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Shibani Kashyap
She has been singing for as long as she can remember, but today the world knows her as the ĎSajnaí girl. Rightly does she say, ďItís the song that is the star, not the singer.Ē Over to ShibaniÖ

The Record: What does music mean to you?
Shibani Kashyap: Music is my life. Itís me. Itís a personification of everything that I have lived for till today. Iíve given up a lot for music. Had I not been a musician, I would have been a normal, average, everyday girl going about things in a mundane manner. Would have probably been married with kids by now. The fact that I have given up so much shows that I am extremely involved and committed to music.

TR: Since when have you been composing music?
SK: I composed music for the first time when I was in school. I was doing a musical and Loy Mendonza from the Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy fame was directing the music for it. He wanted the actors and actresses to compose the music themselves. I composed the first song, he liked it and encouraged me to keep composing music. Thatís when I realized that it comes to me naturally.

TR: What music has influenced you more Ė Indian or western?
SK: Both. I am one of the lucky few who get a chance to learn both Indian and western music. My music, my compositions, my singing is a mix of both of these.

TR: So, which artist inspires you the most?
SK: Sting it is! Sting is God for me. I pray to him everyday of my life. You see, Sting is not only a superb singer and a performer, but Sting is a poet. His lyrics are absolutely amazing. Every song has very substantial meaning. Everything he says is representative of life. All his songs are like a journey that everyone can relate to. He is truly outstanding!

TR: How does you being a composer help in your singing?
SK: Tremendously. Even when Iím singing for other music directors, I can lend my own style to the song. Iím very good at harmonies. Iím a very good musical conductor also. So I can spruce up the song. Besides, since I can compose my own music Iím not dependant on any music director. I can play the guitar. So I can easily hold a small audience of about 100 people. I donít need dancers or musicians. That way, my skills make me self-reliant.

TR: How did Sajna happen?
SK: Sajna aa bhi jaa is actually a part of my earlier album Nagmagee. I met Shashanka Ghosh as I wanted him to shoot the video. He instead told me that he wants to use my song in his film. He said there was a situation where the song fits in completely. He also wanted me to be featured in that song. I found the whole situation to be very ideal. In 2003 the film was released. The film itself got me a lot of acclaim and of course the song did very well.

TR: Your latest album Nazakat has hit the stands. What are your feelers about the response?
SK: So far, everyone who has seen the video has loved it. You see, Nazakat is a very sincere honest effort from me as a musician. There is no commercial angle to it. The album has a lot of Urdu poetry by talented actor and poet Murad Ali. So the album has songs that are composed and sung by me coupled with the sensual touch of the Urdu language. Plus, the title track video directed by Shashanka Ghosh, is unusual and complements the song. Nazakat has a very organic kind of a sound. Itís not overtly produced. Itís a very natural album. Itís not based on any theme. It just celebrates music, beauty and youth. Iím very confident that my album and especially the lead track is very unusual. Itís going to a stand out in the current age of item numbers and remixes.

TR: And you are against remixes?
SK: No, I am not. I do appreciate remixes. But as an artist my soul doesnít allow me to do remixes. I feel I need to reach across my own sound to the audiences.

You can read the rest of our feature on Shibani Kashyap in the January 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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