Meet Nana Sheme, Sarawak’s latest YouTube sensation
SHY, DEMURE and polite, it seems that Youtube has yet again given birth to another rising star; you might recognise her in her video where she covered Neyo’s ‘One in a million’ which has received 280,366 views since it was first posted online in 2011.
Latest Sarawakian online sensation Nur Nabilah Hashimi, who goes by ‘Nana Sheme’ on YouTube, was born May 20th 1995. She is the eldest of three children with her younger brother just completing his Form 5 while her younger sister currently in Form 3. She is currently pursuing her studies in Course Building at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Kota Samarahan and is about to enter her third semester in June.
She first started posting videos of herself performing song-covers on YouTube at the request of friends. Before she knew it, her videos had become a sensation and had gathered her a host of fans.
She discovered her passion for singing at an early age and at 13 years old, she and a group of friends started a band where they only performed small gigs. Nana said that was when she first started to gain confidence in singing as she admitted that she is a shy person.
“I can’t remember what the first song we performed back then was, but it was by Paramore,” she said.
It was also at that time when she taught herself to play the guitar from videos on Youtube. Even though she had been playing the piano from when she was 2 or 3 years old, she admitted that learning to play the guitar was a struggle at first.
“When you have a passion, you can do anything and I really hold on to that, so that is how I started learning,” she said. She added that she would like to learn to play the drums in future.
When asked about how she began posting video covers on Youtube, Nana said that it all started with her late mother.
“My mum and I had the same interest, which was singing.” said the soft-spoken 19-year-old.
Back then, Nana remembered how they would spend time together every weekend singing her late mother’s favourite song ‘If you’re not the one’ by Daniel Bedingfield. She also mentioned that it was actually her mother who encouraged her to open an account on Youtube so that she could post videos of her singing online and that she had always been supportive of her musical interest and had even given Nana her first guitar.
In 2010, her mother would pass away when Nana was sitting for her PMR.
Wanting to fulfill her late’s mother wish; she began to accept requests to do some song-covers from friends and posting them on Youtube. It also became a way for her to deal with her grief over her mother’s death.
“It was hard because it took me a while to accept it and back then, I distanced myself from people.” she said.
In 2011, Nana had her first live performance for TM net in Samariang. She remembered performing four songs, one of them being ‘One in a million’ by Neyo. She also remembered how she was shocked to discover that some of the people in the crowd even recognised her back then.
Since then, Nana has been signed on under Malaysian record label, Life Records and has been performing live a couple of times once at Dataran Merdeka last August.
Being a naturally shy person, she still has to fight her nervousness before going onstage.
“Before performing, I would dance awkwardly even though I am a horrible dancer just to work my nerves off,” she said with a laugh.
Once she gets on stage, she just sings her heart out. “I love singing and it is a way for me to express myself and it makes me happy,” she said. For her, singing is a form of self-expression and it has never been in her mind to gain fame.
In her spare time, Nana would play squash with her sister. She also written some songs in both English and Malay. Currently she has just finished her first single, ‘Permintaan Hati’, and will be recording her second single soon.
In the future, Nana hopes to collaborate with her favourite artist and source of inspiration, Indonesian singer Afgan Syahreza. She was also her late mother’s favourite singer.
Nana will be performing on the third day of the upcoming MyLEAF-DNC Gawai Adventure Camp at Kem Belia Pueh, Sematan from 28th to 31st May. For more information on the adventure camp and how to join, contact Alim Mideh at 010 5086561, Dominique at 012-8923412 or 082-579724.
As a student herself, she thinks that getting involved in outdoor and other useful activities are exciting and beneficial. She also believes that one needs to have a balanced lifestyle and treasure what you have, especially family and friends.