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Published: Sunday March 9, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday March 9, 2014 MYT 2:37:07 PM

Datuk Shake out to wow Kuching folk

He’s back: Shake has recorded a new version of his hit ‘Umi’, in memory of his late mother.

He’s back: Shake has recorded a new version of his hit ‘Umi’, in memory of his late mother.

TWO decades before sultry Indonesian singer Anggun made a career for herself in France, there was another Asian singer who made waves there — our very own Datuk Shake.

This Johor-born singer launched his career in France in 1976 with the French song Tu Sais Je T’aime (You Know I Love You).

Shake, who could hardly speak French back then, went on to have a successful career there and also in Malaysia, with hits such as Anugerah Dari Kegagalan (Award From Failure) and Kau Bunga Ku (You’re My Flower).

To-date, he has recorded over 20 albums in French, English and Malay. His career has taken him to Paris, Los Angeles and Kuala Lumpur, where he has been living over the past two years.

Happy couple: Shake and his wife, Milena
Happy couple: Shake and his wife, Milena.

Besides his success in the world of music, he has found domestic bliss, as he has been happily married to Datin Milena for the past 35 years — an eternity in the world of celebrities.

The couple has four children — actor/singer Nicolas, film director Amaro, singer Natasha and actress Mina. (Milena would not reveal the childrens’ ages as she feels it is not right to judge people on how old they are.)

Shake, the 64-year-old citizen of the world, realises he has had it good and is chronicling his four-decade career in a book that is scheduled to be out early next year.

The book called Mon Voyage (My Journey), will be published in French and Malay, says the singer, adding that it is already more than half written.

Besides publishing the new book, Shake is planning to release some new songs along with new recordings of his classic hits, by May this year. This will be the first new release since 2012’s Chameleon.

Already, he has re-recorded one of his biggest hits, Umi, which was recorded as a tribute to his mother back in 1984, while she was still alive.

Umi means mother in Arabic.

Today, the song takes on a new perspective for Shake as his mother has since passed away.

“I feel very sad when I sing it today, so I decided to produce a ‘blues-ier’ version of the song,” he shares with The Star.

The new version of Umi is accompanied by a sombre video shot in Paris by the singer’s filmmaker son Amaro (http://youtube/f6Banx1jysI).

With his mother still in mind, Shake has also announced he would be playing his biggest concert in Malaysia on Mother’s Day.

“Konsert Umi” will be held at Stadium Negri in Petra Jaya, Kuching this May 10.

“It’s going to be a two-and-a-half-hour show and it’s going to cover all the periods in my career — the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ll be singing in French, English and Malay and I’ll bring back the disco sound with some French musicians,” he says.

The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is sponsoring the concert. Tickets will be priced from RM70 to RM500.

Shake adds that there are also plans for concerts in Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur.

However, the dates have not been confirmed yet.

Tags / Keywords: East Malaysia, Datuk Shake, Umi

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