There was once a period in my life where at least half of the music I listen to are by Indonesian musicians.* This was the time of Vina, Harvey, Oddie, KLA Project, Mus Mujiono, Fariz, Chrisye, Ruth,….and Sheila.
Before the heyday of Siti Nurhaliza, Sheila Madjid was there, capturing our hearts and ears. But unlike Siti, with her decidedly Malaysian flavor, Sheila was like one of our own. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Siti. But in my mind, that name is always associated with Malaysia. Whereas Sheila had that local flavor about her.
So of course I was excited to be able to watch her perform on her 25th anniversary concert last February 15th. It’s amazing how time flies so quickly, but Sheila looks like she always did, pert and absolutely lovely. If anything, she looks even more lovely.
The concert featured all Sheila’s hits like Antara Anyer dan Jakarta, Sinaran, Legenda, Warna, and Cinta Jangan Kau Pergi, my personal favorite. Whereas others sing it in a pleading mode, in Sheila’s hands it becomes a wooing, an affirmation of love, devoid of nagging hysterics.
At several points in the concert, Sheila’s deep connection to Indonesia was revealed. During performance of Legenda, the stage was awash with pictures of those artists who’ve gone before us– Benyamin S., Chrisye, Rendra, Elfa Secioria, and Chairil Anwar. That was such an emotional highlight of the concert for me, I had tears swelling in my eyes.
More tributes to Indonesian musicians followed; first, to acknowledge Vina Panduwinata, who she said was her idol, the one she wanted to emulate as a singer. Oddie Agam, who wrote such great songs for her, was also in the audience and received a shout-out and big hug.
A surprise of the night? Balawan coming out of the audience, guitar in hand, to join in a nifty duet with the band’s guitarist.
The concert was sponsored by Pond’s Gold Radiance line, and I must say, this is such a great partnership because I can think of very, very few accomplished celebrities who looks as radiant as Sheila does. And just in case someone in her team is reading, what is that lipstick she’s wearing, the one after the first outfit change, it’s AMAZING!
If you missed the concert, look out for the CD set coming out to commemorate her 25 years in the profession. I definitely will.
Hey Sheila, we love you lots, MWAH!
*Nowadays it’s about 5% or less.