Me (excitedly): The fact that I am talking to you, is going to be my dinner table conversation.
She (laughing): No lah. You are being too kind.
Me (thinking silently): Wow! Even her laughter is melodious.
Such is the awe that Malaysia’s jazz queen, Dato’ Sheila Majid, commands in every conversation, song and performance.
With songs such as Ku Mohon, Sinaran and Di Dalam Emosi Ini to her credit, she has been in the realm of the Malaysian music industry for the past three decades and continues to captivate audiences with her soothing vocals, catchy lyrics and moving melodies.
This year the nation’s singing sensation is giving her fans a big reason to celebrate!
After 13 years since the release of her last album Cinta Kita, Dato’ Sheila Majid is back with her new album Boneka, a feat that took her three years to accomplish.
And if that wasn’t enough to make her fans swoon with happiness, the legendary pop-star will be performing live on August 5, 2017 at Stadium Negara, 26 years after her last Legenda concert there in 1991.
We sit down with the diva to dig out 13 things we bet you didn’t know about Dato’ Sheila Majid.
1. Her first live performance was at a lounge in Petaling Jaya.
Sheila Majid’s journey with music began with her giving live performances at a lounge called ‘All That Jazz’ in Petaling Jaya. “That was my first experience performing in front of a live audience and my first learning curve for bigger concerts. Getting people to stop what they were doing and listen to me felt like an achievement of a lifetime,” she recalls.
2. She doesn’t really sing jazz!
“I don’t know why I am called as the Queen of Jazz, although I do appreciate the title that my fans have bestowed upon me. My music is a mix of pop, rock, jazz and R&B.” In order to explain her music to international critics, the local industry started branding her work under the jazz category and it has remained so ever since.
3. Convincing her father was the first challenge she faced upon entering the music industry.
Sheila Majid started her first forays in the music industry nearly thirty years ago – a time when the entertainment industry was thought of as superficial and glamorous. “My father wanted me to focus more on my education than on my music. He associated music with all things bad- alcohol, drugs, late nights. It was only later when he heard me playing that he realised what music meant to me and gave me his blessings.”
4. She associates herself with being a bathroom singer.
“I have never received any formal vocational training. Whatever I know, is what I taught myself. Honestly, I don’t even have a specific everyday time to practice my singing. I simply sing in the shower to make sure that I don’t get rusty!” The pop star who has released eight albums now, adds that being consistent is more important as opposed to when and where you practice music.
5. Her success mantra is all about doing what you like.
For Dato’ Sheila Majid each day is a new day and her aim is to do at least one productive activity every day. “Not everything I do is perfect. But I do what I enjoy and in such instances, the initiative comes from within making the task at hand easier to accomplish.”
6. Delegation is her key to being an efficient multitasker.
“I delegate a lot. Fortunately, I have the privilege of having a maid and cook who can take care of the domestic responsibilities, so I can focus more on my work and family.” The pop queen believes that efficiency comes with interest. She adds, "Focus on what you can do the best, sort your priorities and stop comparing yourself to others, to extract your best working potential.”
7. Late night movies with her husband is how she relieves herself at the end of a stressful day.
Contrary to her external glamorous persona, Sheila Majid is quite a homebody and enjoys spending time with her family.” Me-time is a real luxury for me. But I enjoy catching up on some good movies with my husband and ordering takeaways to go with. It helps me relax and de-stress after a hectic day.”
8. She is an avid diver.
“I feel at ease when we are out at sea. I usually go diving with my husband and we leave at dawn when the crowds don’t surround us.” The diva feels blessed to live in Malaysia with its tropical weather and many islands with clear waters that allow her to nurture her love for diving.
9. Stevie Wonder is her music icon.
While in her music career of thirty years Sheila Majid has gathered a huge following, for the singing superstar, it is the work of Stevie Wonder who she admires the most when it comes to music. “He is the ultimate. I have nothing more to say."
10. She plans her yearly schedule revolving around her family.
“I want to impart our Malay culture and traditions to my children. Irrespective of how far they go in life, I genuinely wish that they always pay homage to their nation and their culture. For this, I ensure that I spend as much time as I can with them. I want to raise children who are aware of their morals and ethics.”
11. Don’t turn to music for the glamour is her advice to aspiring musicians.
“This is not an easy industry. Don’t expect to become an overnight Justin Bieber. You have to be strong and hard-working. Sort out your intentions first. If you are in here for the glamour, stay out.” She adds that the truth is often disheartening to accept, but the youth need to be aware of realities before they decide to plunge into the music industry.
12. Her new album Boneka is her way of honouring her fans.
Boneka, released in April this year, is a compilation of 10 songs and several composers came on board for the project including Indonesian songwriter and jazz guitarist Tohpati. “Boneka is for my fans who want to hear my music. I was reluctant at the start to release an album as we are in the age of downloadable music and nobody wants to purchase music off shelves. But I also wanted to do something new and different for the people who have supported me always.”
13. Performing on Malaysian grounds gives her jitters!
Sheila Majid is performing live on August 5 at Stadium Negara much to the joy of her fans. “There is something majestic about performing on your home ground that fills me with nervous anticipation. Malaysia is my country and the people here made me who I am today. What if I disappoint them?” The diva at present is devoting all her time and energy to the concert and hoping to put forward a rocking performance for her fans!
Be a witness of her unique and powerful voice, coupled with her stunning stage prowess and impeccable singing skills at ‘Sheila Majid: The Concert Kuala Lumpur 2017.’
The concert will be held on August 5 at Stadium Negara from 8pm onward and tickets for the same can be purchased at www.ticketcharge.com.my. For more enquiries contact +603 9222 8811.
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