SINGER GEETA JHALA HAS BIG PLANS FOR HER NEW PROJECT
by ASJAD NAZIR
THE record-breaking Baby Shark being viewed on YouTube well over 10 billion times shows the immense popularity of children’s music globally and that is why a change in musical direction from Geeta Jhala is interesting.
The British-Asian singer has toured globally and delivered a wide array of contemporary commercial songs in various languages, but during lockdown, she has created something unique for the younger generation. She has assembled a top team for Cheebu World, which has animal characters and children’s songs associated with them.
The first of these is super catchy number Roar Roar Roary, which has been met with a positive response and is already clocking up big numbers on You Tube. Geeta composed, wrote and sang the song, which will lead to her developing the children’s brand further.
With more big plans on the way, she hasn’t disconnected herself from commercial music. Eastern Eye caught up with Geeta Jhala to find out more about her various projects.
What led you towards your latest musical project Cheebu World?
So in June I flew back home to London from India because of the worsening coronavirus situation there and was quarantined upon arrival. I had two weeks to restrategise my musical plans because I knew it would take a while for projects to begin again. My two-year-old niece watched a lot of YouTube and the content she saw really inspired me to start creating kids music.
Tell us about the project and newly released video?
So the first song that has been released is titled Roar Roar Roary, based on my first and focal character of Cheebu World, the tiger Roary. It’s really just a fun, original song for kids with a very colourful and interesting animated visual.
What was the biggest challenge of putting it together?
To be honest, it’s probably just the fact that it has all been coordinated with my team in India, while I’ve been here in the UK. Obviously not being able to travel or be in India with the lockdown situations everywhere has meant that it’s all been really created using technology only.
How does doing children’s songs compare to other stuff you have done?
To be honest, I thought it would be really challenging initially when I thought of doing it. But funnily enough it came quite easily to me as I started. I created eight original characters and in turn wrote, composed and sang eight songs for them in about a month.
Who are you hoping will connect to these songs?
I mean primarily children, of course. However I have tried to make the songs pretty catchy for us adults too. They aren’t exactly nursery rhymes, more just catchy upbeat tunes for all ages to enjoy.
Have you learned anything new while doing this project?
I’ve learnt that anything is possible at any point in life. For me the lockdown began to get really gloomy and negative, and I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to creatively conceive an entire project in that frame of mind. But I did and it has been a blessing of positivity and hope for me.
What has the response been like so far?
The response, touch wood, has been phenomenal. I haven’t done too much advertising or promoting and it actually organically already has crossed 150,000 views. I didn’t expect such a response and that really makes it worthwhile.
What is the future plan for this Cheebu World project?
So I do plan to expand into books in the next few months, and also a range of character clothing. In terms of the music itself, like I said, there are another eight songs to follow Roary’s, which I am super excited about.
You have crossed a new frontier with this project. Is there anything else that you wanna do in music, but haven’t accomplished yet?
Yes, I would say this has ticked off another box in my musical wish list, but there is still so much I want to do. I hope to be releasing a lot more urban Gujarati music through my platform Agnifly Music, which is something that is very close to my heart. I plan to start releasing these in the next few months. My ultimate aim with this project, though, is to make a motion picture one day.
What else do you have on the way?
In terms of Cheebu World, the next song will be that of my monkey character, Lango, which will be released next month. In terms of my personal music, it’s an urban Gujarati project with the pioneer and maestro Rishi Rich.
What music is dominating your own personal play list at the moment?
I’ve recently been enjoying a lot of mellow love songs. It is something that’s usually my go-to during hectic times, which has been most days recently with Cheebu World in full flow.
You have been on a lot of musical adventures in the past decade, but which has been the most memorable?
I really couldn’t choose one, to be honest. I am just extremely thankful and grateful that I have gained so much experience in the past decade and musically have had a blast. My kid’s project Cheebu World is one I am currently really enjoying.
Today what inspires you?
Everything really. I can get inspired by absolutely anything anywhere. I feel that’s my secret weapon and again it is something I’m grateful for. My two-year-old niece Aahana has been my inspiration recently because of whom Cheebu World has come about.
You are composing, writing and singing, but if you could learn something new in music what would it be?
I would love to learn how to play an instrument. I’ve always wanted to, but have never really got around to doing so properly.
Finally why should we all find out more about your new project?
Because it’s going to be super fun. Cheebu World will not only be a creative and fun musical channel, it has also been developed to be educational, teaching children to be more environmentally conscious and aware of protecting our natural world. Expect catchy music, clothing, arts and crafts, cartoons, books and much more.
Visit Instagram, Facebook and Twitter on @cheebuworld and www.cheebuworld.com for more information