Nona Ushera epitomises the modern interpretation of a quintessential singer-songwriter of pre-independence 1940s and 1950s Malaya. Usually seen donning a traditional kebaya with a retro hairdo, she is best known for performing songs from the bygone era of what most would consider the golden age of the Malay entertainment scene. Ushera’s silvery voice has been described as reminiscent of singers with the likes of Nona Asiah from whom she gains inspiration and influence. For her, singing these classic tunes is aimed not only to entertain, evoke and relive nostalgic memories but also to spark an interest and appreciation for Malay music.
Ushera’s versatility in music is evinced through the wide-ranging styles of music in her repertoire. In 2015, she debuted the funky R&B single Give Me. At times, Ushera personifies a soulful female diva in her performance of 1980s pop music. With a firm background in cabaret music that often hinged on the glitz and glamour of the showbiz, Ushera released the Semalam Di Malaya album in 2016 which comprised 11 original renditions of popular Malay hits of yesteryear. Well-received, the album’s success attests to its masterful fusion of orchestral, musical, Latin beats and jazz. To name a few highlights, they include Nona Asiah’s Jikalau Abang Merindu, and Bunga Raya, as well as Saloma’s Polynesia Mambo. In the same year, Ushera collaborated with Danger Disco for a commission to record Flashing Lights - an original theme song for Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2016.
In 2017, Suka Ria Raya was released as a Hari Raya festive song, it quickly became a hit Hari Raya song streamed over 230,000 times on Spotify. In 2018, Ushera released a cover of Zahara Agus’ Malaya Merdeka with lyrics rewritten to reflect the contemporary - Malaysia Merdeka is marked by a patriotic and motivating expression.
On the international stage, Ushera has performed at Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay’s Pesta Raya in Singapore. Having performed at notable jazz festivals in parts of Southeast Asia such as the Samui Jazz Festival, Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival and JB Jazz Fest, Ushera is undoubtedly a familiar and accomplished figure in the Malaysian jazz scene.