Falguni Shah on winning Grammy for Best Children’s

‘You can never expect a Grammy, but there is always a chance. You can always hope and wish for it, which I did,’ says US-based Indiana artist Falguni Shah in an exclusive interview.

Indian-American singer Falguni Shah, known by her stage name Falu, is on cloud nine as she lifted the winner’s trophy at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards for her album A Colorful World.

She won the Best Children’s Music Album award for A Colorful World, which features songs like ‘Happy,’ ‘Kite,’ ‘Rainbow,’ ‘The Elephant Stomp,’ and ‘Visit to the Farm.’

Brimming with joy after winning her first Grammy, Shah tells Firstpost, “You can never expect it, but there is always a chance. You can always hope and wish for it, which I did.”

According to her, winning a Grammy is the highest recognition in the music business. She explains, “The Recording Academy is a peer-based organisation, and the people who get to select the nominees and winners are all music professionals. Getting recognition from my peers is truly an honour and an inspiration.”

This year, she was also a Grammy Premiere Ceremony performer, and being on the Grammy stage was a dream come true for her. “This is a programme that is seen by millions of people around the world. The best part was to perform with some of my friends, and also with a band and a musical director who are very talented and fun to work with,” she shares.

Interestingly, it was at a Grammy nomination party in 2020 that she met producer Kenya Autie and her husband Oscar Autie, who is the main engineer on the award-winning album. “When we met in person, there was a spark. We are like-minded music professionals who share the same vision — to bring happiness and togetherness to the world through music,” she says.

“Immediately, they added two other producers to the team, Tina Kids and Mario Sanmarti and the rest of the amazing musicians who participated in A Colorful World,” she adds.

Once the base recordings were done, Shah flew to San Francisco to record her vocals. “The album was mixed and mastered at El Cerrito Records. My favourite part of this album is that we collaborated with artists from different locations — New York, San Francisco, Spain, Florida, and Sacramento. And we have a group of diverse musicians who bring their own flavour. This makes our album a colourful one,” she says.

Their aim was not to just put out happy songs for kids. “We wanted to send out a message of happiness and togetherness for children and families. We wanted to make songs that reflect a colourful world,” shares the artist, who was previously nominated for a Grammy in the Best Children’s Music Album category for her album Falu’s Bazaar.

She started becoming interested in writing and singing music for children when she became a mom.

Her vocal talent has been classically shaped, thanks to her training in Hindustani Classical music in the Jaipur musical tradition and in the Banaras style of Thumri under Kaumudi Munshi and semi classical music from Uday Mazumdar. She feels that her Indian classical training has helped her in shaping up her career in the US.

“I have been able to integrate what I learned from my teachers and elders with what I have learned in the US. I have always kept my heritage alive through any kind of music and performance, and I remain open to experiment with sounds and genres,” says the artist, who moved to the US in 2000.

She is also keen on collaborating with more artists after joining forces with many global stars like Wyclef Jean, Ricky Martin, and AR Rahman. “I would love to work with Lady Gaga, but I am open to any collaboration,” she says.

She loves listening to Indian classical and semi classical music, children’s music as well as new age, folk music, and several other genres that resonate with her and her heritage. But she says that Bollywood is in her DNA, and so she has Bollywood dreams too.

While she grew up in India, she flew to the US years ago, and started making a name in the music field. The journey was not an easy one. “The minus point of being an Indian singer in America is that you have to try harder because unfortunately, there is still discrimination in this world, especially if you are a woman,” she shares.

Of course, there are many positive aspects of being an Indian artist in America. “Since I had to work harder, I became more focused, more disciplined, and more driven. I also blend the two cultures into my music, and that gives me joy when I am creating,” says Shah.

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