Datin Seri Shaila Nair is our Malaysian Star Of The Month and we’ve got an exclusive interview with her for you!
RAAGA: Tell us about your background before entering this industry? Who is Shaila Nair?
Shaila Nair: I came from a modest family of 4 siblings and I’m the eldest.
I’m a lawyer by profession. In Malaysia, it’s important to have a sound and solid educational background. My parents were very supportive of me and convinced me that I need to have my educational foundation right before I venture seriously into singing.
To make my parents happy and to make sure that I have right balance, I took my education seriously. I found terrific balance in singing professionally while being a lawyer.
Till today, I strongly hold to heart that my strong educational foundation gave me the essential strength to face the challenges and to be able to make sensible decisions during crucial points in my life and career. Without solid educational exposure, we tend to make wrong, less- informed decisions and I’ve avoided that in my life. Education is important.
RAAGA: Why is this the industry of your choice?
Shaila Nair: From a very young age, I had this dream of becoming a singer. Something in me assured me to push through with this dream. Slow but steadily I climbed the ladder towards realizing this dream. At one point, I realized that passion alone is not enough to drive me towards achieving my dreams. The relevance of every piece of work is what earns the accords for the artist in me. I’ll always be appreciative of that learning.
I had the growth mindset and courage to be able to deal with things confidently. I’m proud to say now that my singing career in my early days had really helped with my education and confidence building and with my parent’s support, it had enabled me to graduate successfully. It was the passion for singing during my university days that helped me graduate as a lawyer.
For the above, I’m truly blessed to be able to independently study the field of my choice and have a career that I’m passionate about.
RAAGA: As a female in this industry, what challenges do you face?
Shaila Nair: The challenges in the early days were real. It was not easy. The more obstacles I faced, the more I tried harder and persisted. I had wanted to create the belief in everyone that as a woman, I too can be successful in this industry. Hard work, determination and perseverance were everything for me. I’m happy that today I’ve achieved what I wanted.
RAAGA: What genres of film do you want to act in and why?
Shaila Nair: Pulanaivu is a game changer for me. It has really challenged me as an actress. Post Pulanaivu, I am definitely open to more different scripts to challenge myself.
RAAGA: If you had the choice to work under one director, who would be your pick and why?
Shaila Nair: I love working with directors who bring out the best in me and moves me out of my comfort zone. Someone who can observe me and create a character that is impactful enough for me to carry in terms of the overall success of the script and movie. So far, I have been lucky to work with with Directors -C Kumaresan, Sathish Natarajan, Shalini Balasundram and Shashitharan. Some of my memorable projects that I’ve worked with would be Maindhan, Mayangaathey and Light Up Someone’s Life which was a web film on Autism awareness.
Given an option in India, I would be thrilled to act in a Zoya Aktar’s direction or script. It would be fun, engaging and would be a one of a kind of movie that doesn’t downplay the importance of the female lead.
RAAGA: What upcoming projects do you have up your sleeve?
Shaila Nair: I’m thrilled for 14th November as it’s the release date for Pulanaivu. As I had mentioned earlier, this is one movie that challenged to perform outside of the regular roles that I’ve played. Pulanaivu has all the right flavours for a romantic crime thriller that would appeal to youngsters as the story has a college setting to it.
Other than that, I’m also working on my long-awaited album – Yenathuyireh.
RAAGA: To every aspiring actress out there, what is your word of advice?
Shaila Nair: Never stop believing in yourself and believe that this is your time to excel. Have a growth mindset and don’t let anything stop you from achieving what you want. Be open to learning because only then can you prepare yourself to reach the top. Be humble and soar to the heights – only the sky is the limit.
Lastly, remember that family comes first and their blessing in everything that you do matters. You have this; then it’s a jackpot for your success. The best support is your family support. They know the best and always would want the best for you.
For more insight into our local stars, stay tuned to RAAGA!