and hope that everyone can find a safe, inclusive space to be who they are.” 


Photography by Dominic Phua / Studio Daydream

Fashion Direction and Styling by Josiah Chua

Creative Production by Jasmine Ho / Seven of Hearts Studio

Makeup and Hair by Kat Zhang (Suburbs Studio)

Makeup, Dior Beauty & Fenty Beauty

Hair using Kevin Murphy

Assisted by Nicole Ang and Sophia Soh (Subrubs Studio)

Photography Assistant, Alfred Phang, Hifzhan and Jamie Wee

Retouching by Cheng (iimaging)

Styling Assistant, Alexandria Chen

Motion Post-production by Marcus Lin

Q&A: Into the mind of Singapore’s next It Girl, Iman Fandi

Jocelyn Tan

Senior Writer

Jocelyn Tan is a travel, food and design writer who loves to explore lesser-known cities abroad and chat with locals about their favourite eats in town. When she's not writing, she's probably indulging in serial killer podcasts or reading one too many books on East Asian history.


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