Even though the name ‘Tanvi Shah’ may not ring a bell to many, the fact remains that she has achieved what many only dream about. The multi-talented and multi-faceted Tanvi Shah is the first Indian woman to win a Grammy. She is definitely a name to watch out for. If at all, there is a term like ‘Jill of all trades’, she will surely be the unanimous title holder.
Satish Sundaresan of KoiMoi met up with the extremely talented Tanvi Shah for an exclusive interview and came back pretty impressed. Presenting the excerpts of the mind blowing interview:
How does it feel to be first Indian to bag the coveted Grammy Award for Best Song Written For Visual Media, for A.R. Rahman’s Jai Ho?
I am living a dream which everybody would want to. The feeling is yet to sink in. I am still living the dream. It has been fabulous. I am just in happy space now. I have raised the bar for myself.
What was the first feeling when you got to know that you have won the Grammy?
“OMG! Are you serious?” was the first feeling! To win the award when competed against Beyoncé and likes, it was like a never before feeling. There was a lot of pressure as I was representing my country India!
How was it to meet the likes of musical geniuses like geniuses Andrea Bocelli and Mary J Blige?
The feeling was simply amazing. We have grown up listening to these people. They have been the masters of their genre of music. That’s why performing on the same stage as them and also to have a chat with them was a heavenly feeling altogether.
What was it like when the winner for your category was going to be announced?
I went totally numb seconds before the announcement! I told myself as to whatever be the results; I have to walk up with the head held high.
Besides being a singer, is it true that you are also into interior designing front and jewellery business?
Basically, I am a creative designer. When singing was dropped in my arms, I took it up as a challenge. My principle in life has always been to give my 200% in whatever I do.
Tell us a bit about ‘Bharatham’- a contribution to the ‘Rally For Rivers’ initiative, this campaign is launched by Isha Foundation and Sadguru?
Actually, it’s called the ‘Nadi Stuti’. As a musician, it was my best way of supporting the cause, which was through my vocals. This was my offering.
There are Priyanka Chopra, Parineeti Chopra, Shraddha Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, who have got into singing. Do we get to see Tanvi Shah into acting?
(Thinks for a while) If an exciting role comes my way, then, I wouldn’t mind.
What role did the following people play in your life:
The (late) sound engineer H. Sridhar
He was my mentor and was someone who encouraged me in whatever I did. He was the first one to predict that life was to change of me. Very much like A. R. Rahman, he was a man of few words.
Murthy (A.R. Rahman’s conductor)
One of the strict teachers that we have, who believe that practice makes you perfect.
I am there, because of him! He trained me in western classical music. Without hi, there’s no Tanvi! (smiles).
How many hours do you do your riyaaz?
One has to practice for 6-7 hours!
Is it true that, besides Hindi, you are equally at home with Tamil, Telugu, Afro-Cuban, Latin American, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese?
Yes! Very true. Maybe I have some past life connection. That’s why I am able to pronounce the right accent in these languages. It’s just the liking for the languages!
Is it true that the world famous artist Snoop Dogg had got samosas for you on the sets of his song?
Yes! I was lucky that I got samosas from Snoop Dogg in L.A! (smiles)
How has Grammy changed your life?
People have their own expectations, but, I am living my life on my own terms.
Which genre of music do you like working on the most?
I like a lot of Samba. There is some kind of soul to it. I simply love performing live with a band! You can interact with the crowd. Whatever I am today is majorly because of my fans. I get my encouragement from my fans.
How different is the music scene in the west as compared to India?
Each place has its different style of working. Over there, they get to know you first. They want to hang out with you and get to know you better. Even working in the studios and the artists are different than here.
What’s next on your plate?
There’s a pre-Diwali release.
Do you have any Hindi film release?
I am a bit superstitious. When it comes out, you will get to know soon. There is definitely something in the offing.
Any message to all the young wannabe Tanvi Shahs out there?
One has to practice and give it a shot, irrespective of what the world tells you! It may take a little time, but, hard work will pay off for sure.