SOME of the best British singers can be found on the live circuit, and one talent delighting audiences with her vocal prowess is Birmingham-based Sharan-Amelia.
She has delivered winning performances at diverse events and specialises in singing big Bollywood hits. The versatile artist who can sing in Hindi, Punjabi and English was surrounded by songs growing up and brought up by a music loving family.
“I have always had music in my blood. I was surrounded by the sound of music, especially Hindi, which was always playing in the background. At the age of just five, I remember how my two elder brothers would encourage me to sing. They would say my voice sounded like the younger version of India’s nightingale, Lata Mangeshkarji,” said Sharan-Amelia.
There were also family get-togethers growing up, which enabled her musical passion to grow. This led her towards performing live in front of family and friends, along with singing at the local gurudwara, which eventually evolved into performing in front of larger audiences with a group of musicians.
“Live performances are an essence to showcasing one’s talent, and I was often told by many that I possess a natural musical gift, which ought to be showcased,” she said.
Her most memorable live performance was at a Bollywood musical evening in a hotel converted from a large yacht in Gibraltar, which she describes as an amazing experience. But there have been many other magical moments. Sharan-Amelia enjoys performing golden classics of Hindi movies and describes them as mind-blowing melodies with meaningful lyrics.
“I grew up listening to songs from the 1950s to the 70s era. But I have to admit the songs of the 80s and 90s are by far my favourite, as I relate them to many memorable moments.”
The singer loves listening to diverse music, including bhangra, Latin, Arabic, English, fusion and Bollywood classics.
She cites Mohammed Rafi as her musical hero and says his voice was simply “liquid gold”. She loved his pairing with Lata Mangeshkar and enjoys performing his songs. “I can’t think of one song of his that I dislike. I can’t even say which song is my favourite, but I can safely say Rafi sahib was and is by far my favourite artist and hero.”
It looks set to be another busy year for the singer with public and private performances lined up throughout 2020. She is also looking to record her own original songs and has ambitions one day to do playback singing for Bollywood.
She said with a smile: “I am keeping my options fully open for 2020.”
The hardworking singer is not only inspired by musical greats who were major influences, but also those who encourage her, fellow artists she works with and audiences. “Audiences who give me positive feedback about my singing ability is a huge boost and motivate me to do and learn more. In addition, my own brother was an active lead singer in a local Punjabi band in the 80s. Since then, I have always had a desire to perform in front of audiences.”
Sharan-Amelia regards her own voice as a musical instrument that can be taken anywhere. But in terms of physical instruments, she would love to learn sitar and piano. “The powerful yet mesmerising sound the sitar emits has an air of romanticism and exoticism about it. For me, it portrays the scenic image of Rajasthan in India and the old Hindi films of palaces and royalty. The piano can touch a person’s soul with its melodic tones and projection.”
Sharan-Amelia finishes off by telling Eastern Eye why she loves music. “I find music therapeutic. Even when sad, I listen to upbeat tunes and find myself immersed in various positive scenarios. It is a form of relaxation and escapism. I listen to music every night before sleep.
When I listened to music as a youngster, I placed myself in an imaginary world full of pleasant stories and scenarios, which I knew could become a reality one day. A few years down the line, some of them did become a reality.”