We Sifted through a bucket load of amazing tracks submitted to Songdew by artists for a chance to win a feature on Melody Insider. Shanay Shah is one such artist who’s track stood out for what is undoubtedly a meritorious one. And since the track is what made Shanay Shah one of the winners, we bring forth this interview which talks about, among other things, the very track that got him here.
Congratulations on being selected as Winner of the Songdew contest. Tell us about the song that you submitted.
Thank you for choosing me as one of the winners. The song that I had submitted is called ‘Kaise Kahoon’. Kaise Kahoon takes you down the memory lane of a relationship that was once deeply cherished, and the realization that you’re still not over it.
I wrote this song with a thought and a visual that I had in my mind about reuniting with someone you once loved.
Since I penned this song in the lockdown, just recording and producing the song was a challenge as I kept working remotely with my producer, which was a completely new experience. After the song was finished I really wanted to shoot a proper music video but that wasn’t a possibility in Mumbai due to Covid.
How did you come to know about Songdew and the contest? What made you participate in it?
I’ve been a frequent user of Songdew and I always keep an eye out for any exciting opportunities. I think as an indie artist you should never miss out on any press that your music can receive. For that very reason I decided to participate in this contest, hoping that someone talks about my journey and the music that I’ve been making.
If you were to introduce your music and genre to someone unaware of your music, how would you?
I don’t really stick to one genre of music for all my singles but to put it in one line, my music can be categorized as easy listening, with influences of western pop.
How long have you been producing?
Music happened to me by accident, I never intended to be a professional musician. As a teenager I had learnt a few chords on the guitar and liked singing a song or two. But in 2013 I had a spiritual experience with music while busking with my Ukulele on the streets of San Francisco. It was very liberating and I could feel the positive vibrations of people passing by and smiling as I sang songs for strangers.
However it was in 2017 that I actually decided to pursue music as a career after I got laid off from a start-up I was working at. I got flooded with opportunities at local cafes and bars to perform and instead of looking for a new job, I tried sustaining myself with the money I made from gigs.
Step by step I started progressing further, whether it was writing and producing my own music or performing for large audiences at weddings and corporate shows.
Tell us something about your latest single. Inspiration behind the name and the project.
My latest single ‘Gone So Long’ is about the emotion of separation and longing for someone. The name is self explanatory and came out of a personal experience I went through before the lockdown. The song came about when my mate Oswin Tellis played a guitar riff while we were jamming for an upcoming gig. I immediately knew that it was a great tune and I worked on the lyrics and melody and recorded the song at a friend’s studio.
One artist you’d like to collaborate with, but you know it’s not the right time now.
According to you, what does it take to earn the acclaimed badge of “Established Artist”?
When your music is playing everywhere from radio stations to nightclubs , you have sold out concerts, and have fans across borders.
How has your place of Origin been an influence on your music?
I was born and bred in Mumbai, hence Bollywood music has been quite an influence in my life. Having an avid live music audience and decent venues to perform at, helped me quite a lot to book my first few gigs. Not only are people encouraging musicians here, we also have quite a supportive artist community in the entertainment industry.
How are the psychological rewards in this career you have chosen?
There is a state of bliss I achieve when I am doing either one of these two activities – When I am recording a song in the studio or when I’m performing on stage. The bonus is when you get validation for both these activities from your listeners.
An artist whose music according to you is attracting international attention which is going to propel the industry’s growth.
AP Dhillon and Prateek Kuhad have definitely been garnering international attention with their music which has propelled a lot of growth in the independent scene.
If we speak to you again exactly this date 5 years from now, How different are all the above answers going to be?
In 5 years, according to my definition, if I am an ‘Established Artist’, I will probably have a different answer to what an Established Artist is. Also, if I have already collaborated with the artist that I wish to now, I will have another one that I’d aspire to collaborate with.
If we speak to you again exactly on this date 5 years from now, your answer to which question would remain unchanged?
I think the psychological reward will remain the same, it will hopefully only get better.
Well, thank you once again for spending time with us, giving us valuable insight into your career. We wish you all the very best of luck in your endeavors. See you soon at a Concert.
Check out all of Melody Insider’s latest interviews of Artists & Bands by following this link – Independent Artists