• Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Arts and Culture

Saloni: The language of making magical music

British singer talks about her diverse songs and dreams

RISING STAR: Saloni

By: Asjad Nazir

A WIDE array of songs in different languages and genres has demonstrated that Saloni is an exciting young British Asian music talent.

The versatile singer has shown off her impressive range on stunning cover versions, superb solo singles and cool collaborations in a relatively short space of time.

With more big tracks on the way, she is one to watch and was in good spirits when Eastern Eye caught up with her. She discussed her action-packed journey and future hopes.

 What first connected you to music?

It’s hard to pinpoint, as I started singing very young, but from what my parents say, the first thing they heard me sing was a Christmas carol.

How do you reflect on the actionpacked start to your musical journey?

It’s been a crazy few years. Stepping back a bit from all the rush and reading through my old goals, I cherish how far I’ve come. There’s so much more I want to achieve. But I know for sure, me five years ago would be in happy tears if she knew what she was about to do.

  What has been your most memorable moment?

Finding out I placed on the official UK Asian music charts. I was in a studio session, listening in on the BBC at the time. (Laughs) When I found out I was even in the charts, I was mouth wide open, screaming. I even have the CCTV footage of the live reaction.

 You have done a variety of songs, but which is the closest to your heart?

Oh, that’s tough. I’m going to pick two. Legacy because it was the first song that had my mother tongue Telugu in it and was all about me working towards leaving a musical legacy behind. Similarly, before Legacy I released a track in my second EP called I’ll Strive. I wrote this song at a tough time in my life when I was mocked by my peers at school for even considering singing as a career. The song’s meaning was along the lines of ‘no matter what anyone says, I’m going to do what I love and I’ll strive’.

What makes you want to mix up languages in your songs?

There is so much unseen beauty in all south Asian languages. I want to be someone who raises awareness of this beauty and display it to the rest of the world.

 What inspired you to combine Telugu, Bangla and English into a song with Nee Gundellounna (I’m In Your Heart)?

 Funnily enough, I initially went into the studio session thinking this will be a Bangla and English song as I already had experience singing in Bengali and wanted to bring it into my original music. But when we laid the melodies down, we couldn’t resist bringing the beauty of Telugu in as well. I always love to push boundaries with my music and this is a perfect example of that, putting something out there that’s the first of its kind.

 Your cover versions are superb, how do you decide which songs to record?

TikTok is usually a big influence. Anything I hear on a regular basis ends up being in my mashups. But sometimes you hear a beat and think, ‘wait, I swear I’ve heard something similar to this before’ and randomly sing another song which flows smoothly as a mashup too. There’s no set way really and that’s what I love about music.

Which has been your favourite cover version so far?

It goes under-rated, but my Double Decade Tollywood mashup where I put together 22 Telugu film songs from 2000 to 2020 in just four minutes. It gave me so much nostalgia listening back to music from my childhood and finding what fit together most.

 What is the plan going forward?

I’m working towards an EP – my first, which will have various languages, so I’m excited for everyone to hear that. Stay tuned to my socials @saloni_music to get the updates.

 Which artist would you love to collaborate with?

Zack Knight, as he was the first artist I saw do the crossover between western and desi music, which inspired me to do something similar.

 What type of music dominates your own playlist?

As much as I love listening to all kinds of genres, my go to playlist is a mix of Bollywood and British/American Asian music.

 If you could master something new in music, what would it be?

Playing the guitar. I did it for a couple of months but didn’t see it through. (Laughs) It would definitely help with my song writing, so I would want to get back into that.

 What inspires you as a musician?

The support of my fans, family and friends inspires me. The high I get when I perform live or the response I get when I put out a new song is insane. It means so much to me, so thank you all. You all inspire me.

Eastern Eye

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