Shila Amzah’s struggle to success from Malaysia to China

Shila admitted her musical career has been a topsy-turvy journey. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar
Shila admitted her musical career has been a topsy-turvy journey. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — When an artist thinks like an entrepreneur there are endless possibilities.

Just ask Shila Amzah — the Kuala Lumpur based singer who’s made a name for herself in the mandopop market in China and Taiwan —  and she will tell you why.

“There are seven billion people in the world and China has a population of about 1.4 billion, almost a quarter of the world’s population.

“Why should I go to the United States to further develop my career? Can you tell me a nation which is more represented in the face of the world? You can find Chinatown every part of the world,” the 27-year-old said.

Her decision has proved to be a rewarding one so far.

After years of recording and performing at various venues throughout Malaysia, she moved to China to take part in a reality singing show in Shanghai called Asian Wave in 2012. 

The first stop of her latest world tour ‘Loving You’ will be at Genting’s Arena of Stars. —Picture by Ham Abu Bakar
The first stop of her latest world tour ‘Loving You’ will be at Genting’s Arena of Stars. —Picture by Ham Abu Bakar
She came, she saw and she conquered.

After a couple of months battling it out, she was announced the champion of the show after performing Gemilang by Jaclyn Victor, Grenade by Bruno Mars and Zheng Fu by Na Ying.

She then signed a recording contract with Shanghai Media Group and a host of other awards followed through — Anugerah Bintang Popular’s Best Female Singer in 2013, Hong Kong Guoyuli Awards best female singer in 2015 and also scooping the Most Popular Female Artist and Best Female Singer at the 2016 Music Pioneer Awards.

Despite a growing fan base — with over 5 million followers on Weibo and Instagram — Shila admitted starting her career there was not easy.

To begin with, she did not even speak a single word of Mandarin.

“At that time I wanted to be somewhere I can learn a new language, experience a new lifestyle and China fitted the bill perfectly as it has always been my dream.

“I wanted to start off at a place where people won’t know me as Shila from a reality show in Malaysia or a daughter of an artist,” she said.

It was a tough start in China for the multi-talented artist, but she thrives every time she is put in a difficult situation.

Years before breaking into the market, there was already slight pressure on the little girl’s shoulders. 

She is the daughter of recording artist Amir Amzah Salleh and actress Fauziah Sarman — and living with that status was never easy.

“It was always tough because people used to say that I’m only an artist because my dad is one, I was always being placed in the shadow of my dad and it was never easy.

“I’m so proud of my parents but another reason to why I decided to expand my career in China was to prove the haters wrong and show them I can stand on my own feet,” she said.

Her parents have always been supportive of her and even sacrificed some time off her siblings just to help her with her singing talent.

“The reason why I’m still doing music until today is partly because of them. I want to repay every single thing they have done for me.

“Whenever I perform they always give me a wonderful smile, and I wouldn’t want to take that smile away from them,” she said.

When she’s not singing or spending time with her husband Haris Idraki Elias, Shila said she loves writing lyrics, reading and learning new languages.

“To be honest, I’m better at writing breakup songs. It’s easier, but my husband has inspired me to be more positive now, and indeed I write more love songs now.

“I write anytime and anywhere of the day but preferably at night. As an artist, we have to be open to every genre.”

She admitted her musical career has taken her on a roller-coaster ride and one of the highlights of her career was the 2017 show in Genting Highlands for the “My Journey” tour.

“It was a special occasion and the fans made it even more memorable.”

She will be back at Resorts World Genting again on September 29 to kick off her latest world tour “Loving You”.

“This concert should be a more romantic affair — not only for couples but for friends and families too.”

Besides the Genting stop, Shila will also be performing in China while few other venues worldwide are still being confirmed.

“I assure the fans that this is one they do not want to miss. The whole packaging of it will be different – the costumes, the stage, the lighting.

“During my last show I sang eight languages and for this edition, I would like to try ten different languages,” she said.

Tickets for the show go on sale on June 1.

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