Soulful Rhythm
Evanna Ramly | 02 Mar 2018 00:30
Semalam Di Malaya pays homage to 1940s and 1950s Malaya (photo courtesy of Ushera)

Listening to Ushera with eyes closed, one could easily mistake her singing for that of the legendary Saloma’s. There is an old-world charm to her golden voice, resonant in her nostalgic music whether she is lamenting the symbolic wilting of the national flower (it is the hibiscus, in case you didn’t know) or inviting audiences to join her in an upbeat Polynesian mambo.

“My earliest memories of music came from P. Ramlee movies,” she recalls, adding that she also grew up on Disney’s animated films. “It was the cheerful tunes and very simple melodies that made an impact on me.”

Little surprise that the chanteuse always wanted to be an entertainer. “I can recall, sometime around three or four years old, telling people I was going to be a singer. Growing up, my life has always revolved around singing, either in a choir or the school band.”

Born in Shah Alam (her parents are from Penang) the family travelled constantly due to her father’s career in manufacturing and then in the hotel line. Ushera attended 11 schools across the country, the most memorable being Sekolah Raja Perempuan in Ipoh.