Singing since the age of 4 and recording her first CD at the age of 10, this multi-talented singer is all set to bring her magic to the desiFEST stage! We caught up with singer Anusha Sivalingam and her musical career. We spoke about her musical career, who she’d like to collaborate with, her well known fiancé, and what fans will get to hear at desiFEST!
Check out the full interview below.
If you were to describe your music or sound in one word, what would it be?
If I were to describe my music in one word, I would definitely say it’s cultured. I always strive to showcase our rich South Asian culture with a touch of modern music to cater to the tastes of all generations. I enjoy music that is challenging so I always tend to choose songs that display my classical background but also keep the audience hooked. I don’t, however, limit myself to one style of music. I love exploring different types of music and if something suits my voice, I’m definitely open to experiment with it!
What’s your motivation or inspires you to make music? Any influences you have?
Music has been my passion since I was a child – I live and breathe it! My motivation to work harder and continue honing my talent is definitely my fan base. I have been performing on stage since I was 4 years old and did my first CD recording when I was 10 years old. Over the years, many people within the South Asian community have recognized me and related to me as they watched me grow up as a singer and a woman while in the limelight. The encouragement and feedback received from genuine supporters from day one is what pushes me to strive for perfection – and it is the most humbling, rewarding form of compensation for an artist at any level. Whether I’m singing a bhajan at a small temple in my neighborhood or belting out a tune in front of thousands of people in another country, the loving support and well wishes is what inspires me to keep singing!
I have many musical influences including traditional Carnatic/Hindustani, Bollywood/Kollywood, and Top 40. If I was to pinpoint a few of musicians I adore, I would have to say Shreya Ghoshal, Chitra and Celine Dion. As musicians, they have immense talent and versatility. As people, they are classy and very humble. I look up to them for their hard work and what they have contributed to music.
Have you been musically trained or where did this passion to sing come from?
My parents noticed that I had a keen interest in music when I was a toddler so they encouraged me to go to music classes to attain a strong foundation and start from the basics. I started learning South Indian classical music (Carnatic music) at the age of three for approximately seventeen years and went on to learn North Indian classical music (Hindustani) for three years. I owe everything to my parents for recognizing my talent and supporting me to follow my love for music from childhood.
I am very fortunate to have had thorough training or I would not have been discovered at such a young age and asked to perform at many large events as I was growing up. So far, I have performed in hundreds of large-scale classical and Bollywood shows with many Indian playback singers in the GTA and Montreal, and have had the opportunity to perform in many states in the U.S., Germany, England, Malaysia and Singapore.
My curiosity has no limits when it comes to music, which is why I wanted to devour both sides of South Asian music by learning both Carnatic and Hindustani music. Learning both sides of the spectrum has allowed me to easily sing in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannadam, while learning about the intricacies and techniques of singing different styles of South Asian music. Music has no boundaries, as it is a universal language.
You’re going to be performing at Canada’s largest South Asian Event, desiFEST, how excited are you about that and what are you looking forward to? What will you bring to the stage?
desiFEST is an amazing platform for South Asian artists to showcase their talents. I am ecstatic to perform in the heart of Toronto amongst such big names in the music industry and I am sure it will be a humbling experience. I will be performing popular Hindi and Tamil movie songs that the audience will enjoy as I have handpicked songs that will cater to the tastes of any age group that will be in attendance. It is an event that should not be missed – be prepared for a blast of music, talent, dancing, culture, and fun!
Who is someone that you wish to collaborate with?
It would be a dream come true to work with A.R. Rahman. He is a musical genius and I have adored his music since day one. His music is fresh and cultured, yet he’s not afraid to explore other forms of music. He brings out the best in all of the artists he has worked with, and his humble nature is so admirable. I would be on cloud nine if I could collaborate with him for one of his albums. I’ll wait patiently for that dream to come true!
Do you prefer sitting in the studio writing music, or performing in front of a live audience?
There are so many enjoyable aspects to recording music and performing live that it is difficult to choose which one I prefer. When I’m in the studio, it is the only time that I can focus, let my creative juices flow, experiment, and perfect my work. Performing live is where I can interact with my audience, feed off of their energy, and share my talent with them in real time.
What are you working on right now? Any new singles or albums coming up?
At the moment, I am focusing mainly on performances. I am getting married this summer so I will be taking a small break to settle down. I have been caught in a whirlwind of non-stop album/movie recordings, and live local/international performances these past few years so it will be nice to have a month or two off before I get back into the music scene. My fiancé, Bharat Sharma, is also a well- known singer and we’re hoping to work together on a spiritual classical album soon, once the dust settles.
Thank you for taking time out to do this interview. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and our UrbanAsian.com readers?
Thank you to UrbanAsian.com for supporting up-and-coming talent and being a proud support of desiFEST and its artists! I appreciate your encouragement and look forward to catching up with you again soon! If you would like to reach me or view some of my latest performances, please visit my YouTube Channel.
UrbanAsian will be there, what about you?!