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‘Indie’cation of activism

THE ASIAN AGE. | SURIDHI SHARMA
Published : Sep 14, 2017, 12:37 am IST
Updated : Sep 14, 2017, 12:37 am IST

The playback singer and social activist wants to spread gender equality when she isn’t crooning across the country.

Shivangi Sharma
 Shivangi Sharma

Pop, Indi-pop and Rock singer Shivangi Sharma, who started her playback journey in 2012, has made a space for herself in the industry. But it is not just singing that drives her. The young singer is also an active voice for women right’s issues. Her  journey from working at a call centre to finding place in the industry was a long one.

“It was really hard to reach here and become a part of the industry as I am not a trained classical singer, so the industry did not entertain my talents. But, I guess it is my persistence and consistency that took me where I am now,” she shares.

Recalling her childhood she says, “My childhood was very monotonous. There weren’t any sports activities in our school. It was all about studies. I have been raised in a lower middle class family where my father was an employee in some company and my mother used to be a Hindi teacher in the same school I studied in. Back then, my mother was really strict and never allowed me to sing at all. She was very clear about my career choices. After the completion of my 12th standard, she wanted me to teach in the same school, and get married to a random man at the age of 18. So in short, there were no lessons related to music at all.”

But that didn’t stop Shivangi from pursuing her passion. She got inspired by every kind of music she came in touch with. “Honestly speaking, I believe that music doesn’t have any language barriers. And that is why I love every kind and form of music, ranging from Hindi, English and Spanish, to the various genres like pop, jazz, romantic, bhajans and also Sufi. These various kinds don’t just attract me but also make me want to create and sing the same across varied genres,” she explains.

Working in the entertainment industry, she travels a lot and hardly has time to set a concrete routine for herself. “But yes, there are two important things in my life whether I am in Mumbai or anywhere in the world — riyaaz and workouts. There are times when I workout at 4:30 am, and at times at midnight. But no form of excuse can deprive me of my workout as well as riyaaz,” she says.

But it is not just music that moves her heart. She is also deeply concerned about women issues and works in that direction. “I have seen woman from varied backgrounds and probably noticed one thing, that we as woman don’t acknowledge our own potential. We have the calibre to do a lot of things but somewhere because of the societal pressure, we always tend to choose family over anything which later on leaves us as mere homemakers,” she says, adding, “So, I personally believe that we as girls/women should keep on working regardless of the form of work — big or small, to keep our dignity and self-respect intact. And I also want to help every woman out there in any possible manner to make her feel independent, and help her get a job which gives her self-satisfaction.”

She believes that woman-centric issues take birth at childhood itself. “It happens when parents start differentiating between a girl and a boy. A girl is asked to wear a certain type of clothing wherein a boy can wear anything he likes. So even in her own house, a girl isn’t allowed to wear comfortable clothes or clothes of her choice just because her father and brother are around. And this is the case in many houses even today. The parents don’t realise that by restricting a girl from her choice of clothing, they are lowering her self-esteem. To eradicate this partiality, I would really like to educate such people by any mode of communication,” she says.

The social activist and singer believes that the world needs more positive people around. “These days, everyone is trying to let each other down in some way or the other. We have very few people who push others to grow and advance in life. I think, we all should just empower each other in life,” she says.

The singer also gives 10 per cent of her earnings to charity. “I don’t want people to beg on the roads. I would want to serve as a resource in the form of an industry or organisation to such people,” she concludes.

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