New Straits Times - life and times

Nadhira makes her move


Music is her journey. AREF OMAR chats with the new indie artiste
SHE spent her formative years in different countries including the United Kingdom, Brunei and Indonesia.

“My dad’s work (in finance) took him all over the world and the family was always on the move,” says indie singer-songwriter Nadhira Nishaa.

Never staying in one place for more than several years made a big impression and exposed her to different cultures.

“It was exciting as a kid but, at the same time, making friends and then leaving them was hard.

“I’m used to it now. It helps in adapting to situations,” says the 25-year-old who coped by channelling her creative energy into music. Singing came naturally and with encouragement from her parents, she studied classical piano at London’s Royal Academy of Music.

“I loved every second of it and was always excited to learn new songs,” she says. Along the way she picked up the drums, guitar, saxophone and violin but confesses that the piano remains her best loved instrument.

At the moment, Nadhira is working on her debut album and has released a single, Breaking Up, which is currently on FlyFM’s Campur Chart.

Going under the moniker of Irie Ira, her smooth vocals provide a silky wash over the reggae-infused track that features Senegalese dancehall artiste King Lhota. “He liked my singing style and contacted me online. We got together and collaborated,” says Nadhira who also sings on his song, Konvict Souljah.

Her follow-up single, Do It Again, which comes with a new music video, is an R&B flavoured track produced by Tatsuro Miller of Global City Music.

She hopes to work with more producers, including a Colombian and a Belgian, to realise her musical vision.

“The tracks will be in English but I do have a few in Bahasa Malaysia done by Fathullah Luqman,” says the advertising and graphic design graduate, who works for Crush Communications.

As for the feel and flavour of the album, she has yet to decide on a coherent sound, preferring to let things play out as they go.

A fan of a wide spectrum of music genres, she used to be in alternative and rock bands during her teenage years.

“I played bass guitar for Sil Khannaz (local death metal band) in a concert in Indonesia which also featured Nidji, Padi and Dewa.

“It was a phase and I later decided to concentrate on my voice and singing,” says Nadhira, who grew up listening to a lot of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.

She has slowly been gigging in the music circuit with past performances at the Sunburst Music Festival and an opening set for DJ Yogi at Life Centre.

The plucky singer will be heading to Canada in May for a few shows and to test the waters with her music.

During “live” performances, she is known to sing covers in an R&B style.

“I like to make it into my own. One example was Michael Jackson’s Earth Song done a cappella, accompanied by some beatboxing,” she says.

You can check her tunes out at

Nadhira is also part of the MoveMint label, formed with Canadian rapper Vandal, which focuses on emerging artistes and talent development, currently catering to the hip-hop and urban music segments as a network and support group for the scene at the grassroots level.

An entry on her MySpace page says it best: “I am still struggling at it as there is so much to learn in this very short time given,” she writes.

“Just take me to wherever it is supposed to go. I want to take my listeners on a journey through my music.”

NST - life&times Online

Anyways, here's just to clear up some of the mis-info's about the article. 
I think I may have talked about the numerous bands I was involved in and I was never part of sil-khannaz nor did I ever play bass for them. I used to have a band called Amethyst and that band's guitarist is also the guitarist of Sil-Khannaz.:) 

About featuring with bands like nidji, padi,dewa.... what I said was we SHARED THE SAME STAGE. That was it. We never featured with them. 

The band I played bass for was called Bukit Hijau.  

That's all. 

Thank you Aref Omar for featuring me in this week's New Straits Times, life&times segment.

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