Datuk Irwan Shah, better known as DJ Dave, 66, does not drink cold drinks, eats lots of fruits and vegetables and starts his day with 50 push-ups.
It is this kind of discipline that allowed him to play three exhausting, sold-out shows at Istana Budaya back in 2012.
The show, called Journey Through Song: Ingin Bersua DJ Dave, saw him singing and
dancing, complete with Elvis-styled pelvic thrusts, for two and a half hours, in the same pants he wore four decades ago.
The good news for his fans is that he plans to release a DVD of the concert in the middle of this year as it was such a special event.
“It was my whole life,” he recalled.
The bad news is that he will not be doing something on the same scale again as it takes a lot of energy.
However, Dave, who once used a helicopter to play at two venues (Angkasapuri and the Dayang Hotel) “simultaneously” in 1985, continues to sing at more intimate corporate and private events shows here and in Singapore.
Every year, he makes it a point to sing to unfortunate children on his birthday, which falls on Valentine’s Day, something that he has done for the past 40 years.
Dave, recorded evergreen hits including Maafkanlah, Ingin Bersua, Ku Tak Ingin Menangis Lagi, Harum Bunga Kembang and Sendiri Sendiri Aku Sendiri.
Dave said there were no plans for a new album, as albums “don’t sell anymore”.
Rather than channelling his energy into recording new albums, he would rather look after the welfare of ageing and ailing entertainers.
Towards this end, the Kuala Kubu Baru-born entertainer initiated the Yayasan Artis 1Malaysia (1Malaysia Artiste Foundation) in Kuala Lumpur in 2012.
He was moved to do this after seeing an ageing artiste not being able to make ends meet.
“The artiste was behind in rent for six months. To make things worse, when the artiste passed away, the family did not even have enough money for the funeral,” he solemnly recalled.
Dave, who is also president of the association, declined to name the artiste but said that the Government-funded foundation had to-date contributed RM2,000 to nearly 400 entertainers.
The foundation is also looking at providing free health insurance to these artistes.
“The hard truth is that when artistes grow old, they are no longer recognised,” he said.
However, fans of DJ Dave may be excited to know that he will record a ballad called Keputusan Mu, because the melody is too beautiful to ignore. It is written by Datuk Captain Gulzar Mohamad, a shipping tycoon.
“It’s a beautiful ballad and I want Gulzar to produce it. We are just waiting for the right time to do it,” said the singer.
Dave’s last new recording was the poignant M. Nasir-penned Nyawaku in 2012, which was written about people dumping their babies.
Dave is very much a family man. He has been happily married to Datin Seema Smir, a Malaysia Airlines stewardess, for the past 12 years.
This is his fourth marriage.
Dave has three children — Arween Kanchan, 39, an engineer in the United States; Darween Dave, 31, a MAS pilot; and Davina Farhana 26, who an is architecture lecturer.
However, Dave refuses to let any of his children pursue
a professional career in music.
“There are just too many temptations in the music industry,” he said.