Up and coming Iban singing sensation Gabriel Fairuz Louis, had the judges eating out of his hand when he sang his very own composition, 'Genggam Jariku' (Hold My Hands).
The song was the toast of the Sixth Ajarr (Anugerah Juara Rentak Ruai) Iban Songs Singing competition where he was crowned champion last night.
It was yet another feather to his cap when the self-taught singer crooned his way to the hearts of the judges to win top honours for the 'Best Song' category.
Gabriel, 27, who works at the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore, beat 11 contestants and pop groups to win RM5,000 cash prize and a trophy at the Sibu Civic Centre.
His number was also voted the third most popular song at the competition, which was aimed at honouring and awarding Iban singers and musicians, apart from promoting the Dayak music industry.
The premier annual competition is organised by the state's only private radio station, Cats FM, and its group of sponsors.
Between May 17 and 19, Gabriel represented the country at the XXII Discovery International Pop Music Festival in Varna, Bulgaria.
There, he also sang his own composition, 'Percaya' (Believe), to win the Diploma Award under the Best Country hit category.
Last year, he won the Best Album award at the 2012 Dayak Music Awards in Kuching, and was also voted 'Best Male Artiste' and 'Best New Male Artiste'.
Sarawak Dayak Artistes and Musicians Association president Snowdan Lawan, who was accompanied by a director of Cats FM, Datin Hanifah Hajar Taib-Alsree, officiated at the prize giving ceremony. - Bernama, July 7, 2013.