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Malaysia’s foremost singing sensation, SHEILA MAJID has continued to hold her rank presence in regional music scene for the last eighteen years with her trademark contemporary pop music tastefully with a Jazz and R&B flavour.
With the 1985 release of her debut album, aptly entitled Dimensi Baru, (translation: New Dimension), SHEILA MAJID brought a new dimension to the local music industry; building a phenomenal following manifested by sold-out concerts in various cities.
With Emosi (translation: Emotion), released a year later, SHEILA MAJID made a Malaysian invasion of a very protective Indonesian market. She went on to win the prestigious BASF Award for Best Female Artist in R&B category in 1987; never before by a non-Indonesian. Her success in Indonesia was further entrenched by a 1988 nationwide tour, which received an overwhelming response.
From Indonesia SHEILA MAJID spread her wings to Japan where she performed at the Tokyo Music Festival in 1989. She left such an impression at the Okinawa Music Pageant in 1990 that she was invited back to perform in Japan by popular demand that very same year. With two well-received albums and singles respectively she remains the first and only Malaysian artist to successfully infiltrate Japan, the world’s second biggest market.
By the same time SHEILA MAJID released her 1988 multi-platinum selling album Warna (translation: Colour) her album sales abroad were outstripping sales in her home country. Her music had broken all age and racial barriers and she had by now become a household name. Her popularity topped New Straits Times reader’s poll four consecutive years between 1987 to 1990, which incidentally was the last year the poll was held.
Even before she could take time to revel in the resounding success of Warna, SHEILA MAJID embarked upon yet another pioneering project in 1990, fourth album Legenda (translation: Legend) which featured her fresh interpretation of several classics by the late P.Ramlee; perceived as a daring effort by critics and fans alike. Her tribute to Malaysia’s most unrivaled legendary artist captured the imagination of the nation across the board. Little wonder when in the same year, she was awarded the Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N), a federal honour, by His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong IX. To date, Legenda remains her best-selling album which was complemented by an enormously success nationwide tour, spanning over two years and culminating in a concert at Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur which drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 10,000 – hitherto the biggest by a local solo artiste.
The release of her fifth original studio album, Ratu (translation: Queen) in 1996 was a marked transition in SHEILA MAJID’s singing career. By now her voice and singing style have matured completely. Her immense popularity, despite a 6 years break, coupled her enchanting new found velvety smooth sound had enabled her to collaborate with some of the world’s best musicians – most notably bassist Nathan East of American jazz group Four Play, who has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Babyface, etc. and Rex Goh of Air Supply fame on guitars, as well as Japanese violinist, Aska Kaneko.
With this critically acclaimed album, SHEILA MAJID took her music to United Kingdom where she performed at a sold-out concert at London’s West End Royalty Theatre in March 1996. To mark this historic event – again, Malaysia’s first – East West Records, her UK affiliate label, occasioned a special release of Ratu with a meet-the-fans session at the world’s biggest music store, Tower Records at Piccadilly Circus, London – a privilege usually reserved for international superstars.
With growing demand for her presence in London, in December of the same year she accepted an invitation by Ronnie Scotts’, the jazz Mecca of the Music world to take to the very stage where her idols like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder had once performed. In the United Kingdom, much encouragement was given for her to embark upon a long awaited English album but SHEILA MAJID’s orientation remains committed to her roots. Many critics believe her magical delivery is most apparent in her mother tongue but none has so far ruled out the viability of an English project. Neither has she.
The release of SHEILA MAJID’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, Ku Mohon (translation: I Pray) in November 1999 is an affirmation of her leading position in the music industry. With a successful nationwide tour preceding the album release, Ku Mohon went on to win four awards most notably ‘Best Pop Album’ at the Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) 2000, Malaysia’s equivalent of the Grammy. The title track, one of her five compositions in the album and incidentally her first lyric creation was named ‘Song of the Year’.
In July 2000, SHEILA MAJID created history yet again by being the first local artiste to perform at the Dewan Filharmonic PETRONAS. The two night sell out concerts were held in conjunction with her fifteenth year anniversary in the music industry. Amongst those present to celebrate the occasion were Their Majesties The Yang di-Pertuan Agong XI and The Raja Permaisuri Agong on the first night and the Prime Minister and First Lady on the second.
In November 2001, SHEILA MAJID was invited to represent Malaysia in Jakarta entitled DIVA SEA which brought together leading singers from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The concert was televised live to millions all over Indonesia.
In October 2003, SHEILA MAJID was invited to headline a live concert by TransTV, Indonesia. This two hour special, entitled ‘Konsert Perjalanan Seni Sheila Majid’ was a prelude to the release of her much anticipated new album. Cinta Kita, her seventh studio effort was another milestone in her career if not the Malaysian music industry as a whole. This album, helmed by Warner Music Indonesia saw SHEILA MAJID collaborating with some of Indonesia’s industry giants like Andi Rianto, Tohpati and Indra Lesmana who collectively contributed towards 80% of the album production. To date, both the album as well as its first single, ‘Kerinduan’ have reached number one in Indonesia.