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News |  18 May 2019 13:00 |  By RnMTeam

Falguni Shah credits motherhood for Grammy nomination

MUMBAI: We just celebrated Mother’s Day and the phenomenal contribution of mothers in our lives. A mother is the first source of information for every child, who is curious and more often inundates her with questions. Falguni Shah, who is a mother to a four-year-old son and a trained singer, turned this constant question and answer session into a music album that landed her a Grammy nomination this year.

To begin, Falguni is a trained singer in multiple forms like Indian classical music and folk (Gujarati). She has also had the privilege to take taalim under the masters of each form. Taking us briefly through her journey, Falguni says, “I started singing from the age of three when I began taking formal Indian classical lessons. I continued studying until I finished my Masters in Indian classical music. I had the honor of learning from four great gurus Uday Mazumdar, Kaumudi Munshi, Ustad Sultan Khan, and Kishori Amonkar.”

 Later, she moved to the USA for personal reasons, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her love for music. She further explored Western music too. Continuing further, she shares, “I came to the US and studied Western composition, Piano, and guitar along with song-writing skills, which led me to create my own genre called ‘Indie Hindi’.

 Till now she has released three albums - Falu, Foras Road, and Falu’s Bazaar. In the meantime, she collaborated with legends like Ricky Martin, Philip Glass, Wyclef, Jean and Yo-Yo Ma among many others.

 Rahman is known to have liked her work and collaborated further. She also performed at the White House with A R Rahman when Barack Obama had hosted the first state dinner in presence of the then Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The singer has just one word for Rahman, ‘Fantastic’, “I am a big fan of his work and his vision and I have loved working with him over the years.”

 It is least surprising that Falguni was named in the list of Top 20 most successful women in the world by the Economic Times of India in the field of Music, four years ago. However, her recent nomination for the last album, Falu’s Bazaar bagged her the Grammy nomination and making her the only Indian to be nominated this year.

 Gratitude is the emotion that Falguni feels upon being nominated for the prestigious award. She exclaims, “It was a huge honor and it felt like a big responsibility to be the only artist representing India at the GRAMMY’s. I was a little overwhelmed at first, but then I took it all in and enjoyed every moment of being there, especially as an Indian musician. When I got the nomination medal, I felt like all my struggle until that point was worth it.”

 The usual route is to cut a conventional album with tracks that appeal to the youth, however, Falguni took the road less traveled and explored the possibility of a music album for children. She explains the idea and concept behind it as she says, “I created this album when my four-year-old son came home with questions like, “Why is our food yellow?” And “Why do we speak a different language at school?” Or “Why do we count our numbers differently?” I thought music was the best way to answer all his questions and also help him have an identity in the US as an Indian American child.”

The name Falu’s Bazaar is also not someone would associate with a children’s album and the Grammy Award Nominee elaborates why the name, “My son's curiosity and his quest to find out about his own background and his culture inspired me to write and produce the album, Falu's Bazaar. While she loves all the creation, her favorite track out of the 12 songs is Rainbow. The album touches on topics, which fascinate children like the most of shapes, colors, and numbers.  The album turned into a family album, as her son, mother and husband are also a part of it.

 After this phenomenal success, Falu, as she is endearingly known, plans to work more and continue making music. However, she remembers another high point in her life, before signing off, which was when Billboard named her Indie Hindi sound - Ethereal and Transcendent.”

 Falguni is currently working on multiple projects, including a Urdu poetry.