Inspired by the formative years of Malaysia’s contemporary music industry, “Semalam di Malaya” reflects Ushera’s pride in her Malaysian heritage. Referring to it as the “revival project,” the album pays homage to the contemporary Malaysian music scene of pre-independent 1940s and 1950s Malaya.
The album is the first installation of a series of albums within the Semalam di Malaya collection. Working closely with her pianist of 5 years, Ganesh Bala, who is also a composer, arranger and producer, Ushera brings to center stage legends of the era including Kamsani and Nona Asiah, and composers such as Ahmad Jaafar and Osman Ahmad.
The album will aim to deliver classics such as Bila Ku Chinta, Bunga Raya, and Dunia Asmara in their original renditions. Stylistically, the album will be a combination of orchestral, musical, and Latin beats and Jazz - albeit with a slightly modern twist.
In striving to preserve the classic sounds of the era, the album will keep intact much of the melody and harmony of the original recordings’ musical arrangements, while adding colour, dynamics and timbre to the finished production. As such, listeners can expect an overall cinematic experience as a result of the album’s wide spectrum and dynamics, granting them a thoroughly enjoyable concert-hall experience.
Through Semalam Di Malaya, Ushera does not only intend to evoke nostalgic memories among members of Malaysia’s older generation, but also capitalize on the resurging interest among Malaysia’s younger generation in their country’s artistic and cultural past, by transporting them to the bygone era of yesteryear Malaya.