BEFORE Nadhira Nishaa got her break as a pop/R&B artiste, she was just another person working up the corporate ladder.

“I was working in advertising, and one day I decided to just give a music career a shot,” said the singer. “The process was a very slow and gradual thing. It certainly didn’t happen overnight.”

However, her first hit, Tear Us Apart, did kind of happen overnight.

“It was quite cool actually. I was just about to wrap the album. Then (Australian singer-songwriter) Ron E. Jones and producer Tom Diesel came knocking on my door and said we should do a song together.

“I hesitated at first but then I thought ‘okay, why not?’ We got together, wrote a song in my apartment and recorded it after that,” she said.

Tear Us Apart, which received quite a bit of air play locally, is the first single from her recently released second album, 12 Shades.

“The album is about twelve different shades of love, and it’s got 12 tracks. There are songs about being in love, experiencing heartbreak and finding love again,” she explained, adding that she experiments with different styles of R&B, pop, soul and even hip-hop on the record.

Surprisingly, though, Nadhira actually used to be part of a metal band – even though she took classical piano lessons when she was growing up.

“It’s true (laughs)! Okay, it was a phase. I think I was 17 or 18 at the time,” said Nadhira of her metalhead days. “But I’ve always listened to a lot of R&B. Some of my major influences are singers like Monica, Brandy, Babyface and Brian McKnight. I guess having learned classical piano and music theory helped me cultivate an appreciation for a wide range of music genres.”

For 12 Shades, the singer-songwriter hopes that listeners will be able to see her for the performer that she is.
“I’ve always dreamt of performing my own music for others to hear and see whether they like it. I hope from this album, listeners get to see a different side of me and you know, just get to know me,” she said coyly.

Nadhira also has a message for the other aspiring singer-songwriters out there, and it’s based on her own experience.

“You have to keep doing what you love. I know it’s not easy, but sometimes you have to take a chance. Who knows where it might get you? But what’s important is that you try.”


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