Malaysian artist Shelhiel on his Clockenflap 2023 debut

Malaysia represent!


By Marissa Chin

Malaysian artist Shelhiel on his Clockenflap 2023 debut

It’s not often that you see one of our very own Malaysian talents grace a huge international stage—but Shelhiel did just that. On 3 December 2023, the homegrown artist lit up the Robot Stage at Clockenflap 2023 for his electrifying set to a sold-out crowd of over 80,000 people in Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong. And yes, you did read that right. Shelhiel performed at the Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival, which is regarded as Hong Kong’s biggest marquee music event of the year. 

Performing at the second edition of the annual festival were the likes of US rapper Swae Lee, British icons Pulp and J-pop super duo Yaosobi. Naturally, Shelhiel stands out in this lineup as the only Malaysian artist at Clockenflap. The feat is even more impressive when you learn that since the festival’s inception in 2008, Shelhiel is just the second artist to step on the stage after Yuna back in 2016.


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A post shared by Shelhiel (@supershelhiel)

Hot off his high-octane performance, we spoke to Shelhiel about his exciting Clockenflap debut, what he did to prepare for his set and what’s next for the burgeoning artist.


For those who may not be aware of who you are, please share with us who Shelhiel is and how you got started!

Shelhiel in Mandarin is 晅恒, which means “eternal light” or “shine forever”. There’s a saying that goes, “Nama itu doa” in Malay which translates to “A name is a prayer.” So my mom really gave me a head-start for me in this music career! [laughs]

I started in the music industry by joining a national composing competition reality show on 8TV. From there, I started exploring the Chinese music scene and soon found my way into the underground electronic scene and music production, which is where I am today!

What does performing at Clockenflap mean to you both personally and as an artist?

It’s definitely a huge milestone in my career. During Covid, there were zero live shows, which was really hard. Fast forward to this year, I was also able to perform at South by Southwest Festival 2023 in Texas, and now Clockenflap in Hong Kong. It’s crazy how life works, who knows what next year will hold!


How would you describe your music style?

I would say electronic pop R&B or something in between? I like to break genres and defy songwriting expectations.


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A post shared by Shelhiel (@supershelhiel)

How did you prepare for your performance?

Physically, I tried to keep myself fit and healthy. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water, kids! [laughs] Mentally, I made sure I was motivated and focused because a lot was riding on this performance. I have a lot more music planned for next year and I took my performance at Clockenflap as a test-drive for that. 

Also, since it was a hybrid set, which means a combination of DJ-ing and live singing at the same time, I constantly practised the setlist and live singing so that everything would sound seamless. 


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A post shared by Shelhiel (@supershelhiel)

You are the second Malaysian artist besides Yuna to perform at the prestigious music festival. Please share with us what you think about the Malaysian music scene and what people are missing out on! 

I’m definitely very blessed to be a part of the festival, but I also know that I have worked hard in my journey until this point. I would say right now, the local music scene is really exciting. Making music now is so much more accessible than before and more young people are doing their own music production and even music videos! I would describe the Malaysian music scene as flavourful because even for me, I’m still finding so many undiscovered music from talented artists in our country!

Now that you can check Clockenflap off your list, what are your next milestones?

It would probably be a tour and hopefully, more overseas shows. I have heard from all my other artist friends that touring is tiring so I’m also going to make my fitness a priority by prepping my body and building my stamina first. 

Music-wise, I’m very excited to share my new songs next year. It’s already in the works and I have a few projects in the pipeline, so my listeners are going to be fed. [laughs] Stay tuned and here’s to 2024!

For the latest updates on Shelhiel, follow him on Instagram and stream his music on Spotify.


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