by Nick Christophers

The piano is not an easy instrument to master as it requires key concentration, a keen ear to sound and quick fingers. These attributes are what pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and educator Shereen Cheong has been gifted with. She took to the piano at the age of three and made it her business to be up early everyday practicing on the piano. By age 10 she was hooked on music knowing this was the career she craved.

She studied jazz piano with veteran musician Michael Veerapen in her native Malaysia. She also went on the Sparks of Broadway Tour as a pianist with Farah Sulaiman & Friends in Malaysia. These experiences motivated her to come to New York and study at Berklee College of Music where she earned a dual degree in Contemporary Writing & Production (CWP) and Music Business & Management (MBus).

Even though jazz is a big part of her musical background she has also been inspired by music of her youth with the likes of Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, and Chinese pop music. Presently, her musical tastes are for artists like Weather Report, Pat Metheny Group, Jaco Pastorius, Lyle Mays, Joe Zawinul, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Chick Corea. Sheeren has arranged, orchestrated, and conducted with such artists like Wang LeeHom, Kaki King, Chelsey Green, and Grammy-winning artist Pablo Ziegler. Her talents have been recognized and utilized on world tours with such notables like Victory Boyd, Grammy-winning jazz artist Gregory Porter, Grammy-winning artist Lauren Daigle, and well-known jazz artist Kamasi Washington.

“There were many great moments for sure. What was most memorable for me was the tour with RocNation’s artist, Victory Boyd. There was a night where we performed at George Lucas’ private party. And little did I realize, there were many distinguished celebrities in the audience that night, including Alice Keys, Samuel L. Jackson, and Spike Lee to name a few. I was very nervous, but the performance went well. As a female musician, I have always been a huge fan of Alicia Keys, because of what she has accomplished as an artist and as a female figure in the industry. So, it meant a lot to me when Alicia Keys came up to me and said “Beautiful playing”. That was very, very memorable.”

When it comes to composing, arranging, and producing she has offered her skills with various artists like Jamilah Abu Bakar, Amni Musfirah, Carmi Harris, Chan Luxe and Keithian when they were working on their albums or singles. Besides performing and producing, Shereen has also taken part in various music festivals like Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, ESSENCE Music Festival and LEAF Music Festival where she performed. A huge step for her was appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America Live Show and radio station Sirius XM Heart & Soul. Her star was slowly rising and getting brighter.


In June 2021, she performed and recorded with award-winning electropop/rock artist Marina, for her livestream concert “Ancient Dreams Live from the Desert”.  Of course,  Shereen didn’t stop there; she also performed on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and offered her skills as music director, arranger, and keyboardist for Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Jackie’s Boy.

​“Oh yes, it was intense but one of the most fun experiences in my life. Marina was an absolute joy to work with. I am very grateful for the opportunity, all thanks to my fellow colleague Fabian Egger, who was the music director for the show. We had 10 days of back-to-back intensive rehearsals until the show day, but that wasn’t the toughest part. The toughest part was that we were recording in Mojave Desert. The soundcheck was at 1pm in the afternoon, and it was scorching hot. I had to make sure that my keyboards didn’t melt in the heat, so I used zinc sheets to cover them to keep them cool. Fast forward to filming time in the evening, we had to deal with very strong winds. When we were filming the second or third song of the set, my top keyboard flew off the stand, and thankfully I managed to catch it in time and still play my keyboard parts. We had to pause for a little bit to tape my keyboards to the stand. All in all, it was super fun, and I would totally do it again!”

Shereen not only works with artists but also produces her own work. She released a Christmas EP titled “2512” which featured various up-and-coming artists and frequent collaborators like Amni Musfirah, Anthony Muthurajah, Jamilah Abu Bakar to name a few. She followed this one up with a second EP titled “Amygdala” which was released in January of 2022. Shereen is currently working on her first full album with all original compositions which will be a world/jazz fusion album. She has been on a musical mission for some time and is showing no slowing down. Be on the lookout for her first full album due out in 2025 where she will be performing her own work for the first time.