Malaysian born R&B singer-songwriter Nadhira grew up moving between London, Jakarta, Brunei and Kuala Lumpur. Influenced by different musical styles, Nadhira wrote her first song when she was still a teenager. In 2010, she released her EP From Malaysia with Love with a showcase in Toronto, Canada. The EP bagged Nadhira with three number one spots on Malaysian charts for her singles Do It Again, Breaking Up and You Got Me. The success of From Malaysia with Love also led to Nadhira opening for American singer-songwriter Iyaz and Vincentian artist Kevin Lyttle.
The beautiful R&B singer then went on to release her second album 12 Shades in 2011. Her single Tear Us Apart featuring Ron E. Jones from the album 12 Shades won her the Best Pop Song/R&B Song Award at the Southeast Asia’s ViMA 2012 Awards and her latest single Closer featuring Vandal also from her album 12 Shades has bagged her nominations for ViMA’s Best Pop Song and Best Music Video awards at the ViMA 2013 Awards.
Nadhira has also played on Balcony TV, a popular online video series that features bands performing on balconies all around the world. Nadhira did an acoustic version of her track You Are The One on Balcony TV London in March this year. The singer, who’s also the ambassador of Puma Malaysia shares her story with Hype Malaysia in this exclusive interview.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to a lot of different music genres actually. But I always had rock and country around me because of my dad. Though my major influences, oddly enough were Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey.
What inspired you to get into the music industry and to start writing?
Well I’ve always been writing, ever since I was a kid and I’ve always been creating music for myself and it’s been my dream of making an album ever since. So after a push from friends and family, I put my foot down and decided that I was going to this, I was going to make an album and well that’s where it all began.
I love R&B. The soul that consists in the music and the realness is the reason why. I’m that person whose in tuned with the energies around me, a feeler so to say, so music that has soul is perfect for me.
How old were you when you wrote your first song?
I was about fifteen years old.I sat in the music room at school and got my music theory teacher to teach me how to connect my guitar to the machine, record in layers, and the put in my vocals on top of my music. That was the FIRST time I recorded my songs in a CD which was titled The Pill and consisted of five original tracks.
Do you write your songs based on personal experiences?
I do but not all of my songs. Some of them are based on personal experiences and some of them are just pure fiction. It really depends on what is moving me plus, thanks to English composition classes I can tell tales.
Who is your favourite songwriter?
I would have to say Babyface. He has written amazing R&B songs for many of the successful artists we know such as Beyonce, Boyz 2 Men, TLC, Toni Braxton, Usher, Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Faith Evans, Dru Hill and many many more!!
And what about your favourite singer?
I don’t really have a favourite but I do love the voices of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Beyonce! I believe it’s their voices that has made an impact on generations!
If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
Right now, in this moment it would have to be either Kendrick Lamar or J Cole, or Jhene Aiko.
Tell us more about your album 12 Shades.
12 Shades is my second album. It has more flavours in it as compared to my first album as it features twelve shades of love and my music varies from one track to another on this album. I also have a hidden track that not many people know about on the album. Simply put, 12 Shades is an album that represents anger, jealously, joy and all the different feelings derived from love.
Did you write all the songs on 12 Shades?
All of the tracks on the album were written by me except for Rindu and Sendiri, obviously because they are Malay tracks and I have struggle with the language. Haha! If I’m working with another artist on a track, then they write their own part. Otherwise, everything is written by me.
Where can our readers listen to you/watch you perform?
Fans and readers can visit my website from everything Nadhira.
Listen to Nadhira’s latest single Closer feat. Vandal here: