PETALING JAYA, April 13 — Datuk Sheila Majid has taken a swipe at commercial radio for discriminating against senior artistes in limiting their on-air repertoire.
The jazz queen, who released her eighth album, Boneka, on Tuesday, said she was not the least perturbed by the prospect of not having her new songs played.
“I have come to a stage in my life where when I do something it’s because I want to do it and I know my fans out there will listen to it,” she said.
Sheila cited social media and online streaming services as available platforms for fans.
“If mainstream radio picks it up, hey, great…”
Her remarks are directed against format radio, which has taken over private radio programming.
While it is not a written rule, local contemporary top 40 radio is targeted primarily at those aged 15 to 30 years.
The targeted demographics have led to unspoken rules of only playing mainly material from those under 30, meaning senior artistes with new material rarely, if ever, make it to hit radio.
Sheila’s open stand is a breath of fresh air, seeing how many choose to remain silent over this treatment over fears of being banned permanently.
Senior artistes are not the only targets. Genres such as nasyid, dangdut and even R&B and jazz, are considered beyond the age group of their demographics.
“Programmers on radio… why do you have to go ‘this has got to be 35 years-old and below or under,” said Sheila.
“Music is music, it’s universal. Play it if it’s good. That’s the problem. We always have to politicise things. We shouldn’t politicise music.
“Music unites people, brings people together like sports, all walks of life, all races. Music is a matter of taste, ether you like that genre or you don’t.”
During the release of Boneka, which is 13 years after her studio album Cinta Kita in 2004, Sheila also announced her upcoming concert in August.
“Sheila Majid: The Concert Kuala Lumpur 2017” will be at Stadium Negara on August 5.
“I hope my loyal fans who have been repeatedly asking when I’m going to have a concert in Kuala Lumpur, will come and show their support,” she said.
Tickets for Sheila’s only second major concert in Kuala Lumpur, at the same venue as her first 1991 “Lagenda” concert — go on sale from tomorrow at www.ticketcharge.com.my.