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Here’s How Falguni Shah Became The Only Indian Nominee At Grammys By Creating Music For Her Son

  • IWB Post
  •  May 11, 2019

New York-based singer-songwriter Falguni Shah aka Falu’s son was always full of inquisitive questions like why their food was turmeric yellow, why did he have to converse in a different language at home than he had to at school etc.

“I felt that he needed to be assured of his roots, his identity and culture. There was no better way to answer all his question other than through music (which is a language we all speak in our house),” Falguni said in a recent interaction with The Indian Express.

She thus started writing and composing songs for her son. “I wanted to make a fictional story of an Indian child and how he travels from his home to an Indian bazaar and discovers many new things and languages. In my mind, I created an Indian Dora with my child,” she says.

What started as an exercise to answer her son’s questions eventually culminated into Falu’s Bazaar, an album of 12 songs that marked the starting of a very rewarding career in children’s music. The album has songs in Hindi, English, and Gujarati and includes almost all the topics that childhood fantasies are made of right from shapes to rainbows. In fact, there also exists a song on the masala used in Indian kitchens.

“I would cook in the kitchen and every 10 minutes my son would ask me the name of a pot or a roller. He would want to sprinkle spices in the food and I would show him our masala dabba and say this is haldi, jeera, mirchi,” shares Falguni.

The album has done really well and the magnitude of its success can be ascertained from the fact that it has earned her a Grammys nomination this year, making her the only Indian on the prestigious list. To add to it, she will also walk the red carpet at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles where she has been nominated in the Best Children’s Music category.

Falguni shares that one of the reasons why she really wanted to create children’s music was because she found it rather disturbing to see her son picking up random Bollywood songs from TV which were not age-appropriate. “He once started humming ‘hum tere bin ab reh nahi sakte’. He was four. I wanted him to sing songs that were age appropriate,” she shares.

To add to her distress, the nursery rhymes that she found on YouTube “were very funny but had no deep meaning.” She says, “I also found music to be a beautiful tool to educate my son.”

“I want to educate children while having fun with them because music has the power to do that,” says Falguni.

H/T: The Indian Express

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