YouTube sensation Shraddha Sharma on her album and her partner Alexander

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 4.03.14

YouTube has given her what it has given Justin Bieber… fame. Dehradun girl Shraddha Sharma, 17, whose channel ‘Shraddharockin’ has 143,197 subscribers, released her first album, Raastey, on March 1 at the YouTube FanFest in Mumbai.

Now that you have a long-term contract with Universal Music, what kind of music do you want to put out?

I have signed with the only music company in India which promotes independent music on such a massive scale. I want to see myself as a successful indie artiste and that’s not something that you often see in India where the main attraction still is Bollywood. But we are trying to do something different, that is, creating original music and not covers.

How have you been preparing for your debut album?

I consider myself the luckiest artiste as I got an amazing mentor and producer in Jim Beanz (one of Timbaland’s main producers) to work on my album. Jim adds an international touch to the songs. He is so brilliant that we completed three songs in two days. Singing had never been so much fun.

Some say you sound like a young Nazia Hassan. Do you like Nazia’s music?

Oh, how much I love Naziaji. But I feel that I still have a long way to go to sound like her. She was an incredible singer and people still love her. Her song Aap jaisa koi is one of my favourite songs. My voice being compared to her is the biggest compliment I can ever get.

Your mom is a music teacher. How much of an influence did she have on you? And how did she introduce you to music?

My mother always knew that I would pursue a creative field. She has influenced me the most. She made me learn Indian classical music, which helped me a lot. My mother has made a lot of sacrifices to let me stand where I am today. After all, being 17, staying alone in Mumbai is not an easy job but my mother has always supported me and she always will. I know that.

YouTube had a major role to play in your story. Now that you have managed a great break in the music industry, what does YouTube mean to you?

No reality shows, no acquaintances, no one else but it was YouTube that gave me an identity. I can never be more thankful to anyone as I am to YouTube. The only platform where there is no voting, no partiality, no unfair games, just a direct interaction with one’s audience. Nothing is as enjoyable as singing songs to people who love you, who want to listen to you and YouTube has been the best platform. Whatever happens to my music career, my YouTube channel ‘Shraddharockin’ will always be there. (She uploaded her first video –– Main tenu samjhawan ki from the movie Virsa –– on April 30, 2011 and it received 606,126 views.)

Are academics still important to you?

Yes. Academics are the most important part of life, irrespective of whatever you like doing more.

What’s a usual day in your life like?

I work out, go to the studio to jam with my friends, I come back and sleep. I know that’s not so inspiring but that is my usual day when I don’t have any recording or shoot scheduled.

What guitar do you play?

I have a Fender, which I got as a gift from the company. I have named it Alexander and I believe that Alexander and I will conquer the world together.

Any advice to young aspiring musicians?

All I want to tell everyone is that if you have dreams don’t wait for opportunities. It’s not always important to take the same road. Explore new things and whatever your heart says, live it loud.

Quick take

Listening to at present: Anoushka Shankar
Apps you use: Instagram, Soundcloud, Subway Surfers, WhatsApp
Singer to watch out for: Monali Thakur
An album that changed your life: My upcoming album, I hope it will change my life

Mathures Paul
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