Malaysian singer Sheila Majid shines in first concert after pandemic

Sheila Majid is as thrilled to see her fans as they are to see her. Photos: Handout

Datuk Sheila Majid brought 3,000 fans down memory lane on Saturday (March 18) night in her first concert since the pandemic.

In the Sheila Majid Big Band Live In Kuala Lumpur, the 58-year-old singer sang most of her evergreen favourites – from Sinaran to Lagenda – accompanied by over 20 musicians on stage at World Trade Centre.

At the backstage after the show, Sheila told the press that it was good to be back on stage as her fans have been requesting for her to put on a show.

Sheila said she has been hard at work, preparing for this show since January.

The singer, who has been in the industry for close to four decades, said that one needs to be fit to be in the entertainment line.

"If you want to be a performer, you need to be fit. It is not so much the singing, the time that we keep in this industry is haywire.

"You wake up at dawn, and your show doesn't end till midnight, and you only go to bed at 4am. Then we have flights to catch, shoots to do, etc," she said, adding that when she has a big project such as a large-scale concert, she stays disciplined so that she is able to give her best.

"We are like athletes, we need to be fit," said Sheila who stays active by doing pilates.

In the over two-hour show, Sheila performed 20 songs and never once was out of breath. Without dancers or props, Sheila commanded the stage, solo, from start to finish, with two changes of costume.

Sheila was asked to comment on returning to Dewan Merdeka at World Trade Centre on Saturday night, the same venue she performed in 1988 in her first ever concert, the Warna tour.

"Back in those times, I was so much younger. I wore short skirt and was jumping (on stage)," she said laughing.

"I was not so experienced, I didn't interact (with the audience) that much. But it was a great concert.

"Now I am more sure of my direction, how I interact with the audience, how I can read them."

Sheila Majid says it is good to be back on stage.Sheila Majid says it is good to be back on stage.

Sheila had the fans eating from the palm of her hand at the show, which was also attended by celebrities such as Anuar Zain, Misha Omar and Dayang Nurfaizah.

Sheila was playful (she teased the audience who asked for her unforgettable hit Sinaran: "Aren't there other songs you want to hear?"), poignant (she dedicated the award-winning song Wira Hatiku from the movie Juang to frontliners in the audience) during the show and her passion shone through in her performance.

The beloved Malaysian singer performed 20 songs, much to the delight of some 3,000 fans who turned up for her show. The beloved Malaysian singer performed 20 songs, much to the delight of some 3,000 fans who turned up for her show.

While most of her fans are those who listened to her in the 1980s and 1990s, Sheila said she is seeing younger audience members at her shows these days.

"I think they are introduced to my songs by deejays at music festivals who play remixes of Sinaran ... so I am thankful, because in a way it will keep my career longer because of these new fans," she said.

The thought of retiring from the industry did cross the singer's mind a few years ago when she felt like her career was stagnant.

"When I was 50, I felt like I have reached a ceiling in Malaysia, I couldn't go any further plus I am not competing with anyone anymore," she said.

Sheila then asked for God's guidance: "I prayed, 'If this (career) is no longer for me, please open doors to other opportunities for me.'

"But this is still the career that offers me most opportunities. I would get offers upon offers (for shows). And you know, I love music," she said on why she's still sticking around.

Sheila said she is looking forward to celebrating her 40th year in the music industry in 2025. She added that she has something up her sleeve but will not reveal it until everything is firmed up.

Looks like fans have more to expect from the diminutive dynamite of Malaysian music.

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