Musical prodigy Shahana Shome wishes to take ahead the legacy of ghazals

The Gen Z musician also harbours a wish to merge pop culture with Hindustani classical
Shahana Shome
Shahana Shome

Mumbai based musical prodigy Shahana Shome might be just fourteen years of age, but she carries more feathers on her hat than one can imagine. She picked up music quite early in her formative years, seeing her musician mother Dola Basu Shome who runs her own institution and has grown up to pick Ghazal as her go to genre.  Unlikely for a Gen Z, Shahana despite being exposed to numerous Indian and international genres, looks up to the legendary Pakistani classical singer Farida Khanum. The fourteen year old harbours a wish to take the legacy of Ghazals forward and has already achieved quite a bit on this front. After spinning her own rendition of Asha Bhosle’s Yun Saja Chand, she went on to lend her voice to an original penned by Swanand Kirkire titled O Ri Chiriya and now she has come up with a new take on Mohabbat Karne Wale Kam Na Honge on her YouTube channel.

Ghazal seems to be quite an unlikely genre for a Gen Z. What made you inclined towards this genre?

Being a teen, I equally love listening to pop songs like any of my peers. However, I firmly believe the feeling evoked through a Ghazal is unmatchable and can rarely be found in any other genre. Ghazals are also quite different from other genres as they involve a lot of Pheras and Harkats that in turn help a musician become more versatile.

I believe the first music that we listen to as kids often happens to be something from Indian roots, and the newer generation too has inclinations towards traditional music in some way or the other. It can be that many of us don’t know how to express that.

What gets you into the mind space required by a Ghazal?

I listen to the particular track on loop before actually attempting to give it my own rendition. I try to compare it to any incident that I have experienced and comprehend my own meaning from the words of the song. It helps me immensely in transmitting the feeling required by a Ghazal.

Is digital media a boon or bane when it comes to Ghazal that is usually associated with live concerts?

I think social media is a boon when speaking of genres like Ghazal that is slowly taking a backseat. Digital platforms definitely help in propagating a particular genre that in turn makes people aware of the vast repertoire of traditions we hold.

What’s next?

Mohabbat Karne Wale Kam Na Honge released under the album name of Legacy of Ghazals Continued, and that is something I truly want to do. I cannot imagine my musical career without Ghazals, and I wish to post more renditions on my YouTube channel.

I also think connecting traditional music with western genres and instruments can make a nice combination that can be enjoyed by both the older and newer generations.

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