KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Although she is planning to have a small showcase upon the release of her new album this year, Malaysian songstress Datuk Sheila Majid has voiced her concerns over the lack of music venues in the country.
“We don’t have a lot of proper venues which are suitable for ‘live’ performances. For me, the most important element of a ‘live’ music venue is a good sound system and not just the stage decoration!” said the singer when met at the St Regis Hotel in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Sheila who has been given the “Malaysia’s Queen of Jazz” title lamented the association of ‘live’ music with night clubs and alcohol, which she believes has tainted the perception of music showcases and performers.
“Why must we depend on places like these for showcases? Why can’t we build more halls, have shows at 8.30pm to 10.30pm instead of 11pm to 1pm because that’s the time when most of us are already sleepy, and also a show without alcohol,” said the recent recipient of the AIM 22 Anugerah Sri Wirama.
“That way, children, adults and seniors can also enjoy a good, clean show together with their family,” she continued.
“Stop building shopping malls, we have no money to spend anyway!” remarked the singer. “We need more platforms for young artistes to showcase their skills!”
The singer touched on the topic when mentioning that she has yet to choose a venue for her upcoming showcase, for which she would most probably pick the National Stadium.
However, as the stadium was still under renovation, she said that Istana Budaya would also be a good choice but not without a much-needed revamp.
The 51-year-old singer recently celebrated her 30th anniversary in Singapore and Indonesia with grand shows, but had to exclude Malaysia from the celebration due to the absence of sponsors and the country’s weak economic state.
Even though the iconic singer is the face of many brands including her new role as ambassador for the Japanese optical company HOYA, she says looking for someone to sponsor her full-fledged concert is a much bigger responsibility to take rather than just assigning her to their brand.
“My fans have really high expectations of me, so if I’m just going to come out with a glamorised dinner show and call that a concert, do you think my fans will be satisfied? It has to be of concert quality!” she explained.
However, the singer says she is closing the book on having a 30th anniversary concert in Malaysia once and for all as she wants to focus on her new album which will be released this year.
Not many details on the album had been revealed, but according to the singer, it is already in the mixing and mastering stage.
In the meantime, Sheila also shared that she recently took a five-hour master class with Seth Riggs and his wife Margarita, the vocal trainers for famous singers like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder and more. — TheHive.Asia