Fans of pop music may well be in for a treat as independent artist Shannon K, daughter of Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu, makes her American debut with Mirror Girl, a pop-rock single which is being released next week by The Orchard, a New York-based music, video and film distribution company.
The company, a top-ranked multi-channel network that works with independent artists and labels to distribute content to hundreds of digital and mobile outlets around the world, releases Mirror Girl ahead of the expected launching of her album containing several new songs next year. Shannon said she does not know as yet which company will release the album in the U.S. next year, and when exactly.
“I am really very excited about the release of Mirror Girl,” the 14-year-old who recently moved to New York from London and lives with her mother here, said.
While such excitement is natural for a 14-year-old studying in ninth grade, this is not going to be first time that Shannon will experience the thrill. In May 2012 she made her initial debut in London with ‘Roll Back the Years’ which was also released by The Orchard.
Although she had lived in London since age six and had grown up in a musical environment thanks to her father Sanu, her initial musical debut was not planned or calculated but was an impulsive act of sibling affection that launched her on her musical journey.
It so happened, Shannon said, that her younger sister Annabel K returned home in tears from her school one afternoon in London and said that one of her friends at school was in pain due to her parents’ separation. Annabel soon channeled this emotion into a set of lyrics which were put to music by Shannon.
“Anna has this habit of writing diary and she always writes things like in a poem. She penned all her sorrow on paper and I read it and I just started humming the melody of Roll Back. My Dad by chance heard me humming and he was so impressed that his two daughters aged 8 and 11 at that time, wrote and created melody of an original meaningful song! He thought this song should be discovered. The result was the heartfelt single ‘Roll Back the Years’,” Shannon said explaining the background to her first song. Roll Back the Years is a story about broken families and the effect it has on the children.
Shannon admits that although she learned music from Royal College of Music of London, she learnt music from his father who has been her first teacher and has learnt to deliver voice modulation, expressions and emotions from him “His singing is quite rich and soulful and his songs always inspire me to become better. Dad always encourages me and he asks me to make my own style,” Shannon told Desi Talk in an interview.
Asked about her father as a teacher as opposed to a singer, Shannon described Kumar Sanu as “very gentle and kind teacher” but at the same time a very strict one as well. “Our genres are different but he understands English music and always picks good songs for me to learn. If I make mistake, he’s there to correct me. My dad has got experience of singing 20,000 songs in 26 languages. He is a great teacher and master to learn from,” the daughter said of the father, and then added, “I think he should start a music academy here so thousands of people can get benefited from his experience.”
Although Shannon is no stranger to the world of pop, she has never tried a pop-rock which her upcoming Mirror Girl belongs to. A pop rock is commonly defined as a genre that mixes a catchy pop style and light lyrics in its guitar-based rock songs, She said besides setting music she wrote the lyrics for the song as well.
Despite not having tried the style, she obviously has the confidence to deliver that as she has been exposed to a variety of styles and genres, starting from blue s(Roll Back The Years), Pop/Hip-hop(Just Say No to drugs) , Festive (It’s Christmas), Teen Pop(Just Another Boy), for which she was named artiste of the week on BBC U.K. , Ballad/Soul song (Mom), all of which have been released in U.K.
Why move from London to New York if she established somewhat of a presence in London?
“I moved to New York because I think America is musically rich like Bollywood. I want to become a mainstream singer like my dad,” she says.
She admits that she does not sing Bollywood songs as her Hindi and Urdu language skills are bad, but she wants to sing Hindi songs when she learns Urdu properly. Meanwhile, she is concentrating on listening to more of her favorites like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Adele, Bruno Mars, and Rihanna.
What is her dream – to keep music as a passion or to make a career out of it?
“I want to become a singer and music teacher. I definitely want to pursue a music career. I’m trained in western classical. Although my favorite genres are pop and soul, a popular genre originating in America, I can sing ballad, jazz and reggae. Believe me I want to become a versatile singer.” But then she adds, “I want to become like my dad, which I know is next to impossible for me to achieve. I want to keep my dignity by just singing good songs with good lyrics.”