Shila Amzah is hobbling to her seat as we begin our interview session.
“I was walking and all of a sudden, my ankle just gave way,” Shila explains when she sees me staring at her feet.
“I don’t know how it happened. The floor was flat and I was wearing trainers,” she adds before breaking into laughter.
But the singer is taking it in her stride even though she has a show coming up – the first stop of her Loving You World Tour which will kick off at Arena Of Stars, Resorts World Genting in Genting Highlands on Sept 29.
“I actually planned not to wear my usual long dresses and high heels. The concert is going to be something people won’t expect from Shila Amzah.
“So the fact that I just sprained my ankle, it’s like fate, I definitely can’t wear high heels now.”
Shila, 28, plans to have a more organic concert experience, getting off the stage intermittently to interact with her fans more.
The Malaysian singer begun her journey in showbiz in 2007 after placing second on local reality talent series One In A Million.
She ventured into the Chinese market, taking part in two singing competitions in China, namely, Asian Wave in 2012 and I Am A Singer in 2014.
“The theme for this concert is ‘loving you’. It’s about my love for music, my family, my friends, my husband, my fans and myself,” she explains the significance of the new concert. Indeed, love is a big subject in Shila’s life, seeing that she just tied the knot with 28-year-old Haris Idraki Elias last April.
She currently lives in London, where Haris is based, and flies to China or Malaysia when work beckons.
“Before getting married, I knew that something was missing in my life. I was constantly working and I achieved a lot, but I felt there was a hole in my heart that needed to be filled.
“After getting married, I feel very content.”
Shila talks about life after getting married, writing songs with her husband and her new album.
1. You’ve chosen to take a step back from songwriting in your upcoming seventh album. Was that a difficult decision to make?
I think to find myself musically, I have to take a break from writing.
As a writer, you tend to write the same types of song after a while. There’s a need to take a break so you come to realise what songs suit you best.
Other people’s perception of yourself is totally different from what you feel about yourself and sometimes that’s what you need.
I’ve been working with new writers based in Beijing. One of them wrote If We Are Getting Old, a song I sang at my wedding. I love that song.
I will never be able to write such happy songs because it’ll come off very cheesy. I’m better at writing songs about heartbreak. So when somebody else writes it, it feels right.
2. In a previous interview, your father, ND Lala, said it was difficult for him to let go of you on your wedding day, having been by your side for so many years as both a father and a manager. What was it like for you?
It was very hard to let go. He has been an inspiration to me from the very beginning. My dad is very protective of me.
I feel Haris has taken on that role now, I feel very safe with him.
Of course, I still communicate with my family every day. We worked out the time difference. So, they’ll call after I wake up at about 4pm Malaysian time every day.
3. Is there something new you learned about your husband since getting married?
We’ve been married for three months and I’ve never seen him go out with his friends. He has his work colleagues who he’ll just meet at work. Sometimes, I even have to force him to go out.
He’s also a bookworm. He reads a lot. Even when he is on the tube (a public transport system in London), he’ll be reading his Kindle. I’ve never met anyone who reads as much as he does.
4. In your previous concert, you sang in eight different languages. Is it difficult to memorise the lyrics especially for languages you don’t speak?
It’s hard but I love challenges, I love to push myself.
Language is something I have always been passionate about. For example, if I constantly watch Korean dramas, within four to five months, I can end up understanding what they’re saying without seeing the subtitles. I’m like that.
I think it started during secondary school when I would come home after school and there would be all these (foreign-language) telenovelas. I even picked up some Spanish, Hindi and Tagalog through this.
5. Have you thought about writing in English and releasing an English album?
I do have plans to write in English as well. My husband is very good at writing. I want him to write for me or maybe we can write together.
Also, the kind of music I’ve always liked is not just power ballads but songs that people can dance to like R&B and EDM.
I think I will be able to do that for my English album or EP one day.
For tickets to Shila Amzah’s Loving You concert in Genting Highlands, visit www.rwgenting.com.